It seems to be an impressive feat to consider and reckon about the sides of innovative and resembling events represented by the general two sides, whether these two sides exist in politics, media and even entertainment. We have a habit to believe in the plane of binary objections, which means to choose any one of the 2 sides in any issue. This binary political complex, by thought, seems to be naturalized but not groomed form of debate and advocacy seen in conversations — and such a problem affects generations for times. It can also hamper and destroy key social concepts and their practical value. Take Islamophobia for example. In rough estimation, while one side is against the existential pursuits of Islamic traditions and customs (even if they have modernized and can become individualistic), the other side bashes the religion’s subjects and in some cases, the religion itself. Most of the arguments are also based on the internal context of a choice between political liberalism and political conservatism, which itself is artificial and digital by thinking. It seems to be an easy method to segregate people among themselves for generations. In the case of Islamophobia itself, for example — we must never forget — that people sometimes tend to determine whether the political left or the political right supports Islamophobia or not. This again is a flawed, artificial and digital way of determining attributions of any issue in the context of due opinions, which is somewhat a ‘the appropriation of determination’. I have tried to sum up some of the examples to understand the binary political complex, which primarily composes the instinct of humanity: a perennial battle between proceduralism and instrumentalism.
Also, by the word ‘digital’ in specific cases, I mean the immaterial but unperceived and unsusceptible realization of any quantitative mandate or observation received.
Three Cases, Three Stories, Three Flawed Understandings
I am going to take 3 political and legal issues across the globe, which we commonly talk and know about. I am providing an ethical criticism of these 3 issues, where the symptoms of binary political complex worsen conversations on tough issues and damage the moral and structural capital of the relations and institutions created/in existence in connection.
Brexit, Euroskepticism and UK Parliament
We know that if the House of Commons had not approved a General Election, Boris Johnson would not have got a golden chance to develop a stable capital among the UK people to deliver Brexit. Both the EU and UK counterparts have inevitably been accountable in negotiating the Brexit deal properly. While, according to John Bercow, Brexit is anyways ‘the biggest Foreign Policy Mistake’ since the ‘post-war era’ for the UK, and the referendum was not just a poor and immature dereliction of the moral capital towards EU institutions (even if the significance of the mandate delivered by the direct vote was (a) of a binary and insignificantly decisive nature; and (b) too narrow with a structural vision for UK’s real fate to leave the EU in public estimation) in the eyes of the UK people, it is important to understand that there have been certain significant impacts that have been created:
- That the Conservatives — from being a party of rational conservatism, has become an apologetic and fragile populism, which due to the bipartisan influence of both the Conservatives and the Labour, was sometimes, going to happen. We have seen the same issue with the United States;
- The Labour Party has shifted from its liberal-socialist agenda to a more left-populist agenda, which according to Jeremy Corbyn’s determinism — was his conception. He wanted Labour to be a party with a proper agenda of socialist governance and he maybe is trying to do — but he too has polarised voters, which is not objective and healthy for the political organism of UK;
- The Brexit Party is more of a fringe to swing votes in the Leave vote share and concedes to integrate the divided peaks of populism among the Brits in a more structural manner. The backlash they suffer is the hesitation to challenge the moral capital of the UK institutions. They have done with the Executive and the Parliament — and it becomes relevant why the Queen and the Royals are way silent on the issue of Brexit;
- The Lib-Dem and Greens have emerged as important political voices, and it would be essential to see their trends. If both of the parties retain their virtue and develop a stable and immune political & moral capital, they are good to go and deprecate the traditional votes of the Labour and Conservatives;
- Apart from the political upfronts, we have seen the fragmentation of the moral capital of the UK Parliament and the Government too. A good proportion of people have become obsessed with the notional percussion of direct democracy that they have failed to realize — that incrementalism in a political process concerning matters concerning a nation’s sovereignty is sure to happen, even if late. Yes — it is remorseful for the Leave sympathists that a proper deal has not been reached, and the Parliament is justified to reject the deals proposed. However, a proper political mandate cannot be implied and applied by a haste, opaque and unreasonable utilization of direct democracy. Referendums thus never should have a big weight of the decision to be levied over people, when even on the existential issues of a nation, masses are weak enough to understand their own lives and are not determinant to influence the political process to be held accountable and develop a strong moral capital;
- Another problem which has arrived in is the strike of proceduralist interests over instrumental and substantive interests. Moral proceduralism in British democracy has been challenged by the issue of Brexit, and the genealogical outset of political determination has been shaken, which itself has affected the instrumental and substantive interests of the UK. It favours Russia’s ambitions and arguments of a multipolar world with no doubt. But it questions the reliance of our political decisions in the scope of some moral capital shared among institutions representing incremental and indirect democracy. However, the imperative understanding with respect to the conflict between substantive and operant interests is related to the existential notions of the UK itself;
- It is depressing when the notional conflict of the Leave and Remain has divided the UK people in many ways. Racism is on the rise in the UK, Islamophobia and migration issues have been poured into the cake of the argument of the pro-Leave politicians and their public opinion. Of course, there exists the issue of fake news and misinformation. But the rationale of the people must act properly.
Political objects must not render the appropriation of public determination and integrate digital mandates exhausted from the public to achieve any political goals, so as to let the people detach the sticky connect they have developed in the case of Brexit. They must have the potential to face complexity with unity.
So, as we see the results of the UK General Election 2019, it is clear enough to prove that radically unreasonable, academic but unsocialized & scientific but not traversed ideas will be rejected. The interesting part is that the working class shifted from the myths and anti-semitic actions of the Labour Party, and that led Boris Johnson to get into 10 Downing Street again. To be honest, that cannot be changed unless Labour changes its approaches. Meanwhile, the Brexit Party was just a misnomer — but the Remain Coalition did not work in the expectancy. The reason is simple: not even Nigel Farage’s party did pretty well in this election because the UK people vote differently for the European and National Elections. The MEPs elected this year are generally in trends shifted from hard-core socialists and conservatives to the Centre-right and Centre-left, with some rise of the Far-Right and Centrists in addition.
