Welcome to project Capitalism

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By Waseem Aslam Reading, watching or listening to the news it is not hard to see that the UK is currently obsessed with one thing and that is money.  It doesn’t make for good reading either, for a society obsessed with material wealth and possessions it couldn’t get any worse.

Talk of cuts in the public sector, job losses in the private sector and the recession lasting longer than previously predicted is enough to send even the most hardened advocate of Capitalism into a panic.

There has been little doubt for a long time that the Capitalist dream is now dead, but the reality of what that means is starting to hit home.  As say the saying goes “live by the sword , die by the sword” for years the Western economies have gorged on the riches of an over inflated economy and an ego to go with it. Now it is this very over consumption and the free reign given to the bankers and speculators which is coming back to haunt the UK like a long forgotten bad dream.

Cuts to defence spending on top of the other cuts announced over the last few weeks have prepared the populace for more bad news in the budget. This is only the stuff the government wants them to know, the best bits have been reserved for a later date, a premise has been laid someone has to pay for the excess of yesteryear. The politicians have ensured that everyone knows there are problems with the deficit, they have also ensured that everyone accepts that it is “they” who must pay, with job losses and public sector cuts.  It is the good old political trick of not discussing what caused the problem but how everyone together can help fix it.

The discontent is not only in the UK, in France the raising of the pension age from 60 to 62 has caused riots in the streets of Paris. Looking at the hooded youth in Paris and the burning cars, one has to wonder if this is really only about the pension age, many of those throwing one fingered salutes at the media won’t be hitting retirement age for another 40 years. It says a lot about Democracy that youth from the poorer suburbs of Paris would rather take to the streets about an issue that doesn’t directly affect them, than engage in the ballot box.

Maybe it is the fact that Capitalism creates an underclass that whilst the rich feast at the table of excess, merely sit and watch feeding off the scraps left over. Discontentment at the pensions issue is just a chance for them to air their anger at their own plight. These are real problems affecting real people but the response from the elite is a stern “let them eat cake”, these changes must be done in order to make up for past.

Like the film Matrix, Capitalism creates a myth, a dream, if we all work hard enough material possessions and career aspirations will lead to a fulfilled life.  This means society never really addresses the true nature of the problem. Just like the economic downturn at the moment most people will hope that the next time they hear the words “double dip” it is in reference to an ice cream and not the economy .

Even at these hard times there is a sense of acceptance that this is how life is meant to be, there is real unhappiness at the cuts but these have failed to register on the political Richter scale. Not even the actions of the French have spurred any type of activism in the masses. It would be fair to say that many no longer have any faith in the politicians to do the right thing, it is clear that the deficit is more important than peoples jobs. There will many saying that people will show their discontent at the May local elections with the Lib Dems braced for a potential voter backlash. Democracy seems to put people to sleep until the ballot box is rolled out, and even then only a minority are awoken to engage.

Modern society has become lazy and is unable or unwilling to see the world beyond the rose tinted glasses of democracy / capitalism. There is no real questioning about the way society and the state function, which means the status quo is accepted and the cycle continues until the next boom or bust. It is about time the ordinary man on the street started to join the dots and view the full picture and not what the political spin machine throws at it through the media.

It needs to question not only the bankers and politicians that have got them into the mess they are in now, but also the very nature of their society. Is consumption, consumerism and material gain really the way to live? Will a few rules controlling the markets and a tightening of the public funds really solve the problems of an obviously flawed political / economic system?.

The truth maybe hard for some to accept that society as whole is unwilling to question the very system that is destroying their lives, such is the intoxication of materialism. So much for liberating the rest of the world, when the people at home are slaves of the dollar / pound, but maybe that’s how it was always meant to be.

 

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Welcome to project Capitalism

Reading, watching or listening to the news it is not hard to see that the UK is currently obsessed with one thing and that is money.  It doesn’t make for good reading either, for a society obsessed with material wealth and possessions it couldn’t get any worse. Talk of cuts in the public sector, job losses in the private sector and the recession lasting longer than previously predicted is enough to send even the most hardened advocate of Capitalism into a panic.

There has been little doubt for a long time that the Capitalist dream is now dead, but the reality of what that means is starting to hit home.  As say the saying goes “live by the sword , die by the sword” for years the Western economies have gorged on the riches of an over inflated economy and an ego to go with it. Now it is this very over consumption and the free reign given to the bankers and speculators which is coming back to haunt the UK like a long forgotten bad dream.

Cuts to defence spending on top of the other cuts announced over the last few weeks have prepared the populace for more bad news in the budget. This is only the stuff the government wants them to know, the best bits have been reserved for a later date, a premise has been laid someone has to pay for the excess of yesteryear. The politicians have ensured that everyone knows there are problems with the deficit, they have also ensured that everyone accepts that it is “they” who must pay, with job losses and public sector cuts.  It is the good old political trick of not discussing what caused the problem but how everyone together can help fix it.

 

The discontent is not only in the UK, in France the raising of the pension age from 60 to 62 has caused riots in the streets of Paris. Looking at the hooded youth in Paris and the burning cars, one has to wonder if this is really only about the pension age, many of those throwing one fingered salutes at the media won’t be hitting retirement age for another 40 years. It says a lot about Democracy that youth from the poorer suburbs of Paris would rather take to the streets about an issue that doesn’t directly affect them, than engage in the ballot box.

 

Maybe it is the fact that Capitalism creates an underclass that whilst the rich feast at the table of excess, merely sit and watch feeding off the scraps left over. Discontentment at the pensions issue is just a chance for them to air their anger at their own plight. These are real problems affecting real people but the response from the elite is a stern “let them eat cake”, these changes must be done in order to make up for past.

 

Like the film Matrix, Capitalism creates a myth, a dream, if we all work hard enough material possessions and career aspirations will lead to a fulfilled life.  This means society never really addresses the true nature of the problem. Just like the economic downturn at the moment most people will hope that the next time they hear the words “double dip” it is in reference to an ice cream and not the economy .

 

Even at these hard times there is a sense of acceptance that this is how life is meant to be, there is real unhappiness at the cuts but these have failed to register on the political Richter scale. Not even the actions of the French have spurred any type of activism in the masses. It would be fair to say that many no longer have any faith in the politicians to do the right thing, it is clear that the deficit is more important than peoples jobs. There will many saying that people will show their discontent at the May local elections with the Lib Dems braced for a potential voter backlash. Democracy seems to put people to sleep until the ballot box is rolled out, and even then only a minority are awoken to engage.

 

Modern society has become lazy and is unable or unwilling to see the world beyond the rose tinted glasses of democracy / capitalism. There is no real questioning about the way society and the state function, which means the status quo is accepted and the cycle continues until the next boom or bust. It is about time the ordinary man on the street started to join the dots and view the full picture and not what the political spin machine throws at it through the media.

 

It needs to question not only the bankers and politicians that have got them into the mess they are in now, but also the very nature of their society. Is consumption, consumerism and material gain really the way to live? Will a few rules controlling the markets and a tightening of the public funds really solve the problems of an obviously flawed political / economic system?.

 

The truth maybe hard for some to accept that society as whole is unwilling to question the very system that is destroying their lives, such is the intoxication of materialism. So much for liberating the rest of the world, when the people at home are slaves of the dollar / pound, but maybe that’s how it was always meant to be.

 

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