I remember when I was young, we’re talking preteen, and Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, telling a friend that the President wasn’t a real leader, but just a figure-head. The real power was in all the people who surrounded him. Ronald Reagan just did not seem like a leader to me. I think a pretty astute observation for one so young.
Now I’m not talking conspiracy theory, although in the past I’ve stated that something like the New World Order is, to me, quite possible. I just believe that most political leaders really have just a fraction of the power that most people perceive them to have, and that it’s really a cabal of powerful, salivating types behind the leaders who drive policy and presentation. A lot of that, obviously, comes from Big Business.
I’ve been reading Noam Chomsky’s Hegemony or Survival . In it Chomsky discusses what he sees as the real purpose behind American political policy, and the truth about the current status of ‘democracy’. I haven’t finished the book yet, but one passage I came across pretty much sums it up, I believe. It’s found on page 119 (hardcover):
“What remains of democracy is largely the right to choose among commodities. Business leaders have long explained the need to impose on the population a ‘philosophy of futility’ and ‘lack of purpose in life,’ to ‘concentrate human attention on the more superficial things that comprise much of fashionable consumption.’ Deluged by such propaganda from infancy, people may then accept their meaningless and subordinate lives and forget ridiculous ideas about managing their own affairs. They may abandon their fate to corporate managers and the PR industry and, in the political realm, to the self-described ‘intelligent minorities’ who serve and administer power.” (note: Inside the book-quote I replaced the ” with ‘ to try to avoid confussion.
In other words, welcome to the matrix.
Ontario premier, Dalton McGuinty, recently urged people to buy, buy, buy in order to stimulate the economy. Here is the actual quote: “If you want to be helpful to the economy, then go ahead and buy that fridge, buy that new house, buy that car. That’s good for our economy and that’s good for our jobs.”
That’s fine, and I understand that the way our civilization is wound up in the economy that we need to keep buying things, even if we don’t need or really want them, in order to keep the economy healthy, so that we can earn more money to buy more things. That’s the way things work.
But it’s unfortunate. It’s misleading. It’s a philosophy that will only lead us, the majority of us, to a worse life rather than the promised (by business and PR) wonderland of the future.
Business is economy and economy is politics. It’s so ingrained in our society, how do we break out? Is there a different, viable philosophy that would allow us to live a healthy, happy life on this planet?
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