1. How do we get out of the mess? And 2. In what kind of society do we wish to live afterwards?
I have little idea how we manage 1., except that all the signs from our government are signs of incompetence and a strong wish to return to their preferred version of normality. It is their normality that has increased our vulnerability.
That means, for me, that 2. has to be different. We constantly hear from our government and the government of the USA that the ‘economy’ must be put back on its feet.
The original Greek meaning of the word ‘economy’ was about the welfare of the household. In what kind of household might one or two people live at the expense of the others? An unhappy household. But this is the whole and entire philosophy and purpose of, not only our current government, but of our series of governments since 2010. Their notion of an economy does not work without exploitation.
The evidence that equal societies are both happier and healthier is overwhelming. The seventh of Robert Peel’s Nine Principles for Law Enforcement says that The Police are the Public and the Public are the Police (if I got them the right way around). Change Police to Government and I think we have a basis for some serious discussion of the kind of society in which we wish to live.
The theme of the Principles is Policing by Consent. Just think of Governing by Consent. We are supposed to have given consent because we hold elections and choose people to represent us. In fact we have, in the words of Greg Palast, THE BEST DEMOCRACY THAT MONEY CAN BUY. We are manipulated. We too often think what we have been persuaded, very cleverly often without noticing, to think. Exploitation must be good for us.
And now we are discovering the appalling lengths that people in the Labour Party went to in order to replace someone who believed in and followed the values of the party with someone who supports genocide, ethnic cleansing, torture and the falsification of history. Are those really the values of the Labour Party?
And then there is our voting system. In 1951 Attlee’s Labour Party won its highest ever total vote and percentage vote share. It lost because its not about votes, its about seats.
It is time to think seriously about the kind of society in which we wish to live.
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