In the beginning, there was Adam and Eve. Some say. Others say there were homos who gradually became erectus.
Looks like this post is either going to be pretty deep and philosophical or full of puerile innuendos doesn’t it? Well I guess it’s more of the former, but I like to try and throw the odd double entendre & joke in to keep things interesting.
Finally I’m going to use my Sunday morning ramble to explain why I have called this “new” blog of mine “Clearing The Premises”.
Whether you are a creationist or an evolutionist, your version of events has one thing in common with your nemesis…there existed a time when human beings were socially equal.
And whether that time lasted an époque or just a millisecond before Adam looked over to Eve and said “I’m hungry – when’s dinner?” isn’t important, at least for the purposes of this post.
The fact remains the same…from that time of equality, one group of humans asserted themselves by identifying all the necessary stuff like food and the nice shiny stuff like diamonds and making sure they had it before anyone else.
To put it another way, that group of humans “established” themselves as the dominant force. This is why my favourite word to describe the rich today is “establishment”.
You probably think I’m painting a simple picture of the rich as a some kind of “evil empire”. Think again.
I’m not saying that when some people established themselves it was out of some kind of demonic intent. I think it was because what they did falls under the heading of what we call “human nature”. It’s there, I want it, I’d better get it before someone else does. And once I have it, I’d better make sure nobody takes it. It’s not a nice way of looking at it, but it certainly is an understandable one.
And so mankind evolved socially over the centuries with a clear partition between those who had and those who had not, and of all the things which divide us as a species, this is the most fundamental as far as I’m concerned. Not countries, not races, not genders, not sexuality…none of that matters more than the basic distribution of wealth and resources on this planet among the humans inhabiting it.
Which brings us to the way we are governed. Most countries have some kind of “democracy”, which means for the most part people who want to be part of that process have to first align themselves to a group of like-minded people. And so we have the realm of “politics”, which I roughly define as “the argument over who does a job which gets in the way of the job being done”.
As with many complicated things, we do our best to break them down to their most basic principles and so when it comes to politics, we have the terms “left” and “right” to distinguish between the two “ends” of the political spectrum.
I completely, totally, utterly, reject this labelling of left and right because in my view it is based on a premise which is flimsy at best.
The group of people we call the “establishment” have gone to great lengths over the years to conserve the status quo they went to great lengths to, well, establish. This is why we also call them “conservatives”. Most of these lengths involve buying off people to protect them, but another way has been to seize control of the debate over government.
By entrenching themselves behind a political movement, and by using the almost unlimited resources at their disposal, the establishment have been able to create this illusion of “left” and “right” as the only two points on the political spectrum.
For me, the reality is that political thought cannot be represented by a straight line. It is better served by a three-dimensional space, let’s say a “universe”, of opinion.
And what we call “conservatism” is like a single planet in that universe. Sure, it is one with a very strong gravitational pull, because with it’s single-minded outlook on life with a (mostly simplistic and/or unfounded) answer offered for more or less every question, there are many who are willing to go there without having to look out to the rest of the vast expanse of the universe and having to decide on where to land.
The conservative planet is not an entirely bad place – but all I am saying is that before we can progress as a society we must first see things as they are rather than how we we have been taught to perceive them.
For whatever way they want to spin the argument, or however many “poor” people the rich want to buy over to their “side”, the fact remains that the “establishment” represents a tiny minority of the human beings on this planet. The “Occupy Wall Street” movement was considered a failure, and in many ways it was, but it did bring forward the notion of the “1%”, which is one of the most powerful ways of depicting the establishment in recent times. The actual figure may not be accurate, but the gist of the proportions is certainly spot-on.
So given that the actual people fully represented by the conservative movement are a small amount of the human race, why do we afford them as much as HALF of the space on the political spectrum by labelling them as the “right”?
It is a premise entirely without grounds.
All the things we need to be discussing…whether it is health, education, or anything to do with government, needs to be just that – DISCUSSED. With all points taken into consideration. But while we try to have that discussion, we have the conservative movement hijacking it and making sure that whatever is being discussed, the “interests” of big business are put to the fore.
Yes, I know that last sentence makes it look like I am “anti-business”. In fact, that is probably exactly what a typical conservative reader would point out, even though that is not what I said.
And by labelling me with all the names the conservative movement have used over the years for those who don’t agree with them – “liberal”, “leftie”, “tree-hugger”, “socialist” – they further entrench themselves in this perception that they occupy half the space in the overall argument.
All I want to do with this blog is to claim that space back and put them in their place.
For the true division between those who accept the establishment and those who seek equality-based reform cannot be represented by “left” and “right”. Or even by “us” and “them”.
The society I want to live in is one where everyone has a place and is welcome before we know ANYTHING about them. Yes, even those I call “pro-establishment” belong as much as anyone else.
And what I want to do with this blog every Sunday morning is explore the stuff that is put out there to distort that reality. Or to put it another way, I want to clear the premises.
One last thing – no matter how accurate it may be, “establishment” really is a clunky, non-sexy way to describe the conservative movement, and although “1%” is brilliant it had the shine taken off it by the failings of OWS. Which is why I am eternally grateful to Dewey Finn in School of Rock – he may not have been the first to coin “the man” but he certainly did give it life.
Hopefully I’ll see you back here on future Sundays when I will stick it to the man some more. JLP