A man screamed in the street. A few in their own doorways babbled like bedlam and faster as rage took away their senses. Something is seriously wrong in this election.
Mostly, the reaction of those I have accosted on the street or greeted on the doorstep is pleasant and positive. The rosette can look like a declaration of war, but this year it is greeted kindly, mostly. Firmly, unthinkingly Labour households will tell you so firmly, but some of those are Backing Boris. Then there is the screaming madness.
There is something about Boris: they love him or they hate everything about him. For the latter, nothing Boris Johnson has ever said or done can be anything but evil. No deprecation is too crude. When by the street stall a lady tried to correct a misunderstanding, a man screamed at her. It was not even a directed shout of argument but a scream I have heard in psychiatric wards; a high, internal scream to drown out the world outside and keep it away.
On the doorstep I never heard anything so chilling, but the same scream was happening. Impersonalised, the Conservative Party I was assured has never done anything good for anyone (and this from someone who has done very well from the thriving free commerce of society), and he went as if to stop me polluting any neighbours with my deluded contrary ideas.
Others at the name of Boris swelled up with rage and would not be corrected on any point of their slander, but that gets beyond the 30-seconds-only on the doorstep. Boris, I was told, was a liar and a fool and an extremist (but I barely repeat every imprecation against this devil they describe) and Brexit and abomination, and that Boris must at once be locked up or thrown in a loony bin. No contradiction is permitted, and is greeted with higher rage and physical aggression.
(To be told that an erudite, overly liberal and frightening intelligent gentleman is an idiot and an extremist is laughable. To be told he should be locked in a mental hospital by a man with wild eyes and practically foaming at the lips is telling.)
Talk loud and talk quickly to stop any alternative idea creeping in. Whatever you do, do not let anyone cause you to think. Calm, simple certainty is all that keeps you sane and must not be polluted with any hint of contradiction. Scream to drown it out – they are just trying to confuse you.
The world is complicated, and politicians want you to make a binary red-blue vote. Political ideas trying to simplify the world just defy reality, but that they must try to do. If you can handle the multi-dimensional, inter-relational complexity of the world, you will do well. Many cannot, and it makes them scream.
Granted that socialism is one giant conspiracy theory, convincing its acolytes that all the ills of their world are the fault of others – but we also know that many of those who have fallen into this error do so with good motives and they can do positive things and provide an important alternative perspective. We know that in the debate of membership or otherwise of the European Union, there were good and bad arguments on both sides, and even the Remainer side highlighted real issues which have to be addressed. Decisions must be based on the complexities of reality or they are based on fantasy.
For some however, that is too much. A complex world leaves us all at sea when we need solid ground to cling to. They make rules and rationalise ideas to the simplest axioms. On those axioms is established certainty, which is rest from any other thought. All who disagree must then of necessity be fools or liars or frauds, driven by corrupt motives.
It is very attractive to adopt that attitude. It is just wrong though: truth and priorities are not right-wrong, black-white, on-off. Reality is complicated, too complicated for the mind to grasp. There is no certainty, no rest, no solid ground, The lilies of the field toil not neither do they spin, but man must eat and must work to eat; there is no rest and simplicity.
This world does not resolve into simple rules as if created by mathematicians, the way the Greek philosophers thought and any rules you make are yours alone, to suppress your own mental turmoil. Therefore stop screaming, open your ears, and explore different ideas. You might even find it liberating.
- Man to man is an arrant wolf
- Bishops to mend a broken Britain?
- Boris unleashed
- To the Antiquity itself I think nothing due
- Quarrel of a dying empire poisoning modernity
- The Noble Savage, Caliban, and Hobbes
- Honest, Georgian elections
- By Boris Johnson:
- Woke: A Guide to Social Justice by Titania McGrath
- The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray
- Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay (1841)
- 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B Peterson
- By Aristotle:
- By Anthony Burgess:
- All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain’s Political Class by Tim Shipman
- Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union by Harold D. Clarke, Matthew Goodwin and Paul Whiteley
- Brexit: How the Nobodies Beat the Somebodies by Sebastian J. Handley
- By David Cameron: