There are so many ‘fridge magnet’ phrases that point us to life being mostly illusion, and yet we still live in one. Are we convinced by the trick? Are we apathetic, or even happy to live in lies as long as we have a TV and a microwave?
I don’t think it would be fair to dismiss us all so lightly. The truth is we are battered every day by an endless stream of bullshit – from marketing, economics and politics.
Let’s start by recognising that marketing does not sell products – this is a myth.
It’s an easy mistake to make but a mistake all the same. Marketing does not actually sell things, it gives them away for free – and the things it has to offer are dissatisfaction, a sense of incompleteness, shame, emptiness and worry.
Once infected with these things our ruptured sense of well-being does the rest, and we go out to buy cars and chocolate and ineffective anti-ageing creams to try and plug the bursting holes in our self-esteem.
So much for marketing – how about politics, that should help empower us into a sense of purpose, right? This is a democracy after all, where our voice counts and our vote makes a difference.
The UK had a pantomime today… no, sorry, that should be: the UK had an election today. It was an eloquent statement of the condition of extended apathy which saturates Britain in this decade, a limp, misguided, pathetic gesture towards democracy which no-one cared about.
To begin with very few people even knew there was an election. The Government, who had insisted on the election despite widespread indifference or objection, did not publicise it. No information of worth was offered to the public.
These were elections to vote for new police commissioners. I’d like to tell you what they will do, but it’s not really clear. I’d like to say who my local candidates were, but I haven’t seen any. I’d like to believe this wasn’t a total farce and a criminal (ha!, pun) waste of time and money.
It was expected – yes expected – for some time – yes for some time – that no-one would care. This advanced warning fired the Government with a determination to do nothing at all about it. Even they, it seems, didn’t care. In fact, it would have been hard for them to do a better job of sabotaging these elections if they’d tried (hmmm).
In the end turn-out was between 11% (yes 11%) and 20%.
What this effectively means is that 80% of the public voted for disinterest. This is the worst turn out for an election since the last one (avg 28%)!
But why don’t we care?
Let’s moan about money before on trying an answer.
Maybe centuries ago money was this thing where a promissory note could be used as a guarantee, or a ‘placeholder’ for something. I can’t carry all my sheep about, so have this note and I’ll bring them round later. Now money does not, to all intents and purposes, exist.
There are many economists and many theorists with different takes on what the economy means, or how it works, or how it should work. They are all lying to us or themselves. This is how the ‘economic system’ really works.
Rich and powerful people dream up imaginative ways to invent money (such as ‘futures’ which enable them to trade on what the value of a share might be in the future). When they succeed, or profit, they keep the money. When they fail, or lose billions, the poor pay them back their money through taxes to stop the country sinking under the weight of their greed and stupidity.
Everything else is a lie.
Economics is just a series of ever more complicated ways to obscure the obvious fact that the rich exploit the poor.
There exists enough money in the world that everyone could have enough to live on. There exists enough food and resources that everyone could have a meal and a home. Greedy, self-interested people have more than they need at the cost of others starving.
That’s it. Any further theories or explanations are only lies and illusion created to disguise this simple, obvious truth.
The reason money doesn’t really exist any more is that it no longer has any relationship to the world. Where £5 might once have been related to £5 worth of gold, or £5 of my time or one of my chairs – now it is empty – tied to nothing.
You (if you’re vacuous, greedy and careless of the consequences) can now trade on what the value of a potential of a possibility of an abstraction of a product might be at some time in the unknowable future! Not trading in corn, or in shares of corn, or even tomorrows potential corn share value – but on the possible value of the debt or profit accrued from the projected price of a future value of a possible transaction in shares in corn – that may never even happen!
When these ephemeral games go wrong – the poor foot the bill.
This is just one money game. Let’s go back to politics for another game.
More political lies
Scameron blames the workless for laziness, and says they are made soft by our cushy welfare state.
Has Scameron really been living in his sheltered and privileged world for so long that he believes that people on benefits are 24hour party people? Does he truly believe that those on welfare refuse to work 40hour weeks in exchange for yachts, holidays and mansions because they’re already having way to much fun in their damp council flat watching brain-sapping daytime TV?
Oh no thank you, Mr Scameron, I don’t want you’re £94,000 a year – I’ve got £147 a fortnight and some export-strength cider, but thanks for offering.
It’s a lie.
The choice is not between a good job or an easy life on the dole. The kind of jobs available to people unlucky enough to have any gaps in their employment history MEAN YOU’RE OFTEN WORSE OFF than on the dole. You suddenly have to pay for eye-care, dentists, council-tax and the rest. The minimum wage has stayed the same while rent costs have soared. Food prices have risen between 10 and 25% while benefits remain frozen.
But when Scameron sees that most employers exploit their menial workforce in order to pay undeserving directors obscene bonuses, he doesn’t curb the bonuses. Instead he says “well, let’s make the alternative unliveable so the bastards HAVE to keep being exploited”.
The answer is not to remove the dole but to improve wages. Otherwise it is as if a person drank from Scameron’s river because their own river was infected with Cholera – but rather than help clear the Cholera, Scameron just dams up his river so you can’t have any. That’s only a viable option if you’re a total bastard who doesn’t mind other people dying as long as you’re alright (hmmm).
I’m sure Scameron hasn’t noticed the increased cost of living, since he probably has a maid to go to Harrods for his groceries – but for normal people a job does not necessarily pay them enough to have a maid, or even groceries.
Returning to topic; the reason people didn’t vote in today’s elections is because there doesn’t seem to be any point.
We are lied to economically, then given the bill to pay when the rich f*k up. We are lied to about benefit scroungers – then watch ministers claim fraudulent expenses. We are lied to about the law, which is an instrument of the state not of justice. We are lied to about the integrity of ministers. We are lied to about the causes of educational failure. We are lied to about almost every aspect of living today by people who, in a worst case scenario, may even believe their own bullshit.
Which brings us back full circle, because there are problems which need fixing, but marketing keeps us looking at new toys so we don’t noticed our pockets being pinched. Meanwhile, government policy means we work so f*king hard that we are too tired to raise a protest the next time they screw us over. Clever, isn’t it.
Yes, life is mainly illusion, but it isn’t our illusion. We are trapped in the dreams of mad-men who have so much power that when we scream to them that they are only dreaming they simply persecute us into silence again and go back to sleep.
Stick that on your fucking fridge magnet – if you can afford to buy one.