Cultural Militarisation

This is a subversive and much unspoken phenomenon in modern politics.

It is called cultural militarisation, and it has been happening for at least 10-20 years.

It is more than peculiar how many tasteless, poorly directed, yet well-funded war films are being reeled out in quick succession, often well timed with real events. The idea is to spoon-feed the populace with a deliberate rhetoric, especially for youths, that skews the perception of historical events, or otherwise normalises and ingrains the notion of conflict and warfare within society.

Outside of Hollywood, the indocrination persists. Radio, TV, video-games, and bumper-stickers further remind us that socio-militaristic concepts can only be discussed or contemplated within themes “Honour” and “Sacrifice”. Never is the argument of honouring the “sacrifice of the fallen” presented as a scrutiny of the systematic failure to prevent the war that caused the misery in the first place. The emphasis of sacrifice should be just as marked and poignant and as the lesson to be learned, yet it never is. To present such arguments is to reveal the past and present conduct of government, which in turn would threaten its very constitution, contrary to its own interest of self preservation.

Cultural militarisation is propaganda designed to fabricate popular consensus in for a recent or future war, thus helping to legitimise the government and its policies.

It’s obvious, and it reeks of desperate and pitiful political decay.

American Neo-Imperialism

The United States not only believes that its ideals of liberty, choice, and equality should apply to all, but like all rising powers throughout history, America has always had an expanding sense of both its interests and entitlements. Ideals and interests are interwoven tightly into American foreign policy, creating an expansion-driven interventionist nation.

If American strategic policy is shaped by justice and equality, it is more often shaped by commercial interests dating as far back as the 19th century. To deny this is to scorn history:

  1. Manifest destiny – 1800’s
  2. Monroe Doctrine – 1823
  3. Chilean domestic policy interventions – 1891
  4. Hawaiian coup – 1893
  5. Expansion into the Phillippines – 1898
  6. USS Maine (Cuba, Puerto-Rico) – 1898
  7. Platt Amendment – 1901
  8. Filipino rebellion – 1902
  9. Panamanian revolution – 1903
  10. Roosevelt Corrolary – 1904
  11. Cuba governed by Charles Magoon – 1906
  12. Nicaraguan revolution – 1912
  13. Mexican conflict – 1914
  14. Occupation of Haiti – 1915
  15. Occupation of the Dominican Republic – 1916
  16. McCarthyism – 1950
  17. Overthrow of Mossadegh – 1953
  18. Eisenhower and Operation Gladio and the Guetamalan revolution – 1954
  19. Failed coup in Indonesia – 1958
  20. Bay of Pigs – 1959
  21. Operation Northwoods – 1960
  22. Assassination of Kennedy – 1963
  23. Warren Commission – 1964
  24. Johnson and Tonkin Bay – 1964
  25. Nixon and Watergate, the Chilean constitutional coup, and Operation Nickel Grass – 1970’s
  26. Ford and the Pardon of Nixon – 1974
  27. Reagan and Raeganomics, banking and media deregulation, the funding of Saddam Hussein, the funding of Bin-Laden, the funding of the Khmer Rouge, the Iran-Contra scandal, the neglect of the AIDS epidemic – 1970’s
  28. Carter and Operation Cyclone, and domestic policy interventions in El Salvador – 1980’s
  29. Invasion of Grenada – 1983
  30. Bush I and the Invasion of Panama and the Iran-Contra pardons – 1990’s
  31. Bush II and 9/11, the 9/11 Report, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan – 2001
  32. Obama: ISIS, Syria, Libya – 2009

 

The Hinkley Vanity Project

At an estimated cost of £30bn cost, Hinkley will be the most expensive power station ever built by mankind. It’s worth putting the concept of this nuclear power station under scrutiny:

  • The plant should begin producing electricity in 2025.
  • Non nuclear energy is vastly cheaper
  • It will force cheaper renewables off government energy policy for much of its subsidised life (35 years upon completion).
  • For the duration of its subsidised life, the cost of its electricity will remarkably be double that of the current wholesale price
  • At no point, even after completing its subsidised life, will it be producing electricity cheaper and more environmentally friendly than having invested the same resources toward renewable energy production
  • Hinckley would only provide 7% of our power needs if it were switched on now
  • Two comparable nuclear plant projects were implemented elsewhere recently, both vastly over the estimated budget
  • It is French owned, so only the French enjoy the fiscal benefits
  • It is Chinese built, so only the Chinese enjoy the monetary benefits

The Democratic Deficit

I’ve been developing these thoughts over a few years, and the more time passes, the more it seems to make sense. This is a long discussion, but very much worth the attention.

Representation doesn’t equate democracy. Institutions upon which the people are dependent for representation doesn’t enhance democracy, it dilutes it. Offering another layer upon which the opportunity for the risk of misrepresentation occurs like ‘Chinese whispers’, is by definition undemocratic.

