The World’s Baggage

The most important issues facing the world today:
– water
– globalism and international trade laws
– localism: social and cultural identity

These things are the biggest issues in western society:
– infrastructure: transportation and electricity

This is a major issue, but not the biggest one:
– food quality (not quantity)

These things are not political issues in the UK:
– they’re political red herrings. Once the political decision to provide them and the targets of provision are identified, then they’re really management issues; the distribution of resources.

– health care: we have the most advanced health care in human history; the problem of identifying and treating rare diseases remains as important as it’s ever been. However, while there’s enough money for fertility ‘treatments’–as though having children is a right–then there’s clearly overspending.

– education: people are smarter than they’ve ever been and have greater access to information than at any time in history

– social welfare: a massive drug culture and the record-breaking sales of DVD players reflect a society where there is a huge surplus of wealth generally

Quote: “The importance of poverty as a cause of drug abuse has been ignored by the government, an influential report claims.”
Comment: so-called poor people in Britain can afford expensive drugs.

This is the biggest non-issue ever:
– hunting.

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I started writing this as a rant (as usual) then realised that there was what looked like a major contradiction in my thinking. I was going to write that the most overhyped issues in the democratised world were terrorism and crime. For the most part, these issues are manipulated by politicians to create paranoia in an effort to reduce freedoms while increasing their own power.

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania.

However, I then started writing something about what I think of as a hidden issue: the rise of feudalism. This was kind of a spin off from my thoughts on decreasing localisation and the general feeling of being disenfranchised many people have. Who am I? Where do I belong?

The disenfranchised want to belong to a group. Feudalism gives people that sense of belonging that nationalism and globalism take away. And so we have increasing power of unelected armed groups led by warlords and self-styled barons (in the old-fashioned sense of the word) acting outside established legal frameworks.

But there’s the contradiction. Either terrorism, a spin-off of this feudalistic war-baron-centred outlook, is important or it isn’t. Okay, it is. But the issue has been hijacked. The real issues aren’t public safety ones. They’re global ones regarding fair trade. And they’re local ones regarding individual and group identity. Individuals want to belong to a social group, to feel part of the world around them, but increasing paranoia works against this. The only safe things left to do are stay home, watch TV and take drugs for instant gratification.

Doing the paranoid things becomes part of a vicious circle. It actually increases the power of warlords, drug barons and other petty demigods, who all feed off the demand for quick fixes while thriving due to a lack of social cohesion. None of these things are healthy, either for individuals or for society. Reducing paranoia and increasing local values are the issues which need addressing. Turn off the security-obsessed floodlight and light a candle.

2 Responses to 'The World’s Baggage'

  1. Jeremy Says:

    “And so we have increasing power of unelected armed groups led by warlords and self-styled barons (in the old-fashioned sense of the word) acting outside established legal frameworks.”

    In global capitalism these are the multinationals – these firms are the new nations, operating with their own sets of rules but ungoverned by any one country. A sense of community exists within these – pensions, healthcare, gym membership – while fading in a domestic scenario. We are no longer citizens of a nation but of these companies – and these companies are able to operate without answering to their citizens/employees only to their shareholders/oligachy. We have created a fairer society for ourselves, while at the same time diminishing the power this society has over our lives. Conversely, we have increased the power of our new nations without increasing their culpability. I have just realised this. I don’t understand what it means. But it scares me.

  2. Keith Says:

    In the Dune series, Frank Herbert’s analogy with today’s multinationals was CHOAM, an interstellar trading and merchant body. I’m revisiting Children Of Dune at the moment and came across this pertinent observation yesterday evening. Multinationals ignore individuals at their peril.