There was a time when people believed what their governments told them. It might seem incredibly naive, but it is true to a very large extent. Those days are long gone.

We live not in a democratic society in the West, but in a plutocracy, where our governments are steered not by the will of the people, but by the wishes of the elite.

This has had the effect of diluting our rights year after year with fewer privacies and more surveillance, and a wider gap between the top 1% and the rest of us.

I hark back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs quite frequently. In this case it is to show how we, as citizens, are deprived of opportunities that the top echelons take for granted. The self-actualization, the peace of mind that only security bring with it.

The majority of people are kept firmly on the lower rungs of this insightful construct.

It is why we have the ‘Dream’ of progress. In fact the chances of lifting ourselves up by our shirttails towards this dream is nothing short of an hallucination brought on by years of capitalist indoctrination. It is much like those enormous lotteries that people enter. Just to be on the safe side – because you never know when it will be your turn…

The sad truth is that for the majority of us that turn will never come. We are stuck in the middle, or worse, at the bottom of this pyramid.

Now, don’t get me wrong – in the Western World we have, for the most part, jobs, homes, cars, healthcare (to some extent) and a plethora of ‘freedoms’ that we can enjoy when not on the hamster wheel of capitalism. But in reality, living in debt is not freedom. It is slavery. We are no better than a dog chained to a post. We know our limits. We trust that our owner will feed us, and we are strangely grateful for this limited existence. The term Stockholm Syndrome is quite fitting when one considers the way that we have continued to support the failing ideals of capitalism and the decrepit demise of democracy.

I always feel like, somebody’s watching me – and I have no privacy…

As I write, minds much greater than mine are fretting over the huge advancements that China is making in the field of Artificial Intelligence. The ‘West’ is far behind. But how far behind are we when it comes to corralling our people, removing their rights of assembly and freedom of speech? How far behind are we when one considers the Free Press (such as it is, owned by the elite which oversees our political class).

As billionaires, fed on the rampant, almost rabid consumerism that capitalism has manifested, watch our planet burn, they stockpile their millions and the political class kneels before their altar of wealth. Idolatry at its best.

How many billions is enough? To what lengths can they go to ensure that they have the most money? Would they instigate wars when their income is slowing?

The connection between capitalism, economic cycles, the elite and the military industrial complex is plain to see. This cyclical warmongering is aimed at boosting our economies in times of recession. It offers politicians a chance to indoctrinate our brave youth and to erode our hard-earned freedoms. And the media love it.

How many state-funded terrorist groups are there? How many installed dictators? How many ‘enemies of the State’ that need to be monitored?

Killing me softly…

Global spending on defense is enormous. In 2018 it reached 1.3 trillion US dollars.

See a breakdown for you nation here, based on information gathered by the World Bank:

In an age of nuclear weaponry why do nations such the USA, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India and Great Britain need to spend so much on defense? Is the threat of total annihilation not enough? What exactly are they defending? It can’t be the people. They have been used as cannon-fodder for generations. Could it be resources? Oil, minerals, precious metals? Defensive positions that keep their enemies at bay?

What price we pay…

My bet is on resources. Industry cannot function, capitalism (in all its forms) cannot function without rare earth metals, fuel and other natural resources.

We are heading into a global downturn right now. Whose turn is it to be invaded, attacked, subdued and then forgotten? My money is on Iran. Sell your stocks and bonds now. Buy during the war and sell when you’ve doubled your money, before the next war starts. That is, if you have the money to play Monopoly… Most of us don’t.

Change is good. We must learn to welcome change. We must learn to encourage it.

TS O’Rourke

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