Modern Monetary Theory

http://rt.com/programs/capital-account/stephanie-kelton-monetary-government/

The link is to a short video at RT on modern monetary theory.  The basic idea is that we have been had by economics.  Governments can print money and their basic job should be prioritising what this is spent on in democratic fashion.  We could even print such money in order to reduce taxes.  The video is very basic and includes such issues as creating full employment in order not to waste the 34 billion man-hours as current in the USA.

One can see many difficulties in the approach – but really we should be looking at this kind of stuff rather than clapped out, simplified BBC-bimbo programmes on Marx, Hayek and Keynes that make money for Stephanie Flanders and similar crew repeating ‘made facile’ textbooks as though they are knowledgeable.

Key problems in economics are really about why we allow competition on such grounds as ‘Chinese’ wages being so much lower and never give anyone any chance of voting for or against such ‘globalisation’.  There is no reason to do this I know of other than the ideology of free-trade and connected ideas on the ‘right to manage’.

MMT would require industrial/work democracy to work and to be taken up in large trading blocks like the Americas and Europe.  Most people have never heard of it – which just demonstrates the idea of voting ‘on the economy stupid’ is done in ignorant bliss.

Chinese Paradise?

We often hear on the BBC (Bimbo Broadcasting Corp) that China is doing really well and has enough cash to bail out the rest of the world.  In fact, there is a lot of debt in China and a public debt to GDP ratio of about 60% once you add up the figures on the same standard as ours.

Here are some of the ‘work required’ to buy property in their capital that have been doing the rounds on the Net.

To purchase a 1,076-square-foot (100-square-metre) apartment in central Beijing costing 3 million Renminbi ($450,000), a peasant farmer would have had to work since the Tang dynasty that ended in A.D. 907. A Chinese blue-collar worker on the average monthly salary of 1,500 Renminbi ($225) would have had to work since the Opium Wars of the mid-nineteenth century. Prostitutes would have to entertain 10,000 customers; a thief would need 2,500 robberies.
Snail House, a popular Chinese TV soap opera, combined house prices, sex, corruption and political intrigue. A woman becomes the mistress of a party official to obtain his help to buy a flat, while a young couple struggles unsuccessfully to raise the deposit for an apartment.

Another email described the fate of ordinary Chinese with sardonic humour: “Can’t afford to be born because a Caesarean costs 50,000 Renminbi [$7,500]; can’t afford to study because schools cost at least 30,000 Renminbi [$4,500]; can’t afford to live anywhere because each square meter is at least 20,000 Renminbi [$3,000]; … can’t afford to die because cremation costs at least 30,000 Renminbi [$4,500].”

Anyone else recognise this as what the future of our kids is?

 

Fairness?

Some of our bwanksters have been subject to not getting bonuses based on selling fraudulent loan protection.  The BBC broadcast that this was new.  In fact ‘claw-back’ is a common feature and dread for salespeople in financial services and especially insurance.

Zerohedge – http://www.zerohedge.com/news/its-official-greece-unveils-negative-salary – shows just how tough things can get for ordinary, non-bwankster folk.  Teachers face not just cuts but working for nothing or negative salary for a while in Greece, then at much reduced rates.

The real economic truth is that a bunch of rich, idle, peculiarly libidinal bastards have had it away with our hard-earned and politicians have aided and abetted them whilst collapsing our vital work economies.  I have often alluded to sending manufacturing to China as ‘selling whiskey and guns to the Indians’ – in fact we sold them the manufacturing facilities and distilleries.  The analogy is purely to film – the conquest involved was vile and genocidal via scorched earth (buffalo eradication) and disease.  ‘We’ were the bastards.

Marx called for worker of the world to unite – in fact the world’s rich have.  Double standards are everywhere.  We are still debating whether bwanksters are worth their pay and bonuses whilst ordinary workers’ conditions are summarily reduced to “negative pay”.  More than 50% of US citizens receive some form of welfare and we still harp on about the triumph of western capitalism.  Millibore the Ineffectual can pass himself off as a Labour leader in this amoral climate.  We claim to be democratic as, at every turn, we weaken worker pay, conditions and rights in order to be able to bully them down to the status of Chinese worker-serfs!  Human resource management, once about making conditions in your firm so good no one would be arsed with union crap, is no a vile set of evil rhetoric.

We need a New Deal (and not some Nulabour piss) across the globe.  The key is in the idiot propaganda film ‘300’ when the hero uses the great line ‘You are fighting free men, not slaves’.  Shite as the film was as a distortion of history (the Persians were probably a lot less brutal than the Greeks and the film should have shown arse-banditry amongst the Spartans) – this line is the point, if suitably de-sexisted.

We currently talk of hard work and self-reliance when the job market has collapsed – largely because technology and organising systems have improved productivity – and more are due.  All the politicians available to vote for prattle on about “growth” and fiddle with what is a simple neo-classical (i.e. failed) economic spreadsheet.  What we need is structural change.  This has to start in completely new thinking on work and reward.

Banking should not attract salaries higher than anywhere else.  All the excuses given are rot and based on two wrongs making a right.  If Rooney is worth his money, so is Fred the Shred.  Bolloxs!  All sports could be run with a salary cap and this could be based on what we think the job is worth.  In the old Rugby League dressing rooms we all got the same match fee.  Tell me the 1978 cup final wasn’t as good as last years.  Look what just happened to Spurs on a wet and bobbly Stevenage dung-heap last week.  Tell me who was worth more than the game lad playing right back for the minnows.

In real consideration on pay we should consider what letting people get rich really does. The most obvious is that they get control of all sorts of stuff they have no right to and they always seek to maintain their advantage, giving their kids unfair advantages through education and networking.

Whatever the secret of success is, I’ve never seen any non-dross explication of it in more than 20 years as an academic.  As a manager it was very noticeable how many other managers were some fucker’s brother-in-law.  In studies I’ve read, researchers were unable to find anyone ‘unconnected’ in the fancy business school I was once a visiting lecturer at.

Even when we talk of rewarding success, we don’t really get anywhere, because ‘success’ can be produced by false accounting.  Why are the bwanksters not repaying all the money they lost (in fraud) by lifetime indenture on negative salary – that is, what we are doing to Greek teachers?

Only an unwise man would have tried to part me from my winning pay – but one can see direct links there.  In detailed analysis, one can make direct links between CEO pay and the collapse in worker wages.  Why do we let these creeps choose their own targets – how are we suckered into letting the consideration of performance stop at bottom lines so easy to fiddle to the purpose of one small set of interests?  These are not good people – just a bunch of scheming fucks no better than animals.  It’s common in animal herds for a “king” to live in luxury whilst keeping others downtrodden.

Arguments from the bottom line might hold if bottom lines weren’t so easy to fiddle and if the myth of competitive innovation, working smarter and others were true.  Britain and the UK would now have vast numbers of ‘smart workers’ in ‘smart jobs’ – the truth is the opposite with much skill now embodied in machines – amazingly not much of the banking and education that could be.  It makes sense in this nonsense to strip workers of pay, decent conditions and pensions AND pay CEOs massive amounts.  In 1980, the bottom half has 14% of liquid assets – this is down to 1% – and this process hardly produces a wealthy population to spend money on growth.

We should raise living standards across the globe by identifying the work needed, being prepared to police it to prevent local thugs and money-lenders getting in the way.  Global government should be presenting ideas on what the responsibilities of citizens in such a society are.  Population control, aims towards sustainable energy and renewal, agriculture – and what politicians and leaders should do.  To get to any of this I think we need to start thinking of “leadership” as the main block to progress.  Just look at some of the absolute bastards history has thrown up.  Hitler (a rather nice chap to those around him), Stalin, any number of Romans, religious weirdos and utterly peculiar arses like Churchill, Blair, Bush and DSK!  Even Gandhi ended up in bed with kids laying claim to be saving the world through his abstinence.  The GOP can’t even put forward a non-loony and Obama is clearly bought and paid for despite his Internet campaign funding stuff.

Anyone who has tried herding cats in unstructured groups, or to get recruits still raw from basic training to one side of a street to another under fire (etc.) knows people don’t generally cooperate well without direction, training, drills and the rest.  None of this means we should give up to “great leaders” and their arrays of bullshit and bullying.

