Anachronisms – windmills for political bigots
something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time, especially a thing or person that belongs to an earlier time
Dictionary.com : Anachronism
If you hear a politician saying “it’s anachronism – it should be abolished”, beware the political zealot.
Surely we should only abolish something if it has ceased to serve its purpose; its age is irrelevant. We should seek to conserve that which works whilst not being afraid to consider something clearly better.
Where-ever we look we will find anachronisms. Some have served us well and continue to serve us well. Others may have served us well but it is debatable whether they continue to serve us well. And then there are some that are self-serving and have probably never served us well at all.
Politicians calling for the abolition of something “because it is an anachronism” are being lazy – or deliberately obtuse. They need to state why it does not work, why it cannot be reformed and what would be better (including the option of nothing).
Anachronisms are also partly in the eye of the beholder – depending on your political stance. So ultra-conservatives often label anything that does not conform to their ideas of free-market economics as an anachronism, whilst progressives label anything that represents unelected hierarchy as anachronistic.
Possible anachronisms (depending on your point of view!) include:
- The Monarchy
- The House of Lords
- The Judiciary (at least in its current form)
- The Church of England (as an Established Church)
- Religion in General
- The House of Commons
- The current electoral system (which elects the biggest minority and gives it majority power)
- Public Service Broadcasting
- The National Health Service
- Any National Utility (e.g. Royal Mail)
- Three distinctive arms (Navy, Army, Air force) to our defence forces
- Nuclear Arms
- The Nation State and Sovereignty as concepts
- The Union (as in the UK)
- The Professions (as in self regulated closed shops)
- The Unions (as in self ….)
- Personal Rights of Privacy
- Habeus Corpus
Arguments can be made for abolition of all of the above, but many continue (again depending on your point of view) to serve us well and if we are not careful we may throw the baby out with the bath water.
Anyone taking bets on which of the above will be listed for abolition come the next election?