This is a follow-up post to Part One...
Laurence Fox has joined the ranks of uneasy demagogues touting one line or another on the lines of ‘freedom’, asserting that the government – for no verifiable reason given – is intent on removing our ‘human right’ to freedoms. That is one hell of a claim; actually it is two claims in a sense, for what is freedom? Those on the breadline, losing their businesses, houses, savings, etc, would probably trade this nebulous ‘freedom’ for some form of certainty in a heartbeat.
You can be free to starve, to be homeless, to freeze to death, or you can sign this here social contract… and be free of those concerns, as long as you play the game. Of course there are some people, often at the arse end of society, who will never opt to join the rest of the human race but they are few in number and if the will exists they can be contained, restrained and prevented from spoiling it for the rest of us; this is what the penal system is for.
But what of the rest? If society is going to work at all it has to work for [almost] everybody, but it is natural that those who need no assistance often look down on those who do. It is equally natural for those who are struggling to get by to gaze up with envy and not a little hatred for those whose apparently gilded lives give them immunity from compassion. There is the right-left paradigm in a nutshell; neither side seeing the whole picture. One narrative pits the valiant socialist freedom fighters against the greedy rich, while the other sees idle grifters forever demanding handouts from honest tax-paying.
Of course, that is way too simple, we all know it. Yet, sooner or later most of us will fall into one of those two camps and we are never so unified as a social mass as when the likes of the repugnant, be-mulleted, Philip Green appear in the news. Rapacious capitalists, riding roughshod over the peasantry are always likely to stir the blood… and when they are obnoxious human beings to boot, well, fair game.
But they’re not all like that. Andrew Carnegie https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-22246173 wrote that a man who dies rich, dies disgraced and a number of latter day philanthropists seem to have taken him to heart. Contrary to what ‘The Internet’ wants you to believe, possibly Lozza Fox amongst them, Bill Gates appears to be a major force for good in the world. Hate me for saying it but I maintain it is true. And while we’re at the naming names stage, Klaus Schwab is just a post-Hitlerian fantasist with his grandiose Great Reset, which totally ignores the evidence of centuries that nation may speak peace unto nation, but they always do it with their fingers crossed.
But maybe he has a point about the opportunity offered by the pandemic, whether you believe it is real or not, in that what better time is there than right now to consider starting over? And I mean really start over; change the paradigm; turn the clock backwards to a time when industrialists might have earned twenty times their average employees’ wages, not five hundred times, as is often the case today. Of course people should be allowed the pursuit of excellence but once your personal fortune goes beyond the wildest dreams of the majority, maybe there really is such a thing as earning too much?
I can’t be alone in simply not believing that one man is ‘worth’ so much more than everybody else, or that when you get into the $billions surely you exhaust the worthwhile options for keeping it to yourself. Trickle down economics sometimes needs to open the flood gates. And no, I’m not saying soak the rich, I’m merely suggesting we have a serious conversation about right now; how we get everybody back on their feet.
The government has borrowed a fortune to get through the year, but so has every other government. Everybody is in this. So why not borrow a little more and send it gushing straight to the bottom? Get it to the people who need it, get it to those who feel excluded and have done for a long time. Why not go further and pay off all those debts; then put the loan sharks (including some mainstream lenders) out of business. Pay off the predators, get everybody fed and housed and warm. Not forever, but for now.
And then, immediately, once everybody’s belly is full, let’s get around a great big table and let everybody participate in what comes next. There won’t be any free rides but right now a lot of people need a lift and I refuse to be mean enough to deny it. “Yes, but I earned what I’ve got!” some will protest. Look around you at the broken businesses and shattered lives; consider for one moment that it could be you. Our society really is broken and it really needs fixing. And if not now, when?
PS: I have made a donation to the Salvation Army appeal, here.
(The bigger, international charities can suck my dick.)