Rather naïvely Peter assumes the law to be the written text of civilisation’s better angels, or – as he puts it – “the codification of society’s mores and principles.” Here he touches on what the child is taught to think of the policeman and the law, that it is universally good and wholesome. It lacks completely any normal and healthy hermeneutic of suspicion that comes with the reality of the law, its place in society, and the purposes it always and everywhere serves.
Ever since Donald Trump called for closer US-Russian relations on 7 January 2017, whilst still president-elect, the United States has been pulled into a de facto soft coup, with powerful elements of the intelligence and military-industrial complex – the so-called “deep state” – mobilising against him. In no sense is this reflection an attempt to ingratiate myself to Trump or otherwise rehabilitate him. Donald Trump is, in many respects a liability, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. We simply cannot argue with the fact that, on aggregate, closer relations between the world’s two most powerful states will be good for everyone.
Civil society is a naturally cautious and conservative set of relations and institutions, and when it is governed – if we can even describe such as governance – by the unambitious and women and men who are essentially followers of whimsical public demand it loses any forward momentum that theretofore existed. It gives way to socio-political inertia and begins to atrophy. There exists no better example of this than Brexit Britain.
How primitive of us to think that Gàidhlig is part of our heritage, our history, and our culture. We should know by now that only the master really knows our country. Perhaps we should write an apology: Tha sinn duilich gu dearbh, ach tha e àm a ghabh sinn ar dùthcha air ais.
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.