Conservative Hegemony: Redheaded Politics

Conservative Hegemony: Redheaded Politics

Below is a copied blog post from << Redheaded Politics >>, which I thought of interest. Below that is my comment.

A digital revolution

In Individual Sovereignty, media on February 23, 2010 at 2:34 am

While most conservatives in America believe government is too powerful, leader of the British Conservative Party David Cameron, says it’s the people who are gaining control.

In Cameron’s opinion, control is shifting away from large national governments to the individual. In a recent TED talk, he attributed the transfer of power to the information revolution.

“We’ve gone from a world of local control, then we went to a world of central control, now we’re a world of people control,” Cameron said. “We’re now living in a post-bureaucratic age where genuine people power is possible.”

While the British Conservative Party and its leader’s politics are far from perfect, Cameron’s belief in the empowerment of the individual through the information revolution is revolutionary. According to him, the revolution can alter both society and government.

“We believe that if you give people more power and control over their lives, if you give people more choice, if you put them in the driving seat then actually you can create a stronger and better society,” he said. “And if you marry this fact with the incredible abundance of information that we have in our world today, I think you can completely, as I’ve said, remake politics, remake government, remake your public services.”

The explosion of information and technology has dramatically changed the world in which we live. Most importantly, it has empowered individual users in ways never before imagined. Now it is the people, not a select few, that control the information flow.


The problem is the disparity between the purported “ideology” and the effective reality. In simple terms, all evidence (from our own experience) is that people are currently more alienated that they have perhaps ever been before. But, this real experience is transformed by a certain discourse of “individualism” and “consumer power”, so that our (real, experienced) disempowerment can be fed back to us as its exact opposite. Of course, this is a pretty shaky hegemonic edifice, since it is so blatantly belied by everything around us. But, it’s interesting to note the way that Cameron skillfully uses the “neutral” discourse of “technology” (where individualism is used to sell), mixed with the genuine discontent of many with Labour’s policies, to shore up his claims to being “progressive” and even “revolutionary” (despite being the exact opposite).

There’s no point, also, in using the defense that “whilst other policies are bad, this one is potentially good”. Because, we have to view these policy decisions together if we are to work out their actual effects and functions. E.g. the idea of the Big Society as progressive functions [as] an ideological cover for extremely reactionary economic policies; moreover, it is, in real terms, completely hollowed out and undermined by these economic policies, and by the continued fact of bureaucracy in its general sense. By this last I mean that the Tories have tried to specialize the term “bureaucracy” to mean “Quangos and centralised Government”. But, “bureaucracy” could well be used to describe any Government (inc. and esp. the Tories) which puts itself beyond the agency of the people, and effectively institutes itself as a dominant class of “directors” and “experts”. The fact that the Tories’ “solution” to bureaucracy is privatisation makes clear to us that the trajectory of Tory policy is toward increased centralisation of power and wealth, rather than its dissemination. (Except perhaps in the pseudo-democratic forms of us now being able to place a comment on a Murdoch-owned newspaper news-story about how Govt. and Business Leaders are discussing the country’s future).

——— [corrections to above are in square brackets, excepting one spacing adjustment] —————–


Redheaded Politics is (or was) run by a 24 year old, female student, and this is what she says for the blog:

“‘Redheaded Politics’ will attempt to be fair and balanced in its critic of both the Left and the Right. My goal is to give a voice to the unwanted, “redheaded stepchild” that is individual liberty.”

It’s interesting, because this is explicitly for “individual liberty”, which is, I think, a potentially radical motive. I think , as Revolutionaries, we need to ask ourselves serious questions about how it is that a “common sense politics” that is for  “individual liberty” has become the exclusive terrain of the Right, and how we are to repossess this.



~ by Wit on August 17, 2010.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: