I intend my novel to be wide ranging – this statement itself may put a publisher off! I started out to write a cop story that introduced economic issues, maybe as a read for students. I’ve given that up, consigning most going through my mind to this blog. There are already books around with titles like ‘The best way to rob a bank: own your own’ and fantastic realities like there being one offshore financial institution for every 5000 New Zealanders. For that matter there’s Germany, which does most economic stuff right, but still has broke banks and a decline in working and middle class earnings.
The world is organised by and for the rich and to make this tiny group richer – the rest get what ‘trickles down’ and we live in some terror notion we would do worse without them. I’m no democrat myself because democracies are so easily swayed by politicians already corrupt. We are supposed to take austerity and yet they never offer to live in it themselves, rather like Scargill in the Miners’ Strike.
I live in a world in which, if I say ‘agriculture is only 4% of world GDP’ hardly anyone twigs, let alone groks what this means (little work is about our survival). We’re on the verge of an economics that is scientific – this won’t come from existing economists or politicians. It’s about how much of the land and other resources like air goes into producing our lives. This is already measured and the news isn’t good. Western lifestyles cannot be preserved if the rest of the world ‘catches up’ and the world is ‘full’. Yet almost every politician has to promise ‘recovery’ based on more of what we are doing now. A rich 1% own nearly everything that monetary value can be put on and are getting more and more of it – and presumably we have to keep on our charitable giving to this group (by the time you get to the top 20% there’s not much left over). Under ‘trickle down’ we have to work more and more to produce a vast surplus. It’s madness.
My choice is doing something a bit like Charlie Owen’s wonderful stories of madcap coppering so I get out of austerity, or trying to do something to penetrate the madness for a wider benefit. Teaching once offered some of the latter, but is now an industry in the madness. In part of my research I signed on at the local job centre – they were predictably useless and most of the ‘jobs’ weren’t real at all. I applied for a few that would have fit in with my schedule (project management stuff) and discovered most, including one I was offered were ‘fictional’. I saw none of the readily available, low skill jobs Gadget claims are there for the ‘evil poor’ – but this is ‘England’s Northwest’. I went along to a ‘job preparation’ course and found it based on a lunatic book called ‘Chicken Soup For the Soul’ – it was like a scene from ‘League of Gentlemen’ with Pauline. I did help get a bright woman into university instead of the junk she was being recommended – but there was sod all for even people with substantial engineering skills, let alone the willing unskilled. In short, no help on offer. Some of the job agencies I’ve used to get interim work have been as bad. I came across the same problems as those more than 20 years ago, including the fear of many on benefits that jobs would not last long and they’d be in a worse situation reapplying (they are right). I’d put my work and the books on a back-burner if I could do anything real to help. I don’t – and much as I’d dig a hole and bury the kind of turds who caused so much trouble for me, lumping this ‘lumpen proletariat’ with most people in trouble at the bottom of our society is wrong. This problem has been with us everywhere old industries close down for more than 40 years and is an older historical problem – there is nowhere to ‘upsticks’ to for most people.
Some of my worst fears about people and my own anti-democratic leanings have been confirmed in my venture into low-life.and accord with much Francis Bacon had to say on general public argument – it’s dumb and you’d better try hard not to let your own pretensions make you as stupid. In science one finds most of what you learned at school is not basic, but rather a facile corruption strangely made more difficult than it should be. All kinds of previous work can be found and relied on – one not only gets to use wheels without inventing them, but actively learns to avoid doing what’s been done before, other than in learning techniques.
The ‘real world’ has none of what we rely on in science, though much that makes such claim. Religious fables have been laid bare, but we have failed, so far, to demonstrate economics as religious, or to make people aware they base their thinking in Idols. The fantastic story of economics is that we must organise so that the rich get nearly all the rewards. This makes no sense to the scientist, but one knows the means of demonstration to others is lacking. The truth is most people are too dumb or unskilled to understand – but try telling them that and you’ll just discover that what people hate most is a smartass. Most people think I’m lying when I tell them about animals with a spare penis, and can’t tell I’m joking in a long story about low human sperm counts (true), masturbating monkeys and the Human Zoo (not true),links between masturbation and sperm count (true) and that as sperm counts are down all men are wankers (more or less true but the joke should kick in).. Desmond Morris claimed we live in a human zoo on the basis that monkeys, polar bears and elephants masturbate in zoos but not in the wild. I would point to real mad bits of human history. Wanking is a lot less dangerous than religions belief in human history or all kinds of things built on the toil of others. Many human zoos have perished through ecocide, this one is in econocide. There’s no telling you though. Most of you don’t even manage a developed sense of humour. Now, how do you teach real economics to people who mostly can’t get the jokes in South Park? Did you know the Germans have a better sense of humour? Or the Danes? I’d bet not.