Lenin On Messianic Frauds
While no hard-left ideological Communist myself, I do read Lenin's Tomb (Johann Hari doesn't like it, which is a good enough recommendation for me. With the media full of people who thrive despite being proved wrong most of the time, we should stand up with people who are ignored and traduced for being right most of the time. Today he goes after US policy on Iran, which seems to be to pretend they're Stalinist Russia:
The last sentence superbly crystallizes so much of what we've been saying about Blair (and of course the organ grinder in Pennsylvania Avenue), plus putting in their place some of the tag lines and sound bites produced at the Gordon/Dubya press conference. When people laugh at Blair for messianic tendencies, what they're actually laughing at are his fraudulent tendencies. This leads to two conclusions:
- Laughing helps expose the fact that the Emperor is naked
- Freedom to laugh is therefore essential
Laughter is the reaction to recognition of an absurd situation - most jokes work by setting up an absurd situation and then revealing it in the punch line. Since authoritarianism is inherently absurd, laughter is a key weapon against authoritarianism, which is why it's often the first thing to be attacked as well as one of the key signs of underground dissent. This also explains why authoritarians appear to have no sense of humour - being unable to conceive of a differing opinion to their own correct one renders them unable to construct the absurdity necessary for humour. It occurs to me that the ability to absorb differing opinions is also a key requirement for being a successful administrator (see Ken Livingstone for a shining example, who has also come out against BAA's obscene pursuit of injunctions, to his great credit). So who, among our party bigwigs, can provide the humour necessary to run Britain efficiently? Charles Kennedy?