The more I look around the more I see a world where the basic foundation is one of threats, fear and misery. The system is there to keep our heads afloat just enough to be above the surface but still feeling the prickly heat of that fear based foundation all the while doing an activity that makes money for someone else.
There’s no getting away from it, we live in a fear based society. The things we normally do aren’t done out of burning passion or desire, they are done becasue if we don’t do them we’ll starve to death…..in 2016! Welfare is a tremendous safety net but it’s clunky, overly bureaucratic, horribly means tested and doesn’t give the right breaks for the amount that is given (but we’ll get to that later!)
If anyone has ever had an official letter from the Government (IE the people in charge) then 9 times out of 10 it will contain some sort of threat or conditional threat.
“If you don’t do this we’ll do bad things”
Some may say that it’s just informing you of the consequences….that’s ok but where’s the nice bit of the letter telling us what wonderful and lovely people we are if we do the thing that is requested and the hearty “well done!”? This may sound ridiculous but it’s not, positivity is a powerful thing and it’s almost completely absent from anything official or indeed anything in society that doesn’t require being positive.
Positivity isn’t there because the status quo is not a thing that is seen to be celebrated and hence these types of things contribute to a system which is almost totally focused on accenting the negative. The only nice thing you’ll ever get in an official letter is if someone is trying to sell you something or keep you as a customer.
Government and officials don’t need that lash of honey, they’ve got you whether you like it or not and they know they don’t have to be pleasant in any way, shape or form. What this does is that it reveals true colours. The most genuine things you will ever experience is someone doing something nice when they don’t have to and similarly if someone doesn’t have to be nice it’ll probably show in their character whether they are or not.
This may sound like some hippy/granny cross concerning the value of ‘nice’ but it’s not just that, it’s positiveness, it’s encouragement, it’s support and it’s essential that these elements are woven through the very fabric of a modern progressive and compassionate society.
Work by definition shouldn’t just mean your job. I could dig a hole in the ground for 5 hours and that’s fucking hard work…..but no-one paid me for it so it’s not my work. Similarly, sat at a desk all day bashing in numbers could hardly be called ‘work’, more activity that gets you money.
The only reason we go to work is to buy food or we’ll starve or to pay rent so we have a roof over our heads. Forget officially living off the grid, you still need money for that as you can’t claim land as your own and taking fish from water needs permits in most places as does hunting which of course costs money. It’s a system 100% designed to keep us all within it….or die!
Should we just be working from fear of hunger and cold alone in an age where poverty is a manufactured concept? Wouldn’t it be better if we went to our jobs to try and better the human race and increase happiness in society?
What is the point of all these inventions and luxuries and machines to do our jobs for us if we don’t start to take advantage of it and keep ourselves lashed to the slave stick.
What exactly is the endgame we are working towards here as a species?
Automation isn’t coming, it’s here already but no-one’s bothering their arse trying to compensate for it and as such we get more and more jobs disappearing and more and more people with nothing to do but no other means of getting money. This is where the concept of UBI comes in (Universal Basic Income) and it’s a great one if it’s used right and we can get out the stigma of ‘free money’ because it’s not free.
Ask yourself this, would you honestly truly just sit on your arse and do absolutely fuck all for the rest of your life if your basic income was taken care of? of course not you’d do activity and that’s what you get paid for. (For more info see my other article on UBI)
The negativity at the heart of the system is a disease and it’ll have to be sorted if we are to grow as a people.
Some thrive on the negativity though. Tell a group of people about a person on welfare and then having been sanctioned. Nothing more. Ask that group if any of them would see this person physically starve to death from having no money.
Guaranteed there will be at least one person who would, believing it to be a ‘lesson’ or their own fault.
Let that sink in for a moment…..there are people out there among us normal folks who are so without compassion that they would allow starvation of another human being.
These people exists in part becasue the system has a similar view. You are informed of punishments just in case you are guilty, the fault is always on your part and if it’s not the you don’t get an apology. There is zero positivity in official matters because there doesn’t need to be and that seeps into the lower parts of society becasue as a people we usually (consciously or not) look to above for procedure, and if above is a beacon of negativity pouring out it’s bad vibes it’s going to be soaked up somewhere.
It doesn’t help that the welfare system is a gross and stigmatic clusterfuck of good intentions made in the 1940’s but swamped by modern day horrible execution and toxic preconceptions about it’s claimants. “Welfare should be miserable” some people say. “Then it encourages you to work”
What about reassurance, safety, stability and encouragement? Welfare should not be a miserable experience, that’s the fear based negative society taking again. It should provide you with the absolute basics to get on while making exceptions but more often than not it’s just struggle and humiliation. Asking someone to make £73 a week cover food & bills while still requiring them to pay (in part) council tax as well as save for transport to potential job interviews is madness not to mention the unexpected costs that can crop up from time to time like perhaps getting a suit repaired or a fridge fixed. Add on top of this workfare which wastes time when you could be looking for a job and sanctions (more fear, more threats, more negativity) and it’s hard to see the ‘benefit’ side of benefits. Once again I direct you to the concept of UBI which could wipe this horrid system out and replace it with a stress free alternative.
The world kind of half works but the rest is a pretty grim affair. Money isn’t the issue, it’s the people at the top who make money so important that is the issue.
If I’m chief of a village and I have a thousand pebbles and someone else has 1000 leaves I’ll obviously make the pebble the main form of currency becasue I have more of it and hence can stay in power.
Some say the tide is changing and maybe it is. More and more progressive people seems to be coming into power and the concepts of those are being tried out but there also seems to be a vast shift to the far right appearing too and those elements are gaining momentum fast and with it the increased snowball of negativity.
I’m not saying that the world’s major ailments will be fixed by getting a nice thank you letter telling you how wonderful you are every time you pay your council tax……
…….but it’d be a start!