The problem is we have substituted what we regard as strength and weakness.

That’s why the world grows weaker, not stronger. In our long but short human history we’ve seen every form of suppression and oppression used as the expedient way to control varying political, religious and social environments. A show of strength. Control-freakery is what made the world and if you don’t have it, you’re prey. People are really that mercenary and Neanderthal. Capitalism is seen as an alternative, non-violent method of coercion. Yeah, because violence never had anything to do with money, right? As long as we can call it mathematics, it doesn’t count. But it is turning everyone into predators or prey and if you let yourself become a casualty of it, that means you’re weak, doesn’t it? It seems, whatever you’re prepared to do, whoever is prepared to go the furthest will prevail. That’s what history is built on, so, that must be strength, right? And why should politics, commerce and our social environment work any other way? I’m hoping you’re already thinking ‘well, that’s not me, I don’t operate that way.’ What about victims? Victims of terrorism; political kidnapping; child prostitution; human trafficking; genocide; poverty; murder or forced imprisonment of family members who choose a partner outside of their culture; dowry killings; entire countries held to ransom by sanctions on matters that are not necessarily about outright oppression like AIDS in Africa and the Roman Catholic dictat on use of birth control? Do those oppressed by these things not have any power, something powerful within them? Look at the pathetic image of an African refugee clutching their emaciated and bloated child, oblivious to the swarm of flies in and out of every orifice – just waiting to die. Have they no potential for contributing something valuable in life? They wouldn’t amount to much anyway, right? They’re only going to feed off the system. They’re not going to affect my life, so why should I care about them? What if that was you, or me? Even when we care we feel powerless. And there’s so much need, where do you start? So, we just have to get real about the world being such a cruel place and there always being someone who’s ready to shaft us, don’t we? We just have to toughen up, then. Or do you find that insulting? Is that what we are allowing ourselves to be reduced to? The amazing thing is, the ideas I’m going to spout off about are only qualities that every one of us has. Even the most heinous individual has some these qualities. It’s our human nature, not some hocus-pocus theory or paradigm. I’m talking about getting real. Not in terms of a set single reality, a single truth, but a fundamental existential state that we can conceive of at any moment, that changes with the ebb and flow of countless influences and perspectives. It’s the things that affect our energies and power, individually and collectively. The reality of our sensibilities and mentality, beyond only what we want to make of it, and how it affects our potential to enhance life or to waste it. People generally appreciate stability and it challenges their comfort zone to work in flexible, mutually supportive ways that allow for diversity. Whatever concepts enable that stability we hate to change. How can any job, relationship or work give satisfaction and security, if its value and existence can be transient and unpredictable? How would that support our sense of worth? So, determination is seen as the greatest quality to form and mould reality into what a person wants. And you can get away with that most of the time. No one is going to thrust the life you want in your lap so you have to go out and get it. Or you can resign yourself to the fickle finger of fate, or consult your horoscopes, like Reagan, or leave it to God’s hands to justify a life of hardship, or to win the 2008 F1 championship. God will not be someone else’s side if he’s on yours, so that’ll always work out well for you. Or he might just teach you a valuable lesson. You can bet your life on it… each way. Determination is an amazing quality and has helped people reach beyond their expectations, when everything else is seemingly against what they strive for. I’m all for it, but it can also blind you and let you down. ‘Blind ambition.’ Is that real strength? In a way, if we all put the blinkers on

