Starting from scratch – how much are we all worth?

Starting from scratch – how much are we all worth?

 

Just imagine if we could start society from scratch and decide on what value different jobs really had?

 

Just imagine if we could rationally produce an evaluation of the worth of each role?

 

Just imagine if we could reward people in line with their abilities, effort and true worth?

 

What salaries would we allocate to:

 

Teachers?

 

Bankers?

 

Entertainers?

 

Nurses?

 

Doctors?

 

Chief executives?

 

Religious leaders?

 

Inventors?

 

Sewage workers?

 

Drivers?

 

Biologists?

 

Artists?

 

Property speculators?

 

Fishermen?

 

Investors?

Police?

 

Soldiers?

 

City traders?

 

Social workers?

 

Physicists?

 

Carers?

 

Entrepreneurs?

 

Shelf stackers?

 

Till operators?

 

Chemists?

 

Politicians?

 

Writers and poets?

 

 

I wonder if we did it fairly if we would end up with the structure we now have?

 

How much is any person worth?

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50 Years since the Moon Landing – Gil Scott Heron – Whitey’s On The Moon

Gil makes some valid points here. There’s always enough money for political projects – like the space race, war or creating billionaires, but there’s never enough to deal with poverty, healthcare, education, or to clean up the ghettos.

We still have racial inequality, soup kitchens, people sleeping under flyovers and innocents being bombed.

Perhaps they should find some money to deal with these things too!

“Whitey On The Moon”

A rat done bit my sister Nell
With Whitey on the moon
Her face and arms began to swell
And Whitey’s on the moonI can’t pay no doctor bills
But Whitey’s on the moon
Ten years from now I’ll be paying still
While Whitey’s on the moon

You know, the man just upped my rent last night
Cause Whitey’s on the moon
No hot water, no toilets, no lights
But Whitey’s on the moon

I wonder why he’s uppin’ me?
Cause Whitey’s on the moon?
Well i was already given him fifty a week
And now Whitey’s on the moon

Taxes takin’ my whole damn check
The junkies make me a nervous wreck
The price of food is goin up
And if all that crap wasn’t enough
A rat done bit my sister Nell
With Whitey on the moon

Her face and arms began to swell
And Whitey’s on the moon

With all that money i made last year
For Whitey on the moon
How come I ain’t got no money here?
Hmm, Whitey’s on the moon

You know I just about had my fill
Of Whitey on the moon
I think I’ll send these doctor bills
airmail special
(To Whitey on the moon)

Dalai Lama – A World Religious leader talking sense!

Dalai Lama – A World Religious leader talking sense!

‘Nowadays, we are confronted by a huge gap between rich and poor. This is not only morally wrong, but practically a mistake. It leads to the rich living in anxiety and the poor living in frustration, which has the potential to lead to more violence. We have to work to reduce this gap. It’s truly unfair that some people should have so much while others go hungry.’ Dalai Lama 2015.

It is this lust for wealth and power that is fuelling nearly all the problems in the world. On one side we have billions living in poverty, starvation and war and on the other we have the superrich with their yachts, mansions, lear jets, limos and servants. Even within the wealthy countries there is an obscene division. The bankers with their millions of pounds bonuses and the food banks.

We have nature being destroyed with deforestation and strip mining as people strive for more wealth. We see everything that moves being slaughtered for food. We have the billions so desperate that they risk their lives to cross continents. We have war and religious fanatics being armed by billionaires.

I think the Dalai Lama was spot on. It is the huge inequality that is fuelling war, poverty and destruction. It is time we sorted out a better world system that is fairer and more equal.

Lessons from life – a few lessons I’ve learnt over the years!

lessons-about-life

  1. There are no short-cuts – trying to cut off the corners always works out harder in the long run.
  2. You can’t cover faults with a coat of paint – the cracks and holes always look worse and it’s even harder to do next time.
  3. If someone is giving something away for nothing there is always a catch – that nice man from Nigeria who wants to give me £12,000,000 if I would only give him my bank details does not really want to give me that money.
  4. If you want to do something badly – just go and do it. There’s always a way.
  5. The things that look easy are really hard. It is just people who have worked hard at learning how to do things make it look easy.
  6. If you want to be good at something you have to work really hard at it.
  7. Failure makes you feel bad but it can be the best thing if it makes you more determined to improve.
  8. Effort and practice make you better. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort and practice.
  9. Having lots of money and possessions does not make you fulfilled. Achieving something special makes you feel fulfilled and that is usually proportional to how hard you’ve had to try.
  10. Most people are good. The people that are not good have a reason. They need lots of love.

