Levels of Inequality is unprecedented in these times. INEQUALITY exists because a small amount of people the 0.01% have EXTREME WEALTH. Five years ago about 300 owned more than 50% of the wealth of the rest of the humans on the planet. This is now down to 62 people in the world, who have individual net worth’s between 3bn and 75bn ( perhaps more) They own multiple properties, corporations, even islands…this SUPER-WEALTH is HIGHLY NEGATIVE on SOCIETY asa whole because it has a corrosive effect on DEMOCRACY.
Below are my notes on and thoughts that occurred in response to watching Requiem of the American Dream by Noam Chomsky. REQUIEM is a potent reminder that power ultimately rests in the hands of the governed – and is required viewing for all who maintain hope in a shared stake in the future.
TEN PRINCIPLES OF CONCENTRATION OF WEALTH AND POWER: THE VICIOUS CYCLE
3.RE-DESIGN THE ECONOMY
4.SHIFT THE BURDEN TO THE MASSES
6.RUN THE REGULATORS
8.KEEP THE RABBLE IN LINE
10.MARGINALIZE THE POPULATION
Who owns the Society? CLASS – who gives the orders? Who follows them
“Protect the minority of the opulent and the wealthy”
The system is set up to prevent democracy in any meaningful way as the major sectors of society THE MEDIA COMMERCE and PRODUCTION are all controlled / ruled by the richest people and to ensure their continued wealth.their aim is to reduce democracy or to reduce inequality so that business doesn’t lose control of society.
2. SHAPE IDEOLOGY
There has been a business offensive since the 1970’s as previously passive and obedient citizens were organising and taking an interest in politics ( ACTIVISM) – This is a CONTROL of resources even if that means manipulating people. The general population must be subdued and the young indoctrinated. Our thoughts are literally shaped by business and governments.
3.RE-DESIGN THE ECONOMY
Increased role of the financial institutions. By 2007 it made 40% of corporate profits. Banks make half their profits by moving money around with trickery. There is no evidence that they are doing anything of value to the economy. That is FINANCIALISATION ( the process by which financial organisations increase in influence and size) and OFF SHORING of trades ( moving trading overseas).
Policy is designed to increase insecurity.
The aim is to create GREATER WORKER INSECURITY becaause Insecure people are easy to CONTROL
4. SHIFT THE BURDEN
Shift the burden of paying for society to masses and away from the 0.01%
Democracy is mainly a myth in our societies. This is more of a PLUTOCRACY ( a few RULE the many ) than a DEMOCRACY ( the many people rule the many).
Anti-British anti-American, identifying and targeting anyone negatively because of their race, beliefs, religion, these are TOTALITARIAN IDEAS ( think tyrant ruler and subservient people) expressions are NOT democratic. Reagan and Thatcher vilified unions with these terms. We see a similar thing today with CORBYN and the media representation.
SOLIDARITY is dangerous. Solidarity is the principle of public services – Education, Housing, NHS, Social Security.
They are fundamentally about sympathy and caring for other people.
The rule says CARE only for YOURSELF and NOT other people.
There has to be a concerted effort to DESTROY solidarity. If you want to destroy something first thing you do is DE-FUND it. That’s a standard technique for privatising something.
So to attack solidarity you must severely attack public services.
6.RUN THE REGULATORS
This is called ‘regulatory capture’. The businesses being regulated is in fact running the regulators. Bank lobbyists are writing the laws of financial regulation. They are TOO BIG TO FAIL – they have the time and money to campaign for what matters to them. Do you? We bailed out the banks – with few repercussions. Many of the richest people and companies increased their wealth in this time, while most otehr people lost over 44% of their wealth. Yet no help for poor people when they need bailing out – they are demonised This is NEO-LIBERALISM. By the way there is the opposite rule for the poor. Deregulation is closely linked to financial crashes.
Is it all rigged?
Concentration of wealth yields concentration of political power. Money is a form of free speech ( since 1970’s). Business, commerce, media have a MASSIVE amount of POWER and control over policies and therefore politicians – this influence is a massive attack on democracy. Phrases such as “The people have spoken..” probably engineered by very well paid experts and are, by their very design, undemocratic. Who actually spoke and for whom?
