264 people have as much wealth, through inheritance and income, as the remaining 7 Billion dwellers on earth. The fashionable bourgeoisie of 264 could care less about the inequalities of global capitalism or its disastrous consequences for the remainder. They are as comfortable in Shanghai, as they are in Tel Aviv, Berlin, Maracas or Qom. There is greater inequality today than at any other time in human history. In fact, the imbalance greatly outstrips the inequity during the reign of absolute monarchs like Louis XIV who governed from the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles.
A symptom of our time is the bizarre appearance of peculiar persons everywhere like Silvio Berlusconi, Nicolas Sarkozy, Marion Le Pen, Viktor Orbán, Recep Erdoğan, Boris Johnson and François Hollande. They defy comprehension and elude classification. Opposing the traditional political oligarchy from within the democratic apparatus there is a new kind of activist fashioned on racketeers and bellas mafiosas who eclipse cultivated nouveau politicians and troupers like Bernie Sanders. The questions remain: Who wants to rule? Who wants to obey?
In the absence of anyone willing to scribble what a life with a meaningful direction might look like, or someone brave enough to scratch a strategic vision of what the future of humanity may resemble, we find a considerable body of humanity everywhere seeking answers in fake novelties, irrational visions and dead traditions. The task, now, seems to be to build a political orientation that from its very beginning risks being imprecise and vague and at times even impossible. It is the moment when people in Hong Kong and Paris must choose between a politics in service of the people or a politics in service of capitalism.
Donald Trump stands at the crossroads between the official representation of what is and what can exceed it. America ‘is full’ and ‘those who are unhappy are free to leave.’ He is blunt, but not alone. Boris Johnson who is now signified as BoJo plans to dam the monsoon of migrants smuggling themselves into the Kingdom ahead of All Hallows’ Eve on October 30. The UK Treasury has previously allocated £500 million to the Home Office out of the £2 billion budget for a No-Deal prep that foresees the recruitment of five hundred new Border Force officials.
BoJo has repeatedly refused to rule out proroguing Parliament to try and ensure that Britain leaves the EU. One of the long-standing goals of both Buckingham Palace officials and government civil servants has been to keep the monarch away from political controversy. The English are mindful of the events when Charles I ascended to the throne in 1625. Charles I responded to political opposition to his rule by dissolving Parliament on several occasions and in 1629 decided to rule entirely without Parliament. In 1642, the rancorous struggle between King and Parliament for supremacy birthed the first English civil war. In 1648, Charles was forced to appear before a high court controlled by his enemies and was convicted of treason and sentenced to death. The following year- he was beheaded. The monarchy was abolished and Cromwell assumed control of the new English Commonwealth.
In 1658, Cromwell died and was succeeded by his eldest son, Richard, who was forced to flee to France with the restoration of the monarchy and the crowning of Charles II. Cromwell was posthumously convicted of treason, and his body was disinterred from its tomb in Westminster Abbey and of those of other leading regicides, John Bradshaw and Henry Ireton, for a posthumous execution at Tyburn. Twelve surviving regicides were also dragged through the streets, hanged by the neck and cut down live, disembowelled while alive, beheaded and dismembered.
The main problem of those who come first is that they reach the end of their time before everyone else, and Europe must now gaze with envy at those who still have some great task ahead of them. Europeans, who have completed their task, have nothing remaining to do. Europe is now as stagnant as the Forbidden City in Imperial China. This was the fear of John Stuart Mill. The external borders of the EU were never meant to be like the traditional borders of the state. They were, first of all, open to continuous expansion, following the old imperial model according to which the best way to fully stabilize regions outside its borders was to bring them inside. And even where enlargement or expansion of borders proved to be impossible those that existed were supposed to grow more porous.
The West Indies is a borderland region of Europe and any vague appeal to history and sentiment is no substitute for the EU to become a stronger political agent to perform the task which the future demands: to extend its influence in its borderlands. So what is our task? China is far away from the West Indies but its market is close to Caribbean companies and its preference is to nimbly pick apart global value chains. If the EU is disinterested, then a post-historical West Indies will have to create something new. We cannot repeat; we have to invent a future in the East.