Let us document the changes, the shift in consciousness that is happening around the world, the signs of hope.
The 1 percent (or is it the top 0.1 percent) – An interviewer of Russel Brand challenged him that the Occupy movement had achieved nothing to change the behaviour of the banks (or the fact that they still enjoy ‘reverse austerity’ at the expense of the people). Brand’s reply was that Occupy achieved something great – the rise in the people’s consciousness of the existence of an immoral and exploitative 1%. They were no longer hidden behind the curtains.
What other memes are now out there? Add any I have missed if you want.
The idea of the undeserving poor and the undeserving rich with all the rhetoric and clichés being a mirror of the real situation: “They get too many handouts from the government, etc.” Cliches spouted by those who describe the poor as ‘beneficiaries’, while the benefits flow to exactly their opposites. The system makes the poor ‘worthless’, and it is the same system that makes the superrich ‘worthy’. We know this now. It is not ‘Trickle down’, it is ‘Gush up’. And Piketty proved it.
The idea that Commerce banks are
essentially corrupt gamblers and the worst usurers of our long debt history – at the expense of individuals and whole countries – is now in our consciousness – but we lack the knowing – or is it the political will – to deal with it.
The idea of these Commerce banks making money from thin air and cyberspace and charging interest
essentially at will, before lending it to those much poorer than themselves. We know this now. We find it absurd. Money for nothing, and have a free ride in exploiting while you’re at it.
The idea of Corporate Corruption of the Political Process is stronger now than at any time in my memory. The US is leading the charge where it is beyond blatant. Lobby groups and Corporate funding of pet politicians (not bribery apparently – because they have a ‘consultant’s contract’ or some other legal device). Ex-Corporate CEOs as heads of public service departments? The polluter is in charge of checking the pollutants? That sounds absurd. How did that happen? It is in our consciousness – but we lack the knowing – or could it be the political will? – to deal with it.
The idea of the Corruption of Climate Change debates by mega-corporate media manipulation (Exxon & Murdock in the last few weeks are just the tip) is in our consciousness. Their influence in the manipulation and management of perception is acknowledged, however many make excuses. They know. But we lack the knowing – will? – to deal with it.
The idea that wars are beneficial to corporate beneficiaries, especially oil interests, is in our consciousness. We recognise the power games and the smell of an agenda for especially US Corporate interests, and for the control of strategic lands and resources. It seems too big to deal with, which is why when Putin appears on the scene the debate bursts forth.
The idea that Their Security is not Our Security, that we are being watched more, and that the interests of internal and external ‘security’ do not align with the people, but with those whose interest is in accumulating power, and – rather than protect Democratic Principles – those very principles are at threat. This is in the public consciousness. There is ‘public’ concern and ‘official’ dismissal, and even a Prime Minister of a ‘democracy’ – the son of a European refugee no less – can say “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” without any sense of irony. But then, we talk about it. How could he have said that? Is it ignorance or design? Who is this man?
The idea that the Planet – our Home – is Suffering from a commercial view of the world that says extract and use it up for personal gain at the expense of the land, the community and the future. It is harder and harder to hide, but how they try. It is a growing reality in the public consciousness, but we lack the knowing of how to deal with it.
The idea of attempts for Corporate Control and Monopolisation of Food through GMOs and “intellectual property rights” is in our consciousness. The people don’t trust Monsanto et al. and the growing majority of European GMO bans, and the bastion of Indian rebellion against their practices, demonstrate that there is growing mobilisation to deal with that. Though neo-liberal Corporate shill colonial countries like New Zealand still have administrations that are working against the people and the land.
The idea that Values, Virtues and Duties to people and places outside
ourselves are far more important than utilitarian dollars and ‘instrumental rationality’ that shroud the cruelty and injustice for the benefit of a few, is more and more in the public consciousness. We can talk about values now, fairness, the right thing to do for our land and our community
without some economist showing us his Input:Output model and claiming it represents anything other than a fiction whose beneficiary is a Corporate controlled world, justifying Gulags. The values were always with the people, despite the attempts to lionise the vices of greed and selfishness by the Corporate elite.
And the idea that There are Alternatives – that there is a different and better world possible, and that those who speak for those alternatives are not “unelectable” – but rather have mobilised people – is rising so swiftly and strongly – Corbyn, Sanders, Trudeau.
We are even hearing versions of the word ‘social’ – social democrat, democratic socialist, socialist – without the dominant latter-day McCathyism claiming they represent State Communism; or that public health is somehow a socialist evil alongside welfare for the unfortunate and aged, education, infrastructure, early childhood support, housing, the care of public lands, public science, and systems of justice.
These are strongly emerging memes in the public consciousness. I wonder if you can kill a meme, or has the pendulum swung too far. Already the old clichés of “it will trickle down” or “the market will provide” or “the private sector does it better” or “there is no alternative” are more likely to invoke laughter than any nodding heads.
I can imagine smoke-filled back rooms in the Corporate offices where the least ethical of men (mostly) are discussing this rise and their response. The media is critical to that end. “Go forth and manage the perceptions!” Hosking will become more arrogant and practice his smug. Fox will claim a danger to all things decent.
They may know how to kill a meme, but have they gone too far? Is it becoming too rich, a parody of itself: the news anchor whose shallow arrogance and smugness becomes the butt of jokes. The Soviets got to a point in their false denials and misrepresentations that the people eventually viewed each denial as a lie, effectively an admission. And people began to laugh. The Colonel Blimp pomposity at some point became a foolish joker. The politician cozying up to the sports star looks like a desperate undignified wannabe.
Have they gone too far? Are people now at the point where they see not just the problem and the doctored half truths, but also that there are solutions?
Are we living on the cusp of a major political upheaval? The Endgame, the End of Days for the ‘Age of the Neo-liberal Cult’? This Cult that treats our people and place as mere things whose only meaning is expressed as a $ in a model, supported by the Corporate Beneficiaries who fund this Cult and keep its undead zombie corpse alive when it should be long buried?
The Paris Climate talks, the Trans-Pacific ‘Partnership’ and Trans-Atlantic TTIP equivalent are building more consciousness. In these threats there is hope for a better world as the effectiveness of propaganda diminishes, revealing the hollow men.
Anything I have missed?