This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
- Uncle Ben (Spiderman)
Entrenched within ourself is the understanding of the relationship between power and responsibility. We all understand the necessity for our tribe to trust upon a given few the “power” of the many: from the family father; to the village chief; to the president of the republic; these few individuals have been entrusted with the power of the many to do what is best for us, to do what is necessary for our tribe to survive. The price to pay for these individuals is of course “responsibility” i.e. To do what is morally right, to protect our tribe as a whole, to admit, repair, resolve any mistakes made and to make sure these mistakes are learnt and not reproduced by the tribe. And if the powerful fail in their given mission ? We “the many” will remove our power from them and make them powerless. In the following paper I will highlight how modern time has diluted this natural relationship between power and responsibility and how this only contributes and strengthens the powerful emasculating us from our ability to remove power from them.
Imagine yourself in 50’s Britain, enter your local shoe shop in all likelihood the shopkeeper will also be the owner of the business. Imagine for an instance that the shopkeeper could increase his proﬁt by 10% if he moves his production process to Africa and makes children fabricate his shoes. From a rational/mathematical point of view this makes perfect sense for the shop keeper. However the shopkeeper has second thoughts because (a) he has grown to like the staff with whom he works everyday and builds shoes and he would be sad to see them without a job (b) he is not sure what customers would think of this idea and if they’d still buy shoes knowing that they had been built on slave labour (c) Finally in light of all this and because the shoe keeper thinks it is morally wrong he will not resort to child labour… Of course in reality the shoe keeper might have taken a different decisions but you can see that in such a setting there are incentives, strong negatives not to resort to child labour.
"Do you think that they really would prefer you to be a nice guy? Over having money in their pocket? I don’t think so" - Marc Barry
Now fast forward 2010 Britain, independent shopkeepers are rare we mostly have corporations now. A corporation may have a million shareholder who together compose the source of power of the corporation. Shareholders might be spread across the globe nothing relates them to the corporation besides their shares. In this setting the role of the director is to maximise proﬁt, to maximise the return on investment. But where does the responsibility lie in such a system ? Well no where, you cannot prosecute a million shareholder and you cannot condemn a director for what he is, it would be like criticizing a soldier for war it’s an easy target he might not of never wanted war… Now imagine a corporate shoe shop learns that resulting to child labour in Africa increases proﬁt by 10%, you are the director and
shareholders expect a return on proﬁt. There is no longer the same kind of community that composed Britain in the 60’s and child labour is now silently tolerated or ignored. Because you have a morality you might refuse to resort to child labour. But now shareholders will be angered for not receiving the best return on investment and a competing director tells shareholders that he knows a way to increase their proﬁt. What will happen ? you the director will be sacked and removed, and child labour will be implemented by the newly appointed director.
Now that we have seen one of the ways in which the powerful is still present but are now unattainable and protected by a complex maze. We will see how politicians are taking a similar approach to protecting their interests at the expense of us the powerless.
“I would die for my country but I could never let my country die for me”
- Neil Kinnock The British 1950’s politicians understood that they have been appointed by the tribe and that there is a need to express a vision of where the tribe is and where it should go.But this is not just rhetoric, tough necessary actions are also taken, because food is scarce it is rationed, because public ﬁnances are catastrophic public expenditure are cut. Prime ministers came and fell and clear distinctions between parties could be identiﬁed. In essence the old politician is concerned with curing the illness even if this means aggravating the symptoms.
“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last”
- Winston Churchill Return to 2010, now listen to language of politicians, there is no real articulation of what the tribe is or should be, why ? Because whereas traditionally the tribe was separated by wealth and class, it is now further distinguished by parallel communities and cultures running within the tribe and the ever expanding gap between the rich and poor. So the tribe no longer has a vision or an identity and as such the modern politician is essentially a selﬁsh entity that is mostly concerned with his own re-election and can only ever articulate a mild or non existent Ideology of what the tribe is or should be. So the power of the modern politician is mostly inexistant and worst still his responsibility is also diffused being transferred to international institutions so that he can then blame them for all the tribes woes e.g. “it’s a global crisis”. In essence the modern politician never wants or can cure or tackle the illness rather he puts a veil on the symptoms. All decisions he takes are essentially symbolic, no veritable actions ever being taken e.g. on crime (small increase in funding), global warming (set targets but don’t respect them), economic crisis (pour money into a ﬂawed system).
In the ﬁnal part of this article we will see how the most vital part of the tribe: the family and individuals have been compromised by this dangerous separation of power and responsibility.
“They’re only as good as the world allows them to be”
- The Joker Back to 1950’s; the culture of the British tribe is easily distinguishable that’s not to say it is easily deﬁnable. But look at marriage for instance; men that put women pregnant are expected to marry, why ? Because the tribe knows that a child raised by a single parent is statistically likely to be less successful in life. Look at crime ? it exists but it is mostly committed out of despair and poverty and they are universally condemned by the tribe. Arguably it is a more sane, consistent community, one with universal taboos, do’s and dont’s.
“Those people were ﬁghting for something; for a cause. To them out there, this is just entertainment” - Harry Brown
A new generation of crime is upon us, one that is gratuitous and motivated by hate, not despair. And who’s to blame for crime ? Rarely the criminals it is easier to blame it on our tribe for not providing more social welfare. The NHS recently reported that they were being “swamped” by children as young as 3 with preventable diseases such as rotting teeth or damaged livers; the reason being that they had eaten insane amounts of junk food, or been allowed to become alcoholised on a regular basis. And who’s to blame for this ? No not the parents, rather once again we blame the tribe because it did not provide sufﬁcient welfare even through it is completely unrelated to the issue. Our culture is in shambles there are no longer do’s, dont’s or taboos. Hence people that don’t have the chance to be born in a strong parental household don’t have the strong force of culture to guide them towards becoming a model tribesmen. We no longer operate in the interest of the tribe but in our own very narrow, selﬁsh interests.
“It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre”
- Enoch Powell The naysayers can deny it as much they like, they can deny the existence of the tribe if they wish, they can deny that our society is broken, they can deny that power is no longer associated with responsibility, they can deny the increasing gap between rich and poor, that people are less united and increasingly separated and that because the tribe has been denied that we now operate in our own selﬁsh individual interest only and that the modernists in their nobel utopian attempt to create a fairer more generous world have destroyed the tribe and initiated the return to the animal state. The fact remains that everything indicates that this generation for the ﬁrst time in humanity will fail the challenges that have fallen upon them. In the face of social anarchism, global warming and economical disaster we do not stand a chance if we follow the path which we have set ourselves upon.
“This is a real call to change, a call for the re-installment of responsibility and for the return of the tribal state. This is a call for action”
- Paul Conversy