Current UK Foreign Secretary (February 2022) Liz Truss had a brief trip to Moscow this week to perform for cameras. She delivered a few slogans at a press conference and at a televised meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Truss made no attempt to engage, to discuss, to explain, to listen or to learn. There was no diplomatic purpose to her visit. It existed as a piece of libertarian propaganda. Its intent was to create a few video clips of Truss stating slogans of determination, and she posed for a few photographs wearing an unnecessary hat.
The refusal to participate in any dialogue was deliberate. Her behaviour throughout followed the standard practices of libertarian posturing. Commentary from herself and her colleagues afterward followed the same process of persistent misrepresentation and constructed dumbing-down. Truss said “I delivered a clear message to Minister Lavrov that Russia must deescalate” and Tory MP Tom Tugendhat, taking a break from trying to start a war with China, claimed “while we’re trying to bring peace and stability, Russia is playing games. Good to see Liz Truss standing up to Lavrov.”
Unsurprisingly, and accurately, political opponents of Truss mocked her performance that included some geographical ignorance and misunderstanding of how to communicate when translators are operating. With glee, her critics depicted her, both in (lack of) experience and in clumsiness, as not up to the job, but simplistic behaviour is a deliberate ploy of libertarian presentation and propaganda.
Libertarian mechanics consists of antipathy to intellectualism, didactic reasoning and circumspection. Its presentation is unencumbered by thought-provocation and its practitioners are equally bereft of self-awareness, or at least able to act as if their cognitive abilities are heavily fettered. Optics prevail over usefulness and the optimum optic is dull sloganeering.
Truss was an utter embarrassment in Moscow but her fumblings, by design or intrinsic, suited libertarian philosophy and intent.
Liberals and centrists, UK’s new conservatives, enjoyed their denigration of Truss-as-statesperson, as they have done repeatedly with her colleagues. There is some worth to observing ineptitude of Tory ministers but it suits them if focus is on their abilities rather than on their intent. It suits them if their opponents think they are unintelligent, ignorant and lazy. Equally, whether true or an act honed at an expensive school, the restricted cognizance of Tories helps them to stick to the plan because the plan requires ignorance of reality and disdain for logic.
Truss is an economic extremist. Directed by anti-democracy activists (Barbara Kolm, Grover Norquist, Shanker Singham, Matthew Elliot, among others, who designed Brexit and who are key developers of the concept of charter cities) Truss seeks destruction of democratic accountability and acquisition of all public property including land for the benefit of corporate entities. She supports the termination of government as representative administration acting on behalf of the public.
Truss is a candidate to replace Johnson as Prime Minister. While liberals point at her and laugh, she enables imposition of corporate fascism.