How pathetic is it that we can standardise the rules and playing conditions of sports across the globe and yet not have a quality of work-life set of rules for international economic competition and cooperation?  We had the idea long ago – just no practice.  All our managers and politicians have shown over the years is they have no moral fibre and cheat on what should be rights for all at the drop of the ‘it’s a global competition out there’ hat.  In fact it is in no way a global competition in the way FIFA soccer is with level playing fields and strict refereeing.  This was managed, admittedly imperfectly, even though Blatter an his cronies run it!

We probably know enough about bureaucracy now to avoid the pitfalls of gonadotrophic thinking like dictatorships of the proletariat and politburo.  A decent world isn’t with us because we have been conned into thinking we can’t organise one.  I’m no leftie and believe in an international service solution linked with enterprise.  I do believe the rich have done so much damage they should spend the rest of their unworthy lives in negative income atonement.

We Need New thinking On High Earnings And Wealth

In 1989, the CEOs of the seven largest banks in the US earned an average of $2.8 million, almost a hundred times the annual income of the average US household. In the same year, the CEOs of the largest four UK banks earned £453,000, fifty times average UK household income. These are striking inequalities. Yet by 2007, at the height of the financial sector boom, CEO pay at the largest US banks had risen nearly tenfold to $26 million, more than five hundred times US household income, while among the UK’s largest banks it had risen by an almost identical factor to reach £4.3 million, 230 times UK household income in that year.

People who have benefited from such obscene ‘pay’ often get any debate on it steered towards the idea they earned the money and the chance to do this was central to their ‘motivation’.  Yet the evidence may be that they were making negative contribution to our economies all the time, fuelling bubbles that would inevitably burst.  And the creation of this super-rich class has also confounded what we thought were our democracies.  I doubt it’s now possible to vote anywhere for candidates not sullied by the money-grubbing.  Blair is a classic example, but across the pond politicians can legally trade on insider information and beat the markets in their personal dealings by 12%, way in excess of traders like Soros.  The classic study on this is –  “Abnormal Returns from the Common Stock Investments of the U.S. Senate, Alan J. Ziobrowski, Ping Cheng, James W, Boyd, and Brigitte J. Ziobrowski, was published in the Journal of Financial and
Quantitative Analysis (Dec. 2004).

Many questions need to be asked before we are suckered into asking whether the right question is whether huge salaries are desirable or even necessary.  The first is what these payments actually are and how we pay for them.  Banking is not self-sustaining, and any moves have effects on the rest of us – what would be the point of the vast riches is they didn’t buy something off the rest of us?  My argument is we become indentured to them.

Many of us have not yet noticed the effects of quantitative easing and the rest of the bailout.  Some have seen their monthly pensions drop from (say) £1200 to £580 and no doubt some have lost jobs and the rest.  Greece is falling apart and Ireland is suffering.  Worse is coming.

Your standard BBC Bimbonews allows various propagandists to present the business-as-usual drivel.  We need to find ways to subvert this dross and get to the real arguments that aren’t hopelessly confined to academic journals.  We are committing our children and their children to debt peonage because we are dumbly satisfied that these mega-payments can be earned, and it really beggars belief we are better off by paying the piper.  If we had Daleks exterminate them all overnight, the system would be running again in days if not hours – sadly much as it always has.  Munich did not finish off Manchester United.

One would expect, had these bwankers been creating real wealth, that there would be plenty of it around for public services and pensions.  Instead we face austerity whilst the rich grow richer.  I conclude they were never producing real wealth and merely stealing in a complex fraud.  There have been massive rises in productivity and we should be living easier.  We’re being stiffed and can’t even talk about it, rather like abuse victims.  One can hardly imagine Albert Einstein saying, ‘I smarter than you bastards, give me all your money’!

Waiting for the storm

I watched the rolling news out of the corner of the eye today whilst doing my admin tasks. BBC, Sky and Russia Today get some part of my attention.  I learn nothing much except I prefer Radio 3.  Sky had some vapid woman who either is of was a police superintendent.  I gleaned little except democracy is not safe in hands like hers.  RT actually spoke to a few protesters about the protest.  The UK clowns seemed to be hoping something would kick off.  What I thought I saw was police over-kill with London closed to traffic and more officers than protesters.

