I suspect we all suspect we know the answer to that. We know the condition exists and, while we cannot isolate the prime cause or prescribe the eventual effects, we wrap our dissidence in the mufflers of frustration and limit ourselves to the cliche's of "All power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely." Or, "until the power of love overcomes the love of power, the epitaph of this world will be carved on misery." The damnable thing is, that while these cliche's may be the lazy answer, they are a refined truth. And truth of any nature is not a bad base point for any philosophy to be argued from.
Since I'm a simple bloke I would like to expand the cliche's into simple individual terms of the gut, the heart and the head and apply that to our everyday world.
At the moment my own little world is pretty evenly divided between the daily chore of keeping the banks blackmail and intrusion in my life to the absolute minimum and looking after and doing all I can to ease the osteoarthritis my five year old mutt has developed. The rest of my time, including this writing, is pretty much fun. Though the writing like the bank, but not my mutt, often - no, more like always - is unrewarding. So there we have the emotions of the gut and the heart for the dog, with the head recognising the symptoms but acting to the gut and hearts instruction, while the combination of head and gut reacts to the bank demands and rip-offs while the heart refuses even to acknowledge its existence. The writings a combination of all three. With all of equal status, but fluctuating involvement depending on the subject matter. So there you have it, a pretty average life for an average bloke living in the Western Lifestyle - I suppose you could argue the "work" routine or even the trauma of joblessness and or pending homelessness is missing from the equation. But they're both pretty routine for millions at the moment, so they can be balanced out by the lack of the few with millions and quaffing Champers that are also excluded.
Meanwhile on the national front, 1st world style, the fashionable word in our daily media rations is, we're told, the "C" word. "Cuts" is the cry of the politicians and their tame media pundits, is the answer to the profligacy awarded to the bankers who, while they were too big to fail, were unfortunately too scared to jump, too arrogant to apologise or show remorse and have then the cheek to threaten us with the denial of their expertise and presence if we curbed their pornographic greed. ( Here I've got to say, it has occurred to me their attitude offered a more legitimate use to the facilities at Guantanamo. This eventually could be used as a staging post for rendition to the Moon. But this is part of my concept for the incarceration of those psychologically addicted to the abuse of power and to disclose it in detail now may divert and distract from the present argument.) Which is, that the present cries for Cuts is no more than another diversion from the truth. The real "C" word is crises and while for the West in particular that may well be a financial one that the moderate rich or poor may feel in their pockets, the third world are going to feel that crises in their already clamouring and rumbling guts. But, in their usual blundering incompetent way our political masters want to perform their human resource function by socialising the costs while their global corporate masters, not only recoup but increase their capital base.
Unfortunately, while the grumbling guts and their consequences will be all too real, the financial pantomime has no more substance than the piece of plastic in your pocket has in real value other than for the convenience and profit to the institutions. So financial barrow boys and their worthless fringe acolytes apart, the financial crises has turned the alchemy of bluff into real gold for those who dreamt the hand and dealt it.
And not only is it a diversion from the truth but, just as it has diverted resources from the general well being of the nation and its aid to the developing nations, it has diverted resources and attention from the far more serious crises facing the world.
I would rate the first, or at least the most immediate, still to be the Middle East as the flash point for a nuclear holocaust. The situation in Afghanistan isn't helping Pakistan to maintain its own sovereignty and this won't be helped by the desperation caused by the financial crises adding to the woes of the poorer countries in the region. This combined with the arrogant aggression of Israel and the concerns of Iran to be able to defend themselves from the US/Israeli pact and the plainly stupid genocide being inflicted by the pact on the Palestinians should be enough for any government or institution truly committed to world peace to start working towards the bottom line of sense. But sense is rarely the bottom line for governments, unless the sense relates to the dubious gains of vanity, exploitation, tyranny and profit.
The second is of course, global warming. Again the financial idiocy has shoved that to the back burner. This will be denied by their political human resource departments(the governments). They will continue to give lip service to the problem, while they and their masters ways and means committees develop how they can keep the profit ratios rising by again socialising the costs.
