Friday, June 22, 2007

Ramblings of a fool

Well, yesterday was the summer solstice. The summer solstice is basically the longest day of the year, so that to me suggests it is now midsummer. So, from that data, if we make a few calculations, we arrive to the conclusion that it should be SUNNY! So, given this irrefutable logic, why the fuck is it still cloudy and raining? Yeah yeah, global warming, climate change etc, ok. But all the global warming experts have been gloomily predicting that this will be one of the hottest summers ever! So what gives? Ok, so it rained 2 weeks worth in 2 mins the other day, which is vaguely extreme, but overall the weather has just typically english, i.e. a bit shit. Not shit enough to make you go "wow", just shit enough to make you go "yuk". Ok, moan over. :)

On a brighter note, Tony Blair becomes mortal again round about now. Stripped of his super powers, it is only a matter of time before someone bottles him outside a busy nightclub. Luckily he'll still have private healthcare. Phew! So now Gordon Brown will take power, sweep aside all of the neo-con policies put in place by Blair and lead us into a new era of government that puts people ahead of big business, ultimately creating a.... Oh, hang on, this just in... Brown wants to involve big business in almost every aspect of the running of the country.. Hmm, that doesn't sound like a good idea... So how exactly does Brown differ from Blair? Well, he doesn't smile much, which is a relief. He attempts to catch flies in between sentences by opening his mouth. But like Tony he sounds like he means business. Big business.

But why is that bad? Sounds like a good idea, get businesses involved with running schools, the NHS etc... they can provide more money than the government has, and they'll do it all out of the kindness of their hearts! I guess. Actually no, they'll do everything in their power to make as much profit out of the situation as possible, even if that means patients without doctors, kids without teachers, whatever. They can't help it. It's called the bottom line, and it underpins all large scale corporate business. Shareholders demand profit, you deliver it, end of story. And the beauty of it is, no one has to feel guilty about unethical behaviour, as the corporation exists as an individual in it's own right and can therefore take the rap. It can't go to jail, obviously, as it is just an abstract concept. But it can pay a fine! Mr corporation, you have been found guilty of killing 3000 workers in a chemical explosion in northern India, you are hereby fined $2 million. Ouch! That's gotta hurt! Obviously not quite as much as the indian workers watching their skin burn off in the chemical fire, but it still must smart slightly. Well, not really, no. It's just numbers. They still made more profit in a year than the annual budget of most small countries, so what's a couple of mil? Ya get me?

Did you know that of the 100 richest economies in the world, 51 are Corporations, 49 are countries? So who really holds the power on this planet? I know I dont. Gordon Brown certainly doesn't, or at least chooses not to. All these so called leaders are puppets trying to please big business. Of course there are many levels to decision making, and there are of course still many government workers dilligently running the country and making sure the people's basic needs are met. But for me that's beside the point. The question I always want to ask is: What's the goal? Is it progress, or happiness? If it's "progress", which basically means economic progress of the nation's economy, then I guess we're doing ok. But I don't live in "Britain", I live in "The Universe", and I can't possibly claim any kind of progress for one group of people when it comes at the expense of others.

I've been thinking about money, progress etc lately, and I came up with these ideas. Maybe they are obvious to someone who knows, or maybe they are patently flawed. Please feel free to enlighten me! So I was thinking, what is money? Obviously it doesn't really exist except in a very abstract way. Yes, apparantly there are large piles of gold in bank vaults somewhere, but I've never seen them. So really, money, or wealth, comes down to two main things, the natural resources of this planet, and human labour, which transforms those resources into products, which we consume and trade. Almost everything we produce is perishable, i.e. it doesn't last very long, meaning that we have to produce more. This is very useful for sustaining economies, but pretty shit for sustaining life on this planet. When this process is in full swing, we call it progress. We hand over power to large cororations, who promise us happiness and luxury, only to find that we have given up control over our own lives. Whole populations of people are shunted from place to place to provide the labour for this eternal march of progress, their lives purely incidental in the grand scheme of things. Until finally, one day, we arrive at that fantastic place. The ultimate destination. The goal. Which is.... ummm... what was it again? Oh dear, we forgot, the goal was actually supposed to be happiness, and instead all we did was turn our planet into an uninhabitable rock, devoid of life, ravaged by super storms and covered in warring factions of overly developed apes. Whoops!

So anyway, the solution to me seems pretty self evident. We are part of this planet just as much as a frog or a pebble, and as such we need to find a way to fit into it's rather beautifully orchestrated scheme. It's not a resource to be fought over and eventually exhausted, it's a part of us. Without it we are nothing. So lets get over this frantic race for progress, and concentrate on creating a sustainable world community in which ownership of the planet is considered illogical. What's one of the first things you try to teach a child? To share!

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