Robbing The People
The Ultimate Theft
Growing up in the fifties it was customary to leave the back door open in many homes. Friends and neighbours would pop in and out, sharing resources and helping each other out. Material possessions were few.
Such practice is unusual today. Locks and alarms are fitted to houses, cars and even garden sheds. We live in a world of envy; we live in a materialist world where things matter, and it seems people don’t any more. Advertisers feed on greed, along the lines of “Be the Envy of your Neighbourhood, Buy Me!”.
A mobile phone is safely tucked away. Insurance companies grow ever richer by our need for Things, our need to keep Things safe, and our mistrust of one another. Front doors are firmly locked against potential thieves – that’s everyone as no one trusts anyone any more. Meanwhile, through the back door, those assets we treasure most are stolen. Theft of our most basic needs, and of our right to access them is The Ultimate Theft. It is no accident that social housing, public utilities – Water (1) and Energy (2), transport (3), Elderly Care (4), The NHS (5), Hospitals (6), Schools (7), the Post Office (8), Fire Service (9), Prisons (10), Probation Service (11) – everything is being wrenched away from us, handed over to private Bankers, at home and abroad, in order that the rich elite can accumulate riches more than they can ever need. It’s real, it’s still happening now. We can ask why and how it has happened, and what we can do to stop it, for stop it we must.
What drives the Ultimate Theft?
Why do the very rich who possess more than they can ever need crave more and more? Like a drug gives a false happiness, addiction is a replacement for some missing need.
You may recall The Who’s lyrics from Tommy:
“The Who‘s lyrics proved so spot-on that a pleasurable dopamine hit convinced me to feature them in a second post about self-actualisation”
From: The Dopamine Project (12)
“I’m free, I’m free, and freedom tastes of reality
But you’ve been told many times before
Messiahs point you to the door
No one had the guts to leave the temple.” : The Who
The glitch that keeps us from reaching our true potential can be traced to primitive ancestors who cultivated natural cravings into addictions to food, sex, safety, power, acceptance, approval, attention, esteem, and status. To complicate matters, our more recent ancestors added unnatural addictions to dopamine-triggering substances, beliefs, and behaviors, e.g. money, religion, and drugs. Then they bequeathed their addictions to newborns who were indoctrinated by societies controlled by of out-of-control money, power, status, and/or religion addicts.
Since we’re talking about the same dopamine that junkies trigger with heroin, it’s no surprise that the symptoms are the same, i.e. self-deception, denial, and the dishonesty that allows addicts to continue doing the only thing addicts care about = vigilantly protecting dopamine flow.
Freedom tastes of reality = honesty = self-actualization.
Dopamine addiction tastes of delusion = dishonesty = denial of self-actualisation.
George Monbiot observes that “The politics of Envy is keenest among the very rich. (13)” The means justifies the end. There is no pleasure in attainment and as drug addicts self control is minimal.
In order to grant the rich these pleasures, the social contract is reconfigured. The welfare state is dismantled. Essential public services are cut so that the rich may pay less tax. The public realm is privatised, the regulations restraining the ultra-wealthy and the companies they control are abandoned, and Edwardian levels of inequality are almost fetishised.
Think Left’s article “Increasing the sum of global well-being should be the ultimate and arching for every politician and party (14) ” emphasises that unregulated markets do not make people happy. Indeed, it seems very few people achieve happiness from unbridled capitalism. It is like a computer virus let loose, like a parasite which, while neglecting its host’s well-being is doomed. Parasites are what the very rich are. They make nothing. They do nothing. They just consume, and leave their toxic waste in their wake. In consuming their host which produces or modifies necessary resources, they cannot thrive. So, the driving factor of the ultimate theft is an obsession, a madness in pursuit of unattainable happiness. Such a habit has been proven to be a disaster to the world and its inhabitants which is totally out of control. Like the emperor who wears no clothes, we all know it is flawed, but no one dares say so.
How was the Ultimate Theft Achieved?
