The internet- Plutocracy's Achilles' Heel?
by Jim Handley
Fri 16th Nov 2012
Spain now has yet more problems. Recent Spanish media reports confirm allegations that this country’s Interior Minister is actively considering the prohibition of all unauthorized broadcasting of live or recorded reports covering civil and paramilitary police action, taken to control the increasingly numerous public protests against the government’s aggressive austerity measures, the effects of which are thumping the working-class hard below the belt. And some days ago, to apparent government approval, a serving senior armed forces officer openly said on TV, “Catalan Independence will over my comrades’ and my dead bodies”. Coupled with the projected clampdown on the Free Press, the officer’s statement does not auger well for this country’s future democratic stability –especially given its long history of military pronouncements. The most recent coup d’état was that led by paramilitary police Colonel Antonio Tejero, on 23 February 1981.
Contrary what some believe, Tejero came very close to success. Also the mere effect of his action has clearly defined the limits of political possibility for all Spain’s parliamentary parties to this very day.
Meanwhile, the incomes of Spain’s wealthies citizens remain utterly unscathed –thanks to massive public subsidies funded by taxing those very same demonstrators who are so rightfully angered by the harshly inegalitarian imposition of E.U. dictates, pronounced in Brussels by unelected, over-remunerated, non-taxpaying bureaucrats. That is to say, those members of that exclusive club of ultra privileged, faceless functionaries who have little practical knowledge of the daily struggles of those ordinary folk over whom they so capriciously rule on behalf of the Union’s Big Banker initiators and backers –namely, those entities that are indubitably its only real long-term financial beneficiaries.
So unless this ostensibly Christian country’s commendatore clique, has a divinely revelatory, ‘Saint Paul on the road to Damascus’ moment, Spain’s Media will shortly find itself gagged and blindfolded by a censorship similarly severe to that imposed by civil war torn Syria’s dictatorship and by so many other pseudo-Fascist states’ autocratic rulers.
Currently, 20% of Spaniards –a high proportion of whom are children– subsist below the poverty line.
Meanwhile, today a lad of some 12 or 13 years was interviewed on T.V here in Spain. In an apparently spontaneous response to the question, “What would you like for Christmas?” the boy simply said, “A job for my Dad”!
Ironically, Capitalism’s well-founded fear of unfettered public access to matters of vital importance by the plebs stems from the advent of the Internet. This new and yet to be effectively castrated democratic force –inadvertently spawned by the rapacious free market’s own licentious behaviour– allows both amateur and professionally gathered news items to almost instantly reach viewers and listeners, worldwide. Furthermore, the exponential expansion of this latter-day electronic miracle is devastating the official Media’s self-serving, indoctrinatory monopoly. A welcome result of the Big Business controlled news mongers’ relative demise is presently being patently proven in the U.K. The recent revelation of a plethora of previously deliberately suppressed news reports exposes many cases of the British Establishment’s uncaring ineptitude and its downright criminality toward the citizens it ought to protect, some instances of which, plumb the disgraceful depths of paedophilia.
Fortuitously, most Social Network adepts are adolescents or young adults. These are precisely the people who throughout history have precipitated radical social change, usually to the ultimate betterment of the human condition. So, ‘Perchance to dream’... Just maybe, the faint flicker of a new dawn begins to brighten the ordinary person’s socioeconomic horizon.
Too many of our political masters still delight in an hallucination that places common people’s intelligence at a level only marginally above that of the monosyllabic primates. But these self-deceiving snobs persist at their peril. For since the far-off days when it first became evident that the poorly paid factory labourers’ illiteracy limited the effect to which they could be profitably exploited by their bosses– gave rise to the introduction of universal primary education –the initially puny body of common knowledge has unremittingly engorged upon itself, inexorably growing into an intellectually implacable mammoth. It has now become an all-questioning colossus. Thus has been created an ever-greater political lucidity of mind in the many who work so hard to furnish the fabulous luxury exclusively enjoyed by their very few, manipulative masters.
Not everyone will concur with my analysis of the primary cause of our current international fiscal failure. Nevertheless, almost all will agree that something must be done to remedy the matter and dammed quick, too! But we had all better hope that our Transnational Entrepreneurs are not permitted to re-implement the recourses they so successfully employed to augment their exorbitantly lucrative initiatives during the past century. For it is an undeniable historical fact that –not so long ago– Big Business greed was the fundamental factor in the declaration and prosecution of two disastrous World Wars, and a prime mover of many other lesser international conflicts, too. The inciting of such carefully premeditated, coldly cost-calculated bellicosity has enriched the international business empires in a manner far beyond the confines of their boss’s most deluded dreams –thanks to their enthusiastic provision of the materials of mass annihilation needed to prosecute their evil enterprises.
At the end of each war –after profiting by deliberately killing or maiming untold millions, most of whom were innocent, propagandised non-combatants and their young children– the insatiable Money Men have almost invariably returned to scenes of their crimes. Their object then being to fatten further their bloodstained purses with the massive monies accrued by rebuilding the housing and infrastructure that they had so recently laid to ruin –simply to satisfy their personal greed. Furthermore, these social vampires’ political minions have all too often had the outrageous cheek to credit their overlords with ensuing post-war economic recovery. But in fact, our omnipotent oligarchs had merely extricated themselves from successive, massive, self-inflicted, speculative failures by perpetrating a double whammy. First, they kicked nine kinds of excrement out of their hapless war victims, exploited or literally enslaved workers across the globe and finally, at the end of hostilities, they magnanimously repaired the consequent ‘collateral battle damage’ caused their own overwhelming avarice. In all cases, they were magnificently remunerated, by the assiduous milking of that inexhaustibly munificent cash-cow –the infelicitous, longsuffering taxpayer of course!
