The UK is at risk of becoming a flawed democracy as it’s increasingly corrupt, and has dropped two places in a global democracy ranking. This isn’t just about the UK though – the increasingly unstable 21st century world needs authoritarianism to keep the increasingly poor masses at bay. Democracy is on the decline overall (only just over 45% of the world now live in a democracy).
Joel Kotkin in his recent Spectator article argues that democracy has been undermined and corrupted by the rising tide of money and administrative power, leading to a rise of autocracy.
Did you know that today (2022), 100 billionaires own half of the world’s assets? That’s one hundred people owning half of the world. Five years ago, this figure was 400. The end of democracy doesn’t surprise Kotkin.
The economic legacy of the last decade is ‘excessive corporate consolidation, a massive transfer of wealth to the top one per cent from the middle class.’ … In Great Britain, where land prices have risen dramatically over the past decade, less than one per cent of the population owns half of all the land.
Kotkin predicts a rising techno-autocracy with concentrated wealth at the top globally and a low-educated mass underclass in permanent rental serfdom and, ultimately, total dependence on the state, and kept in place by digital surveillance.
Sounds a bit conspiratorial to me, but the fact remains that the rich are now much richer and everyone else will be fucked even more in the coming years. This blog URL is lenina (in reference to Huxley’s Brave New World) and Kotkin’s reference to the novel is well chosen:
The tech oligarchs are creating something similar to what Aldous Huxley called in Brave New World Revisited a ‘scientific caste system.’ There is ‘no good reason,’ Huxley wrote in 1958, that ‘a thoroughly scientific dictatorship should ever be overthrown.’ It will condition its subjects from the womb so that they ‘grow up to love their servitude’ and ‘never dream of revolution.’ It will maintain a strict social order and provide enough diversion through drugs, sex and videos to keep their artificially narrowed minds occupied and sated.
I had been wondering why minds have been artificially narrowed in the last couple of decades through education (‘dumbing down’). It’s all starting to make sense now 😐