By unknown Author
People who live in so called democratic countries seem plagued by the rickety actions of unstable politics, corrupt systems, laws that do not help and a democracy that does not leave us with the freedom to choice. But this is not an entirely European problem. The world is afraid of a crisis, which, just like a scarecrow, make all of your dreams and ideals fly out of the window, whilst leaving room for denying humanity and their creativity.
The world economic system appears to be the cause.
A BBC documentary highlighted how the current global economy has very little if any of the source of the expression “economy.”
Economy is literally knowing how to manage one’s resources in a balanced way, in order to save what can be saved. But how does the world economic system work? Today, to make products competitive, to support this market and this world economy based on exchanges and on the oscillation of arbitrary and subjective values, and almost globally accepted, which are attributed to money and gold, it is necessary to produce at the lowest possible cost, using materials that, in order to be “economically” sustainable, are not necessarily qualitatively sustainable over time. This leads to a massive use of resources, which, sooner or later, are destined to run out. This system has in fact, as highlighted in the documentary, very little “economy”, in as much that if one really wanted to “save” resources, one would logically use quality materials that can last over time.
This is with regard to our economic system.
Democracy (the right to remain silent)
But there is more. After a ruling monarchy and other totalitarianisms, which saw an individual (together with a few “elected” ones) rule over the people, states and empires gradually evolved. Thus a democratic system was born, slowly and over time, in most of the world we now call “civilised” (or globalised), which made the people sovereign, free and able to choose their leaders.
A democracy, in theory, will allow its people to choose what is right and what is not, for the good of the whole community.
But, upon closer inspection, we notice how even this system, as well as the economic one, do not actually seem to exist.
In the past, a monarch could have been ousted. This happened when the people, feeling discontented, decided to rebel. Democracy makes this step superfluous, as, in theory, it is the people who have chosen their rulers. The people are given the right to vote, based on the trust that the people place in the representatives of the various political parties. For this reason, having the people themselves chose their rulers, they have no reason to be discontented and therefore have absolutely no reason to want to rebel, and “oust their monarch”.
One can easily realise how, today, in our country (just as throughout the whole democratic world), there seems to be very little democracy indeed, especially not the concept that it was us, the people, whom elect our own “king“.
I am sad to say, despite everything, the laws and what is enacted and decided at the very top of this pillar of power (very similar, if you think about it, to a monarchy, where the “prime minister” king, together with his sycophantic retinue of ineffective “deputies” and the unelected over paid advisers, validly introduce new laws that effect an entire population), do not always seem to guarantee the well-being of its “subject” population.
It is easy to see how and why rulers are very often incapable of ruling. Or how forces that are far greater than the rulers themselves (and often external to the nation, as is the case with the world economic system), get involved and wrest this power away —through monetary incentives “bribes”— from those whom we elected to hold the reins of our democratic nation in a equitable way.
Some examples, throughout Europe, can be quantified by the enormous taxes imposed upon its citizens whom, as within a monarchy and totalitarian dictatorship, often have to pay their levy, to an unjust “caesar”. We also noted that, unfortunately, the tithe which only had to be paid once, has now become the “fifty-fourth” time or something like that, that we’ve been forced to make such a payments.But, returning to the discourse of much larger organisms, which seem to dictate the law even for the “smaller” rulers of the various democratic states, it is noted that these are so well rooted, as to actually eradicate any vestiges of democracy, at least in what a democracy is supposed to represent.
And here, the two parts analysed above, come together (in fact) into something far larger.
But before using such a well-known word, which could cause us some doubts or even perplex us a little, let us analyse this question somewhat more profoundly.
Even before the birth of our modern day democracy, the economic system or order —believed to be a type of social system— in our present-day had already been born. This system seems to have been born around the mid 18th to the early 19th century which had evolved from Mercantilism which had been the dominant model in Western Europe from the 16th to 18th century and promoted imperialism —related to the concepts of colonialism and empire—, tariffs —imposed taxes—and subsidies —financial aid or support— on traded goods to achieve their goals.
This economic system, based on global exchange rate, has a fundamental aspect which allows it to subsist. Money. In fact, without money this economy could not endure.
Now, the strength of the value of money, in each of its local variants, is what regulates the exchanges, it is the bargaining power of one nation over another. This value is given by various factors, both internal and external to the nation itself. It is easy to realise that the bodies and entities responsible for monitoring and controlling these factors, as well as analysing them in order to issue judgments, are the ones that, taken individually by the individuals who govern them, have the most power in deciding the value of one currency above another, of a nation.
In the present climate, its quite easy to understand how these bodies, if they are well managed at the very top, could, in a simple and logical manner, quite easily govern the whole system that uses this economy for their own subsistence.