and just strove ahead with what we wanted in life, regardless, then we’d all achieve something, but what would it be? The idea of reality being anything other than what you want (the reality for most people), or for it to include some of your worst fears, can grind down the most ardent determination into liquidity, seeping away your time and effort with seemingly little or nothing to show for it. For us all to be successful in capitalist terms, at any level, it seems we all have to have the same mind on it. The biggest problem with capitalism is that it determines a value on what people do with their lives. It is a fundamental denial of our humanity. It has to be said; many rich people are keenly aware of the inequities in this world and contribute more than most towards charitable causes that tackle it. There is a lot of wonderful work being done through their wealth and generosity. It is easy to say this in a rich capitalist society, but think about it… when all the countries in the world aspire to and achieve the level of capitalist development we see in New York, London, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Shanghai and Dubai, what is it that we’re going to be striving for? To keep it? The striving, the pursuit becomes the thing then. At what cost, what lengths, how cut-throat? And what is the overall knock-on effect to a society that comes to depend upon it? Some may see it differently. Some see the capitalist system as a way to extend themselves beyond who they thought they could ever be and the theory is that everyone should be able to take advantage of that. There are enough Lewis Hamiltons around to prove that, but the theory isn’t sound, since how many F1 champions can there be at any one time – two dozen? The Buttons outnumber the Hamiltons and always will. Your decisions and dedication may only be a tiny factor in the outcome, but what else are we going to pin our hopes on? Some simply adore the glitz and grandeur, but that all pales into insignificance when it fails to fulfil personal emotional needs. It’s like investing in aerodynamics at the cost of safety features. To go faster. This is an age-old problem and you can’t completely overturn the process that has governed world development for centuries. I’m not saying don’t develop and don’t have capitalism, or personal ambition. But it is the sickening recent trends that threaten our existence; the lack of perspective, at the smallest level; the ignorance and wilful disregard. We’ve come to see it as an acceptable way to operate. The standard everyone wants in life is to be free to make personal choices and to be respected as an individual and to be loved. Capitalism can facilitate a few of those, but those things are not dependent upon it. If they are, then they’re usually misguided and we feel insulted by it, or we end up with unfulfilled expectations. Being respected and admired for being rich generates as much suspicion as it does gratification. That’s not the basis on which we form our relationships is it? So where do we get off basing international relationships on it? And aren’t we supposed to be progressive world citizens? Isn’t that the twenty-first century thing to be? The degree of our stability is largely contingent on what we value in life. The rewards of materialism and power can be taken from us in an instant. What are we left with then – especially if we haven’t got perspective and haven’t prepared ourselves for the downside? This is the reality governed and exploited by market forces, but we don’t invest the same effort and skill in our options for surviving, when things go pear-shaped. Life will forever throw spanners in the works yet we bind our stability to the market. Few of these highly intelligent world economists and leaders have made provision for when our commercial stability is threatened. If they care little that their own people are losing their homes and businesses and less about how people are treated in other lands, what kind of reality is that investing in? This is how the illness spreads. The ones who fall prey to this illness are left unable to fend for themselves and then people suddenly start committing suicide, because they were blinded to the reality from the beginning. Most of the sitting-pretty wealthy are hardly going to feel good about any implementation of a more equitable model of commerce; much less giving up an inch of their financial stability to aid those they perceive as having not worked as hard. Opposition parties were lambasted for suggesting such a thing, then ‘quelle surprise’ the Chancellor announces that our feelgood Xmas will be paid by those who earn over £100,000 pa in the next few years. The pendulum swung to 45% in the opposite direction. That’ll boost the foreign property market. Dragon

entrepreneurs will boast about working sixteen-hour days, maybe even seven days a week, because they love what they do. But they assume this can be the model for anyone. So if everyone is going to do that, what is going to happen to their staff and where will their business be then? I worked sixteen-hour days and more for six months without let-up. I loved doing it and had something to show for it, but it wasn’t for a single penny. In their book, I’d be a mug. That’s just stupid, but commercially, no one would be able to afford or budget for what I did. If it came down to financial considerations, the effort I put into that project just wouldn’t have happened. The premise is that the work should be worth something financially and you have to be businesslike to get it. But not all people are like that, or good at it. It’s easy to say, get good, do a course, but that’s like saying all of us can be good at the same thing, or anything we put our efforts into. That’s just not true and it denies how the process itself can affect people. So, the things people do outside of capitalist ventures is valued less or a less valid part of our political system. Practically, we do not acknowledge this factor as part of our political set-up. It might save someone some money somewhere. It might save the government billions, as in the case of family carers and ill people who carefully manage their illness without support. But it doesn’t make the government money in taxes, so it is invalid. And the government want tax-payers to be up in arms over this. This is the reality of social denial. We are in denial if we think human arrogance will allow us to continue against nature. When it all goes wrong, which it will, our commercial, political and personal ambitions, the things we put all our energies into – even our families – will count for nothing against the reality. That’s not hard to foresee. Twenty years ago, it was. We’re outraged at the appalling abuse of Baby P and the incredulous neglect by experts who saw the evidence of it seventy-eight times and did nothing. Good people stood by and did nothing. The expert politicians and captains of commerce are doing the same with us. We have to call to account those who condone practices, financial or practical, who would carelessly sever billions of grandchildren from their futures. We have to call them what they are. Criminals. World leaders have been in denial, for decades. They won’t believe the end of the world, until it is upon them and they have to remove their heads from their arses and mathematical equations. The best thing that could happen is if it all goes and we all have to start doing stuff for nothing. Who would be the strongest then, kind people or the looters? We have a choice. We’re gambling with that choice. Even if we start now, the odds are heavily stacked against us keeping it. Where does your mentality come into this and on what side of the divide might you fall? You will be forced to choose, eventually. We will all have to face reality, one way or another. This is about your personal mentality, your rights and your immediate future. How can we prepare for it, now? If you’re lucky, we will have enough time and you will be able to make your own decisions. It’s a hard bullet for any of us to bite. ___