For years, the UK has been fortunate and strategic in preserving the commonsensical egalitarianism of the British people, and so — the people must fight for it. Even if there is a conflict between two populist political parties, the substantive and relevant interests of the UK people must be retained. Brexit is not a bad project to be undertaken. The problem exists when we map it narrow.
The ‘Climate Crisis’ Project: Scientific Humanism v Conservative Discontent
The issue of environmental politics is soaring at the level of a proper public issue, where soon parliaments will not be able to ignore the issues of climate change by a meagre decline of the issues as if they are unclear by ‘purpose’. Commercial interests in capitalist societies are begun to be shaken by climate action movements, led by normal people, scientists, socialists and liberals. However, the air of awakening soared among the people can be taken aback by conservative discontent, which is important to be understood. This has started happening among scientists, educationists and now — politicians too, with great vigour. The best example to refer is of Greta Thunberg when she had opted a boat to travel instead of taking flights to travel countries. Her blunt speech at the United Nations is condemned by Vladimir Putin with purposive context, which cannot properly even surmise the argumentative extent of Greta’s flaws in her climate change campaign. Here are some of the important points to be raised in the issue of the Climate Crisis campaign and the conflict between science-facts and science-fiction:
- There must be some determinant interests with respect to moderate and forward a locally democratized advocacy and synthesis of scientific mediation among scientists, activists, government authorities and other relevant stakeholders. We have some of the relevant examples like Canada, China, Bhutan, Bangladesh, South Korea, Philippines, Sweden, Norway and New Zealand. Even the UK and India recognize the issue of Climate Change to some extent;
- Again — political objects are artificially constructed by attaching political perspectives with economic models and then with climate change issues along with some ingredients of fake news and misinformation in the form of a seasoning, which defeats the argumentative purpose of facing the climate crisis at the political level. It is true that climate activism is being appropriated and misused by some fringe groups to deprecate the moral capital of climate change as a political issue in development politics among people. However, trends are being challenged in countries like India and the United States, where even if a cadre of the ruling political parties (nationally and locally) may not give heed to the climate crisis, they are being forced by people;
- The issue of climate politics involved and will involve monetization of those protests and initiatives created in the curb of globalism to affect the moral capital of the issue, and when there is a huge gap among masses to understand the solutions (and most importantly, the proceduralist approach to implement beyond recognition and acceptance), fake news and misinformation can affect climate politics towards a different and integrable polarization among leaders and activists, which should not happen;
Populism v Liberalism: The Endless Conventional But Dead Habit of Determining Political Sides
In certain EU, Asiatic and Latin American countries, political interests are attempted to be delivered by the political parties of the countries by employing the technical approach of populism. This also has been a prominent factor to determine the multipolarity of the international community. The notions of nationalism and patriotism are twisted and weakened among people so that they relinquish the capability to understand the concepts. Often, politicians mix nationalism to be anti-left, for example, and certain left groups also do not hesitate to chew the issue like mass hysteria, when the issue is not of such a nature. Beyond economic anxiety, mass hysteria, political conservatism, immigration, political interests and xenophobia, the prominent aspect of populism as conception has been to challenge the concepts of constitutional morality, moral incrementalism and indirect democracy, thus causing (a) constitutional redemption; (b) democratic backsliding; & (c) constitutional backlash. We are seeing many instances. Some of the instances I would like to mention are as follows:
- The problem of granting political asylum to migrants from South America in the United States;
- Donald Trump’s non-adherence to international law and the constitutional crises pertaining to Ukraine;
- The Sabarimala, Jallikattu & Talaq-e-biddat disputes involving the Indian Supreme Court’s unreasonable approaches of interpretation and legal basis;
- Brexit and the involvement of Cambridge Analytica in the referendum process in 2016;
- Poland’s non-adherence to Rule of Law since the election of PiS and the Polish-Hungarian-Italian alliance of populist leaders within the European Union to trigger important decisions regarding the development of Europe, defence strategy, etc.;
To decode and decide the fate of Populism, it is important to understand those transient decisions taken by the people which must be respected by the political fronts. However, those same political fronts must not fight for ideological and utopian purity, as Jeremy Corbyn of UK’s Labour Party conceives — because that would be impractical to a globalized world, where capitalism is equitably represented (even if improper) by the interests of the working class by the political right.
We must not seek the political left and the political right as different constitutional ecosystems.
They are eventually us, and if you feel there is a fear of some Adolf Hitler coming, please understand that besides being the real fact that the 20th-century scenario was different, and many times we see similar instances and make analogies on the conservatives and liberals, we do the same mistake every single time to fall into the trap of populism. Hitler’s rise had some instances, and some analogies might be similar because we cannot conclude purely. Politics is not chemistry. However, the trends do not convince the 20th-century fear. Pragmatism and material purposes can be well-tailored by impressive and innovative means of human advancement. And, the archetypal gifts of identity, culture, religion and emotions can be properly embraced and well-fed. You can see this trend in the meme culture for example.
Indeed, you may say that fake news affects us. However, the post-truth age is not just about the contentious issue that reason is overridden many times. The post-truth age is the best age possible that can empower our imaginations. Let us rationalize our imaginations in the age of information by means of ethical autonomy and pragmatism, instead of aiming for a reconciliatory utopia, which never the Earth has sought among humans.
Popular sovereignty is thus not the rhetoric of Rousseau, and should not also be the fatal shrewdness of Hobbes. Let us be sensible.