The way I see it, the Right have a huge home-field advantage in our culture.
What I mean is, as we’ve spent centuries struggling to move from serfdom to the relative freedom we have now, every time there’s been a positive cultural shift, it’s been against a backdrop of well-coordinated efforts to educate us about why hierarchy works.
The king wouldn’t be king if God didn’t want him to be. Jeff Bezos wouldn’t be the richest man in the world if the all-knowing Market didn’t want him to be.
Given the persistence of these explanations in our culture, I think that’s why we tend to defer to a veneer of authority, even when it’s just a veneer. It’s baked into our cake from an early age.
Just me, but I think lots of people, somewhere inside themselves, connect to authority with their inner obedient child, the part of them that got them through school and maybe got them their last job.
They hear a person dripping with privilege tell them that people burn to death in sub-standard buildings because they’re not clever enough… And even as they recoil, they think: “that person wouldn’t be where he is right now unless our systems, flawed as they are, hadn’t selected him. He must be clever in some way, right?”
And when some of us turn around and say, “no, we’ve given this a good old think and we think that chap just said an abominable thing and shouldn’t be anywhere near power”, thank God (or the Market, or Reason, or whatever) there are some insightful people around to correct us.
“Hahaha! Look at you, getting all hot under the collar! The Tories are owning you with their amazing media-savvy tactics! They’re controlling the news cycle! Talking about how awful they are is exactly what they want you to do, you stupid lefty!”
Well, I for one am grateful to have these insiders looking out for us, because some of us temporarily forget that when right-wing people say hideous things it’s because they’re so clever.
It’s frustrating. When will the Left get it together and learn what the Right are just so naturally good at?
Hey ho. Grassroots activism is what we’ve got. Power’s never gifted from above, it’s won from below through struggle.
I’m still proud to identify with the people dumb enough to carry on the struggle, whether we’re slick or not.