in defence of shame.

A letter to my American cousins in (partial) defence of the UK’s farcical, shambolic, yet honourable (‘ish) democratic humiliation (and how…
in defence of shame.

A letter to my American cousins in (partial) defence of the UK’s farcical, shambolic, yet honourable (‘ish) democratic humiliation (and how preferable it is to the alternative).

There. I fixed it.

Let me state from the beginning that I feel no allegiance or partisanship towards humanity. From my earliest understanding of politics however I have wondered why there was never a Benthamite party – a utilitarianism/ humanist/ teleological party, a group dedicated to governing based on the principles of humility. – reaching out to create informed and flexible solutions within a transparent framework that reflects not only the positions but the motivations and incentives of their proposers.

Yeah, anyway.

The idea of good stewardship requires a certain sacrifice of one’s own prejudices and beliefs. That seems to be completely the opposite of every political leader we see today. There are clear examples of what that might look like and I will update this sentence once I have reminded myself of them. [Suggestions and contributions welcome] [1. New Democracy AU]

But one of the great challenges of democracy is enabling everyone to make an informed decision whilst also affording everyone the freedom of expression to say whatever they like as a principle. The American extension of this that allows individuals to spend as much as they like on promoting entirely unbalanced perspectives such that billionaires can ‘buy’ elections at a state level seems to be on a par with 18th century. rotten boroughs of the entirely corrupt English Parliament that they are so proud of defeating. This ‘freedom’ for billionaires who can shout loudest combined with the ill-conceived racist misogyny of Originalism seem determined to pimp and preen the anachronistic facade of individual states theory pushed by the doctrinal pressure salesmen of the Murdoch oned media.

Considering the purported partisanship of the branches of law enforcement, amply evidenced and reflected in the discredited judicial sinecures of the hollowed Supreme Court the inability of the US Democratic Party to confront the challenge of crossing their own timid Rubicon into open discord makes the unity of these mighty states feel much less a blessed union of shared history and belief and rather more a coincidence of a congruous geography and economic convenience. The slow motion insurrection that the world watches aghast is like a rash that we really think they should tell a physician about.. but there is no doctor, there is no adult coming to fix it. We are not children. This country will fall. The dominant influences appear to desire to see a maturation into a nominal democracy, an insecure minority convinced that their foundational myths are not simply juvenilia, a huddling of the few richer states in an enduring stalemate with a malleable depository of strife and discontent constituting just enough threat to hold sway over the future of the collective.

Currently the average Republican cannot even declare without caveats that they might lose by democratic counting of votes. And should they be forced into accepting tat fact it will remain unsustainable. Heads they lose and cry foul and fraud; but Tails you lose forever… these are bad stakes my friends.

Assuming the Republican states that can do in fact choose to anoint themselves absolutist power over appointment of election officials and electors, it would be quite astonishing to imagine Democratic state legislators sitting there waiting to lose their state democratically at the polls.. Perhaps at best this ends again in a 50 50 senate – and at that point I would suggest California promptly divide into five separate states and demand equal representation for each.. Fuck it, do that anyway, in fact just get all the states to divide into North ad South. It isn’t close to as fantastical as the publicly stated policy of the Republicans.

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life.

There’s only so long you can write down this absurd and dangerous litany before you lose willingness to breathe and instead turn back to the safety of your own bubble. It becomes hard to see a bright future .. in the UK, once home of the evil King George 3rd and still subjects today to unelected feudal overlords, the current (pseudo)elected. de facto leader of the country just quit. And that was the second time in a month and the country thrown into disarray and Australians are eve sneering at how dodgy the lettuce looks and its a calamity, except it’s not – because she left office, and he left office, due to pressure from the electorate as a whole, complete with shame and humility – characteristics I never valued until I witnessed the power of Trumps shamelessness, his annihilation of inter-subjective reality, an absolute conviction that he could change facts by tweeting, ignore historical records, insult, abuse, offend, and procure humans by droit. You wonder if anyone asked if he can turn back the tides themselves. The delusional conceit of total power corrupts as much in the twentieth century as it did Canute in the tenth. And Canute was a “good” one. Watching his sprouting mimics clone the deranged self-belief, the disdain, and the utter shamelessness is awful.

America are you willing to acknowledge that this is the best you can do?

