As I talk to many people, read many posts on social networks and place my ear to the ground there is clearly an air of fear, rage, anger and despair. People are openly disgusted with the current status quo as they watch their lives get increasingly harder, the price of living climbing out of control and making ends meet a feat in itself as they move slowly through the years.
This against the backdrop of the FAANG corporations making trillions, their governments and associates doing as they please, breaking their own rules that they create for the population and setting new agendas with laws to increase and control through digital surveillance often leads one to think: ‘what can I do?’
So, what can one do? The political and corporate edifices both concrete and psychological can be extremely daunting with the illusion of being omnipotent and impenetrable. Towering over us a shadow is cast dominating our lives. What cause does one fight? Where can one even make a dent? It’s enough to make you feel powerless, disorientated and finally capitulate. No wonder so many of us nightly sit hypnotized by the blue light in our front room and just escape, or disappear into the endless sources of information, the infinite data at our disposal through the screen firmly clutched in our hand.
So where does one start if they want to see a change?
Vote for the opposite political party? Will that really do anything? Will that end the interminable flow of cash and corruption by businesses that want a laissez-faire system, a free-market environment where business can do as it pleases without government intervention? Look around you, is it working for you now? Just look at the average wage in the UK, which is £35,511 versus the average house price which is £269,000. Does that strike you as a balanced system? One where people can climb.
Or do you blame the others? The immigrants, the poorer folk on benefits, the richer people who have moved into an area increasing the speed of gentrification as it takes place. When you attack these people, your comments say more about you than it does about them. It displays a confusion, an ill understanding of your own predicament in life and an inability to see the bigger picture.
Do you sit down and read Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, Frederick Hayek, Edward Bernays and more who greatly influenced how societies came to be structured? Seriously, who has the time? Whilst any education is of course highly beneficial, people simply just don’t have the time or inclination to study Das Kapital in-between their three jobs, raising children, running a home and trying to fit in the odd shag.
As of late it has become quite common to embrace conspiracy theories, some with a pinch of plausibility to others that are obviously ridiculous but nevertheless give the believer either a sense of comfort or an illusion of superiority, the idea that they are somehow ‘in the know’ and you with your attention to detail, logic and rationality… not.
So, what do we really need to do? We simply need to start with ourselves. We need to ask why we are thinking certain thoughts and where their influences stem from. Is someone benefiting from the way I think? Do I really believe what I am thinking, or I am simply just too scared to think differently in case I’m ostracized and out of the club?
So go for a walk, spend time alone and get to really understand your own thought structure. Put the phone down. Take a few days off from sucking on the digital pipe and get to know your own mind. See what makes you tick. Sit with yourself. It may feel strange, but you may just start to see something in yourself that you may or may not dislike, and from there you can start to make a change.
We are a trigger unhappy society constantly attacking one another for the smallest of mistakes, trying to pull one another down for the tiniest slip, a cancel culture of self-obsessed high moralism in a new puritanical age while walking around with a mobile device powered by coltan in our pockets.
Undoubtedly, we have a lot of work ahead of us, but there is no time like the present to start.