Come with me this happy day. Let us take a walk through busy boroughs of suburban areas and stroll along city sidewalks. Don’t let’s forget hills and vales and plains. Covering every nook and cranny of town and country too is paramount. Enter humble homes in remote hamlets and invade exclusive corporate enclaves. Press the people in the street for their opinion, and ask the indolent in serene rustic arboreal settings their view. Query each passerby on the byways of life in this idyllic republic.
Garner a ground view from the goviya, the national hero of a bygone era. Suss out the situ with yesterday’s sporting heroes who market, and sellang kaarayas who sell out, our land to the gentiles of this world. Get with it and chat with the men and women of military might who make up the fresh new hope of our rapidly militarizing nation-state.
Well, chums, what have you discovered? Everything’s hunky-dory. We’re sitting pretty, we’re sitting in clover. God’s in his heaven, the bird’s on its wing, and all’s well with the world at large. All’s well that ends well now that the war has ended and national integrity and territorial sovereignty have been restored and a brave new era of peace and plenty and progress and prosperity has begun. Yes, the status quo has been weighed in the balance and found to be wanting nothing!
Wait a minute… what’s wrong with this picture? Everything’s hunky-dory for the emerging power elite. They’re sitting pretty, with their family and friends; and their followers and flunkies are sitting in clover. The god who’s exalted is power, the lark on the wing is the money they’re minting out of its abuse, and all’s not well with the world at large – only in pocket principalities and rotten boroughs where the writ of might is right, not the rule of law, runs true. The war has ended, but conflict in our society brought on by crime and corrupt practices and the cost of living continues to create havoc under a seemingly smooth surface. National integrity comes at a price paid in admittedly dubious disapprobation in the courts of the globe’s public opinion, and territorial sovereignty – while caviar to the general – is anathema to those for whom living in paradise is living in a heavily gilded bird cage. The brave new epoch of peace and plenty and progress and prosperity has not so much begun, as it has been instituted – on the backs of the dead and the dying, the lame and the halt, the devil take the hindmost, and all good citizens who subscribe to the new GDP: Growth, Development, Progress (no mean thing in itself, but a poor substitute for real peace with justice, fair play, equality for all, respect for people’s rights, common decency in civil society).
So, just when did the dream fade… and some of our fellow republicans, at least, wake up to the reality that we may be worshipping a false god – attractively packaged in the ribbands of nationalism, statism, patriotism? The good news is that our eyes began to be opened when the national anthem in one language issue, the pension bill problem, the compulsory military training dilemma first came to the fore… and when such troubles come, they come not single spies but in battalions! The bad news is that many (in fact some would convincingly argue too many) of our friends, Romans, and countrymen are still living in a Matrix-like stage of hallucination, lulled into a false sense of safety and security, and dreaming that the sleep which comes when we shuffle off this mortal coil can be no worse than the soporific state that the nation imposes on us.
Don’t get me wrong, dears. I’m no party-pooper at best or doomsday prophet at worst. Some of the attributes of the country we know and live in and love full well have never been better. Strong government, centripetal development, a clear identity (for good or bad) in a crowded marketplace (good, bad, and ugly). But somewhere in the deep dark recesses of the national consciousness which self-dubbed patriots in this benighted age call paranoia (if indeed they know the word and concept), there is a sneaking suspicion beginning to form that behind the good, great, grandiose face of the state – there is nothing… which, perhaps, is precisely why so many of the hoi polloi can say convincingly: “We never had it so good.” True, O king! But can it last? And what is it, if at all, that will last? Is there more to GDP than meets the eye? Or less?