We are, we are told, living in a representative democracy. We have the right to vote in elections at national and local level to elect our representatives. The question is how represented the ordinary person feels or actually is represented. Are we the subject of just another delusion?
So who rules, the people or THEM? ‘Them’ is a hazy word because democracy is a concept shrouded in haze. There are so many mouths jabbering at us that sometimes we get confused by the confetti of ideas and promises that rain on us. Politicians may promise much but they deliver little. They are brothers in arms with just a hint of a different colour of tie. It doesn’t seem to matter who’s in power the working class get stuffed either because it’s our fault or we brought it on ourselves.
The true masters of the universe are the Overlords as they have the means to bewitch their underlings, politicians and the Gibbers – money, status and a gleam of power. You will not find many ordinary working class people in the halls of power unless one is highly regarded in one’s club, assuming one is allowed to join.
In America you will need a gold mine to be elected and of course the backing of one’s club. Hundreds of $millions are spent by opposing parties to have their man elected. The vast majority of people can’t even afford the club fees never mind the suits you would have to wear. Nor can Joe Bloggs afford the time off work to fly to every state to flaunt his stuff.
Elections in America are all about money; it’s a game by the rich for the rich to stay rich. It’s the same no matter which democratic country you live in. The Overlords don’t have the time to oversee the day to day business so they have managers: we call these guys politicians.
All political parties are formed in a pyramidal system, as is society. At the top is a cabal of leaders who dictate policy. The leadership (UK) can and do impose candidates on constituencies and all female shortlists. Leaders can break the rules – grassroots can’t. Their preoccupation is spelled out clearly by H.L. Mencken, “Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right”.
The hypocrisy of democracy is evidenced by the scale of lobbying. Note this example of Australia, “Over the past twenty years lobbying in Australia has grown from a small industry of a few hundred employees to a multi-billion dollar per year industry”. www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobbying Lobbying circumvents the very essence of democracy as industry seeks to gain an advantage their vote could not bring. The businesses that use Lobby companies would not spend the money if it didn’t pay dividends. Lobbying is thus anathema to democracy and should be banned!
The superior position of the Overlords is more glaringly obvious today with the continued growth of multi-national companies. These big boys can dictate government policy by deciding where they will locate a segment of their empire. Such a development has lead Bryan Gould (ex-Labour) to say, “The uncomfortable truth is that democracy and the free markets are incompatible.” Guardian Nov: 26 2008.
History tends to support the view expressed by Gould which therefore suggests that most attempts to reform the system will be negligible. Excited left-wingers can howl at the moon as long as they like. They can bark furiously at the Overlords but no decision on reform will manifest itself without the nod from above. Therein lies the paradox which gives credence to Gould’s assertion.
Can capitalism meet the needs of all? The short answer is no! We cannot all be rich under a capitalist umbrella. Research will show that in any war or recession the cost will be borne by the poor – without exception. It would prove impossible to share the world’s goods equitably. The 20% at the bottom are the scaffold that holds the edifice upright. This is true of individual nations and of the world as a whole.
We can give charity but that approach is a double negative because you can never solve the problem of poverty. For over 60+ years we have poured money into Africa, possibly $2 trillion into the Horn of Africa alone and the problems still persist. Even if Africa could be lifted out of poverty another black spot will emerge elsewhere. We give to charities believing we are making a difference but nothing seems to get better. Unfortunately charity is not a solution; we are being duped (twice) but it does take our mind off the problem temporarily. Charity organisations are now big business like any other business employing thousands. The guys at the top of the charities earn more in one year than ordinary Joe will over 15/20 years.
“Democracy cannot flourish half rich and half poor, any more than it can flourish half free and half slave”. Felix G. Rohatyn, investment banker. www.izquotes.com
The Human Rights Act 1948 (HR) is paraded as the panacea for the future of all. HR was conceived to promote democracy and for the purpose of uplifting the social and economic lives of the general populace. Unfortunately, in the present political climate it seems to have abandoned its raison d’etre. As with earlier Christian, communist and socialist thinkers’ their attempts to create a better world failed because the message was corrupted by man. HR is now viewed as a political tool supporting outlandish individuals, criminals and lawyers pockets, because of this scenario the general public no longer support it and many want it gone.
We cannot all be equal in a system that by its very nature breeds inequality. Capitalism is the perfect fit for the selfish gene.
Gibbers, jabber at considerable length telling us what we should know and what we should think. As human beings we can only rationalize with what knowledge we have. Imagination may take us a step forward but it needs to be empirically tested. Media outlets cater for different layers in society; some have generated and then feed a passion for celebrity. Thus they are market oriented, without their niche market and reliance on advertisements from big business they would not survive. They are the Overlords bladder rats!
It is extremely difficult to find any objectivity in any of their presentations. Bias runs through their work like a drip-feed on a patient: we are the patient. “…the public must be barred from managing their own affairs and the means of information must be kept narrow and rigidly controlled”. Noam Chomsky
Can capitalism be ameliorated? Yes, but it cannot give everyone an equitable standard of living. The UK has proven over the past 60+ years with a welfare and health system that all can benefit, though education lags well behind. Ethics are the only bulwark against “…the unpleasant and unacceptable face of capitalism”. Ted Heath Conservative P.M. 1970s
A set of ethics are an essential for any society that aspires to do good. Ethics are the measure of society. Of course ethics are subjective and over time they may need to be amended but ethical guidelines separate us from the Neanderthal. The authors of the Human Rights Act probably thought they had cracked it, alas they did not envisage the selfish gene.
Is there an alternative to capitalism? Not that can be seen on the distant horizon. All attempts to create a better society have proved disastrous: religion and communism stagnated under the sheer weight of their respective dogma. They were far too restrictive to allow expression and became corrupted by the army of self.
If we cannot rely on democracy then we are heading toward a new Dark Age. To forestall such an outcome politicians, the judiciary and those working in the plethora of service organisations have a responsibility beyond the confines of their job. They must ensure objectivity, transparency and honesty to help generate trust so the people can engage with the system.
Is there a way forward? There is always a way forward that is the beauty and the genius of people. No road has a dead end while we share that road with Objectivity and Reason.
Meanwhile we can take inspiration from John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”. Every thinking person should have the statement framed and placed on their mantelpiece.
Take heart: “Reason is immortal all else is mortal”. Pythagoras