Thursday, 15 December 2011

The State of the Union

“The car is on fire, and there's no driver at the wheel
And the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides
And a dark wind blows

The government is corrupt
And we're on so many drugs
With the radio on and the curtains drawn

We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine
And the machine is bleeding to death

The sun has fallen down
And the billboards are all leering
And the flags are all dead at the top of their poles”

Dead Flag Blues’ – Godspeed you Black Emperor!

There is an excellent piece out today on inequality:

Personally I don’t see the 1% or the 0.1% as some form of the illuminati. Such conspiracy theories tend to overestimate the power of conscious intention. Rather these issues are functions of human nature. People want to pull up the ladder and close the door right after they get on board the ship of privilege.

Everyone agrees that social mobility is a good thing, but nobody wants their children to move down the ladder. Parents in the professions are hardly about to start getting their children work experience as taxi drivers and shop assistants.

This is why society needs balance with strong and open institutions and this was how the American political and education system was initially conceived with a trilogy of political institutions to bring checks and balances to the system of exercising political power and open access to education for all. The recent paralysis in US policymaking shows what happens when faith in the system has totally evaporated.

The problem is corruption and regulatory capture across the board by vested interested doing at a microeconomic level what is best for them. However this corruption lives within all of us. If you believe you don’t share this corruption at all you are likely the most corruptible of individuals. It takes an impeccable spirit to resist the impulses of corruption. The corruption has its seed in arrogance and the arrogance of the revolutionary is as great as the arrogance of the incumbent. As can be seen in the various revolutions of the 20th Century those who replaced the previous regimes arguably replaced them with something far worse and more murderous (Khmer Rouge, Stalinism, Maoism).

What is required now is a transcendence of existing arguments and factions towards something greater because at present US politics is a race to the bottom. As my mother would say “two wrongs don’t make a right.” One would do well to remember this when pointing the finger of blame.

The vague OWS objectives reflect the same issue with tired and fractious policies. They know what they don’t want but don’t know what they do want. Across the board we seem to have a society devoid of new ideas and creative impulses. The current system is literally tearing apart the institutions and civilization which has been built over the past few centuries.

One would have to side with Einstein on this one;

“You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.”

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