. Self, Celebrity, Debt And Sport | London Progressive Journal
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Self, Celebrity, Debt And Sport

Sun 15th May 2016

Majority Viewpoints, Social Media and Selflessness

Broadly, we would expect that majority viewpoints would benefit the health of humanity. Twain disagreed. If individuals were able to reason logically on the basis of an appropriate knowledge base, and form beliefs accordingly: majority viewpoints would indeed benefit us all. Moreover, if majorities were much more than the sum of their parts then marketing would have much less a role in the modern world. This of course does not mean that minority viewpoints are necessarily any better but neither should they be dismissed or devalued on account of the majority viewpoint. What matters is whether people are empowered to think clearly and selflessly, and on the basis of the true facts. Self survival is engrained in us, and extends to our family, friends and allies. But for the good of humanity, decision making must be logical, selfless and based on an assessment of the facts.

The social media age seeks to engage the masses in dialogue. But in a cacophony of social media noise, it is often s/he who shouts loudest who is heard. A cynic might suggest that social media, with its character limits and emphasis on trends, likes and split second decision making is designed to create a lot of noise but achieve very little. Social media and the Internet can enable notoriety, fame, amuse us and frighten us. But it could also enable us to achieve so much more…

Idolatry, Interspective Care and The Creeping Cult Of Celebrity

Einstein said we should appreciate each other’s individuality but idolise no one. A cynic might suggest that in the modern world, individuality is generally discouraged whilst idolatry is ubiquitous. We have previously considered a trifold paradigm to enable us to conceptualise how we can and should interact with humanity and the world around us. The interspective we considered is the way we interact with our fellow man. This concept could be extended to the way we interact with all living things. Throughout humanity, we have understandably often concentrated our care on those around us: from our sexual partners to our relatives to our friends to our work colleagues and to our domesticated animal pets. What would be most ‘ human’, of course, would be to treat everyone and everything we interact with with the same level of care.

Despite all the challenges the NHS faces and all the politicised drives with which we are presented, I suggest that to ‘save’ the NHS all we really need to do is focus on the patient centred care concept. Treat every patient as if they were royalty, celebrity or your mother, grandfather or daughter. But more than that, treat everyone and every living thing with the same level of care and in addition to saving the NHS we can save humanity too.

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In an age defined by celebrity, followers, likes, hashtags and not least the bottom line, we should be unsurprised when the lines between celebrity, media, business and politics become blurred.

A cynic might say this is not a new phenomenon and that there is a long lineage of actors making great politicians and vice versa. Moreover, in modern times high political office appears to be an apprenticeship for a career in public speaking and big business or vice versa. Once again, respecting each other’s individuality must be fundamental and hero worship should really be something we grow out of. Moreover, those individuals whose emulation would benefit humanity should ideally be identified purely on merit rather than through marketing, which is the de facto route to celebrity in the modern world.

An extraspective short history of money and banking

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“Pay no attention to the man. Behind the curtain”

L Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

When money had inherent worth (coins made out of precious metals), money was money in the truest sense. Nowadays, our money is actually numbers on a computer screen which are generated by either commercial banks (private debt) or central banks (government debt) or paper money printed by central banks, which again has an associated debt attached to it. For a very long time now, circulated coins have not been made of metals of any worth and paper money is no longer linked to reserves of gold. As such, money is at best an IOU but almost always has a great debt burden attached to it.

As Ellen Brown beautifully narrates in her book Web Of Debt, The Wizard Of Oz is an allegory of what has unfortunately happened to our money system. The fact that government has lost control of the money system is not the most worrying issue, it is the fact that the masses are blissfully unaware of this and the fact that the media and political class refuse to enable us to have a grown up debate about this. We have previously discussed how government has given commercial banks the power to create money out of thin air on computer screens in relation to loans to private investors. In terms of mortgage debt, the man behind the curtain creates the money for a mortgage out of thin air and then charges the ‘home owner’ for the privilege. And if the worst happens and the loan cannot be repaid, the bank owns the home. In this system, it is surprising that banks can go bankrupt but banks do have to balance their books principally in relation to their transactions with other banks. And hence, the issue of bank bail ins. Given that there is not enough money to go around, individual investors are very likely to lose out whilst other banks will almost always now get paid.

Similarly, government has given away the job of printing money to central banks who then charge interest to the government, and hence the masses, for the privilege. A great deal of what the government collects through taxation is spent on servicing the interest on the debt that money creation by central banking generates. This issue has been something Dr Ron Paul has spent many years attempting to bring to the public’s attention. The combined approach of Dr Paul and Ellen Brown, who is an attorney by training, is fairly simple: reappraise the role of central banks through a transparent and all encompassing audit process and nationalise the banks through a network of public banks. Thus restoring the power of money creation to the people and its government. In lieu of this, by printing money and creating debt, exponentially now, massive inflation and a reset of the money system is inevitable.

Sport: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and Tyson Fury

The good of sport is obvious: it brings people together, gives them a sense of purpose, enables them to escape and unwind and the positives often far outweigh the negatives in terms of health. Professional sport can broadly be considered a twentieth century phenomenon and in the 21st century, the blurring of lines continues between sports, business, celebrity, media and politics.

Sports now permeates the daily lives of most of us. Sport therefore has great potential and great power.

‘Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’

Lord Acton

I doubt any of us would have any difficulty in applying the above to any number of sporting ‘scandals'. Of course, the fundamental causes and ‘facts' associated with the bad and ugly sides of sports we have all seen played out in the media news may be subject to debate. But there is little doubt that, as with the plight of humanity, the same factors are involved: money - debt, inequality, marketing and the manipulation of facts, faulty reasoning and questionable beliefs. Ultimately, most sporting scandals can be traced to money and power, and in this way sport imitates life.

As evidenced by Muhammad Ali, heavyweight boxers may blur the lines between the media manipulation usually required to ‘sell the fight’, and other factors such as celebrity, business, religion and even the plight of humanity. Some might say this is not confined to heavyweight boxing. So the question is, is the new Heavyweight King Tyson Fury the man the media apparently wish us to believe he is or is he doing what few can do - beating the media at their own game?

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