Why is society so ignorant?

14 04 2013

Thatcher’s death has definitely brought the worst and best out of people…….  people with very long memories to boot!  I wasn’t that interested in politics way back in the early 70’s.  Like most young people, I had better things to do.  So it is particularly interesting to read the detail beyond the fog I vaguely remember as the aftermath of drinking too much beer…..

So here are a few little nuggets with how and more specifically why a lot of industries were destroyed by her, and what’s more, destroyed with the mandate of the British people.

The trade unions waited for winter, and then came out on strike, holding the country to ransom for annual pay rises of up to 36% above inflation. Can you believe that?  These were the demands from Scargill and co.  And they bled Britain dry, bankrupting the country, because as you should know by now, the coal was unviable…..  Their jobs were already subsidised, there was no meat left.  And then the Winter of Discontent happened.  And they all came out.  Miners, power workers, transport workers; even funeral directors, everything tied into the TGWU came out.  The entire country was in ruin. Rubbish not collected for months, rats everywhere (I actually remember seeing that on Australian TV..). Winter-of-discontentAnd the unions laughed, and brought down Callaghan’s Labour Government.  And Thatcher stood up at the general election and made one simple promise: “Elect me, and this will never happen again. Elect me and I shall destroy them.” She won in a landslide. On that promise.  Not many pollies keep their promises…

I guess you could argue that one extreme way of thinking, simply resulted in another.  The famous pendulum swing.  The Brits got the government they deserved…….  She did exactly what she said.  She utterly destroyed the unions.  Obliterated them.  The cost was all those industries.  But did the Brits know that would be the price?  Were they prepared to pay such a price to not allow them to hold the country to ransom?  What she did, she did with the people’s blessing.  The socialists and people who backed those strikes have only themselves to blame for what happened.  They were dumb….  Baroness Thatcher destroyed those industries and communities , the people supported her, and nobody understood what was going on…. She held the purse strings tight and re-built the economy and the country only after all that oil was discovered in the North Sea and Britain again stood tall and thrived.  And to this day, she gets the credit….  You can read all the patriotic diatribe all over the internet…   I doubt she could even have fought the Falklands War without that oil….  Did you know more veterans have died from suicide since the war than died in the war….?

Why is society so dumb?  Why do Unions make often unrealistic demands?  Why do we fight wars over worthless piles of rock like the Falklands and Afghanistan..??  And you know what?  It’s all about to happen again.  Limits to Growth is already affecting the cost of living, and people are starting to demand pay rises that nobody can afford, because the resources to pay for them are not there.  And I reckon there’s an extremely good chance that if/when Abbott wins the next election here, he will become the next Thatcher.  And Australians will have elected the government they deserve, and they will have no one to blame but themselves.  For being stupid and ill informed.  Oh and a Labor Party that doesn’t stand for anything that different to the conservatives…

Once we will have got through our own Winter of discontent, there will be no oil to rebuild the greed/debt economy with.  And everyone will stand around with dumb looks on their faces wondering what on Earth happened.

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20 responses

14 04 2013
Brendon Crook

Hi Mike & as usual you make sense in a world I see no sense in.
I was only 11 years old when Thatcher came to power in the UK but remember as a kid the trade union battles etc…..my dad is an ex pat Brit (& ex pom copper that migrated to NZ in 1960).
Like you said people are demanding more now than what can be afforded. The zombie masses refuse anything less than what they see as their inherited right to a first world existence even though it’s obviously off in the realms of fantasy.
The whole Matrix, as you rightly call it is a mass delusion of human superiority that has no future & very little to offer.
It’s a death culture that 99% of the population refuses to even see let alone acknowledge.
Even well meaning folk like the Greens get drawn into the Matrix & succumb to all the “growth at all costs” mantra. I used to be a member of them but gave up as I give up on the transition town movement although perhaps in local rural areas they keep folk together & informed, however overall the weight of population, resource depletion, climate change & over consumption will kill off the majority of our species in the not too distant future.
It’s all so obvious if one believes they are a part of a bigger whole not the be all & end all of life on earth.
This materialistic secular culture is but a reflection of the religious one that preceded it & I see little difference between religious zealots & materialistic consumerist zealots…………………………..
Sadly the zombies have inherited the earth & the Matrix is their God.
Thank you for your time.

