By Troy Southgate
When governments impose a state of emergency it is simply a method of regaining or increasing control. Following on from that, I would even argue that we entered this precarious stage in our history during the insurrections of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when people first began to resist the ruling class on a larger scale and make a serious attempt to reverse the effects of mercantile plunder and what we are told is the Industrial Revolution.
Among these attempts to challenge capitalism one finds Republicanism, Marxism, Liberalism and Fascism, each of which have either compromised or failed to create a tangible alternative to the rapid encroachment of usury, mechanisation and globalisation. Despite the fact that a large number of people continue to put their faith in such ideologies, often to the point of simulation, the most obvious factor of all is rarely taken into consideration. The manner in which one reacts to a crisis should never become a permanent basis for a political, social and economic infrastructure and their many imperfections cannot be overlooked.
To use a contemporary example, and one which is extremely pertinent, we are told that the solution to Covid-19 lies in finding an effective vaccination. Now, even if we set aside for a moment or two the sinister motives of the pharmaceutical industry, three important questions remain:
(a) will a vaccination solve our problems, or merely postpone them?
(b) does it really make sense to build an entire system around the notion of the vaccination itself?
(c) what was life like prior to the situation that led to our dependency on those administering it?
Returning to the issue of reactive ideologies, it should now be possible to understand how various political movements have tried to base their entire worldview on responding to a state of emergency when it seems fairly obvious that the solution lies in getting to the root of human existence and understanding our real needs. We do not require the intermittent jabs that have merely sought to cope with an existing virus, we need a more fundamental cure and one which strives to restore the period that came prior to the state of emergency itself. Those who say that we cannot turn back the clock should be reminded of what G.K. Chesterton had to say in What’s Wrong With The World (1910): “A clock, being a piece of human construction, can be restored by the human finger to any figure or hour. In the same way society, being a piece of human construction, can be reconstructed upon any plan that has ever existed.”
One thing we must never do, is attach ourselves to civilisation to the degree that we embrace the kind of political reactions that ultimately fail to address the problem in its entirety. Rejecting the temporary inoculations of modernity means being able to dispense with the ideologies that sustain the lucrative capitalist laboratory and which lead people away from the comparative sanity of former times. Not as something which is antequated, or thought to have outlived its usefulness, but as a form of timeless fidelity to a ceaseless past-present-future that always lies beneath the surface of our immediate reality. Despite its great malleability, therefore, even Chesterton’s clock is based on an illusion.