In case my readers should be tempted to brand me as just another bigmouthed pacifist, I must confess to having joined the British Army as a boy soldier, aged 14 and to having subsequently served in the now forgotten yet bitterly fought Korean War. After leaving the Army, I worked in the former British and French colonies in West Africa and witnessed the pitiful plight forcibly wrought upon their native peoples by relentless capitalism.Now having sampled poverty, warfare and experienced the long lingering, adverse after effects of both, and, having gradually ‘mentally’ grownup throughout a protracted interregnum, I assure everyone of the utter futility of all ‘gung-ho adventures’ in the fields of warfare and colonial conquest. That is not to say that we should leave ourselves defenceless. But we really must stop wasting our precious young lives and much needed cash, by getting out of those oil producing countries where our military presence is unwelcomed by the overwhelming majority of the populace. This includes our presence in Afghanistan, which was first invaded by the USSR and later by Uncle Sam Inc., at least partly, to secure the exclusive exploitation of projected Afghan mineral deposits and to prevent their being used to profit neighbouring states such as Iran or Pakistan. By maintaining our military presence in these places where it is not wanted, we exacerbate the ire of those fundamentalists who already hate our guts –in certain cases for perfectly justifiable historical reasons. Worse still, our continued undesired presence abroad acts as a highly efficacious recruiter to the ranks of our adversaries’ terrorist bombers –from whom, we must also protect ourselves, by yet further unaffordable expenditure. Perhaps it would preferable to moderate our use of the motor vehicle and pay a little more for our hydrocarbon products, in exchange for a significant reduction of fuel tax. After all, any concerned consumer may readily identify the true beneficiaries of Britain’s artificially inflated petroleum and gas prices. “To wit me Lud, H.M.G., who’s taxpayer funded largess is lavished upon our incompetent or corrupt bankers and their currency casino cohorts –that’s to say, those who use generous taxpayer aid to egotistically manoeuvre the world’s speculative commodity and energy markets, without giving a hoot for the immense harm they do to millions of others”.
Of course, if we had the requisite political will on the part of the leaders of the world’s great powers, most of humanity’s woes could be ended within a decade or two and with no significant diminution of the basic quality of life enjoyed by the privileged minority. However, the first hurdle on the way toward an equitable and sustainable international economy would be to persuade the world’s wealthy to moderate their excessive consumption of superfluous products (such as tank-sized motorcars, processed polluted foodstuffs and an unending whatnot of other unessential caprices). In short, these same people must stop taking such great pleasure in effectively, “Defecating on their less fortunate, global village neighbours’ doorsteps!” Unfortunately, nobody but an incorrigible optimist would think this an easy task to effect. But luckily, such apparent optimists are readily found, and in huge numbers. They are the youthful Internet users whom I mentioned above. The popular press often describes these youngsters as ‘disillusioned’, which tends to their being dismissed as a cohesive, effective political force. This assertion is big mistake. These young people are anything but disillusioned (no longer hopeful) Their fervent, overriding desire is for a truly radical change in the way their world is run! For they are clever enough to have seen right through the lies and half-truths they are routinely fed by their devious self-serving patricians whom they feel have misdirected their lives for much too long. Far from losing interest and hope in politics, they simply no longer participate in the polls. As one young Spaniard said to me, “What’s the point in voting? It’s completely futile. Politicians are the same, all the world over. They’re only intent on lining their pockets and nothing will ever really change as long as the status quo persists!”
But as the recent upheavals in North Africa show, the First World youth’s present passivity will probably not be indefinite. Sooner, rather than later, the relentless raping of natural resources, coupled to the legitimate demands of a well informed, ever increasing world population (even the poorest sub-Saharan Africans now have access to the Internet by cell phone) will trigger an inevitable global ecological catastrophe!
Only then –when it will likely be too late– may we hope that our self-centred leaders will forget their preoccupation with feathering their personal and party nests. That they will stop taking their eyes off the outcome of the next election and desist from promising policies designed to help them win, only renege, once safely in office. And finally, begin giving proper attention to establishing an adequately reasoned world economic system. That’s to say, one that stringently obeys the strict unforgiving law of fundamental Physical Science –the irrefutable canon that tells us we cannot get a gallon from a pint pot. And that neither can we persist in wasting our finite natural resources, simply to further enrich the few who already own infinitely more than they need to live a long and perfectly happy life.
In order to prevent ecological degradation precipitating an inevitable universal breakdown of civilization, which may easily lead to atomic war (not all nuclear powers posses the euphemistically named ‘clean weapons’) we must urgently implement an effectively regulated international economic agreement that serves the needs of all humanity, the rich, the poor and the in-betweens.
After all –in theory at least– no civilised society permits its public servants to use their power and influence in the furtherance of their own personal ambitions.
Either directly or indirectly, the recently publically maligned plebeian class also pays our spectacularly spivvish Big Bankers’ and Industrialists’ wages. So why should these 'indispensible' public employees be exempt from the longstanding golden rule that governs the conduct of all others who render an equally vital community service???