Saturday, September 09, 2006

Everything is politics (if that's all you've got)

An attitude born of a successful political system. Charles Moore in The Telegraph speaking (well) of Tony Blair.

No political party should ever be anyone's life. Its value is only instrumental – that it can mobilise enough people, ideas, money and interests to run things that need running and get things done that need doing.
And further, I just came across this.
For the essence of totalitarianism is contained in the great helmsman's injunction to "put politics in command". This is not just Communist Chinese baby talk. What it means is this: that you are to take over every institution, whatever it may be, and empty out everything which distinguishes it from other institutions, and turn it into yet another loudspeaker for repeating "the general line". Destroy the specific institutional fabric of -- a university, a trade union, a sporting body, a church -- and give them all the same institutional content, viz. a political one. Contrapositively, the essence of resistance to this process by liberal-democrats must consist in trying to maintain the specific institutional integrity of different institutions.
-- David Stove, "Santamaria and the Philosophers", Honi Soit, 43 (32), 29 October 1970, p 11

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