At The Financial Times: Janan Ganesh, Faustian: a comment by Political Reporter

One marvels at the number of stunning aperçus in Mr. Ganesh’s essay:

‘Mr Crosby specialises in what his simpering victims call the “politics of fear”. ‘

‘He cannot make people fear anything they do not already fear, but merely for taking their existing fears seriously…’

‘Playing on people’s fears is not just effective, it is also right. ‘

‘Fear is a respectable emotion that is hard-wired into us as a design feature, not a glitch. We are meant to feel it.’

‘That some of our fears are misplaced does not make the emotion unsound, or electoral appeals to it somehow sordid.’

Mr. Ganesh makes the case for fear, not just as a good that makes us wary in our everyday lives, but of fear as a political good, yet he doesn’t quite discriminate between rational fear and politically inspired fear e.g. fear of ‘the outsider’, although this player in his political melodrama gets the briefest of walk-ons , but the usual cast members, such as blacks, Jews, Muslims, Gays and here at the Financial Times the dreaded Populists of both Left and Right are left unmentioned.

‘The politics of hope has a spurious respectability but reeks of snake oil. It elides good intentions with good outcomes and treats the status quo as a baseline that can only be improved on. For normal people in the actual world, the status quo is superior to many plausible alternatives. Things can be made worse not just better by well-meaning politicians.’

Mr. Ganesh on the ‘politics of hope’ echoes the Lee Atwater and Karl Rove perspective of cynicism/opportunism that Mr. Crosby has brought to British politics. The rough hewn Australian brings a masculine bravado to the effete world of British politics, as narrated by our writer. In sum, Mr. Ganesh is having an unseemly romance with political necromancy, because it has brought victory to his Party! Call it the victory of The Faustians.

Political Reporter

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer.
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