I find the world we live in to be an increasingly frustrating place. Here in the West we pat ourselves on the back and congratulate ourselves for our strong democratic traditions. Democracy relies on a popular mandate for a given political party to rule for a limited period of time before the populace has the opportunity to rid itself of its chosen political masters. In theory this is all very well, but problems emerge when the main political parties become wedded to the same aims and represent the interests of the same groups within society. A vote for one party seems no more helpful to everyone else than a vote for the other.
American politics has been like this for quite some time, resulting in a disenfranchisement of a political stake for a substantial portion of the population, who, if given the choice, would mark their ballot papers 'None of the Above'. As with all things, this trend has shifted across the Atlantic and has created a beach-head in the U.K. before presumably moving on to take over the main prize that is the E.U.
Democracy is evolving into Globalisation and the emergence of a New World Order. I used to think of the NWO as being a centre-right coalition of multi-national corporate interests, land-owners, Establishment figures and a moderate sprinkling of like-minded politicians. Now I wonder whether the centre of gravity of this nebulous group that holds power in the West has shifted further to the right. The erroneously-named 'War on Terror' has added an Orwellian dimension to world power that seems to completely defy popular dissent. But the world is changing fast and America needs to control the limited resources left. It needs a cover to operate behind, and the stirred-up fear of the masses is the key to the success of the global control of energy and resources. This smoke-screen is the thinnest of veils.
My opinion is that there is not a damn thing we can do about any of it.
So I would like to project some thoughts to you about the things we do all have control over, the things that count in our lives. Because somewhere along the line we have not inherited the freedoms and liberties the previous generations fought and died to provide us with. Somehow, we have allowed things to slip.
And the clock is turning backwards.
In our cynical and opaque world, we are told that black is white and white is black. We believe it. It affects how we choose to live, and it affects how we perceive the choices that we have. We are now bred to be consumers rather than citizens, and we are managed rather than governed. But we can still change our own lives, even if we can no longer influence the direction the world is heading in.
So here are my recommendations for a happier life full of liberty and self-fulfilment for you and your family:
Life Choices to Change Your World
Stop Watching Television!
Turn up to the cinema late to miss the adverts.
Listen to non-commercial radio.
Read books, rather than magazines stuffed with adverts.
Think for yourself.
Eliminate personal debt!
Buy a house that's cheaper than what you can afford.
Reject the consumption of non-essential goods.
Pay off your mortgage as fast as possible.
Do not succumb to the temptation to move up, but eliminate debt.
Once you have no debt, accrue capital.
Build up a portfolio of investments that is 90% safe, 10% speculative.
Spend time with your family.
Pursue your interests.
Join a Union.
Eat and Drink Well!
Go Organic as far as possible.
Buy local produce and support Fair trade.
Avoid Domestic Chemicals.
Give up Tobacco Addiction.
Drink less Alcohol.
Sell your 4x4
Take the bus.
Society will not come through for you.
You will not be the C.E.O. one day.
Get a good pension.
Work only for a company with a final-salary scheme.
Consume less now; save for later.
Don't Trust the Bastards!
The Rich will inherit the Earth.
They have rigged the whole show.
Victorian Values are coming soon to a town near you.
The Next Generation will have it harder than us.
Save for your kids.
© Andy Lloyd, July 2004
Read this: 'Willing Slaves: How the overwork Culture is Ruling Our Lives' by Madeleine Bunting
This book is excellent; detailing how we have all been suckered into accepting an unacceptable level of overwork in the name of competitiveness. Yet this malignant corporate culture is leading directly to the disintegration of families and the essential social fabric that underpins the market economy. If you're stressed at work this book will make your blood boil!
Recommended Political Reading by America's Greatest Dissidents
Michael Moore was, until just a few years ago, better known in the U.K. for his 'TV Nation' than he was in the U.S. It was a terrific programme, stirring up dissent about Corporate injustices and excesses while the rest of the Media was asleep to the emergence of Neo-Conservatism in the U.S. 'TV Nation' also introduced Louis Theroux, who continued with his idiosyncratically understated digs at the bizarre lifestyles of various Americans by going on to tackle various celebrities. Michael Moore has since become an household name with his Oscar-winning documentaries and his cutting, popular books aimed at debunking Republican Neo-Conservatism. He has been subject to censorship in the U.S. Media and publishing world.
Noam Chomsky is an American academic who came to prominence with his arguments for Nativism in the nature vs nurture debate. He is a frank and prolific writer, and one of America's true left-wing dissidents.
My favourite writer, Gore Vidal lives in Ravello, a beautiful village on the sea-cliffs south of Sorrento, southern Italy. He hails from the same family as Al Gore, and his political background has enabled him to write wonderful books detailing life behind the scenes in Washington D.C. He also writes magnificent essays, and is a sharp critic of America's one-eyed political mentality.
Despite massive sales abroad, Gore Vidal's 'Perpetual War for Perpetual peace' initially failed to find a U.S. Publisher, highlighting the burgeoning American censorship of critical political writing. When it was eventually published in the U.S. it sold in excess of 100,000 copies.
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Since 18th August 2004