Tuesday, 9 August 2011

I worry about Sam

I worry for my nephew Sam.  He is a splendid 15 year old, the son of my brother Martyn and my sister-in-law Wendy.

Sam was here with his Dad in late May/early June.   We enjoyed a fabulous vacation together.

But I worry about him.  I worry because the chances are that he will find it next to impossible to find a job when he graduates high school in Bristol, England.  Jobs are scarce in so many lands, not least in the U.K.

The unrest in Egypt, in Syria, in Libya is rooted in lack of jobs.

The unrest in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Great Britain is rooted in the lack of jobs.

1. We have been sold a bill of goods in the idea that national economies can grow and grow to provide enough for all.  It ain’t so.

2. We have been sold a bill of good in the idea that the planet’s resources are inexhaustible.  It ain’t so.

3. We have been sold a bill of goods in the mystical belief that wealth will trickle down from the enormously rich 1% to the desperately poor 30/40/50 %. It ain’t so.

4. We are unable to acknowledge the ghastly failures of unregulated and undisciplined capitalism.

5. We have abandoned any concept of a social compact which might benefit both rich and poor (the “we” includes the oligarchs of the “phoney Communist” Republic of China.)

6. We are unable to grasp the simple and obvious fact that our planet has too many people.  Popes, Mullahs, and Fundamentalist Christians continue to encourage irresponsible breeding.

7. We have lost any idea of the “common good” in favour of Darwinian economics, mutated from Darwin’s science to mean the survival of the richest.

I write this against the background of civil unrest in Near and Middle Eastern lands; in India and China; in Greece and Spain, and in my beloved homeland of Great Britain.

The riots, violence, pillaging and destruction in Great Britain is doubtless to be deplored.  There is a mindless nihilism at work.

But the rioting (ghastly as it is, and I do not defend it) must be viewed in the light of the hopelessness which is the experience and daily lot of the world’s under classes.  (If you are hopeless, law and order will seem to be a luxury).

And I wonder why we are not similarly outraged about the ways in which multi-national corporations (aided and abetted by governments, the IMF, the World Bank etc)  have raided and pillaged our common wealth in order to increase private wealth.

So I worry about Sam and his future. How in the world will he be able to make his way in the face of the  governmental and business oppression of  “ordinary people”?  Will he face a future of hopelessness which will lead him to poverty and/or nihilism?

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