I regard myself as little more than a serial cock-up survivor.  Life as others live it is meaningless to me and allows little moral fellowship.  We do a bit of shopping for elderly neighbours, I cut next door’s “lawn”, clean up crap for the street when I put out our bins and turn up to help next door’s kids when their parents are out if needed (they have replaced a couple of my roof tiles etc.) – but in the wider sense I just see doom.

Gadget’s girlfriend was under attack in Parliament and blamed the previous government. No truth came out other than that the gaggle of clowns in the place aren’t fit for anything but ridicule.  Ms May appears capable of sacking people and I suspect this will lead to more paperwork as people cover arse.  I note that when the clowns present themselves in our roughly five-yearly selection interviews that they don’t say they will do so much of more or less nothing they will still be able to blame the last management two, three and ten years down the line.  Evette Cooper was useless and the point that we can’t muster enough customs people with a reserve army of about 8 million unemployed was never made.

Police will not be able to find enough officers to ‘anti-protest’ at double the number protesting or setting up tents if the actual nature of our plight dawns on enough people.  It’s not good to see that we now mob protests with police and nick people for camping in Trafalgar Square.  But never mind anything serious, FIFA is going to allow our players to wear poppies that rightly commemorate the fallen but also encourage the forgetting of the imperialist nature of wars millions protested against and then died in because we couldn’t resist the banks and commercial interests any better then than now.

I have no real truck with the protesters, but think they should be allowed to protest around Parliament – to discourage the clowns in the place.  The rest of us deserve little as we remain ignorant and apathetic under the current tyranny of clowns.  I’m just waiting for the run on the banks (what I put by is in gold), a collapse in asset prices and then my little pace in the sun.  I’d rather fight, but tell me where or who with,

I’m going abroad because almost all our society disgusts me and I can get cricket and rugby on Sky.  It’s all easier to ignore as an exile, there’s generally less crime and a less threatening drinking atmosphere when I venture out for a few.  And there are none of those awful apathetic English.  I hope to be out before the storm blows here.

Channel 4 News returned a little sanity, soon back to the despair of a young disabled couple who committed suicide in our Brave New World, yet at least some concern with truth.  I half-expect the studio to be dismantled by a flood of Bobbies!  There is still little on the Italian job and what it means.

Those of us who believe the current model of doing things in the world is hapless are rarely motivated by Marxist jargon these days.  I’ve always thought ‘brainwork’ should be unlicensed and free to all with minor exceptions like bomb-making recipes and skills.  the issue for most of us is debt and the way neo-classical economics (of most governments) leaves this out of the relevant management spreadsheets.  This leads us to think we are in another great depression, with the exception that government interventions this time have been massive (QE and such).  And most of us think these government measures are appliatives for a crooked banking sector, not the real problems.  This isn’t hindsight and most of us concerned with debt predicted the 2088 crash or something like it.  You can find most of the argument at Naked Capitalism, Steve keen (including a full academic course of lectures), David Malone and Zerohedge.

My tack has never been one of economics in the standard sense.  I take it that society needs something simple that most people can grasp – this because I’ve taught too long to believe even university students can get over ‘early learning’ constantly reinforced by our vapid media and stifling workplaces.  More people turned out for Jimmy Saville than to protest.  It is no surprise that Berlusconi is off just after agreeing the IMF inspectors can come in.

The worst is yet to come – and bring it on

Most of us looking on at the ‘Euro-antics’ and OccupyX probably have some disdain for the lot if it.  How long before a police officer is badly hurt trying to do his or her best over protests that are probably necessary because our democratic centre is collapsing?  Most of us are getting round to knowing the ‘bimbo BBC‘ type of coverage offers no real analysis.  Over the last few months they have been catching on very slowly but are still trapped in the idea that this is some kind of liquidity crisis in banking.

I’m reminded of my old work in chemistry – banking looking like endothermic reactions that suck energy in, a control system that uses up all the resources with only tiny returns.  It’s as though we are watching a game of Monopoly expecting this to produce a real economy. BBC Bimboistas tell us money is being pumped into the economy, but QE and such are no such thing and build no factories and provide no cash (wages, partial debt jubilee) that might keep restaurants and pubs open.

