It seems unnecessary even to say it, but that’s the truth of the matter. The world is changing and not in a good way. It’s the story of the frog in the saucepan.
The water heats up but it’s so comfortable that the poor frog doesn’t realise, until it’s too late, that the ever increasing temperature of the water is slowly boiling him alive.
We are like the poor frogs and the changes in our lives have been, and are, so subtle we don’t catch on until it’s too late. What we have failed to notice is that our so-called democracy has been ripped out from underneath us and replaced with an obscene form of plutocracy.
The truth is, democracy in Australia began to die some thirty years ago. We didn’t cause it. That honour goes to the United States. Richard Nixon set the virus loose when he took America off the gold standard in 1971.
It was Ronald Reagan who lay the groundwork for the virus to spread and spread it did. Western economies followed suit adopting fiat currencies and suddenly the greedy race to the bottom was on.
Fiat currencies are not evil in themselves. They can and should be employed for great good. They can provide full employment, raise living standards; they can eliminate hunger and poverty.
But in Ronald Reagan’s world there was a different agenda. The result is that we now live in a world dominated and controlled by corporate greed.
We don’t know if Nixon or Reagan intended the virus to spread across the globe the way it has, but neither introduced any regulatory barriers to stop what actually happened.
So, those two presidents were at best incredibly naïve or at worst, criminal.
The introduction of fiat currencies opened the way for a paradigm change in the distribution of wealth and power. Then, when Bill Clinton repealed the Glass-Steagall Act he made it so much easier for the crooks to flourish. It has resulted in a measure of inequality not previously experienced by any former civilisation.
Today, democratically elected governments are no more than agents, one might even call them servants, of the super-rich. They do the bidding of those that pay them to keep the masses in check.
In Australia, we only need to look at the list of political donors from the 2013 election to see where the big money came from and where the control lies. And this is only what was declared. How much more and from whom, that went undeclared, we may never know.
And why do they donate? Just take a look at the economic policies of the two major parties, both of whom skew their preferences toward their funding base.
There was a time when economic policies were built within a framework that put people first, that cared for the social consequences. Not anymore. Today, it’s all about serving the interests of the financiers and industrialists to the detriment of communities, of social cohesion.
Today, more than ever, factories are shutting down, car manufacturing plants are closing, engineering plants, that once employed successive generations of the same family are sitting idle, while governments across the country call for even more labour reform.
There are devastating signs all around us of Ronald Reagan’s neo-liberal train wreck and yet, while we feel the water in the saucepan getting a little warmer, the comfort levels are still reading ‘cosy’, blinding us to what is coming.
Three major events this year, Brexit, Trump and Renzi’s failed referendum would have us believe the people are finally saying they have had enough. We might even include Hansonism in that revolt but that would be foolish.
That right-wing conservative shift is little more than a bump in the road. Conservative rebels will soon see how wrong they were, how their protest voice will in fact empower the forces of neo-liberalism even further.
Have we learned anything from the GFC? Watch and listen to these pathetic, opportunistic, mongrel, neo-liberal apologists as they scramble their way out of the ditch they have built.
In the long term, nothing will change except the rhetoric and everything will go back to the way it was beforehand.
The world has changed and not for the better. The inequality gap grows wider and wider. Control of our future is contracting to fewer and fewer.
While we listen to politicians telling us about the debt burden we will hoist upon our grandchildren, little do we realise that the super-rich are already planning our grandchildrens’ future.
The trend is toward longer working hours and lower wages.
The sweat-shops of Asia, the child labour in India and the meagre trickle-down offerings western society has been blinded by today, will pale in comparison to a late 21st century world of total subservience.
Unless those duped by neo-liberalism’s trickle-down fraud, can rise from their present artificially constructed comfort zone and claim their rights beyond a simple Brexit or Trump, western living standards, for other than the super-rich, will continue to decline. The frogs will have left it too late to escape.