That’s it. It’s surprising how long it takes to realise simple things.

When you can anything at the touch of a button everything is devalued.

When you can anything at the touch of a button everything is devalued.

'Look out! He's got a 45!'
‘Look out! He’s got a 45!’

Having access to everything means that nothing has value.

It is very sad.

I am a record collector. I’ve been doing that since I was a child. A lot of my life was spent touring round the second-hand record shops searching for rarities and bargains. There was a thrill to the search and a rush of adrenalin when you made a discovery of a long sought after album.

Along the way you met a lot of interesting people and had a great social interaction. I made some good friends and had some interesting debates.

Now it is a question of browsing on the web, identifying something at a reasonable price and clicking a button. Everything is available and easy to find, it is merely a question of the price you are willing to pay. The fun of the search has gone. The adrenaline rush is no longer part of the deal. There is no social interaction at all.

If someone desires the entire Chess Singles or Trojan output they can find and download them at the flick of a switch. They can be listening to them five minutes later. Where’s the fun?

You do not even need expertise and knowledge. The music is disposable and no longer cherished.

The cherishing of music has been a part of my whole life. I feel it has been cheapened. Having everything available is not necessarily a good thing!

Looters – Leon Rosselson

Leon is the Ken Loach of music. Nobody else puts their finger on the political pulse of how the actions of politicians and the wealthy impact on the poor in anywhere near a degree of effectiveness as Leon. With a rare mixture of humour, pathos and social comment he is constant in his championing of the needy.

Leon is now in his 80s, still gigging every now and again, and is an inspiration to anyone who wants social justice! Nobody comes close!

Why aren’t there others? In this time of desperate need why are there not young people protesting about the gross inequality?? Why aren’t people up in arms at the enforced austerity? Why aren’t they screaming about the greedy bankers and executives who are creaming off the top while the poor suffer!! Why???

As for the looters – well – what’s revered for the rich is damned for the poor!!

According to Leon it’s because they’ve got their football and Strictly Come Dancing and can’t be bothered!!

This album has some brilliant thought-provoking stuff.

Everyone should buy it and start putting up barricades.

The 1950s was probably the Neo-con wet dream! – Long live the Liberal Revolution!!

The 1950s was probably the Neo-con wet dream!

Back in the 1950s society was very rigid, conformist and conservative. The class system was exact and everyone knew their place.

The white male culture reigned. The superiority was intrinsically understood and permeated all culture.

·         Women were second-class citizens with far fewer rights. They were not expected to work, had lower pay if they dared to, and should know their place – which was subservient to their husbands. Their role was to produce and rear children, look after the house – cook, clean and provide for their man.

·         Sex was dirty. Contraception was not available. There was no sex education. Abortion was illegal.

·         Sexually active girls were sluts. Pregnancy made you an outcast. Single parent mothers were branded shameful and could be involuntarily incarcerated in homes or abandoned by their families. Their babies labelled bastards and taken for adoption.

·         There was heavy censorship of all matters sexual – in books, films, paintings and photographs, with draconian penalties for what would nowadays be considered mainstream soft porn.

·         Homosexuality was illegal and heavily penalised with draconian sentences and moral outrage. Homosexuals were hunted down, beaten up, imprisoned and persecuted.

·         Racism was rife. Blacks were considered subhuman, treated abysmally, given menial jobs with low pay, poorly housed and racially abused.

·         Nationalism and patriotism ruled. We were told we were superior because we were British; we ruled the world. We had Empire Day to mark our supremacy over all other races and cultures. We sang Rule Britannia and meant it.

·         The monarch was supreme and the symbol of our superiority. The national anthem was played at the end of the day on TV and at cinemas. We were expected to stand and pay homage.

·         Religion ruled. You dressed up in your Sunday best for church, took your place behind the important ones in the hierarchy and were taught your position. It was the symbol of power and hierarchy.

·         Work. The workplace reflected the hierarchy of the day. The sexism, racism and classism permeated everything though humour, bullying and casual abuse. The pay reflected one’s position in life and status. Each class of society had its uniform and etiquette designed to impress and maintain the divide. Those who moved out of their class were made to feel uncomfortable.