Allow me to expose the best example…

The Iraq and Afghanistan wars had relatively little cohesive popular support. Had there been a mechanism for people to contribute to the parliamentary process, we could have avoided the murdering hundreds of thousands of people, as well as all the other inherent shenanigans; stoking terrorism, wasting enormous quantities of public resource, contributing to the 2008 collapse, and generally diverting civilisation away from socio-economic progression, and into more macro-political colonialism that did the world so much harm during the Cold War.

Another example…

Regarding the EU, it is less representative and conventionally less democratic than our domestic system, so if our domestic system is capable of such damage, it is naive to assume that the EU is somehow exempt from the risk of becoming the same, or worse. This has been the pattern over literally millennia with successive efforts to consolidate governments and power, why are we now forgetting how stupidly susceptible we are in trusting enormous institutions over which we have little or no control, which then soon enough cause catastrophic harm. We have tried since classical antiquity to devise a sustainable system. We have had undemocratic regimes before, and they’ve all failed. TTIP is another valid EU centrefold example of toxicity.

Regarding rhetoric, nowadays, perhaps since Blair, separation of rhetoric from the debate is crucial in order to understand it from a neutral and rational perspective. The EU referendum for instance, despite the fact that Cameron claims it was called in order to allow the public to settle a crucial issue, it was, in reality, an exercise in electioneering. By nullifying rhetoric, we’re better able to logically and reasonably scrutinise or justify the components of the debate without any dependency on politicians, institutions, or the press with vested interests. Or indeed worry about factoring their vested interests, which can be a consuming task in it own right, depriving people of precious time and energy for the debate itself, by riddling it with doubt, scepticism and worsening the problem by causing disengagement.

It is still disappointing that propaganda still ensues so highly in the political process, if you take history into perspective, it is overwhelmingly unsurprising that it continues, unchecked. Little should be expected from our representatives in an era where they’ve further proven to be misrepresenting us.

Regarding representation, pointing fingers, and scrutiny by way of selection achieves relatively little. We’ve gotten to the point where the system is unable to supply representatives because it was designed for a time where the world was significantly less complex, less sophisticated, less diverse, less problematic, less dynamic, less connected, less intellectual. Parties are unrepresentative, because many people believe in principles and policies from a multitude of them, not just from a selection of two, which used to be the case until around the 50’s. Parliamentary reform is in dire need, as the conduct within is frequently unprofessional. Electoral reform is needed in the form of Proportional Representation. Constitutional reform is needed to make the upper chamber and head of state relevant, as it once used to be. Democratic reform is needed because citizens have enjoyed the ICT and digital revolution, and they’re able to inform themselves in seconds, for something that would take days to do in a library. Yet technology remains totally estranged to politics.

Aspiring to reverse the reliance on representation which continues to inflict so much harm, isn’t a leap of faith. The answer is a more direct democracy. I underline “more”, because some people are sometimes immediately terrorised by the notion of ‘direct’ democracy. Yet, like many other political notions, it’s relative. Don’t be alarmed, I will make a proposal for a solution that doesn’t involve delegating every single decision to citizens exclusively, as is often the horror story depicted that instantly turns people off.

As for direct democracy, a more direct democracy will encourage greater participation, and in turn a greater pool of candidates from which we can choose representatives. If people are more able to contribute to politics, they’ll more likely do so. If they’re more like to do so, they’re going to have higher expectations. If they have higher expectations they’ll either demand, influence, or become a better representative. This will probably happen over a generation or two, but the obstacles are going to be institutions which are undemocratic, and therefore resistant by definition to such change. The EU, for arguments sake, in its current form, is one of these institutions. It is an a democratically overriding obstacle. More so with time.

The solution: Two simple changes:

  1. Popular parliamentary interventions, by way of simply allowing people to vote electronically (or by post) for bills / white papers / motions, etc, should they wish to do so. Votes cast by citizens will dilute the parliamentary vote in proportion with the number of citizens that voted. This gives an opportunity for people who wish to contribute, a direct way of doing so. For major issues like the Iraq War, 50% of the public may have cast their vote, thus potentially changing the outcome of the decision because the parliamentary vote would have been diluted to 50%. Some other, relatively minor topics, may only attract 5% of the interest of citizens, in which case, this would dilute the parliamentary vote to 95%. Many people are still happy or reliant on representation, so they will not bother voting for the sake of voting, and risk spoiling the quality of the vote. Keeping up to date with the complex workings of some policies isn’t something most people have time or inclination for, because, after work, people need to cook, eat, rest, sleep, spend time with family, do personal admin, work on house, tidy the house, tend to hobbies, do exercise, etc.
  2. Firstly, please absorb graphs A, B, and C.Secondly, please suggest how the Proportional Representation seat allocation would have been detrimental to the UK. I am struggling to do that myself.

