Joshua

On his second coming, and out of the political wilderness, an elder statesman laughs off the suggestion he was no longer a democratic socialist, that he was no longer committed to the ideals of social justice. We made mistakes back then, he says. We put the cart before the horse. We pursued economic equity. We pursued education, and nutrition, and housing for the poor. But however urgent the need, we simply could not afford to do these things. We made the mistake of overestimating the goodwill of the upperclass. That’s one of my abiding regrets, not expressing my vision more clearly, my frustrations more elegantly. Politically suicidal, he once made the allusion to the many international flights in and out of the country; for many this was the last straw, interpreted as a not so veiled threat to those who opposed him. And so they left in droves, taking with them their wealth, their capital, their privilege education; closing factories, supermarkets, hotels – sinking the struggling economy deeper into turmoil and the nation further into a bloody ideological war: pro West versus pro East. But now, decades after, back in power, overflowing with charm, he talks about NAFTA and globalisation as inescapable facts; he talks of efficiency; he talks about the well meaning but ultimately unproductive nature of protectionism, and subsidies; he preaches fervently the gospel of the IMF, the World Bank, more so now than even the suddenly tepid Right. For there are no more national assets to exploit, he says. I have learnt, I have, and the mind is the nimblest of roses…

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One thought on “Joshua

Thank you :-)

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