·         Elitism was the order of the day. The class system ruled supreme. The working classes were kept down and exploited. The middle classes assumed an arrogance towards the working class and looked up and respected their betters. They had their lesser clubs (Rotary and Masonic) and knew their place. The elite had their public schools, old boy network, clubs and institutions on a whole other level. They dressed accordingly and played their part in the pageant but behind the charade of pomp, uniforms, hats and medals reality lurked in the form of greed and a lack of restrictions on behaviour. It was all a front. The Bullingdon Boys epitomised the culture.

·         The establishment elite were not subject to the same rules as the hoi polloi. They creamed off the profits and lived a life of luxury with servants, travel, private education, their clubs, sports and parties. They were sexually promiscuous, gave free rein to paedophilia and homosexuality, used drugs and alcohol and covered it all with a thin veneer of propriety. Hypocrisy ruled. This behaviour was covered up. Addictions, brutal behaviour, abuse, pregnancy and criminal behaviour was glossed over and covered up. Nobody wanted a scandal.

·         Abroad the establishment waged numerous wars establishing an Empire across the world, fighting off rivals and subjugating populations. They deployed the army, police and courts to create colonies which they could then exploit, loot and pillage. The spoils from these colonies went straight back into the coffers of the elite. The colonial system, with its Raj, its embassies, courts, governments, cricket and polo, and clubs provided the training ground for the elite. They were trained to be arrogant and superior and made to feel that they deserved their position in life; they were born to rule. Eaton, Harrow, Cambridge and Oxford churned out the next generation of aristocrats. They were destined to take their place as Managing Directors, Chief Executives, Colonels and Brigadiers, Lords, Prime Ministers and rule supreme. They could practice their hypocrisy, live their lavish lives and maintain the status quo.

·         Big business was deployed to make the maximum profit for the shareholders (the establishment elite) without regard to the health, safety or welfare of the workers or regard to the environmental damage.

·         On the home front the media (owned by the wealthy), the courts (run by the wealthy) and the police and army were deployed to maintain order and reinforce the status quo. Working Classes were dealt with harshly, Middle Classes received a slightly better deal – unless their transgressions involved things that might disturb the order, and the upper classes lived by different rules.

·         Taxation was optional for the wealthy with tax loopholes and underhand investments. The tax burden disproportionally fell on the Middle Class and poor.

·         Public institutions – schools, health and social services – were considered a waste of capital which could be better invested for profit. Besides, the elite had no need for these services, they went private, and the poor did as they were told. They were expendable, of little worth, and you did not want them becoming too educated and starting to think and become aware.

·         The media promoted the propaganda and lies that maintained the status quo and convinced the masses that there was no alternative.

·         The system was to all intents and purposes fascist.

Then came the sixties.

Youth culture developed a rebellious attitude.

Overnight deference went out the window.

Satirical TV (such as That Was The Week That Was – and later Monty Python) exposed the hypocrisy, ridiculed the ruling classes, exposed the inequality and highlighted the sex scandals and licentiousness.

The class system, uniforms, cultures, hierarchy and hypocritical double standards were discarded.

The monarchy was derided as irrelevant parasites.

The hypocrisy of the institute of Religion was exposed – the lip-service, the controlling mechanisms – and then the paedophile scandals.

Equality was espoused – racism, sexism and the class structure (with all its privilege) was challenged.

Multiculturalism and equal rights for women was championed. Civil rights groups demanded fairness and equality.

A sexual revolution was happening. Women were allowed to be sexual. There wasn’t the stigma and double standards. Contraception, sex education and abortion were brought in. Homosexuality was decriminalised and Gay Rights established. Censorship was rolled back through court actions such as the Lady Chatterley’s trial.

Environmental groups began challenging the elites plundering of the environment for profit and demanding an end to pollution and destruction.

Colonialism and Empire was exposed and challenged for its racism, violence, war and exploitation.

Anti-war groups challenged the militarisation of the world, the naked greed, the lust for power and the violence used to promote the self-interests of the ruling elite.

Trade Union groups demanded fair pay, greater safety for workers and better conditions.

The establishment elite were under attack.

 

The response of the elite

Now we are being told the liberal agenda is responsible for the moral decay of the country.

Liberalism has undermined social structures.

