Populism, Conspiracy theories and Antivaccers – Debate

I think the whole movement of anti-science, anti-experts and anti-vaccination is a nonsense.

This all started in America with a bunch of religious nuts who refused to believe anything in science from evolution to the Big Bang.

Then it was fuelled by all of that conspiracy garbage – we never landed on the moon, the holocaust didn’t happen, the CIA blew up the twin towers. The list goes on. When we had the flat earth society we used to think it was a bit of fun but there are millions of Americans who actually believe that stuff.

The Populists have been exploiting all this in their mad divide and rule. They’ve been feeding it. First they were pumping out all this undermining of government establishment and big brother scare – drain the swamp – and that all the media pumps out fake news (they are the only ones who can be believed) and that experts always get it wrong, so their is no global warming, no overpopulation, no species diversity problem (so they can continue to pollute and chop down trees to make more money). The irony is that these populist dorks are  the Big Business establishment that they were warning everyone about. Talk about irony.

The end result is that nobody trusts government, they think all politicians are lying, cheating, greedy bastards – in it for themselves (some are) and we do not trust any expert or scientist – which is plain daft (the average person has limited knowledge – as can be seen with Trump advocating taking useless dangerous drugs, injecting disinfectant and using UV inside your body to kill the virus – nuts).

I have a cynicism of politics and always keep an eye on how the Big Companies use science but experts know more than me on subjects, I don’t think the earth is flat and I think we evolved and weren’t created.

I think Big Business is using politics, the media is a propaganda machine and the establishment rules. But we do have to keep things in proportion. I don’t think the government is trying to micromanage us or follow our every move. It’s not Big Brother. The establishment is people like Trump.

What do you think???

Martin Luther King speech on the American Dream in 1961

One cannot help but compare the quality of a speech such as this with the mean-minded tweets of Donald Trump.

this is a man talking about inclusivity, not division. This is a man oozing with compassion, tolerance and healing. It speaks to all people – not just focussing on a narrow base.

Where are the leaders of today who could match this? I don’t hear them.

The Future?? – More of the same or a better course??

Now that Covid 19 has provided a respite from normality and given us the opportunity to look at the future it is time to reassess what sort of world we really want.

We are at the start of a huge change. When A/I really gets into its swing there will be less need for a workforce. All the jobs, skilled and unskilled, will be automated. Productivity will increase. Profits will increase. There will be less work.

We can go on the same or we can change.

If we go on the same the wealth will be accumulated into fewer and fewer pockets, the world will run out of resources, nature will be wrecked, there will be pollution, global warming, mass migrations, wars, gross inequality, mass poverty, violence, protests, extremism (religious and political) and a wealthy elite who live in a bubble outside of this nightmare.

If we change we can share the wealth, create a more equal world, value nature, reduce our population and no longer suffer from wars, pollution, racism and inequality.

I reckon we have a stark choice.

Put America First and Buy British!

My heart always sinks when I hear these kind of phrases. They are glib, jingoistic and disguise all the real problems behind a mask of nationalistic fervour.

Put America First!

Buy British!

Just political tools used to gain votes.

There are many forces at work to undermine our economies and create joblessness. It is these underlying problems that require fixing. Unfortunately these problems are big and fixing them is not easy, neither do they show results in one or even two terms of office (where China, with its long-term thinking and strategy benefits).

As I see it there are three main problems:

  1. Outsourcing – companies moving abroad or procuring products at cheaper prices from abroad.
  2. Automation and A/I – where machines and robots take on the work of the workforce and displace them.
  3. Old technology that has been superseded by new industries.

Much of the developed world’s manufacturing industry has moved to the developing world where labour is cheap and overheads are much less. It is easier to build/make/produce goods there and ship it, rather than produce it at home.

Increased automation and A/I mean that machines and computers can do the work of many people far more cheaply and efficiently. They displace the workforce. Why use navies with pickaxes and shovels to mine, make roads or dig tunnels when a machine does it in a fraction of time, much cheaper? Why have a receptionist answer a phone when a machine can and you don’t have to pay it? Why drive a truck when a robot can do it cheaper and safer? Increasingly automation and A/I is taking over – stacking shelves, cleaning, even performing operations, flying planes and driving.

Old polluting industries like coal, steel and oil are no longer needed in the modern world. We can use substitutes for steel and machines that run on clean energy.

So the old mills, pits and refineries are shutting down. The new technologies are highly efficient and require few people. The developing world is where we have outsourced our pollution and from where we receive our cheap goods.

Instead of jingoistic slogans – like Make America Great Again we need to deal with the underlying issues.

  1. Raise the standards of the industries in the developing world so that they meet basic health, safety and environmental standards and workers have comparable conditions and pay. Then there will not be the need to outsource!
  2. Find a better way of distributing wealth – increased salaries, shorter working weeks – so that the greater efficiency created by automation and A/I does not merely get funnelled into the pockets of the owners – the elite.
  3. Redeploy people into caring industries and the new technologies with suitable retraining.

We do not have to have a mass of displaced, deprived and desperate people.

That is our choice.

It is the result of the system we have put in place.

We can create a prosperous and responsible world for everyone. We do not need jingoistic, nationalistic slogan. We need to tackle the underlying issues!

Our planet needs protecting! All people are important (not just Americans or British)! The world is interconnected! What happens in India, the Philippines, Africa or China  affects all of us!

The world is small. We cannot afford to waste resources, outsource our pollution, or raise ourselves up at the expense of others (and the environment).

We need to work together!

Despite all the propaganda neither Americans nor British people are worth more than anybody else.

Chuck out the slogans and simplistic nationalism!! Time for a better world for all of us (and nature)!!