The Ultimate Theft has been premeditated and manipulated. It has been meticulously planned since Thatcher and Reagan started their Neoliberalist Experiment. There is considerable evidence that the current government, whilst claiming to protect front line services had this intent. Think Left’s “Who said the NHS will be shown No Mercy (15)”, and the Independent’s recent “Secret Memo shows Michael Gove’s plan for Privatisation of Academies (7) ” refer to this, and there are countless other examples of evidence. Lack of clarity, and vagueness in plans is typical, and since election manifestos did not make such policies clear, the Coalition have no mandate.
states: “We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right”. The Guardian reports that some privatisation of the Courts System (17) has already been planned, and there is confusion as to what will be sold off.
The justice secretary is a huge fan of outsourcing, and has a talent for ignoring troublesome evidence, however compelling. He also regards anything which smacks of rights – constitutional or human – as an irritant, an outmoded obstacle to thrusting reform, and to be dispatched as swiftly as possible. Certainly an 800-year-old prohibition on the sale of “justice or right” is not going to stand in his way. Not when there is money to be made by big business.
- One tactic to achieve the Ultimate Theft was to divide the working class by brainwashing them into believing that it was in their interests to buy shares into something they already owned (18). Like Pyramid Selling, the politicians themselves are bought by lobbyists to adopt policies to which they themselves have a conflict of interests – and yet the reality is that everyone is doomed by the continuation of a capitalist system which cannot work.
George Monbiot: continues: Politicians justify these changes, when not reciting bogus arguments about the deficit, with the incentives for enterprise that they create.
Behind that lies the promise or the hint that we will all be happier and more satisfied as a result. But this mindless, meaningless accumulation cannot satisfy even its beneficiaries, except perhaps – and temporarily – the man wobbling on the very top of the pile.
- The myth that the private sector is more efficient than the public sector is yet another myth which we are invited to believe. There is plenty of evidence to the contrary. Indeed, the simple fact is that the first responsibility of private companies is to their shareholders, and so the quality of service is secondary (Think Left Public Service or Private Profit (19). The attempt to justify this is to frame the argument that a service is failing, and then seek to take it over.
- Governments cite “research” by Right Wing ‘Think Tanks’ funded by the rich, such as this recent article which justifies prison privatisation (20). The Huffington Past articles contradicts the claim. “ Privatisation will not Rehabilitate our Prisons (10)”
- The attempts to control the means of communication of the Press and the media is not new. The BBC is in itself owned by the people of Britain, yet did not and does not present a true picture of the plans to privatise public services such as the NHS.
- Creating distractions in the “News” is a well-used tactic, populist ideas of relive unimportance, celebrities and TV shows grab the headlines, burying bad news and hiding the Truth.
- Alarming and frightening the public is often a deliberate tactic. “The Shock Doctrine” (21) or disaster politics (22) will have people running into line, like lemmings off a cliff. As Herman Goering (23) observed “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country”.
- It is a natural instinct for a social animal such as mankind to feel pride in one’s family, in ones’s community. It may be 1.8 million years since some of us began to migrate out of Africa (24) , and we became divided, but today, communication and travel has brought us together again. Politicians abuse the idea of patriotism for their own ends (Remember the Falklands?), and so divide the working people, so each blames the other. I have heard UKIP supporters claim that there are too many people in this country. There is plenty of land. The truth is that there are not enough jobs, because the global capitalists just want the cheapest labour available. Oxfam states (25) that the richest 100 billionaires could put an end to global poverty four times over.
- Then there is the argument that we cannot afford public services because we cannot afford it, because of the Deficit. They say that Gordon Grown spent all the money. This is an argument based on lies, reinforced by the media (see Osborne and Cameron’s big deficit myth(26). It is the banks who are seen to have developed such a powerful system , a plutocracy that they can bring down an entire country at will. (Gordon Brown didn’t spend all the money- the Banks did! (27)
The same applies to collective growth. Governments today have no vision but endless economic growth. They are judged not by the number of people in employment – let alone by the number of people in satisfying, pleasurable jobs – and not by the happiness of the population or the protection of the natural world. George Monbiot
One of the first actions of this parliament was to set up a fixed term parliament. Unable to achieve an overall majority, they knew it would be a one term parliament.
Nevertheless, their actions now are planning for further cuts beyond the next General Election. Signing up to US/EU trade agreements would mean that the sell off of valued services such as our NHS would be lost forever. The warning from US officials is, if Britain leaves the EU, US trade agreements would be a risk. A Europe signing such agreements will surrender But in return, Europe would have to give up existing protections on its agriculture, film industry and public services. (Guardian). (28)
Where is the democratic process? The British people did not vote for this and do not want this. It must be openly discussed by our media. Is it?