No jobs are being created (beyond churning) and the old attitudes pervade – we talk of education and training – but seriously go to your local job centre and look what turns up on their machines – take a serious look at how limited many jobs are, requiring few skills and a decent attitude to hygiene and punctuality.  There is no structural analysis and yet there is scary talk about making sackings easier – scary not because some shirkers might get the push but because it reeks of indenture to ‘work correctness’.  Most of us know to say we are hard workers, relish challenge and so on – but the reality is something else entirely – we’re waiting to win the lottery and escape.

The further up the greasy pole I slid, the less work I found being done, and less talent.  Essentially, I hate politics and want as little of it and government as possible.  I’d say the same of economics.  I want enough of both for street protests to be marginal, not mainstream.  Our problems are that we have too much of the damned stuff and what there is works only in the interests of a tiny minority.  It’s enough to turn a non-believer like me onto the street – and this is what I think the problem will become, writ large. Newsnight’s solution tonight is eating insects.  This is the only part of the programme with any intellectual validity.  It’s about farting, with insects 8 times less flatulent than pigs.

My guess is our problems are to do with work-shyness.  We have created non-job after non-job whilst degrading the rewards of real hard graft, instead of organising worthwhile work around vast improvements in technology and productivity.  And we are about to ‘discover’ this as surely as any of the ‘economic bubbles’ that have been pricked from dotcon to ghost city building.  This is being left out of ‘analysis’ and is what will eventually spill onto our streets.  Our problem is efficiency in production and waste in neurosis all around it.  My students are always visibly shocked by real work seen and heard in factory and mine visits – and look at what happens when the BBC takes our callow youth to do work in the far east.  I feel I teach little more than how to idle in bureaucracies in my classrooms..  They are content there, knowing I have to set them something easy enough to pass.  They study so little, most don’t even realise inflation will ensure their loan repayments kick in at half the real pay they think it will.  A vague memory of phrases such as debt peonage may ring in the future we are killing off for them, keeping quiet to ensure mortgage payments.  A few – those who grasp that the single Gaussian copula isn’t a cooking implement – might get in on the right bets in what follows the shock to come.

We are close now to the shock promised in the last days of my youth – that of computerised expert knowledge catching up with other embodied knowledge in production that has robots doing what was once skilled work.  My lectures have long been obsolete, but ‘death by Powerpoint’ continues for now.  Accountants continue even though software does a better job – the ‘reason’ in both cases is fraud and being able to sign off (pass) what our VCs or CEOs want.  This is OK as long as ‘good times’ eventually roll but they look to have stopped.  There is no real market for university graduates and the times in which the off-balance-sheet could be lost in a good year are catching up on us as the ‘holes’ brim over.

The answer is to slay the Jabberwock.  Instead, politicians who would be mediocre students pretend they know what they are doing and feed our virgin daughters to it.

How Long Before We Have Real Street Protests?

Interesting in a democracy that we aren’t seeing much reporting of a mass movement of protest that’s starting in the USA.  There are a few ‘campsites’ forming in the UK, but our social security safety net cushions people from the kind of homelessness and hunger that brings anything to attention and action in politics.  We just don’t care or want to care, do we?

Around the world, research shows that government cuts of 3% or more lead to substantial increases in the amount of protests – ours (UK) are just about to start hurting and exceed this figure (see Jacopo Ponticelli and Hans-Joachim Voth – ‘Austerity and Anarchy: Budget Cuts and Social Unrest in Europe 1919-2009″ – Centre for Economic Policy Research).

Philosophically we might start asking, instead of ‘when is a terrorist a freedom fighter’ the question ‘when is a police officer an agent of repression’?  I like the latter question as it assumes policing has a lot to do with democracy and freedom, which it does.  Instead, those of a more practical bent might start wondering where to spend the over-time.  The link to the paper is – http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1899287 – students and those interested will find a wealth of material at this site.

