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Imagine: trapped in a FIRESTORM! No way to turn...

Could that be the kind of hell experienced by people forced to endure life on the treadmill?

This is precisely what our social programming (and the Establishment's 'education' system) prepares us for. Like virtually everything else in this world, our social programming and education is geared to suit the corporate system.

We are unwittingly funnelled into spending decades at some grindingly tedious work. We are promised a 'career', as if it's something to relish rather than detest - because once embarked-on there's little chance of escape. It's the one-dimensional path we accept without question.

We are not told about alternatives - though they exist all around for the more observant and adventurous, while for most of us life fades into adulthood and dreary conformity.

Luckily, as ever, there are exceptions, shining ones too and many of them. But the mass of us are inclined to stagnate, take the direction towards the dole and destitution, or else head into battle: the incessant clambering for promotion (otherwise known as 'selling one's soul'... and yes, TO THE DEVIL!) and what promises to be a more amenable, affluent lifestyle... though becomes instead a screwed-up psyche where wealth & power reign supreme while time, altruism and restfulness are scorned.

But while most of us toil our lives away, REAL life goes on - as it probably will, in its various intermittent forms, for another several billion years... regardless of what we do, or how much damage politicians/corporations cause to our biosphere - our only life-support.



Pseudo Freedom

How often do you hear people complain about scroungers? That is: single mothers, immigrants, disillusioned teenagers on the dole... most claim some kind of benefit from the government.  And they receive the absolute minimum that prevents problems for those in power. Even if these people work, their pay is usually so low that the government has to issue tax credits.

Why is their pay so low? Because their employers know they can get away with the legal minimum wage. The less these employers pay, the more profit they make. If they can get away with paying less, you bet they will - and let the government subsidise the difference (or their victims suffer, like immigrant workers ripped-off, living in hovels...).


I too complain of scroungers. Though the scroungers I criticise are not those sad losers I’ve just mentioned who cost the government scarcely a pittance. The scroungers I complain about scrounge on a MASSIVE scale. They are the profiteers of the City – who rake in millions (sometimes billions) in a day. If they actually did something useful then maybe they’d be worth a little.

But they do nothing.

Which means they're a drain – on a colossal scale . They merely shift money to maximise profit. To finance one of them could keep more than a thousand of those other 'scroungers'. Where does their money originate? From the toil of the rest of us - from those downtrodden losers I’ve just been talking about, the minimum wagers, the single mothers who are forced to work while their 5-year-old attends some impersonal nursery where their life-chances are destroyed for ever so that they too will eventually clamour to join the corporate slave market.


Before the World Trade Centre was demolished, the buildings were worth maybe $10b. Their floor space was rented out by the New York Port Authority at a considerable premium. Probably now, those towers would have been worth around $20b, making each floor worth perhaps $100m – and if the rent is, say, 5%, then that’s: $5m/annum/floor – or $1b/annum in total. Add peripherals, hardware, office expenses, hundreds of high-salaries and bonuses, hospitality, etc…And I haven’t even begun to include bonuses, capital assets and dividends and so on that the whole swindle exists for in the first place and which is paid out to share and stock holders.

All this money, these vast billions of dollars raked in every day, has (of course) to be earned by someone somewhere who is actually doing something, like producing food or artefacts or providing a genuine service (only a small %age of which, quite probably, is anywhere near worthwhile - though that's another story). And these real things are created or done by people who for the most part slave their lives away in grindingly tedious offices and factories and shops, and who are paid no more than a fraction of what they’re worth – because the fruits of almost everything they create or do is going to those scroungers in the WTC (or its equivalent) and their super-scrounger shareholder clients. In other words: the workers are ‘ingrained slaves’. Unwitting or otherwise, they are victims of theft – on a breathtaking scale.

All this is nothing new, of course, and has been well voiced yonks ago by great minds like Twain, Whitman, Emerson, Thoreau and many others. Those who gain, or expect at some future time to gain, from this set-up have, and will certainly continue to, object to this analysis. They will declare that stock trading is imperative and that those who invest and those who deal are worth much more than the farmer or his labourers, or the guy who prints books or who presses out car tyres in great clouds of dust and fumes…

What, though, is the point of technology if it doesn’t relieve humankind of the need to work? Surely the principal work that needs doing above all is the creation of robots. Why didn't Bill Gates spend his $billions on developing the software? Ans (probably): because first someone has to revolutionise the way credit is shared. Automation is already a fact for most specialised manufacturing – like car assembly lines (where robots don't strike for decent working conditions). But this isn’t done to benefit humankind, or to improve the lives of former workers. It's done, pricipally, to save money, to increase dividends to shareholders. To correct this situation, the beneficiaries would have to be taxed appropriately and the government pay redundant workers.

