The problem with leaders like Blair and Bush is that they reset everything as far as civil rights and liberties are concerned. Once again, instead of fighting for freedom, a better world, we are here fighting to regain our most basic rights that we have lost. Clever, but let me bypass all that and fight for more. We need to free ourselves from everything in this world, everything.
Blair was much worse than Bush when it came to building a fortress of a Police State, and though in America they can now hope for change, in Britain there is no such hope. Neither the Conservatives nor the Labours will bring about some fresh air, we can only expect more suffocation.
I should take a look at those so-called progressive Liberal Democrats who were centrist before the New Labour came about, and see if there is any hope there. I doubt it, not on the scale I wish to witness change in this world. Even Obama could not achieve it. It can only come from all of us, as long as we keep it in mind and operate those changes in our day to day life.
After all, it is a realistic and achievable goal. No need for government or any kind of authority to achieve a world free from discrimination and oppression, we only need to look at ourselves and change the way we go about doing what we do, no matter who we are and what we do.
We all have within us this power to alleviate pain in this world, if we could only look at ourselves and treat everyone the way we only wish to be treated. And have this capacity to feel the pain we inflict unto others. Sounds like something right out of the Bible, and yet, dear me, I so wish we could understand it once and for all.
The problem with equality is that it is often only defined as part of history, humankind’s struggle to gain some equality and liberty in life and politics, including the right to a property, to achieve something in life no matter from which class we come from, ultimately not being a slave to anyone.
Well, it might still be quite recent that women can now vote and be CEOs or Prime Ministers, that Black people no longer have to be slaves or suffer all sorts of discrimination, and that gay people do not have to be killed or commit suicide, but here we are, now we need to move on to another level of equality.
Even though this world is far from being perfect, as discrimination is still rampant and we still have to witness a woman or someone who speaks Spanish or a gay being President of the United States, the kind of equality and liberty I am now looking forward to, is the concept I was born with before I learnt the atrocities of history and took part in any social life. Am I upsetting you? Good, we are on the right track.
What I have in mind is much more at a personal level in our daily life, and perhaps much more selfish. Forgetting about the obvious initial struggles to get where we are today, I believe we have forgotten that there is still a long way to go, and that we need to realize and accept, that, in this world, we will never have complete equality, liberty and fraternity. And then, what can we do?
I don’t feel equal to anyone else on this planet, I never did, do you? If you do, then it must be one more of these great illusions democracies and public relations were capable to make you believe. The whole education and work system are based on inequalities, competition, who’s better than the next one, who should get that job, become the leader, the manager, the supervisor, and especially in politics, who’s going to be at the top controlling everyone else and tell them what to do.
There is not really any equality or liberty in our society. If you think otherwise, then you must have had a very loose definition of these concepts to begin with. Or perhaps I am too extreme, an extremist, maybe even a terrorist?
Why not, if that is what is required to operate real change in this world. I don’t care what happens to me, and dear me, I certainly risk a lot to bring you this, everything in fact, as these are the times we’re living in. Well, as long as you think further, it is all worth it.
Whatever you say, Sir! I’m no yes man. Certainly this is part of the problem. Are you a “Yes Sir” kind of person? I don’t doubt it, there is no way to function in this society otherwise. I’m sure we’re all subservient and submissive. Certainly this is part of the problem.
The French are always on the street striking as soon as something smells bad. We should learn something from it, that we should always be on strike, as it does work somehow, believe me. Let’s go on strike then, a general strike across the country, as the only way to be heard, us, the small and insignificant people, fighting for crumbs, never seeing the whole bread ahead of us, the one always ready for the slicing.
I am inferior to just about everyone else on this planet. Everyone is fencing me with some authority or other, whether it is by law, by contract or convention, moral duties or responsibilities. It does not matter if you are being paid a salary, as if you are treated like a subhuman, if you just obey orders, pay dearly for any liberty you take, and live in fear of living another day because of corporate bullying, then you are a slave. Is this just not the life of everybody I just described? And don’t we just wish to see an end to this?
In the end, none of us are equals, and for my part, I have always felt unworthy and inferior to everyone. I’m sure a lot of us feel just the same. No matter how inflated your Ego might have become. We are well trained nowadays to inflate our own Ego even when there is no real reason for it to be inflated. Look at yourself, really, you are as miserable and insignificant as I am. We are all nothing, even the President.
Is it a conscious decision I have made then? I could study hard and finish top of my class, I could go into politics and eventually become Prime Minister (of Canada, as I doubt a foreigner could do so in England). I could learn management and end up running a few people around in all my superiority, even though there will always be a higher authority, someone superior to me who will in turn run me around, check up on me every second of the day.
