Not so long ago the image of a super-wealthy international villain with designs on global domination was the stuff of fiction, the standard fare of the James Bond novels and movie franchise. A few years ago, with talk of the Carlyle and Bilderberg groups, it had graduated into the sphere of the crackpot conspiracy theorists. But now in the aftermath of Brexit the spectre of the plutocratic puppet master of geopolitics has at last arrived.
Governments come and go, but all the while there remains a permanent sub-structure to the state – the bureaucratic state – that remains essentially unaltered no matter which particular political party is in government or which particular personality is head of state or head of government.
This was a state of emergency, and, as the dominant classes intend neoliberalism to be a long-term politico-economic project, there had to be a permanent policing solution to facilitate it.
Pierre Bourdieu's identification of intellectuals as the "increasingly dominated fraction of the dominant class" is useful, but this analysis of intra-class power struggle goes far beyond the boundaries of the academy.
The British state has no domestic resource more important than Scottish oil. To imagine that the apparatus of state security is not interested in maintaining its hold over North Sea oil – and therefore over Scotland – is an absolute fantasy.
Democracies must of necessity have their guardians – a difficulty given the human condition, admittedly. Whether a constitutional judiciary, a senatorial office, or a technocracy – something is required as a ballast to safeguard our freedom from the natural atrophy to which democracy predisposed.