Narratives and ‘Corbynmania’

As human beings it often helps us understand new concepts via narratives we can relate to. Indeed, finding a narrative that fits as an explanation for a phenomena is insightful and helps us discover truth. However any explanation based in a specific narrative can be bias and cause misunderstandings.

For example, an issue in a relationship may make sense when explained from such a narrative as ‘all males interactions with females are influenced by sexual desire’. I would suggest that whilst this narrative does always have and influence, it is not true that is the only influence, other narratives are involved. Such a narrative is overly simplistic as everyone’s sexuality is slightly different. The narrative may coherently explain a situation in a relationship, but could still be false. Statistically, many correlations exist where there is no causal relationship. It is important to test hypothesis vigorously, especially when they concern our relationships to other people, as our data sets are often very small.

It seems to me that in the popular media, standards of journalism have declined.Often current affairs are reported in terms of a current trendy narrative, this introduces so much bias into popular understandings of world affairs. Recent examples being terrorism, immigrants and national debts, none of these narratives is sufficient for a full understanding of world phenomena.

I am somewhat surprised by the recent ‘Corbynmania’ concerning Jeremy Corbyn, one of the four candidates standing to be the next leader of the Labour party in Britain. Corbyn is being portrayed as some radical left wing figure, which actually he isn’t. Corbyn’s politics are to the left of my own, I find it refreshing to heat views from the other side of where I am. He is a moderate left person and if he were to become British Prime Minister, the political process of compromise would temper his more radical ideas. Corbyn only seems like a radical because the UK has had over 30 years of right wing governments and in more recent times the centre right faction of the Labour party has been dominant. My poijnt being that the popular media in Britain has been accustomed and grown used to a right wing narrative.

I have stated my view in earlier posts that often ideological political dogmas are often bad for the economy and that pragmatic politics generally offers the best solutions to problems. Having ideas from ideological narratives is useful, sometimes the left has good ideas and sometimes the right has good ideas. Neither narrative is in itself useful for explaining the wider political picture. Politics should be about public debate, where all feasible solutions to issues are debated and hopefully the best solution triumphs.

The problem is that this debate has been lost. No-one really tries to win arguments anymore. The political parties and the mass media control the narrative by which popular opinion is garnered. Politicians never reveal how they really think or their real motives, it all becomes spin and specific narratives.

This is why the Corbyn is a phenomenon, a politician from the old school, who says it as he sees it and makes the case for his ideas, how refreshing! I can understand his popularity. I hope that by at least having some sort of debate between more than one narrative can only lead to better decisions and improvements to the economy. It’s not as if, with 30 years of right wing government, we finally have achieved an utopia: Poverty, poor education, a housing crisis, stagnant productivity, a huge national debt and deficit. The world needs some balance back,¬† more objectivity and less ideological dogma.

Of course, I could be wrong, my own narratives are limited and bias themselves. However I keep trying to see things from other perspectives. So any comments are, as always welcome!


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