14 04 2013
mikestasse

Does marianK read this blog….? Just look at what I just found on the Drum on the never ending topic of Maggie T’s passing…….

marianK :

11 Apr 2013 5:10:51pm

I’d much rather save my champagne popping and grave dancing for the demise of the toxic neo-liberal legacy Thatcher left.

The dominance of the neo-liberal narrative over the last 30 years has all but quashed the real reason for the UK’s (and other western nations including Australia’s) runaway inflation and declining productivity of the seventies – i.e. the skyrocketing oil price of 73, when the oil producing nations finally declared they’d had enough of selling their oil for a pittance.

The 70s spike in oil prices cascaded into the pricing of everything and unions had no alternative [pun intended] but to try and keep wages on parity with the cost of living. Yet while ‘socialist’ policies were blamed for the UK’s national debt of 45% by 1980, the media narrative still totally absolves the UK’s 30 years of neo-liberal policies for its current national debt of 138%.

Every media outlet in the western world is too cowardly or too ignorant to declare Thatcher’s ‘no alternative’ mantra as bunkum. Rather than restructuring the economy to meet the rising cost of oil, e.g. setting the profit and growth targets to more realistic levels, Thatcherism instead declared war on the unions, privatised every aspect of existence and forced both the commercial sector and the working masses to descend into ever-deeper levels of debt simply to pay their bills.

Thatcherism’s runaway deregulation policies directly led to the recession of 1987-1996, the toxic fiscal boom of the late 90s and early 00s and the failure of the capitalist way of doing business, which we are now living with today.

Total collapse of a western monetary system crippled by debt is now within sight and my champagne is nicely chilling.

14 04 2013
seawork

I disagree with you on one point and that is about fighting wars for worthless lumps of rock.
Having come from the Channel Islands, the one part of the UK that was invaded by the Germans in WW2 I was and am still convinced that it was essential to “recover” the Falklands.
There were no Argentinians living there apart from agents of the air line and the inhabitants were completely tied to the UK.
The invasion by Argentina was due to the need to divert attention to the dictatorships mess of running the country and try to use patriotism as a means of support.
I agree that there were unnecessary deaths and trauma but this really should be attributed to Gautieri and the generals.
It was unfortunate that Thatcher reaped the benefit of the recovery.
Living under an occupation from a foreign country is something that no one should have to put up with as in Afghanistan now.

15 04 2013
mikestasse

I’m of the opinion WWII was the only just war in a very very long time. And kicking Hitler out of the Channel Islands was just part of the process. And any way, those islands are much closer to France than the UK, and should be returned, don’t you think?

Just saw this on FB… http://i.imgur.com/yKK2yrc.gif

Puts things into perspective…….! WHY do English people even live in the Falklands?

18 04 2013
Jamie

That’s like saying why do Argentinians live in Argentina. They aren’t even the indigenous people of that land, while the Falklanders on the other hand are!

As for the Channel Islands, they cannot be “returned” to France as they aren’t part of the UK – they’re self-governing crown dependencies. Hardly any of them speak French anyway and the islands haven’t been under French control since the 1600s.

I’m from Australia and the First Fleet arrived in 1788. Would you say that all the lands we (of non-aboriginal descent) live in should be evacuated and “returned” to the aborigines?

18 04 2013
mikestasse

Controversy exists as to who first discovered the Falkland Islands with competing Portuguese, Spanish, and British claims dating back to the 16th century.[12][13] While Amerindians from Patagonia could have visited the Falklands,[14] the islands were uninhabited when discovered by Europeans.[15] The first reliable sighting is usually attributed to the Dutch explorer Sebald de Weert in 1600, who named the archipelago the Sebald Islands, a name they bore on Dutch maps into the 19th century. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falkland_Islands

So how do you attribute who is indigenous?