I have as little to do with the system as I can manage.  If you earn more than £50K it’s barkingly obvious you don’t deserve it, though we might want to preserve wages (not earnings) up to £100K for motivational purposes.  No one should be able not to contribute work to the system and we have a lot of idle rich and putative ones.  The are as scum as any evil poor,perhaps more so as they must know they are looting.  It’s now taking £4 to £8 of debt to produce a quid in increased GDP – this is because the rich maintain a system that plunders and enslaves.  If my next book sells well and the rest it could make me more money than I have otherwise made in my lifetime – farcical – and then some poor slobs end up having to work to pay the interest when I lend it to them (indirectly).  I don’t wish to be a slave owner, however indirectly.  I might be more effective than the whole of ACPO if given the chance, but I’m not worth one of their salaries.  No one is and we’ve been conned over the years into beliefs in all kinds of unproven crud on expertise and the need to pay for it.  I know universities don’t teach much expertise outside of science and medicine, and just how poor most business graduates and MBAs really are.  Don’t confuse me with a leftie -I’ll be well to the right of anything you think up.

We’re about to see a lot of household incomes drop,including so-called middle income groups.  Those with kids and big mortgages are already struggling – inflation is at 15% onimportant stuff like food and general living expenses.  Jobs are nowhere to be found in our bleak areas, immigrants are everywhere we could once drop down to and the economy has changed structurally so as to prevent growth in jobs.  We still have mad notions that GDP increases mean an economy is growing rather than burning the planet, and don’t understand we could now largely emancipate ourselves from work.

I’ve just read a short book by a police officer concerned the job is so stressful it drives most people away within ten years or so – it does.  Women lasted an average of five years last time I looked.  The answers are couched in terms of much I’d agree with as a start – but I think we need to go more radical.  I suspect work is generally bad for us and we wouldn’t do most of it if we didn’t think we needed the money.  And I think we could get by much better than we do now on a 30 hour 3-day week.  Work is fundamentally non-democratic and the means through which the ancien regime continues as an Undead.

Street protest will not be about considered change to our society.  If a three-day week seems fantastic to you, remember the last real one when Heath was PM lost only 4% of national production.  I can find you Wall Street and City Men who will tell you unemployment is now really at 15% – but my company doctor analysis is that it runs closer to 70% if we add in useless work.  You can approximate to the figure by imagining, say, that all ACPOs were killed this morning and when we’d notice.  I can show you detailed analysis of work that shows most of it conforms to the Pareto principle.

What we need is a sensible change towards better quality of life (not that piss to mention at promotion boards) and reasonable equality.  They still have us thinking quite chronic inequality is necessary and that powers in work hierarchies that amount to droight de sneignor are needed.  We need to get rid of these hideous medieval practices.  One used to be able to moderate this stuff by earning your way out of it – but debt has kiboshed that opportunity for most.

The Arab Spring looks like a failure already.  Our own streets will fill as things bite in around 12 months time, but there is no plan to bring real change.  I saw some odious BBC woman asking what more kids in relative poverty would mean.  FFS!  This is how dumb we have become.  We are now massively productive to what end?  Poverty?  Cops paid by banks, earning property through over-time suppressing the people?  Where have we seen that before?

Castlebeck and Phone Hacking Lessons For Police Reform?

The Care Quality  Commission has produced a damning report into Castlebeck, the care provider exposed by BBC Panorama.  Actually there is a series of reports at:

http://caredirectory.cqc.org.uk//caredirectory/searchthecaredirectory.cfm?cit_id=1-116865865&widCall1=customWidgets.content_view_1

The real point of interest is that this health care regulator wasn’t doing its job until the Panorama cameras ‘burst’ in.  Without this journalism, which can’t be praised enough, we’d have had the cosy business-as-usual.

When it comes to proper use of ‘learning lessons’ in management, the idea isn’t the standard rolling out of this phrase after dire under-performance, but to be looking around in your own and other areas for what can help maintain standards and aid continuous improvement and potentially radical changes.

Cynthia Bower, CEO of CQC has just filled me with dread with the standard ‘learning lessons’ speech.  She looked like ACPO material.

It’s utterly obvious that both the phone hacking and care scandals would not have come out without journalism.  What the enlightened manager (another for Dickebo’s ‘oxymoron list’) would want to do is bring about a culture that prevents the wrongdoing, not the standard form that prevents the disclosure.