Can we afford to rely on salvation from such a selfish group with their short term values and restricted and covert agendas?
If we take the financial meltdown as an indicator of the global conglomerates abilities on long term strategic planning and the emphasis they place on their implications on society as a whole, along with the morality they engender or advance; where and how do they factor this in or quantify their responsibilities? The answer is they don't. None, zilch, zero. A non sequitur completely missing from both above or below the line of their accounts. The sole agenda for their CEO's is to minimise costs and tax liabilities while controlling profits to a level that's balanced to keep their shareholders and the markets happy. Meanwhile their true surpluses wing their way throughout the globe in a swarm of secret financial vehicles and surreal havens of wizardry and all to suit there own purpose.
Is it wise for us to allow so much freedom to individuals, corporates and institutes whose aspirations are limited to the next quarters, six monthly or yearly results? Does it make sense for us to allow these corporations to become supra nationals capable of defining their own rules and responsibilities? Is such a limited concept a safe tack for civilisation to advance or the fast track to its end game?
How's our heads, hearts or guts feeling about that? Comfortable (employed and well remunerated by them?) Uneasy (perhaps still employed by one but less well remunerated and less of a company man?) Frightened/concerned( an inner voice believing itself to be in a wilderness when, while it might be a wilderness, it's one clamouring with millions of other concerned inner voices)
Or could it all be a game. One big confident manipulative lie that we've been fed and reared on. A lie that is often changed in its presentation but never in its purpose: namely the control, compliance and exploitation of the ordinary people. Nothing new in this process, the god concept has been used for this purpose for millenniums. In modern times we have just changed priests to reporters and churches to various forms of media. Both of which in their time have distorted and tortured truths in order to turn superstitious myths into whatever Mammon satisfies their power feasts.
Here are some of the modern examples when the lie technique has been used to shape the concerns of our daily life.
The Cold War. Almost forty years of the threat of Nuclear Armageddon, because Russia was "communist" and wanted to defeat the capitalist "freedom loving" West?
Well we know Russia wasn't really communists; that was simply a relatively civilised title for, initially anyway, a tyrannical dictatorship. However by sexing up the threats of the Reds sleeping in our beds they had the profits of the Western arms manufacturers and the Pentagons upwardly spiralling. Equally the PR fed paranoia of Americans with the concept of communism was stretched to include any government anywhere which threatened to take power from the wealthy few and give it to the people. No matter what form it took, it was interpreted by Washington as communism, and they were going to save the world from it and give us freedom through the magic carpet of capitalism. ( sometimes they use the word democracy instead of capitalism, but that's only when they're playing to a soft audience)
Then in the eighties Gorbachev comes along and has a word with Reagan. He says he'll drop communism and its crazy command economy for the panacea of the free markets and will allow Germany to re-unify, tear down the wall and dismantle its Stasi state and allow Germany to join NATO, provided Reagan agreed that no NATO force would ever be deployed in the former GDR. Bush senior confirmed this Clinton ignored it. What he wanted, and got, was a U.S. run global intervention force to expand and protect the Western model of capitalism - it was euphemistically listed as bringing peace and stability to the regions in which it was involved.
But thirty years earlier Khrushchev, approached America placing the re-unification of Germany on the table only for the offer to be ignored. Makes you wonder who the real instigators and beneficiaries were of the so called Cold War?
More recently we have had Iraq and WMD's that could wipe us out in 45 minutes?
And the war on terror which could from another standpoint be more accurately called the war of terror. After all, what is there to a manipulated name, provided it allows the "right" effect?
Could it be the necromancers and alchemists controlled by their free market capitalists who in practice have failed on every promise except in the hypnosis of most of the Western world into believing the big lie and who, irrespective of the risks, are the real harbingers of terror and the misery it brings in this world. If capitalism cannot feed the hungry, only abuse and exploit them it's stupid capitalism creating its own eventual nemesis. But here we have to remember we are dealing with short term profiteers.
These are the weird practices and some of the sad purposes that could emanate from them; philosophy's absent because it can only take form from truth.