Everyone knows what a centrist is. It’s that wise person who moderates between the extremes of left and right. Few dare to doubt the virtue of these benign figures. If we questioned their role, we’d veer into a sketchy world of conspiracy theories, bigfoot encounters, and UFO sightings.
But the concept of centrism isn’t as solid as it seems.
For example, those who self-label with the term are often the most influential members of society. One of them, Jaime Dimon, asserted his credentials with: “My heart is Democratic, but my brain is kind of Republican.” Ben Bernanke staked out the same territory: “I view myself now as a moderate independent, and I think that’s where I’ll stay.” And most presidential candidates seek office as centrists too, like Barack Obama: “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America. There’s the United States of America.”
These figures are neither benign nor moderate. But they do skillfully control the levers of top-down power. And that approach isn’t necessarily acceptable to other Americans. One skeptic, the Australian blogger Caitlin Johnstone, has addressed this group’s agenda in several recent posts.
Fortunately, the concept’s spatial foundations can be analyzed. And this allows the term’s meaning to be assessed. For example, the centrist relies on a one-dimensional model to establish their position’s legitimacy ……
But there is no center on a two-dimensional construct. Positions sit only on the circle. Therefore, when specific players are examined within an accurate model, the Dimons, Bernankes, Obamas, Bushes, Clintons, Gates, Waltons, and Bezoses of America will always concentrate more power within institutions they control.
These actors can pretend to be one thing, while actually being something else, because the left-right model contains congenital flaws. Its limitations cause the rest of us to look the other way as an oligarchy pursues its ambitions. While we argue liberal versus conservative, they accumulate more control.
Here are a few of the policies put in place by people who label themselves centrists ……
- Send troops to yet another foreign conflict.
- Bail out the next corporation facing bankruptcy.
- Quietly pass a new law benefiting some favored industry.
- Print a few trillion dollars of unbacked currency.
- Manipulate the price mechanisms of markets.
- Pay executives lavishly, while regarding workers as costs.
- Send jobs overseas in return for a few more points of market share
Some Americans will support these ideas, while others will disagree. But none can be construed as moderate; no definition of centrism can be applied. They conform instead to the requirements of centralized power.
Human history is littered with bad ideas that most people once believed, like witches, the aether, rain dances, fertility goddesses, or an earth-centric universe. Our generation arrogantly assumed it had left such fictions behind …… as we fell for perhaps the most damaging whopper of them all: the centrist.
But the logic is clear: centrists don’t exist. The concept is a false construct created to consolidate control. Your chances of meeting a centrist are the same as your chances of meeting Sasquatch.