- Politics and Social Issues
On Failed Systems and Chaos
My first blog on Hub-pages was called “Shine On”. Hardly anyone read it when I posted it and it received no comments so several months ago when I went on a clean-up mode of my blogs, I removed that one too. I wrote it because I saw much change in our future. That was two years ago. I wrote then, that:
“When that feeling of … “I have nothing to lose” settles in, people will force the status-quo to change. Are we close to such a time? I do not know … but I do see people living in tents all over the United States; they seem to be catching up slowly to the Palestinians living in refugee camps in Lebanon, in terms of living conditions. There is a general distrust in governments around the world. The consolidation of wealth and power by a low percentage of the world’s population is also becoming more visible and unacceptable by a wide majority who are living on food stamps.”
Two years ago, the Middle East and Africa were calm. Well, not calm but as calm as they could be considering the circumstances. The Middle East and Africa are now on the move. Europe, two years ago was a little noisy indeed but now people have gone to the streets from Romania to Greece, to Italy, to France and to Great Britain. There is social uncertainty and discontent all over Asia as well. In North America: Mexico is in chaos, the United States is following Mexico’s case, while as Canadians we think that we are nice people and so there is nothing to worry about here.
The riots in Great Britain were foreseeable: this is just the beginning (or a continuation). The Prime Minister, David Cameron made me laugh today (beside other things, like writing this blog), he’s a funny man. While talking to the press about the riots, he said that: “It’s not about poverty, it’s about culture.” I would like to call him a donkey because he saw no connection between culture and poverty. If you live(d) in slums all your life; if you cannot afford to go to school or learn about things in any significant way, or if you have very little opportunity for self-growth, what sort of culture would you acquire? How would you act or re-act?
I know many parents who have to work long hours to make ends meet and they do not have much time to spend with their kids. Teenagers run loose for many reasons. I know I did, for at least two years straight. It is not because my parents have/had no culture, in fact both of them went to university and became engineers but because my mother got sick with cancer and spend most of her last years in the hospital; my father was either there, at work or sleeping at home. Thus, I was on my own. I did not light any cars or buildings on fire but I did many other things just as bad or maybe even worse.
Our social system is set-up in a self-destructive manner, in my opinion. I had many conversations, with many people on this topic. From reading my pieces of writing posted, one can easily see my frustration with the lack of involvement on the part of many people, in general: voting, community work, etc. I have written several blogs that drill on that issue and I have been quite harsh with my words, perhaps too harsh in some cases.
There are indeed reasons why many people cannot be involved in the world around them, or even be around for their family. I had a heated discussion on several occasions about this and not long ago, I was told that: “If someone chooses not to be involved in the outer world because it takes everything they have to raise their own family, they are not scum!”
I agree in the end and that was a great point. I am not happy about it but I agree. Many people just simply do not have the energy needed to sit and philosophize, or even have the time to go to the park with their children. The outcome though is this: the streets of Manchester and Tottenham on fire, bankers robbing the common man at every turn and distrust amongst all of us reigns. Yes, like David Cameron said, it has to do with culture, behavior, ethics, etc. All those things though, come when one is fed and can think clearly; when one is not drowning in debt and worries: when one is living above the standard of poverty.
The tension is growing. I am no longer saying anything about people being involved or not involved: we all have our own paths, duties, responsibilities and so on. The person who made me understand why not everyone can always be involved in the world around them also presented the problem most clearly by saying that:
"… It's been my experience that no matter who forms the government, nothing ever really changes. We can change our leaders like bed-sheets, and still it is the same. Why is that? Because the real power is held by a long established oligarchy and governments are made up of men who can be corrupted, influenced, or who are just plain too stupid to see -- in which case they don't last long.”
The above problem must get solved, in order to have some sort of functioning societies. Otherwise, we can keep going through rioting, cleaning-up after doing so and beating a little on each other in the process every so often. I do not have a solution except to say that people have to start thinking about our connection to each other and the world around us. Greed and selfishness are counter-productive at this point. Doing something for others might help if that is a possibility ... even a smile can help sometimes and that doesn't cost much of anything.
For now people have austerity measures to look forward to and that in my opinion will only increase the problem as funding is taken away from building infrastructure and from social development. It is as if the world has forgotten what happened when Argentina followed-up with the requests of the IMF a little over a decade ago. The economy completely collapsed. Taking funding away from social welfare is like pouring gasoline on a fire in order to put it out. I am not sure how our "leaders" come to the decisions they do ... it boggles my mind.
I remained frozen at some of David Cameron's words earlier: “There are pockets of our society that are not only broken, but frankly sick it is a complete lack of responsibility in parts of our society, people allowed to feel that the world owes them something.” This comment is infuriating. I guess I'm sick too, send the police over to cure me.
Trace Adkins put it best on an interview last night describing the social situation in the United States and I think this is true all over the world: "... We're talking past each other." Indeed listening to each other might help. Or we could go back to tribalism, that is always an option ... it might do us good: start over again.