The loan of money to a nation, as we have seen with Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, and Cyprus —were unable to repay or refinance their government debt or bail out—, can quite easily, bring an entire nation to its knees, especially when it comes to interest and the repayment of the loan. We as a people were told that the crisis had been caused by, and I quote “the structural problem of the eurozone and a combination of complex factors, including the globalisation of finance.” The way I understood it was ‘the politicians, bankers and industry don’t have a clue what they are doing or even how to manage escalating problems, some ignoring other denying, yet completely mucking it up by doing nothing that could be considered efficacious or useful, tried to mislead with their usual euro-babble of platitudes, and now, people have to pay.’ The crisis “is as much political as it is economic,” yet no one was held responsible.
Naturally, what influences this dynamic is, in addition to the loan itself, the value that the currency of the “debtor” nation assumes over a period of time.
This form of economic system was born, at its dawn, thanks to the ingenuity of very few individuals, and has European origins. It can be said that it was born during —what historians have termed— as the period of “Enlightenment” or the great “Age of Reason.”
Now economic system can be liked to the — the democratic one—.
“Never make a politician grant you a favour. They will always want to control you forever, forever, forever” Bob Marley and the Wailers informed us in their 1974 song Revolution. Within a democratic nation, sovereign people decide what’s best for them and their country.
This means diminishing rebellions in favor of an egalitarian state, peaceful and, indeed, democratic. Now, its quite easy to note, how—, for a state that has been granted democracy, then being loaned the resources which should allow it to grow and prosper, especially after a period of “crisis,” war or instability— for them, it would seem to be an optimal system.
However, at the very moment that the loan has to be returned, and with interest, one begins to experience a certain ‘Weltschmerz’. Nothing seems simpler than in the past, and you can no longer do without what you have achieved.
The word crisis simply becomes an excuse, a cause, and incubus. Suicides tend to multiply, unease and fear begins to grow, and then we enter into a state of utter confusion. Now, as many leaders and global exponents have often said, ‘a crisis is often necessary to enable change.’ But not only —as some of these leaders and global exponents have covertly told us—, a crisis (of values, of identity, of economy) is often also necessary, so that the people become more disposed to the idea of relinquishing their rights into the hands of others, in favor of what they believe to be, greater stability, all the while forgetting, that fear, is often used in order to cause people to put all reason aside.
A little science
The scientific community has discovered and confirmed a fact that may surprise you: in every human being, the actions and reactions of the body, the emotions one experiences, all seem to be guided by two core emotions, the only two that exist in humanity, and which, control all of the others (through a combination of both these “core” emotions). These emotions —or feelings— are known to us as fear and love.
So, scientists say, that a combination between fear and love, is what generates all of the secondary emotions and reactions of the human being. Becoming angry, for example, is the result of a greater force being exerted by fear instead of love.
This scientific discovery, allows me to form my own theory, and I posit ‘if people were able to control these two core emotions; by reaching out to love rather than fear, they would then be able to respond far better to any external stimuli —be it positive or negative—, and react in the most suitable manner to a given situation.’ Furthermore, now that I am armed with the knowledge that a person cannot control these two core emotions very well, if I chose to take advantage, I could elicited the correct emotions from a group or an individual simply by conveying selected information and indicators to certain audiences in order to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning, and ultimately the behaviour of groups, and individuals in order to illicit the reaction I need.’
In fact, in order to connect the discourse to the statement that ‘fear, is often used in order to cause people to put all reason aside,’ one easily begins to realise that, if I allow myself to be controlled by love, and therefore feeling no fear whatsoever, only love —in all of its forms, in this case also considering it as courage, self-confidence and unconditional trust, etc.—, the response that would be given to such a stimuli would certainly be far more “sensible,” more logical, and as a result, far more profitable.
A small deviation on the positivity and negativity of external events and stimuli; inconsequentially, if I were to drink a coffee and this wakes me up and makes me more active, I consider the event of drinking a coffee as something positive. On the other hand, if someone else drinks a coffee and this produces a reaction of nervousness and anxiety, this other person would consider the event of drinking a coffee as something negative. Note how the same event, seen from two different perspectives, can be considered in as two opposing poles. This manner of forming an impression of certain events in one way rather than the another, is accordingly, caused by the individual’s distinctive experience of the event.
In the last few days, as spread through the media and in the news, and perhaps many of us may even have noticed on our streets, hundreds and thousands of people, in certain cities throughout our nation, are either protesting, creating unrest or panic buying.
In one of their flyers, distributed to people stuck in traffic for their marches, it said something like:
“1% of people are fine; the 99%, who are hungry, want to protest because they have no job, and so on, whilst the politicians are stuffing their pockets with pay rises and doubling the value of their pensions.”
This is the gist of the speech of millions of people protesting all over world. The person on the street tells us that his situation has become more difficult, that it is unsustainable. Frankly, I quite sure that the people are becoming somewhat fed up with it; I know I am.