The Channel Island comment was tongue in cheek…… 😉

22 04 2013
Jamie

“So how do you attribute who is indigenous?”

I usually just say contemporary peoples who have continuously settled an area the longest are indigenous.

30 04 2013
pendantry

We’re all indigenous. To Earth. The problems come when people put fences up around bits of it and say ‘this is mine’.

14 04 2013
lemmiwinks

I guess it’s a case of be careful what you wish for. I suspect that the British people thought that they could have their cake (smashed unions) and eat it too (business as usual).

The larger problem is the tragedy of the commons. People can’t see beyond the end of their own nose and so stuff that might happen in the future doesn’t represent an immediate threat and hence is relegated. The “solution” of storing spent nuclear fuel rods is a perfect example.

Unions become complacent and then a sense of entitlement builds leading to ridiculous things like wages claims of 36% above inflation. The sense of entitlement has become built in to society now, I wonder how long until the chickens come home to roost?

15 04 2013
foodnstuff

Good post, Mike. Helped me understand quite a lot, especially about why we’re stuffed.

23 04 2013
averagejoe

This article is worth a read. It gets rid of the Thatcher myths.
http://reasoninrevolt.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/the-myth-of-margaret-thatcher/

28 04 2013
pendantry

Thanks for that link. Definitely useful food for thought.

24 04 2013
Oelsen

Wow, read that article from reasoninrevolt. It lets the oil question out but has many, many other stuff to fix into history.

Maybe one answer to why is society so ignorant is explained here http://www2.ece.ohio-state.edu/~fasiha/systemantics/ and there http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_(book)

The sheer disconnect between those who know and manipulate and the other 99% of society.

24 04 2013
mikestasse

I did….. you learn something every day.

28 04 2013
pendantry

Thanks for the ‘systemantics’ link. The introduction is fascinating; I’m hooked!

28 04 2013
pendantry

“…people are starting to demand pay rises that nobody can afford, because the resources to pay for them are not there”

Disagree. There are plenty of resources are available: but they’re in the wrong hands. Even the pessimists get it wrong.

28 04 2013
mikestasse

Sorry but you are wrong…….. yes there are lots of resources there, and yes they are in the wrong hands…… but just because there are lots of resources there doesn’t mean they’re AVAILABLE. Once the low hanging fruits have been picked, only the hard to get at ones are left. THAT’s why we look for oil a mile under the ocean floor (itself a mile deep), or frack deep coal seams for gas, or dig holes nearly a thousand metres deep to extract copper and iron ore… And the deeper the mines, the costlier they are, and the more energy is needed, itself a problem as oil gets dearer and dearer, and the whole show generates ever more greenhouse emissions.

28 04 2013
pendantry

Did you follow the link and watch the video?

I’m not sorry: you are very mistaken. When 1% of the people control 40% of the wealth, there is plenty to go around. You’re right that the resources aren’t ‘available’: and why is that? It’s because those with the munny hug it to their chests as though it’s all that’s important.

28 04 2013
mikestasse

I’m right out of bandwidth now, and watching videos at 8kB/sec is just too painful…. the pleasures of living “in the country”. I’m well aware that 1% of the people control 40% of the wealth, but here we’re talking resources, right? Oil, metals, soil, etc……. what’s the point of hoarding that stuff when they can sell it to us the sheeples for a profit? Maybe your video answers that question, but I don’t get it at this stage…

30 04 2013
pendantry

I don’t know the reasons for your lack of bandwidth, but it could be considered as a case in point. If there were less inequality (generally), some who have far too much anyway would give up some they don’t really need and wouldn’t miss, and you would be able to download the video so we could discuss it. Ironic, much?

PS are you aware of deturl.com? That might help (because it gives you the option of downloading an entire clip before beginning to watch: no buffering means no stuttering).

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