Next steps:

Expecting the post EU referendum popular vibe to produce better representatives is unrealistic. Expecting politicians to start acting responsibly if we demand it, is unrealistic.

Our generation needs to spend more time using existing technology to ‘popularise’ politics. Politics will no longer be regarded as the nerdy taboo subject it currently is. Shamelessly including it into the sphere of what constitutes ‘socialising’ will lead to ideas being generated and shared. People may indeed conclude similarly that the failings of representation are mitigated by a more direct democracy.

The generations after our own will soon think of this subject as common knowledge, and will subsequently form a strong enough consensus to produce new representatives that hold the issue at the forefront of their political agenda.

Cameron The Brexit Mastermind

Though some may carry an impressive aptitude for imagination, I find it hard to accept that Cameron “masterminded” Brexit.

Aside from his past EU scepticism already being debunked, his inconsistency, negligence and incompetence in government was so severe, that to me, it indicates a serious and overarching inability for cohesive policy-making. It is the simple matter of his unintelligence that eliminates the ability for executing a subversive ‘double-agent’ strategy, while at the same time being consistently unable to achieve any kind of conviction for any other unrelated policy ambition.

One might even argue that his incompetence was a deliberate instrument to eliminate such suspicions, but this can only be true if the sum of what is to be gained from Brexit is greater than the sum of six years of consistent and significant political failure across all areas of government. As this remains to be seen, what reveals the allegation as mere flattery, is the absolute lack of imagination for even the most basic of plans for an EU exit. The absence of such plan is totally unnecessary and only detrimental to the cause, if not indicative of sociopathic negligence. Either way, it’s not a positive outcome.

As intriguing as the theory might be, sadly, Brexit was another of his careless calamities, conjured by his usual neglectful attitude born out of ignorance and galvanised by privilage and entitlement.

Theresa May – Another Clueless Chancer

Skirting the obvious and sizable discussion that can arise from questioning whether it’s democratic for a nation to have an unelected Prime Minister until 2020, one may optimistically presume that Theresa May has a chance of performing rather well in her premiership. Unfortunately, that notion is a fantasy based on ignorance and complete delusion. The evidence is in her parliamentary voting to-date, and it would be naive to assume her psychotic notion of ideology will be any different now that she enjoys power:

  • Pro Iraq War
  • Against Proportional Representation
  • Pro EU
  • Pro fox hunting (minor you might argue, but indicative i’d counter)
  • Pro Syria airstrikes
  • Pro bedroom tax
  • Pro raising tuition fees
  • Pro academisation
  • Against aligning welfare with price increases
  • Against tenant fee restrictions from letting agents
  • Against tax increases for £150k income bracket (in times of rising income inequality, and structural economic trouble, might I add).
  • Against job creation for youth in long term unemployment

Even in her short time as PM, all of her major policy areas are a dithering and clueless mess.

  •  Brexit – She has failed to conjure even the most basic aims and objectives for the project, let alone a strategy, let alone be able to begin to secure the required resources, let alone starting negiotiations. All the while, confidence in stock markets and investments remain at risk. As soon as the referndum result was announced, it took me ten minutes to devise a ten point plan for Brexit.
  • Grammar Schools – All of the evidence available to assess whether grammar schools improve education standards, actually proves they are detrimental to both social mobility and academic achiement. Yet, she is pursuing this policy, because it adheres to her vague and redundant cultural assumptions, and her and distorted outlook of socio-economic reality.
  • Constituency Boundary Reviews – Not only are the proposed measures being criticised as being little more than a subversive method to cull electoral opponents, the official justification regarding parliamentary cost-saving is utterly inconsistent.
  • Hinckley – This is widely and consistently regarded as a vanity project. There are no monetary of fiscal benefits to be had from it, due to the nature of the foreign investment plan. The energy it produces will not be competitively priced, and by the time it comes online, it will be delivered massively over budget.

Finally, if there is one criminal law missing in the judicial system, it is that of negligence in political office, and Theresa May would share her cell with the likes of Blair and Cameron:

  • She has done nothing about tax avoidance and tax protectees, and intends to do precisely nothing.
  • She has continued the degradation of parliamentary debate during PMQ’s
  • No acknowledgement of the glaring failure of Cameron’s legacy (instead she praises him)
  • No acknowledgement for the increasingly signficiantly and dubious issues surrounding 9/11, or any learninigs from the Chilcot report, or for that fact anything relating to neo-imperialism.
  • Not doing anything about rising wealth inequality
  • Not doing anything to address the persisting housing shortages
  • As Home Secretary, she failed in every way possible to even attempt to tackle the immigration levels outlined in the manifesto.