The management question that should arise concerns what would be exposed if the Panorama or Dispatches cameras came in and creating the culture that would not be embarrassed by them.  Instead, we get that paranoid-schizoid response of doing everything to keep out public scrutiny.

Britain’s Got No Talent

News that a talent show is bent is no news.  I wouldn’t care if I really believed this country has no talent.  Whatever talent is, it ain’t the stuff of our soft porn entertainment industry.  I don’t watch any of this muck, but am sometimes trapped into it in a pub or when they stick it on the news after some carnage somewhere.  I don’t want censorship – this just hands things over to moral morons.  I think it all is censorship of the opiate of the masses kind.  I know I’d rather be zonked out than be aware of any of it.

The idea that ADMASS culture is shite is not new – I think the term was JB Priestley’s.  It’s not refinement I would seek, but rather peace from the muck being peddled as the status quo and something for ‘my market segmentation’.  When I live abroad, I’m generally free of the awful dross – the peddlers can’t get at me as easily.  What there isn’t is any kind of positive opt-in to a world without it.  By now, we should be able to schedule our own programming in new ways and not rely on advertisers or BBC bureaucrats.

What I want, in the end, is to be able to choose and I suspect this is a new politics.  I would choose a life with very little retailing in it, however direct or indirect.  What goes on now gives me no world to join, let alone feel belonging in.  There’s a grumpy side in all this of course and I’m rejecting the ‘affluence in privacy’ that one can achieve by preying on existing society.  I could move to some ghastly space in Tokyo and buy friends by the night, more the norm there than anyone cares to admit.  I’d rather see the smile on my neighbour’s face because I’ve mowed her lawn.

And I’d rather be ‘mowing my neighbour’s lawn’ than stuck in entertainment.  We’ve loads of talent.  It’s just that we have it all upside down.  Join me doing her back garden Dave?  I doubt it, Big Society Boy.

On the lack of facts

http://bankbabble.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/apathetic-violence/

I watched John Pilger‘s film ‘The War We Don’t See’ (ITV player) and episode 103 of the Keiser Report (Russia Today) earlier this week.  The first pitched the line that we are always at war and governments and journalists collude to prevent us knowing what is really going on.  RT reminds me of the old Radio Moscow, though without the ludicrous propaganda phrases that made me laugh as a kid listening with my elder brother.  Yet its language on the financial crisis, in a bad show, is refreshing.  The idea in the Keiser Report is that fraud has become the business model, and that fraud squared is how it is all being covered up.

What is easy to say, is that we should, in social democracy, be making our own minds up on the facts.  Almost no one disagrees with this, yet the extent to which we ever do, or even can as a populace is very doubtful.  Banksidebabble, linked at the top of the page, ascribes this to people not being able to think beyond their own interests and, if you like, when these interests are threatened with a slap in the face with a wet fish.  That the media doesn’t put facts before us so we can make up our own minds, whether we are watching Pilger, Keiser, BBC lickspittles, Murdoch’s toadies, reading newspapers or listening to Radio 4, surfing the net or whatever, is utterly obvious.  That claims to the opposite are often made by bureaucrats of reporting rules and duties is disturbing.  Most academic material is really only polemic disguised.

Very nasty fascism took over Germany when it was the most educated, cultured and scientific nation (and a democracy).  We like to think we are beyond such nonsense, yet we are as far now from an open society as when Karl Popper wrote about its enemies (around WW2).  Spinoza once called politics the art of survival amongst ignorance, in a statement much like Banksie’s.  In all this, we are confronted with something similar to a response cop, trying to make sense of multiple claims being made in a dispute, or a detective trying to find evidence amongst those set on concealing it.  Often, the very people doing the investigations are the vested interests themselves, or highly subject, like journalists, to reporting what the interests say (the lobby, being embedded and so on).

One might say, that the Lakatosian legal-commercial paradigm in the West has become decadent (articles in the Harvard Law Review etc.) – but what’s the point of that kind of intellectual argument?  We need something we can drive!  The biggest fact we seem to miss is that life could be much easier than it is, with much less work and that we are screwing even this up with ideologies suited to the days of spades rather than tractors.  The big fact on street protest and the ‘militarisation’ of our cops is that our society is so dud we need either.