Indeed, all savings from automation should go towards enabling poor people to have the same choices in life as the middle-class, whose 'investment' income (by definition) allows them to choose a life of leisure, should they so wish - and, believe me, most of them do. There are several million people in this category in the UK. They play polo, go horse racing, write books, travel, attend theatres… engage in all kinds of arts and other activities of which most people are deprived on account of low income - and lack of decent education which might alieviate their susceptibility to the establishment propaganda that renders them innocuous and dispensible.

I don’t expect to witness much change in this imbalance during my lifetime – nor, I guess, is change likely in the next generation or two. It's one of those perennial flaws in human society that drags on and on and on. It's a kind of power-play; class, or caste (as in India), is probably the most devisive tool that business has for preserving its dominance, wealth and the slave-base to which most of us unwittingly belong.

Being an incurable optimist, and assuming humankind survives the wanton destruction of the environment the big capitalists are foisting on the planet, I reckon there will eventually be change.

When that happens, those who glance back, I’d wager, will be amazed at the stupendous indolence and neglect so many of us are guilty of; how we allowed (were hoodwinked into electing even) the most ignorant and unpleasant brutes that exist - and let them rule over us, initiate wars, decide taxes and choose (on behalf of the rich, yet pretending on behalf of the poor) who of us should be rich, who poor, and the way privilege and wealth should flow – as ever from poor to rich (for this, they declare disdainfully, will from now-on, for the first time ever, trickle-down instead of trickle-up... and besides, enterprise MUST  be rewarded). Must it?? And clearly if it flowed the other way, the flow could not be sustained, because it is only the poor who create wealth.

Even the French, that (former?) nation of philosophers, have abandoned their heritage and fallen for corporate propaganda (or so it's just been announced): they've decided by 53% that it's better to be forced to work for more than 35-hrs a week, than to be permitted to choose to work less!

One can only assume they HATE leisure time - or 53% of them do. It's almost beyond belief that they've chosen a Fascist, a keen supporter of US Neocons (who doubtless helped fund the propaganda machine) to rule over them. Are they simply ignorant as never before, or have they discovered a new angle on masochism?


Well, either way, I'm out of it. My interest, as ever, is academic. Even climate change is unlikely to have a negative effect on me. Let the world slide if it must into the mire and turmoil of war and other destruction and waste. Someday the mayhem indulged increasingly these days by those who've grasped power, those who are up to their eyes in blood as never before, will burn itself out like the FIRESTORM... of people slaving all their lives for who-knows-what? What does all this matter to me? I can glimpse from a safe distance as the planet descends towards the 'inferno'. I am fabulously lucky - or would be except for my unquenchable compulsion to seek truth and to comprehend.

Yet, in a 1000-years it'll all be history. A billion or so humans will probably be around (not much else in the mammal line, maybe?). They'll doubtless reflect on us less favourably than we do on Ancient Rome. Their society will be more like in my story 'Alex', I shouldn't wonder - though less homogenous: all kinds of communities will exist, probably. Politics will be dead - so therefore will poverty; no wars, no capitalism or communism or any other -ism to spoil the show. Self-help will be irrelevant - no one will need it. They'll all be well-balanced and contented, as far as the inherent human condition permits. And I imagine they'll find it hard to see how it was possible, in such a paradise as we have before us now in 2007, to operate as our little covey of self-appointed leaders force the world to: in a manner akin to the most insane, wild, ignorant monsters ever, bent on nothing but destroying, killing and obliterating. And for What? To become trillionaires? To create an empire that breaks all records for barbarism? To own and control the planet? As I've said elsewhere: a billion marauding dinosaurs couldn't compete!

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ICH 15.5.07 by Chris Carlson

Washington has now perfected a new imperial strategy to maintain their supremacy around the globe. Whereas military invasions and installing dictatorships have traditionally been the way to control foreign populations and keep them out of the way of business, the U.S. government has now developed a new strategy that is not so messy or brutal, and much more sleek; so sleek, in fact, that it's almost invisible.