I can’t keep my trap shut any longer.
So for a few months you get your head down, get things done, teach your children. And around you events unfold, things take shape in the mists, patterns emerge, and (as ever) if only for the sake of my own sanity, but also for the sake of sharing, I can’t keep things to myself any more.
We’ve seen global forces at work, with the neo-liberals of all shades starting wars, picking winners and losers, apparently based on what wealth can be appropriated from this nation or that, now or in the future. Beggar the populous. But just maybe, overall, it’s good for us.
And then there’s the economics.
Maybe the best thing that can happen is that we decimate a public service, break the will of the users and workers, and privatise it, because ultimately that makes everything better and nothing worse.
And free markets (who doesn’t approve of freedom and choice), except they’re rigged and nobody told you, but that’s alright cos that’s animal spirits and entrepreneurialism, and if it’s wrong then the folk involved might get told off.
And loading individuals with debt for their education, their transport, their shelter, so there’s always a rent to pay. We all understand that. We all want to get stuff, and don’t mind working hard to achieve it. So maybe that’s the best way to do things.
If all these things were of a benefit to us they’d have a ton of evidence (both financial and anecdotal) to prove it.
And the population of these countries would be better off, and would know it, and feel it. We’d revel in the security with improved productivity and creativity. The infrastructure (roads, rails, ports, power, sewers, hospitals, social care systems, parks, museums), would be in the best state ever. The environmental challenges facing us all would be understood, and we would have the joy of creating the great technologies and innovations that can help us and the planet through them. And the opportunities for our children would be better than ours, and they and we would see that, and they would feel proud of their parents, their nation and we’d all erect statues of Friedman, Reinhart & Rogoff.
And if all this made the world better, the media would actively seek to get under the bonnet, understand the successes and failures, and discuss them in detail so that we may all have a better understanding of how we, the people, changed things for the better.
I don’t see that do you?
I think it’s pretty obvious to everybody that life for most people is actually a bit worse, or a lot worse. And for various reasons (state pressure, owner pressure, incompetence, bias, Stockholm syndrome) the media are very selective about how they show this, and so for most of us, we know things are bad, but we have to take the expert opinions on-board. We look to our opposition parties, who all want slightly more of the medicine, or slightly less of the medicine, or a cheaper medicine, so we conclude that the patient is sick and the doctors are doing their best. But we don’t get to ask if it’s an illness or poison.
And we are taking the poison. Every day. And the doses are getting bigger.
What I’m trying to say, really, is STOP. Have a think about our perilous, tiny existence.
What do we, COLLECTIVELY, want to get out of this life, for us, and for the future generations of us, and other species?
Because, if we don’t know what a good outcome looks like, then we can’t challenge our systems and structures, and we can’t question our leaders and their media orators on the really important stuff. And while ever we don’t understand that, the poison keeps being administered. I don’t know if we’re doing it consciously or accidentally, but the point being, WE ARE THE PATIENT.
The recovery is a long road, but relatively painless, but we need to stop taking the poison, start being our own physician, and we start with understanding, and work our way up individually, because even the villainous hate figures (take your pick) at the heads of Govts, parties, NGOs, they’re all just folk too, and I reckon we’re smarter than them. Well, you are.
(apologies for the complete lack of structure, narrative framework etc – you can tell I haven’t written anything in ages, but I hope you’ll forgive me)