The great idea of democracy was supposed to mean that everyone was equal in the eyes of the law, everyone could go into politics, everyone could own a property, no one would have to be frightened and be bullied into blindly following orders. This is where equality ends, because for the rest of what you will go through in your life, equality does not exist. How could it? For that, social hierarchies, any kind of hierarchy, would need to disappear, and truly all decisions and actions would need to be decided and accomplished by everyone, willingly.
For example, let’s look at what a true equal society would be like. First of all, you could not be obliged to do anything, because equality means also the liberty to do something or not. As soon as you are coerced into doing something you do not want to do, then that’s it, equality is gone. Someone higher in the hierarchy, be it a parent, a teacher, a policeman, a social worker, a probation officer, a politician, or the law, has just confirmed that you are inferior, if not inexistent, or just existing to justify the whole hierarchy or system in the first place.
So a perfectly equal society means the liberty to go to school or not, whether you are just a child. Because even though you may be a child, you are still supposed to be equal to everyone else. I understand that inequalities are built on any pretext to justify why you are so inferior compared with others, and why you have to follow the orders of any authority, and cannot make your own decisions because of this or that, whatever, all that is gone in our utopia.
Once you are in school, if you decide to go, there could be no longer any competition, exams, comparisons between you and your other fellow students. Because this is the device by which society, at an early age, will decide how unequal and inadequate you are. So, some teacher will talk stupidities all day long in front of the class, and you could be free not to listen, to walk outside if you wish or to not show up for the rest of the week. And at the end you will not receive any test or mark or anything that could turn you into an inferior human being.
So now you are ready to find a job, if you wish it. There is no basis on which an employer can tell you that you are inadequate, we are all equal, independently from your abilities, knowledge, intelligence or experience. So if you want to be the director of a conference company, or a surgeon, then you should be. And the salary you will receive and the amount of taxes you will pay should be the same whether you are a surgeon, a director or a refuse collector, otherwise, we are not equal. In any case, no one will be your superior and no one can tell you what to do. If you decide to go on a drinking binge for two weeks, you don’t have to tell anyone, you have that liberty to do whatever you want, without consequences.
I could continue, but you get the point. A society where we would truly be equal and have the liberty we feel we deserve, would be chaos. And so, equality and liberty cannot exist, which might explain why the education system is more about testing you and comparing you with others, than actually learning something worthwhile and productive for society, without all the pressure.
So let’s clearly state it, in this world none of us are equal, and our freedom is ridiculously restrained, as restrained as the one of prisoners. Think about it, there is not much difference between you and a prisoner, if you are working full time. The latter might have more time to live freely in his or her own mind than you do, as long as they are not being bullied by fellow prisoners or police officers, but is it not the same at work? It certainly affects you the same way, for someone who knows nothing of what could be worse.
The way most corporate hierarchies are going about it in this day and age, plagued with bullying tactics, discrimination and a rigid authority controlling your life to the minute, you could easily described them as tyrannies or dictatorships. However I will settle here for calling them autocracies.
An autocracy is a form of government in which the political power is held by a single, self-appointed ruler (he who rules by one’s self). Compare with oligarchy (literally means rule by the few), and democracy (rule by the majority). So you see, at any rate we are far from living in any kind of democracy. The President or the Prime Minister of the country still decides for everyone, and at work the President or CEO or General Manager of the organization decides for everyone, via a string of VPs, Directors, Managers, Supervisors, Team Leaders, my God, the list is infinite.
As for the last part of the French motto, fraternity or brotherhood, you already know what I think about this, you cannot hope that anyone will come and rescue you. Everyone is selfish and will think of its own person and family before even thinking about helping anyone else. Worse than that, I am sure you have noticed how excited and pleased your colleagues are when you are in trouble and you are called in the office for a little chat. How quickly they forget that they will be next, and that this is a serious problem that requires attention. This patronizing, this bullying, I could easily make it my life long ambition to eradicate those in the work environment, as I suffered so much from this wherever I was, whatever I was doing.
We rarely witness any sort of fraternity or brotherhood in life, I seldom did. If you feel otherwise, then you must be one of those happy go lucky persons that whatever it is that they do wrong, everything goes for the best in the best world there is (then you are brainless). I would think you are the exception rather than the norm, and probably there must be an excellent reason to explain why strangers would break their back to help you, or even your family and friends, when for the most of us they would rather let us die in the street than give us money or help us in any way when we’re in trouble.
I have a normal loving family, I have normal loving friends, and every time I was at the deep end, none of them came to help, even though I had to go through the humiliation of asking for their help. In the end, a stranger in Switzerland came to my help, she was the only one, and so, yes, you can still expect sometimes, very rarely, the exception confirming the rule. So much guilt I feel about this now, I wish to pay it back twenty times over, and I will one day. One should be able to survive on its own. If society cannot provide this, then society is to be blamed. This life, surviving, ain’t easy. Don’t tell me otherwise, I have lived, I know. Don’t sell me Jesus, I want to be free!
