Democracy can at best be considered a work in progress, at any time in the last few thousand years. The hijacking of representative government by bizarre concepts coupled with corruption has added elements which are about as anti- democratic as possible.
The West has gone from a great working series of ideas into a dunghill of failure, brought on by dismal thinking and inferior, bean counting intellects. Western thinking isn't done by Aristotle any more, it's done by people with cheek pouches and no vocabularies. The "news", any day of the week, is a recital of the failures of societies. Big ideas have been replaced by jingles calling themselves concepts. There’s a long list of concepts involved, and all of them have effectively trashed the basics of democracy, in terms of entitlements to fundamental human rights:
The Nanny State- Top of the list for a good reason, the Nanny State has been used to remove rights from the public on a gigantic scale. People still pay taxes, but are expected to support freeloading corporations and extremely affluent privileged groups with public money. The Nanny State refers to governments providing services for the public in any form. The huge drop in services for taxpayers, funded by taxpayers, has been ongoing for decades.
The Welfare State- An idea based on the theory that people want to be poor and can somehow live like kings on the pitiful insults handed out as welfare payments. People on welfare are financial spectators, watching what money they have fly by.
User Pays- This is an accounting concept, not an economic principle, and the result has been “loser pays”, with consumers paying for market inefficiencies. This concept has done nothing but raise prices without delivering cost benefits. User Pays has always been a synonym for “bad deals and lots of them”.
Things like utility bills have become major hits simply because utilities are passing on their costs and aren’t required to be economically efficient. Competition is nominal in these areas, with prices always within predictable bandwidths.
Running organizations that aren’t businesses like they're businesses- A great formula for replacing working systems providing useful services with systems that don’t work at all, and cost billions to fail to deliver.
The Free Market- The people that gave us the 1929, 1960s, 1980s and 2007 crashes are doing fine, thanks for asking, and their inviolability is backed by politicians of all shades around the world. The next crash is inevitable, it's just a matter of when it happens. Governments are universally tied to the “Free” market and its stunning, management-science supported incompetence.
Libertarianism- What was once a noble ideal is now a sewer of innuendo from infection by deformed, misanthropic ideologies which have lost contact with real life. From deep meaning and sincerity to a meaningless parade of mediocre nobodies using teleprompters to recite pabulum has been a mere step.
“At will” employment- The divine right of employers, coupled with perhaps the most bizarre form of class distinction between management and the people who actually earn the money for business. I’ve lost count of the number of abuses of employment rights, all illegal, that I’ve seen in the US. Each type of abuse is based on putting employees under pressure, and has absolutely nothing to do with profitability or other legitimate business concerns. I’ve actually seen identical schemes for employee discomfiture in different states, from different employers.
Lobbyists- The antithesis of democratic representation of the public, lobbyists represent everyone and everything but the public, at the expense of the public, and to the cost of the public.
Partisan politics- Largely responsible for the castration of American politics, and entirely responsible for the endless, totally unproductive inability to get anything done quickly in Washington, this is mismanagement incarnate. All Western countries have versions of this pointless mechanism. Meaningless, useless debates “on principle” prevent action on the ground. It’s as simple as that, and as utterly inefficient as that.
The Hate Industry- Sales of hate-based materials are now a billion dollar business, globally. Every entrenched prejudice is now a commodity. This is anti-democracy in practice, removing the rights of citizens on any pretext. Many American and other Western politicians are directly affiliated with hate groups. The "Illuminati" aka Illuminazis, could also be described as a hate group, if they weren't so staggeringly pretentious.
The Education Racket- The 21st century needs qualified people. The reaction by maladministrators the world over has been to make education as costly and inaccessible as possible. The almost endless skills shortages, combined with an employment market firmly stuck in the 1980s, have done the rest in social terms.
Health policies- Accountants aren’t doctors. They’re also not nurses, epidemiologists, or even well informed laymen, and in some cases they’re not even aware of the fact that good health services prevent major social disasters like TB epidemics, etc, etc. However, the health sector is now largely run by corporate accountants, and they’re also writing the fiscal policies which back up the health services.
Pharmaceuticals- The huge increases in the cost of medication, in any other industry, would be called “money laundering”. The claims of incredible costs of research tend to overlook the fact that medical researchers don’t cost their research programs by picking numbers out of thin air. If it wasn’t for generic medication, there’d be no access at all to very necessary medicines.
Quality of life- Another basic idea destroyed by political thinking, that famous contradiction in terms. This was a concept which was front and centre in the boom days of the postwar years, and the heart and soul of the early idealism of the social justice side of politics. Even the mention of this concept is now so rare that it’s as common as winning a lottery in any form of media. The subject has been relegated to history books by political scientists and other Expediency R Us practitioners.
Housing- The West has gone from postwar family homes to ridiculously overpriced designer chicken coops and their related obsolete infrastructure. Thanks to the sort of thinking which has turned practically all aspects of life into expensive and nasty exercises, and architects who should know better have come up with things like the “18 cubic metre living space”, roughly the size of a somewhat deluded closet as an actual working model of living space.
Moron Media- From the evolutionarily backward livers of alcoholic frat brats has come “normality” as portrayed by media. Any boring, loud-mouthed subhuman geek can be a role model. Everything is OK to these rich peasants, from glorifying crime to abusing the poor and calling it libertarianism, which it isn’t and never will be. This is media for people with the intellects of insect genitalia, and it’s also the norm for lifestyle choices. Result, a global society predicated on the tacky little mindsets of the multi-generationally incestuous, hick suburban slum-fornicating ancestries of people who barely qualify as scum.
The Old Economy- When TV first came onstream, nobody writing comedies ever believed the Sitcom Lifestyle would be taken seriously. Nobody thought that they were creating role models for the future. The mindset, however, is now entrenched to the point that the totally obsolete economics and infrastructure are the frame for a society which doesn’t actually exist any more, but enforces its physical demands. Incredibly expensive, cost-creating office jobs and massive urban wastelands are still the norm. The stage has become the reality, and the reality is now trying to find an exit that wasn’t built in to the stage. Shakespeare was wrong, “entrances and exits” no longer exist.
The new generations think this slum-dwelling, illiterate, brain dead lack of social vision is normal. They’re impressed by formula concepts and driven by ideas which aren’t even their own. They’ve never experienced the quality of life of the past, so the nitpicking, bitchy, substandard vision of the present is the default result, defined by a screen. There’s therefore no demand from the public for any improvements of any kind. It’s a paradise for the useless, no-brain political policymakers and their equally Neanderthal rhetoric.
There were once visions of the future which involved massive improvements to quality of life, leisure and the pursuit of something other than a job one hates in a coast to coast crime scene. There were once people able to deliver meaningful, cost-effective improvements to human life. People could see defects in their living conditions and the societies in which they were living.
The current situation is that more effort is going into creating social problems than preventing them or solving them. Billions are spent, hourly, enforcing the circumstances that create social dysfunction. The only way out is to get out of the mindset. The current concepts of “life” are so limiting that they’re practically coffins. The good news is that a world which could go from paper to a totally different technology in 20 years can also break the mold, if it ever develops the intelligence to realize the need.
Slums can be bulldozed, ridiculously expensive ways of doing business can be changed, and mental blindfolds can be removed. As usual, it’s just a matter of doing it, not talking about it.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com