I have overcome shame, I am English originally, we believe less in original sin than original shame, I remain embarrassed enough by my existence that I would rather die than wake up again. But I endure, in my own agony, to pursue my own interests. I understand the inferences, the fine delineation of arrogance, pride, honour, humility, shame and hubris. My shame was instilled in me as part of Thatchers cultural defences against the perversion of my gender and sexuality that I would later personify, and the otherness of my neurodiversity.

You will know that by a new name: Don’t Say Gay. Which will sit alongside the abolition of woman’s autonomy over their body as two of the lowlights of American freedom.

Today I am, despite the horrors of Section 28, desire being taught straight by the Thatcher government, shamelessly autistic, transgender, and bisexual. Thank you.

That is not the same however as the shameless criminality of a tinpot dictator with nuclear armaments and a very woolly notion of personal responsibility.

I know that someone, like him, with a twitter account, unlike him, is ready to pile pressure upon me due to their crushing and misplaced certainty, a burning need to persuade me that I am an aberration, that I need to not be who I am, that I am wrong or deranged or what? Broken? Perverted? Damaged? and they believe this must be true because of the disgust they feel. Natural, human disgust, obviously not taught not learned, it’s an innate instinct to share their disgust at my continued existence [except that it’s not even that common] and any pre-kindergarten child would feel exactly the same disgust. [They don’t]. It’s not conditioned. It’s not a product of culture or ignorance. [and yet it is.]

My shameless existence each second of every day is the very incarnation of something that eludes you but you know it’s true. I am aberrant. It is a powerful force, shame.. so why is not imposed similarly on these great American anarchists? Men and women who seem determined on cultural dissolution. Ought not they feel as ashamed as me? Their ancestors, like mine (apparently), those ancestors will be writhing and twisting in whatever metaphysical stasis suits them best, infinite generations unbound by time and matter eternally appalled at the purgatorial excruciations of their malformed descendents…

I know I am but what are you?

They probably do not believe in their ancestors. Yet they believe in God? How? What is God without shame? Seriously. A religious dogma without shame is the same as Fox News scion Tucker Carlson, dickless. Unlike me, their heirs, spares and unacknowledged accidents will carry in the family genes the shame of each and every failure to act in the interests of others. They will carry it like the trauma of starvation or abuse for generations.. But they do not believe in them i suppose. Or care for them, not family, not state, nor their subjects.

These are smart people unleashed from reality and lacking any channels of accountability. Responsibility to voters is a mirage, duty to country, honour to their family. These are just words, ideas. Without shame they have no weight, like dark matter they pass straight through. Immeasurable. They are estranged from reality, unable to protect their name, their planet, their culture. They are wraiths and gargoyles acting on limbic instinct, a diet of hate lies and fear. Unable to appraise or accept the critical inevitabilities of their decisions.

It is not my people, but It makes me very sad, very cross, that they the ageless inter-subjective values that bid us culturally have been vandalised this way. This America has no notion of honour.

We think the world is governed by laws but ultimately false truths and religious zeal are unlikely to be defeated by any army, a truth established through the honest review of almost any US military engagement.. You cannot defeat belief with bombs, not legislation, nor thoughts or prayers.

Should the old model survive, if that’s either possible or desirable it will take decades of cultural scourging. A skill in scarce supply in the land of opportunity and hyper-positivity. Again and again Republican voices have failed those that looked to them to lead. They meekly chastised Trump’s denigration of cultural absolutes and in doing so they destroyed their country.

It was not all Trump, sure, but he was the reaper, the smug, elderly, rich, white, male wrecking ball. The anti-man to the Founding Father’s problematic “all men”. A threat so unthinkable that even they didn’t think of it. And they’d met King George. I wonder if the greater American public truly understand that yet. Or if they do not care. Smitten. They seem smitten by these shameless spineless phantasmagoria.

I am happy that both the countries I call home , the UK and Australia, are occasionally roiled by the impact of democratic instability. Sometimes repeatedly roiled. Or even humiliated. Compared to the bleak totalitarian prospects of the formerly United States it seems a very small cover charge for working democracy.

American exceptionalism is about to be defined. It’s not looking great.

Written by
Tea Uglow
There is, it turns out, always a Tea in team. And Beth. Of course. x
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