08.11.07, Pessimism and Self Control

Not only are the peoples of Britain and America disillusioned with their leaders, but there is anarchy and upheaval throughout the world. By drawing comparisons between, say 1930 and today, some strong levels of change become obvious, in for example, general honesty, respect, compassion, speed of communication, insularity of commerce, education, prospects for the individual, personal self-control and Authority. From baronial times until relatively recently the feudal system, whether acknowledged or not, held sway, people were classed, and their lot depended on what class they were in. With little scope for self-improvement, with only minor movement between classes, acceptance was the alternative. With that society came respect at all levels, whether genuine or feigned. In the classless society we have today, advancement materially can be mercurial, and not necessarily warranted or respected. It does, however, induce jealousy, greed and discontent, resulting in lack of respect for others, dishonesty, selfishness and ultimately theft. The get rich quick, and the buy today and pay never, philosophies, have become routine, clearly accepted and, indeed sponsored by the so called financial sector, without reference to the outcome, and the ultimate theft of the savings of the more prudent through taxation to bolster the failing banks.. The corollary of this state is that many of those coming behind see no point in frugality, the savings will be whipped away anyway.

I have stressed before that the difference between the old animal intelligence, with its slower and more deliberate analysis of situations, rather than instant, computer generated reaction along supposed rational processes, leads to a shortage of time between action, the outcome and the next reaction caused thereby – a chain reaction in fact, in circumstances unanticipated, not necessarily relevant. This is, I believe, prevalent in finance and government, where action and outcome are not given due prominence. Something being seen to be done is more important. In government, failure can then follow, and if done repeatedly there is a stuttering of decisions, rescinding, and more decisions, the electorate loses confidence and becomes apathetic and pessimistic. In finance we are now more open to the vagaries of other countries’ financial dealings. Losing our insularity as a nation has had serious consequences. Instead we have global commerce, finance, politics and influence, which has been detrimental in many instances to our welfare. The most serious concerns I have are our reduction in farm production, and manufacturing, placing us in a vulnerable position, in that we are becoming more and more dependent upon world trade, with an extreme loss of our reservoir of technical skills, to the point where we have to allow immigration to make up the shortfall,

I don’t believe education has improved since the 30s when I sat what was to become the Eleven-Plus. We all learned to count, we had to. Then progress was a matter for the individual, university was for brainy people or those lucky enough to find themselves in it. The rest would be apprenticed, in some form or other, or were articled in a profession. Apprenticeship was a protracted, labour intensive procedure, and the course was tough, but the product was a real craftsman. Today, the top craftsmen are retained by large companies, the casual man might be efficient or he could be a ‘chancer’ – we have all employed at least one. In the 30s we were so glad to be well educated there was little or no cavilling, today it is a right, and university education is the goal, even if the quality of the student is inadequate to complete the course. This has produced a social snobbery, where manual work is for someone else. The wage structure is at fault, frivolous work is absurdly rewarded and serious work is under valued, If you are part of ‘Entertainment’ in all its forms, financially the sky could be the limit. Compare this with the professions, the labourers working under filthy conditions who are essential, and the general workforce. We need sewage workers, bin men, navvies, bricklayers, as well as doctors and clerks etc. The world’s attitudes have changed, the class system is collapsing daily, but the basic structure of our lives cannot be changed in essence, so if our needs are to be met, all, repeat all those addressing those needs should be given equal respect and equal status. Human nature being what it is, snobbery and adulation will always place a curb on equality, but, if we cannot or are not prepared to do what others have to do, then we should give the respect and pay the rate we would expect for doing so, instead of importing immigrants to do it cheaply. I fail to see how someone needs hundreds or even tens of millions, or even how they can spend it. The money is mainly coming from the pockets of the young and the poorer section of society, for entertainment which is transitory, and appears to be locked way, perhaps in offshore accounts, doing nothing for those who originally subscribed it.

Categorized as General

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