Things Fall Apart: Is the UK Doomed to Dystopia, or Are We on the Verge of Real Progress?

The election of Boris Johnson in the UK has led to fears that the UK has voted in a potential dictator. Some scoff at ‘Boris Derangement Syndrome,’ just as many people scoff at ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome.’ Others are convinced the sky has fallen in. Both attitudes, however, seem to be to be very deterministic, and leave out the role of human agency at a very sensitive and delicate point of transition. At this point, both Utopian and Dystopian thinking are useful for us.
Let’s begin with Dystopia, to try and think of the worst case scenarios.
What are the most dangerous dystopian futures for the UK? Firstly, a word (or three of reassurance) to assuage any fears whipped up by opportunistic ideologues. As the UK and USA are demographically complex countries, it’s 99% unlikely we’ll ever have something like fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, which tend to require a relatively demographically similar population. For the same reason, nor is a theocracy like the Islamic State or Islamic Republic likely to happen today or tomorrow, while Communism is simply too woke for most people and has zero popular appeal.
That said, there are alternative scenarios that are dystopian enough in their own way: and in principle, they could emerge from more than one party or force, whether an existing one or a new one, or some new hybrid or old or new forces.
One dystopian scenario is an expansion of the culture of left wing political correctness and censorship, where both left wing and right wing political correctness and the identity politics of left and right alike fall under hate speech regulations. So instead of abolishing hate crimes, all speech that could be considered hostile or derogatory could be considered hate speech: the authorities might take delight in whipping up conflict between those accused of misogyny and those accuse of misandry, those accused of homophobia and those accused of heterophobia, and so on and so forth.
Another dystopian scenario is introducing a zero tolerance policy towards Islamic extremism, but expanding the net of ‘extremism’ to include a similarly hang ’em and flog’em approach to others, such as peace activists, hackers, trade unionists, anarchists, religious people (the non-woke kind, of course), Remainers, globalization supporters, feminists, meninists, incels, disability advocates, anti-racism campaigners. (Not all of the movements mentioned here are positive movements, and many of them I have criticised myself, like incels and the autism ultras. But sometimes the government and media and other authority figures begin with unlikeable figures and then gradually tighten their net further. Again, this is all purely hypothetical at this stage; but it’s still worth reflecting on, as always).
Couple of observations here:
1. The scenarios I’ve sketched here are suggestive of a degree of continuity, and not of rupture.
2. More precisely, the scenarios here don’t involve the recession of certain negative tendencies, but merely their opportunistic EXPANSION, towards a regime of material and ideological control that is less one-sided, but more comprehensive.
Of course, these are only hypothetical scenarios, and I also see the prospect of a true renewal of universalism.
So in terms of Utopia, the One Nation approach of Boris Johnson could end up becoming more than a hollow and opportunistic slogan, insofar as the UK could reject the shallow thinking of both left and right wing identity politics. People in the UK could rally around a shared citizenship, shared history, shared common life, shares hopes and dreams and fears, and ultimately, a shared humanity, and a shared religious sense, a deep stirring of something and someone greater than ourselves. We could have a vision of life that is neither national chauvinism nor global imperialism, neither humanitarian intrusion upon other countries abroad nor racially obsessed hatemongering at home.
The choice ultimately, is between moving beyond one-sided identity politics towards an expansion of identity politics into an even more comprehensive form of chaos, versus moving beyond self-seeking, hyper-partisan behaviour into shared values.
I am confident many people want the latter scenario, but I am equally confident there are a lot of vested interests trying to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Only time will tell.
In the meantime, KEEP THE HEAT UP, and don’t be fooled by simple solutions, whether from the left or from the right!
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Author: Wallace Runnymede

Wallace is the editor of Brian K. White's epic website, Glossy News! Email him with your content at (Should be @, not #!) Or if you'd like me to help you tease out some ideas that you can't quite put into concrete form, I'd love to have some dialogue with you! Catch me on Patreon too, or better still, help out our great writers on the official Glossy News Patreon (see the bottom of the homepage!) Don't forget to favourite Glossy News in your browser, and like us on Facebook too! And last but VERY MUCH not the least of all... Share, share, SHARE! Thanks so much for taking the time to check out our awesome site!