I’ve already written a little about the film The House I Live In here. But there is so much in the film that goes far beyond drugs and crime that I’m going to dedicate a series to it.
In part one I’ll outline the five lies of the drug war. In later posts I’ll use the film to help show where these lies came from and why they are perpetuated.
All the way through I’ll try and tie together how our responses to drugs and crime mirror the mis-handling of systems like healthcare and teaching, as we succumb to the cancer of gesture politics.
By the end we should have a clear picture of how the UK and America are perpetuating a modern, slow-acting holocaust, using the lives of the poor to pay for a system which benefits only the wealthy minority.
Western capitalism is creating a world which is on commission. For retailers and manufacturers this may work, but when it comes to the police, nurses, teachers and other ‘human’, non-product based professions, it destroys the very purposes and principles of the occupation.
While the police are paid per arrest they have an interest in easy arrests rather than effective policing. While nurses are on ‘performance related pay’, their focus is on paperwork not patients. While schools are paid by results they are forced to pressure teachers into faking results and fudging reports.
In the UK National Health Service, the punishment for failing to complete paperwork is now more severe than the punishment for a patient death. In America the police are ignoring serious crimes like murder for the easy money of drug-arrests. In both countries only the rich can afford a good education, while public schools are crushed beneath targets and paperwork which leave the student as the least important part of teaching.
We could ask, “does it even matter?” Everywhere in nature the weak die and the strong survive – isn’t the mass extinction of the poor just natures way? But in nature the weak are not manufactured in the way they are in human society. There are no Elephant “hay billionaires” looking out of their mansion windows with disinterest as the majority of the herd starves to death.
I sat with my daughter a few days ago while she told me she didn’t believe there was a place for her in the world. While she wants to eat and live, she doesn’t want to drown in a mundane job. Like so many young people she sees no meaning in the world we have created, where so many live only to fight for money to keep themselves alive while they fight for money… She craves more beauty, more loving and more joy than that.
While I can show her behind the illusions of today, I am losing sight of how to instil hope in her, and in my son.
Humanity is not a for-profit business. If we want to be better people, if society is to mean more than a monetised fight for survival against every neighbour, we have to change. I hope that in writing these posts I will be able to draw out some answers, some hopes for ways we could make that change.
Part One follows soon.