8.KEEP THE RABBLE IN LINE
Unions provide a barrier to corporate dominance. Unions are a democratising force and so to keep people in line you must ATTACK the unions. When a population is strong enough the politicians listen. In a plutocracy you must OPPRESS the rising masses. A very small percentage of people are currently in a union. Is that an accident or engineered? Elites in US hate unions so strongly that the fundamental core of labour rights ( the right to form unions) has never been ratified.How do unions fair in the UK? Thatcher damaged them greatly. Zero hours contracts.
A CIRCUS. A DISTRACTION.– trapping people in consumption and in the belief that they need the next gadget, fashion item or diet pill to be happy. This is no accident but deliberate. The general population are DISTRACTED with superfluous things. Think of the endless advertising campaigns for christmas, valentines, easter…all a promise to our aspirations to be happy, healthy and loved. Can we only get these things with their products? Do we even want these things? Landfill. More profit for corporations and suffocating “consumption clogging up our systems.
“The public must be put in their place”
Turn the person into the perfect system of consumption. The point is to create UNINFORMED CONSUMERS who make IRRATIONAL CHOICES. Spectators not participants and so those people are no trouble and easy to control.
This happens in elections and referendums. An uninformed electorate – who make irrational choices – often against their own interests.
A DEMOCRATIC system would encourage INFORMED CONSUMERS to make RATIONAL CHOICES.
10.MARGINALISE THE POPULATION
Make people HATE and FEAR each other and only look out for them selves – No constructive action. recognised in unfocused anger and an attack on the vulnerable.
POLICY will be the shadow cast by business over society.
“ALL FOR MYSELF NOTHING FOR ANYONE ELSE”
This leads to UGLY greed. A GLOBAL SOCIETY going unchecked based on these principles will lead to the MASS DESTRUCTION of human beings.
If we want democracy we need a participatory and democratising CONTROL of MEDIA COMMERCE and PRODUCTION
So what are the OPPOSING PRINCIPLES?? OR principles of shared wealth and power in the hands of the majority of the people.
My thinking so far…
1.STRENGTHEN and protect DEMOCRACY – reduce power of large corporations, rights and powers to mine our data thus reduce ability to use information about what public think and feel to manipulate and control (based on their fears and vulnerabilities). This could mean less social media, less smart devices and more power to keep data private. Or much more and maybe its about taking on the principle of protecting democracy.
2.ALLOW People their own ideas – BE INFORMED and QUESTION EVERYTHING so what we think is our own critical thoughts not what someone else has told us. This also includes allowing/ welcoming other individual points of view ( this is different form powerful ppl with agendas/ large platforms/ huge influence) Value individuals more, worship celebrities and corporations less.
3.THE ECONOMY – decrease the power of financial institutions and corporations over governments and communities. Increase security , rules, individual protection. Not sure what is opposite to redesigning economy.
4.SHIFT THE BURDEN To those who have the capacity, wealth and power ( if people have the capacity to do more then let them embrace supporting society in that way – how can that option feel pleasurable, exciting, inviting?).
5.PROTECT and INCREASE SOLIDARITY – Stand up for others. Stand with not against. Support Each other. Empathy. Don’t inform on your neighbour. Don’t buy into narratives about blaming and sharing the rpeople. Don’t call out individual people, call out laws and policies.
6.REGULATIONS – regulate with a range of people who have a stake – i.e. communities, people from all social positions, cultures, genders etc who all have a stake to hold in the regulating. Listen and be sensible and individual. Be fair to what benefits the whole and harms the fewest, not what makes the most money. Profit can be valued in time, health, social connection and cooperation as well as money. All of this play into environmental value which affects all other values. Value environmental health, social and time as valuable components of overall wealth.
7. LIMIT FINANCE ALLOWED IN ELECTIONS – create mechanisms that give each person more of a fair chance to have their voice count. Care about each person’s voice. Learn to listen and seek out the voiceless.
8.FREE THE RABBLE
9.ALLOW INFORMED RATIONAL CHOICE/REDUCE CONSUMERISM – don’t ‘put’ anyone anywhere – allow them to choose. Allow views especially those you don’t agree with to exist.
10.COLLECTIVISM – EMPOWER THE MANY – responsibility and contribution of every human within local and global communities. LOVE and be BRAVE
Links – http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/forandagainstchomsky
And of course, the above is just my interpretation and understanding of the film / principles within – written by Zoe Parker