The fact remains that generally fraternity and brotherhood simply do not exist. And if somehow someone helps you, like some religious group for example, you can bet they do so expecting something in return, normally with some hidden interest that it may take you a while to figure out. By then it is too late, you are trapped. Beware of all those preying over your head, they will only limit you so ever more. Don’t think, just do what you’re told! No longer, as here comes freedom, and what a liberation! Finally we can breathe around here!
If society was so ready to help everyone, then we would have solved poverty worldwide by now, we would not drop another bomb on some city anywhere in the world, there would be no war, we would all be happy. As this is also impossible for now, then we cannot expect any time soon that it will change, and that out of the blue suddenly everyone will start loving each other.
There is no love in this world, and when there is, there’s usually an ulterior motive to it, even the one of wishing to reach heaven. It is now time to be reminded to try to be more compassionate, and I feel many of us are doing a genuine effort to do so, but only to a certain point. In the end we are all selfish and we all worry first about our own survival. This fact needs to be taken into account when rebuilding this world, after its soon to be destruction, since everything seems to have been planned that way.
So despite the French motto of Equality, Liberty, Fraternity, which is basically the same ideals and values that America boasts it is following, with perhaps the Freedom of Speech on top of it, which is now as good as dead, we know deep down that it is all an illusion. And somehow they try very hard to convince us that it is real, when we all know it is not.
It is called propaganda, and we all fell for it. Just like in Russia, when for a very long time common people were very poor, never eating enough, living under an oppressive regime, and yet they all believed they were living in the best country in the world. Whether they truly believed it or not, or that they thought that everywhere else it was even worse than in their own country, I am not certain, but the propaganda over there has been very successful, just like it is now in our own Western civilizations. One needs to free itself from all this.
We all think that we have the freedom to do whatever we want, that we have a perfect democracy that works, that we are all purer than pure and compassionate and helping, that we are all advanced and so much more civilized than in the past, and yet, when you stop for a second to assess it all, you realize that it is all but a lie.
But to find out about it, you need to do a bit of research, you need to start thinking for yourself, and you cannot do that whilst watching the TV or reading the newspapers, because the mainstream media are either blind to it, fear reprisals or some consequence, and therefore become part of the propaganda machine. They certainly report blindly all the statistics, news and opinion polls the government provides them with, they certainly don’t question anything. This state of affair has brought us to the brink of collapse, and we’re still heading right for the centre of the black hole.
The Internet is the last remaining tool for the truth, and that too will disappear within years, if not months. Laws are already limiting a lot of information on the Internet, it is a just a question of time before it too becomes like the mass media and part of the lie. Have you tried lately to find out the lottery results on the Internet at work? Did you get the Blank Screen of Death? More than half the Internet is blocked to me at work. And from moving from this situation of being one at work to one at home, is a question of time, it is but only one step away.
There are serious talks in France of limiting who can put texts online, that it would first require the decision of a publisher of magazines or books. They want to turn the Internet into what the world of mainstream media has become, where only a handful of people can publish anything or be heard. And of course, whatever then will reach anyone will be sanitized to the point that it will be difficult to understand exactly what the author was meant to denounce, if anything.
Faced with this situation that we do not have what we thought we had, that none of those great rights and freedoms we thought we had actually exist, and even worse, that it would be utopian to believe that such a world could exist, what can we do? There is no equality, none of us decide anything around here, soon we won’t even have the right to denounce it.
Well, first you need to be aware of it. You also need to find the truth in any way you can. You also need to accept the fact that we are not equal, we have no real liberties or freedom to speak of, and that democracy is not what they claim it is. After that, no one will take you for a fool, at the very least, and manipulate you into doing something that truly you should not be doing, or that you simply do not wish to do. And then let’s hope that some sort of change or salvation will eventually come.
And then you have to work in the details of everyday life, about how to go about eliminating a little bit more everyday those inequalities, this lack of freedom. How to be a bit more compassionate and helpful toward everyone, even strangers, and somehow be ready to tell any authority when something is just not what you want, or is down right not acceptable. Find ways to stop something horrible before it happens, even in a small capacity, on a small scale. It might make a bit of a difference, reduce bureaucracy and autocracy somehow, or at least make it less rigid, and it might bring a little more happiness into this world.
At this time we are not what we claim we are, we are not even making an effort to become what we claim we are. You cannot count on any government or authority to change that, you can only change it yourself on a personal level in your day to day life, all of us together, somehow.
We are not equal, we will never be equal, but we can stop pretending that we are and we can work toward making us a bit more equal. Is there any compassion left within you? Is there any compassion left in this world?
“Without irony, this life would hardly be worth living.” RM
All previous political articles by Roland Michel Tremblay:
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