The Ultimate Solution:
The madness is unsustainable. Money, by itself has no value, or meaning. It is just a token by which we can register exchange of labour, resources or skills. We can do the same by bartering – see example (29) If I grow some cabbages for your table, will you teach my child to read? These days, money is just a figure on a computer somewhere in the world. If all the computers in the world were to crash, would we then starve? It would depend on the labour of those of us who can grow food as to whether we can eat. Bankers would be redundant. They wouldn’t be missed!
The Labour Party must make a break with the madness of neoliberalism which Blair had continued , and be truthful about the deficit, and debt. Labour must pledge to reverse the privatisation of public utilities and services. Labour must work for tax justice, put an end to tax avoidance and support country-by-country-reporting, if not go it alone. Our elected representatives must work for the interests of people, not rich bankers. Britain does not need to accept control from global banks. This is not democracy. With our own currency, it would be possible to wipe out any debts by a Modern Jubilee as suggested by Steve Keen. (30)That is the way to put this at an end.
The modern “debt jubilee” is characterised as “quantitative easing for the public”. It has been boiled down to a procedure where the central bank does not create new money by buying the sovereign debt of the government. Instead, it takes an arbitrary number, writes a check for that number, and deposits it in the bank account of every individual in the nation. Debtors must use the newly-created money to pay down or pay off debt. Those who are not in debt can use it as a free windfall to spend or “invest” as they see fit.
Modern Germany was built on a debt jubilee, this is the way to end the madness. In recovery, we should be planning for full employment, democratically owned and monitored public services, and building a just and more equal society, as Atlee’s government began in the Spirit of 1945. We need a new Spirit of 2015.
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
(Dopamine Project) “The self-deceptions, denials, and dishonesty we “re-lie” on to protect dopamine flow keep us from being here now, self-actualizing, experiencing true freedom, and fully comprehending what it means to be human beings sharing an impossible, incomprehensible, mystical, unfathomable, amazing, spiritual experience.”
References and Further Reading
- Watered Down Morality (Water Privatisation) Think Left
- The Energy Trap: Think Left
- Renationalise the Railways: Think Left
- Guardian: Privatising Care will inevitably lead to lower standards
- Left Futures: EU Health Regulations – improving patient’s rights pr more NHS privatisation?
- Weston Mercury: Hospital put up for sale sparks fight to protect it
- Independent: Secret Memo shows Michael Gove’s plan for privatisation of Academies.
- Huffington Post: Post Office Privatisation
- Daily Mirror: Fire Service Privatisation
- Huffington Post: Privatisation will not Rehabilitate our Prisons
- Guardian Ministers accused of dismantling Probation Service
- When, What, Why, and How the Who knew about Self Actualisation (Dopamine Project)
- George Monbiot: “Why the Politics of Envy are Keenest among the very rich.
- Increasing the sum of global well-being should be the ultimate and arching for every politician and party
- Who said the NHS will be shown No Mercy
- Clause 39 of The Magna Carta, in 1215.
- Guardian: Privatising the courts system: the public are not customers, they are citizens.
- If you see Sid, Think Left
- Think Left Public Service or Private Profit
- BBC: Right Wing Think Tank – Private firms better at running Prisons
- “The Shock Doctrine”
- Cameron and Co Demonstrate the Art of Disaster Politics
- Herman Goering: Quote
- Man’s Migration out of Africa: (Wikipedia Early Human Migrations)
- Oxfam states that the richest 100 billionaires could put an end to global poverty four times over.
- Osborne and Cameron’s big deficit myth
- Gordon Brown didn’t spend all the money- the Banks did!
- Guardian: EU Exit would put US trade deal at risk, Britain warned.
- Independent: Bartering: “Go swapping, it’s good for your wallet, and health
- Modern Jubilee as suggested by Steve Keen
- Pascale Bruckner: Happiness is a moment of Grace: Guardian
- Think Left: Academisation and the Demolition of our Education System
- Think Left The Penalities of Ostrich Politics and the Demolition of Welfare State and the NHS
- Web4Health: Causes of addiction and Eating disorders