GARETH VAN ONSELEN: The panic has always been there
On some level, we quite like the idea of force, not governance — you get the sense that what we really want is a king, not a president
Choice is the Valium of the human condition. It becalms, and maintains the illusion of order; for with choice comes options, and with options, agency. Take choice away, necessity — a far more brutal, amoral business — comes to define behaviour. Threaten that base self-interest and panic sets in. Fuelled by uncertainty and augmented by conspiracy it is like crack cocaine, as addictive as it is self-destructive, and totalising in the mania it produces. We are currently wired on the stuff.
It is said few things reveal one’s true character better than a crisis. Our national disposition is currently on full display for all to see. It is not a pretty sight.