The end of Laissez-Faire Capitalism???

Is the Corvid 19 virus putting the final nail in the coffin of laissez-faire capitalism?

As the USA implodes under poor leadership with an economy in tatters, spiralling unemployment, unrest, division and a death-rate that is going berserk, China is quietly preparing to take over as the preeminent power in the world.

While the USA shows no sign of gaining control over the virus China is already getting back to normal.

The cards have long been on the table. Indeed one has to ask how America has maintained its position for so long given the poor education of its general population, the level of superstition, ignorance, racism and violence. It always has been a divided nation. It is becoming more so – encouraged by its own leadership.

The USA is the wealthiest country in the world but you wouldn’t know it when walking through many of its cities. Ghettos of squalor, homelessness and lack of opportunity, rampant racism and crime, gangs, drugs, murder and lawlessness with millions lacking even basic medical care or any safety net.

Laissez-faire capitalism has developed a selfishness and greed that is eating itself. It has created massive inequality. Those that ‘have’ believe they deserve it, while those who ‘have nothing’ deserve to be in the mess they are in. Yet it is obvious that race, privilege and opportunity play their part. The working class, deprived of good education and opportunity, are fed religion, patriotism and the American Dream. The ethic of hard work accrues wealth for the few but does not deliver to the many.

Big Business controls the elections and ensures only candidates supporting the elite can become elected. The propaganda machine feeds out its scare stories – fear of immigrants, fear of terrorists, fear of communism or socialism, fear of minorities. They even convince people that a multibillionaire represents blue-collar workers.

Meanwhile the Wild West ethic still persists as American arm themselves with semiautomatics and walk around intimidating officials and pretending that they are keeping the government in check and could actually take it on if they wanted, a delusion that is widespread. They believe this selfish, me first attitude is freedom. If it is, it is born of paranoia and fear that is more claustrophobic than any prison.

As the world of conspiracy theories devour science and knowledge, undermining the fabric of society and civilisation and replacing it with tribalism, politicians cynically use it for their own ends regardless of outcomes.

The Corona Virus has exposed the worst of this society:

  • Inept leadership
  • Lack of discipline
  • Gross ignorance
  • Blind patriotism
  • Gross inequality
  • Lack of safety nets
  • Lack of health care
  • Belief in religion
  • Belief in conspiracies
  • Gullibility
  • Racism
  • Xenophobia
  • Selfishness
  • Greed
  • Lack of civilised cohesion

Now, under the weight of Covid the system is imploding. Without proper safety nets the desperate are looking for scapegoats. God and country have let them down.

Is it a socialist plot? A hoax? A democratic party ploy? A Chinese weapon?

No. It is the result of the capitalist system that has deprived the majority of the opportunities and education they deserved while lavishing untold wealth on a tiny elite. A system that puts in place poor leaders.

Instead of using wealth to create a fair society whose prosperity is shared by all it has deprived its masses and greedily funnelled the wealth to the top.

Americans has been conditioned to believe that this is the American way, the way that has made the USA the number one power.

Perhaps it is time for a rethink as America is superseded by a power that has been planning and laying down the foundations for world domination for a very long time.

I’m not saying this is good. China, with its propaganda machine, ruthless control, lack of respect for the environment and disdain of human rights is hardly my vision for the future.

As a UK citizen I feel let down. America could have been a beacon of freedom and prosperity. Unfortunately it has not used its power and wealth wisely, and certainly not for the benefit of its own citizens. It has fostered wars, interfered with politics across the globe, kept its own population ignorant and squandered its opportunities.

So while Trump tries to blame China and the WHO for his own stupidity and ineptitude the Covid virus continues to wreak havoc and expose the underlying belly of capitalism.

Are we going to enter into a new age of Compassionate Socialism? Or are we going to find ourselves increasingly controlled by the totalitarianism of China?

My hope is for the former; my fears are for the latter.

Whichever – I think we are seeing the death-throes of Laissez-faire capitalism – and good riddance too!

9/11 Tiles for America – Hope and Love out of barbarity.

While walking around New York in 2010 we went to Ground Zero. The scene of that senseless terrorist attack that has unleashed so much misery all over the world.

We stumbled across this fence adorned with tiles. People could create their own tile to say something about 9/11 and the loss they felt.

I was stuck by the outpouring of love, hope and positivity. People can be so compassionate!!

What should we instill into our children?

For me there is a very fine line between instilling values and indoctrination.

Personally I think that we should be instilling values such as cynicism, respect, tolerance, empathy, respect, responsibility, fairness, justice, compassion, awe and wonder, creativity and love of nature.

For me instilling things such as religion, patriotism and political views is indoctrination.

Those are things that children should come to think about when they are old enough to weigh up the evidence, think and decide for themselves.

What do you think?

More Thoughts on the Statue of Liberty.

So who are those huddled masses that the USA took in? The refugees from Europe. The ones who were at the bottom of the heap, who could barely survive in the overcrowded cities of Europe; who were looking for space and opportunities.

Perhaps the ancestors of many of those now living in places like New Mexico and Texas? The intrepid pioneers who set off across America in wagon trains; who suffered hardship; who fought off the Native Americans and fought wars against the Mexicans; who took the land off those who lived there; who settled it and farmed, mined and hunted. Those are the ones.

Who are the huddled masses now?

The hard-pressed from Central America and South America, the Mexicans and Muslims from war-torn Middle East.

The dispossessed, frightened, hungry and oppressed looking for space, freedom and opportunities.

Who are the ones most stringently opposing their entry?

Perhaps it is time to take the Statue of Liberty down??