Hegel’s dialectic affirms that, in order to exercise power over the masses, taking for example the population of a nation (surrounded and united through their symbols, and their convictions) it would be necessary to use the following dialectic:
Create a Problem⟶ Check the Reaction⟶ Propose a Solution
We can, to exemplify the concept of this dialectic, make a parallelism in relation to our own country. This example is a simple observation of the facts which could very well explain Hegel’s dialectic, but its an example which claims not to attribute or associate either of the two.
For example in Italy, as a consequence of yet another “global crisis” which progressed, as well as the undertakings and measures —by the then Prime Minister Mario Monti, an economist and former European Commissioner—, measures that were considered superficial at most, by a man who had not been elected by the people, was for the very first time in a democratic state, given the reins of power to the whole nation, he had simply been invited by his friend, President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, who is nicknamed “King George” to form a new technocratic government called a “government of the president” following the resignation of Silvio Berlusconi. By the term technocratic we mean ‘the control of both society and industry by a handful of elitist —so called—technical experts.
The only reason Mario Monti was able to seize the reins of government, was due to the crisis that had begun to bankrupt the entire nation. The Italians had tacitly agreed. The media had done their part in disseminating only parts of the information they wanted to. Information often failed to communicated significant changes within the legislative system, leaving citizens clueless and in the shadows during crucial manoeuvres. The Italians, for their part, were sure, within their tacit democracy, that they would still be able —at least one day— to simply change things thanks to a vote.
This is the thought that most of the citizens within a democratic state have. The illusion of being able to change the facts of things, events, everything negative that seems to exist within a nation, just with a vote.
As explained previously, we begin realise how these observation are in fact an illusion, showing us how real democracy doesn’t actually — itself— have the grounds or the system for a real “power of the people.” In fact, it even easier to notice ‘when you wish to change something with your vote, you actually have to wait for —mostly three years sometimes more— before the current government reaches the end of its term.
It becomes self evident then, that in addition to the vote of each individual citizen, diverse factors contribute toward the election of one candidate over another.
Among the various factors are the media and news outlets, whom influence the population by their style of reporting, dependent on the reaction they wish to elicit. Additionally, a “state” controlled media —directly or indirectly—, must guarantee that each candidate has their platform to be “heard” by the people, whilst privately owned media with shareholders (which is distinctly for profit through advertising, propaganda to benefit themselves, etc.), will always be inclined toward monetary gain and the accumulation of personal wealth and not the truth.
So its easy to become aware of how the world economic system —which has largely based its entire structure upon money—, plays an important role (directly or indirectly) upon the whole of democracy and as a consequence upon the whole political spectrum.
I think in future we should carefully look at the resumes of our political candidates, by scrutinise I mean carefully dissect what they have written. If you are entirely honest with yourself, at some stage you too may have altered you resume just a little in order to get the job you wanted. It’s the same with politicians, they may insert or omit something that would otherwise hinder their chances.
Personally if they do not emphatically promise too introduce a nature-positive and sustainable economic system that would benefit all of us, they would be of no use whatsoever to any of us.
Transformational change is required right now within the systems that underpin our economies so that they benefit nature. In September 2020, NABU —Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union — one of the oldest and largest environment associations in Germany–, BirdLife International —a global partnership of non-governmental organizations that strives to conserve birds and their habitats— and the American management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) published the report The Biodiversity Imperative for Business – Preserving the Foundations of our Wellbeing, —whilst admittedly I read the study with a little suspicion, simply because the report was also sponsored by a management consulting firm— who informs us that biodiversity provides over £124,223,624,000,000.00 Pound sterling in yearly benefits on top of its inherent value, providing sector-specific recommendations for businesses to integrate biodiversity into their economic decisions and processes, which would also be beneficial for both society and the economy. The world, therefore should redirect financial streams away from ventures that destroy nature and instead ensure that biodiversity is mainstreamed into every single business.
We all know the way government functions needs to changed; all systems eventually become sterile, we have a duty to ensure that whom we elect and what we sign off on is actually what all of us needs. Currently the main focus must be on our ecology, poverty, inequality and so forth of secondary importance is the ability to evict and hold accountable those leaders in whom the people have lost trust. Let’s not be a Tony and remain beyond our usefulness and welcome.
In short, let’s be more careful in future, as to whom we give authority to, and ensure that the right people are elected who will actually address these problems head on, rather than travelling several hundred miles on first class flights, 5 star hotel penthouses with a personal chef and butler, only to chat about ecology whilst chomping down on an amuse-bouche and sipping Dom Pérignon Rose Gold and making promises that they cannot or do not intend to keep. This is at our governments expense paid through our taxes and in 2021 is estimated to cost several hundred million pounds. Tell me honestly, what use is this breed of person “the politician” in today’s society? We should be asking what benefit if any does our nation gain by allowing this person to guide our nation? If there are no benefits to the nation as a whole, then the politician must be allowed to become extinct, it is after all natural for an ineffective species to fizzle out…