Racism against immigrants is OK. We are being swamped with terrorists and criminals. They have to be kept out. Walls and strict controls are great.

Christianity is under threat from Islam. We should defend our culture.

Nationalism and patriotism are good. A global perspective is bad. The EU is terrible. Foreigners are the problem.

Equality is nonsense. PC is ridiculous. We should express our racist and sexist views when we want and put these women and races in their place.

Abortion, sex education, contraception, sexuality and porn are evil.

The economy is all that matters – environmental concerns, health and safety and rights are an impediment to its growth. Global Warming, environmental destruction and species extinctions are fake news.

Trade Unions cause trouble.

We have to wage wars to keep us safe from foreign threats. The UN and NATO are useless and a waste of money.

The tabloid press has upped its propaganda against socialism, or any attempt to create a fairer society. It promotes celebrity and supports the gross inequality. We should look up to our betters.

We need censorship to protect our children.

Homosexuality is unnatural.

What we are being told is that we need to get back to the good old days of the 50s where the elite could do as they please, siphon off the cream, and everyone else existed to be exploited and knew their place!!

Well this sixties rebel is not prepared to give up the freedoms and improvements that have been hard-fought over the years.

I stand for a better country and a better world based on equality, tolerance, universality and personal freedom.

Long live the Liberal Revolution!!

I am a man – I am a feminist!

I see no reason why men cannot be feminists. I am not a woman. I am not black. I am not religious. I am not disabled.  But I do possess empathy.

What I stand for is tolerance, freedom and equality. That is simple enough.

That makes me a feminist. I believe that women should be treated equally. That is fair and just. That means equal pay for equal jobs. It means equal employability. It means changing some of the rules to ensure equal participation. It means women in positions of power.

I do not see this as contentious. Women are just as able and intelligent. What has prevented equality has been the structure of society. Women need equality in education and the work-place. In order to achieve that there has to be some changes. The foremost of these appears to me to be child-care. It is about time that governments addressed this area.

In order for women to have an equal opportunity to rise to top level jobs and positions of power there has to be good affordable child-care. As soon as a couple have a family one of them has to take responsibility and time off. This usually falls on the female to the detriment of their career. When the family has grown up it is too late. The damage has been done.

This is a cause worth fighting for.

Time if you please! – a poem of space, time and molecules.

Time if you please!

 

The stars will follow on their course –

Rushing towards infinity.

The galaxies swirl and planets spin

Towards eternity.

 

Atoms whirl and molecules jiggle

As matter is heated and substances wiggle

And we are caught somewhere in the middle.

 

The arc of the sun our only hint

Of the massive speed of space.

The heat of metal searing our flesh

Our impression of atomic pace.

 

Our perception is caught between time,

Trapped between worlds,

As the macro and micro play out their game

And fast and slow unfolds.

 

Opher 25.5.2019

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea that we are stuck between a macrocosm of immense size and speeds and the jiggling around of atoms. We see little of either – yet they are the reality.

As the sun performs its slow arc it is hard to imagine that it is really us spinning at 1000 MPH while both of us are careering along at hundreds of thousands of miles per hour!

When that metal burns us it is the result of the unseen jiggling of atoms.

I feel we are stranded in an unreality.

Is it all just a perception of time?

Laying the seeds of our own demise.

We do not seem to be able to use our intelligence either for the good of ourselves, the species or the rest of life on this planet. Right from the beginning we’ve been a complete disaster.

According to scientists the first sign of humans moving into an area is the extinction of all the megafauna – same on all continents – from giant sloths, giant beavers, giant kangaroos to mastodon, mammoths and a host of others. It was madness. We didn’t just hunt for meat we killed for pleasure. We drove whole herds of mammoth off cliffs where just one or two would have satisfied our needs.
We are a flawed species.

With common sense we would be countering the many dangers that could eradicate us – from virus mutation, asteroid strike, climate change and biodiversity. But no. We prefer to deny away, have wars, huge military expenditure and run everything for profit and power.

When the virus comes, the asteroid hits or we die from our own destruction of nature we might wake up to the realisation that we could have done it differently.

Nature will heal. Maybe some other intelligent species will emerge in the next few million years of evolution? And perhaps that intelligent species will not be so driven by a lust for power, greed, selfishness or the defect of gaining pleasure from inflicting pain, agony and death on others?