This isn’t what George Monbiot thinks he is arguing for of course but then the world would be a better place if those in the media actually understood their own arguments.
His observation is that politics doesn’t allow immediate, detailed and fine grained management of our world around us. This is true of course.
The problem, in other words, is not just Johnson. The problem is the UK’s political system, which presents an open invitation for autocratic behaviour. In the past, people warned that a ruthless operator could make hay with this system. Well, that moment has come.
His answer is that we should move to a more Trotskyist system of politics. Sure, it’s called citizen assemblies and all that but we all know how such committees get coopted by those who meet in the agenda subcommittee first and thereby determine what can be discussed at all. And only those truly committed will turn up to the nominating committee for the agenda subcommittee thereby controlling said process.
The purpose of student politics being an education in how to do this of course.
The actual solution to his claimed problem is contained here:
By contrast to our five-yearly vote, capital can respond to government policy every second, withdrawing its consent with catastrophic consequences if it doesn’t like its drift. There’s a massive imbalance of power here. The voting power of capital, with modern trading technologies, has advanced by leaps and bounds. Electoral power is trapped in the age of the quill pen.
Quite so and why is this? Because capital is operating in markets. Markets respond to reality rather faster than politics. So, we wish the world to respond to our desires rather faster than the political system enables? We should add more markets to the mixture of what and how we are ruled.
For example, say that we would like our incipient blindness to be cured. Macular degeneration say. The political system currently has us, through the National Health Service, having to actually near go blind before they will treat us. Even then they’ll only do the one eye. Because money must be put aside to correct blokes in frocks or summat. The solution is a market in correct macular degeneration. Clinics where one walks in, coughs up the cash and gains that sightsaving treatment. Equally blokes in frocks. The market provides what politics doesn’t – and the blokes are complaining just as loudly as the unsighted currently at the political, NHS, system.
Capital is speedily reactive because it operates in markets. If we desire that more of our lives be so speedily reactive we need more markets in our lives and less politics. It is indeed that simple.