The occupations of 2011 challenged a governing consensus that has lost credibility yet clings to power. This year we will either create a new basis for our shared life, or we will settle back into the old, dispiriting fictions. The same people who told us that they understood economics told us we could not hope to change things. They were wrong on both counts.
The organization of prestige found in the political class, in the media, and in academia is now indefensible. The bankruptcy of the Western economies is mirrored by an intellectual bankruptcy that those who currently hold power cannot adequately acknowledge. The triumph of the market faith was so complete that there is hardly anyone with public status who can afford to state openly what is obviously the case: the promoters of the old, exploded common sense – including its many tame experts – are ridiculous. So the show continues, as though they are not. This is the stuff from which revolutions are made.
But if we can no longer leave the market or the expert to secure the general interest, we are left with only one other means. It is not mentioned on the evening news. Indeed, as far as the mainstream of political comment is concerned, it does not exist. Our last hope is everywhere and everywhere it is overlooked.
Our last hope is everyone.