Friday, 26 April 2013

Assessing the Cyborg/Gibbon dichotomy in modern cuisine

I’ve been existing in a state of political confusion for what seems like an awfully long time. At some stage I think my brain just stopped being able to accept the bleak truth that democracy is dead and there’s bugger all I can do about it and decided, very much in keeping with the times, to take the executive decision to just pump out white noise whenever I tried to engage rationally with the issues of the day.

This resulted in my exasperated refrain of “I blame Thatcher”. It could be argued that I wasn’t wrong, but it really meant  “I don’t understand where it all went wrong but I know she was something to do with it.”
Since the old woman died a number of good things have happened: the media went monkey-cock crazy about all the stuff that THATCHER! did and how it was great and how it was awful and how very, very divisive she was and how you have to be respectful of old dead tyrants who supported mass murderers and sold bombs to dictators. It was good because it sent me down a hyperlink rabbit hole to finally find some decent information about why things are the way they are and how neoliberalism has screwed the vast majority of us brutally, roughly and without our consent in whichever hole we were least keen on getting screwed in, be it in the post-box or up the cat-flap.

This in no way equates to the sudden acquisition of valid opinions which would necessarily stand up to intense scrutiny, but I can at least begin to find out why there seems to be no social-democratic alternative available in mainstream politics and precisely why the concept of introducing the free market into all areas of state activity is so very, very wrong.

Most of us can see what the free market gets up to. Managers with beating sticks forcing Bangladeshi sweat shop workers to go into a building that promptly falls down. That’s what the free market does. It seeks to suck the money out of your pocket in any way it possibly can and concentrate that money at the pinnacle of an impossibly high pyramid, a pyramid built from the toil of all us grinning idiotic slaves. And they do it absolutely everywhere.

The NHS is being forced to contract out its services (not new that) and private healthcare companies are taking an ever larger piece of the pie. Where does the money come from? You, you dumb monkey. Where does it go? It goes up! All the way to the filthy rich geezers (there’s a high probability that it’ll be a geezer) sat on the board and to the shareholders. And we know what the filthy rich do; they sew pigs together and fire them at the moon. They put cows on roller skates and make them joust for biscuits. They make babies drink their own tears until they turn into fish. I have no idea what the filthy rich do and I never ever will.
Local government has to do the same. We are told that this outsourcing and contracting is more efficient and better value for money and the market knows best and that all the crashes, disasters, atrocities and fish babies are not the result of giving ever longer reigns to an unprincipled greed machine, but because poor people believed that they could have nice things if they borrowed some money and it would be fine and because poor people are all lay-abouts and scroungers and criminals and that what we really need to do is stop worrying about the people who actually made off with all the cash and find a way to make people’s lives which are currently really, really shit even shitter.

None of this will be news to anyone who is actually reading this, it’s not even news to me. What I was having trouble understanding was why there did not seem to be any political alternative to what we’ve ended up with. It’s easy enough to say that all politicians are the same but it is nice to be able to put your finger on how they are all the same. Turns out it is this belief in the free market as the answer to what ails us.

Funny how, now that I’m looking at it typed out, this is what I was thinking all along but had failed to organise into a coherent statement. What will be interesting in the years left to me before I am eaten by a weaponised koala paratrooper (I’ll tell you about it sometime) is finding out what it all means and whether we will ever throw off the shackles of the unethical and uncaring free market bastard army we currently find ourselves the victims and accomplices of.

Thanks for dying Thatcher. You’ve prompted me to replace my befuddled and impotent rage with a focussed, informed and erudite impotent rage. Suck my plums.

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