Yesterday (Thurs 25th) Fred and Ed Aspbury gave their long awaited presentation of their blueprint for an organised and rational political system.
Fred and Ed did a really good job of presenting their ideas and fielding questions. Well done to both of them!
At the beginning of their talk Fred and Ed castigated neo-liberal capitalism for its enfranchisement of the superficial desires of the new middle classes and for the way that it reduces politics to an empty and meaningless spectacle. Contemporary capitalism, in their view, is predicated on the the theft of the future by fundamentally selfish and self-destructive people.
But they think that ths situation is curable - but only if people stop being armchair revolutionaries and realise there is another world beyond the bland and apathatetic world of the politically disengaged masses.
They believe that they have come up with a viable blueprint for an alternative to neo-liberal capitalism. This a a model of a prgamatic system of government that bypasses the self-important individualism of today's political culture. It is a system based upon ideas of the common good rather than individual utility maximisation (Fred and Ed's intellectual heroes seem to be Plato and Zizek). Here, people are ruled by a wise elite - the grand council - who are not democratically elected as such but chosen from a number of local councils on the basis of their virtues and technical expertise. These are people who due to their 'excellence' have earned the right to decide.
Council members should be self-confident, assertive, knowledgeable and trustworthy. They are not motivated by self-interest because they have been trained for public service is special academies. They both believe and have pride in their political system and the political constitution on which it is based. The model has other features as well, such as model of socialised economic development. But this was its most striking and important feature.
There were a number of questions at the end, most of which were directed towards questions of accountability, the psychological motivations of the council members and the obvious similarities between this model and those proposed by radical conservatives in the 1930s.
Overall, a really stimulating presentation and discussion (that continued in the student bar afterwards).