I was pondering recently just why it is that us on the left seem to be consistently correct in our economic and social analysis, yet many in the mainstream consider us to be uninformed loonies or economically illiterate. It was then I remembered a video I had seen of the late and great George Carlin entitled “The American Dream” "Video Clip" and I realised that Irish Society is living in a collective dreamworld, and needs to wake up fast.
When I say that Irish society is collectively living in a dreamworld, what I mean is that people really need to open their eyes to what is going on around them. It seems to me that there is a class war being waged, yet only one side, the capitalist class, knows that the war is going on. The current crisis of capitalism has exposed for all to see the exploitative nature of the system we live under, yet the masses seem more interested in sitting in front of their TV’s watching X-Factor or Eastenders. Meanwhile, they and the generations that come after them are being robbed to pay for the gambling debts of a wealthy minority. Recession is not something that we just find ourselves in; it has been constructed by the recklessness of the capitalist class and their system. When the glaring reality of austerity, cuts in public service jobs, scrapping agreed wage rates for the low paid, cuts in health services, education and social welfare, as well as taxes on homes and water are contrasted with the billions being pumped into the pockets of bondholders in failed banks, the only conclusion one can draw is of class war. The Irish working class have, unfortunately failed to wake up to this fact yet. The capitalist class on the other hand know only too well that they are involved in a war, and have thus far aggressively fought their corner.
I don’t however want to be over critical of the Irish working class. I believe that it is the hegemonic power of capitalism and the ideas of neo-liberalism that have been disseminated through our education system and the mainstream media over years that has constructed their ambivalent attitude. It is easy to understand the worldview of many of the Irish population. The majority seem to accept uncritically, the words of discredited politicians and their media cheerleaders in RTE and in newspapers such as the Irish Independent. By accepting the information that they get from these sources, people become like robots, and regurgitate the same bullshit as if it was their own opinion, without challenging themselves as to why they hold these views in the first place. By believing that Ireland is on its way to economic recovery, as spouted by Enda Kenny et al recently, people are living in a dream. They need to wake up. There will be no economic recovery in Ireland without a default on the bank debt, and to suggest otherwise, as the political class have done recently, is nothing but delusional.
Another aspect of modern living that people must wake up to is the fable that is representative liberal democracy. This is a topic that has been dealt with superbly in a recent article by Spailpín "Article Link". The steady erosion of civil liberties and the right to show dissent and protest, which should be cornerstones of any real democracy, have been evident for all to see. For example, the police repression of student protests in Ireland and Britain recently, the covering up of any form of disagreement with the visit of a foreign monarch, and the violence directed at “Real Democracy Now” protesters in Barcelona last week "Video Link" all show that when the position of the capitalist class is being challenged, they will use the coercive force of the state to crush dissent. When their position is being challenged, human rights or civil liberties are not part of the game anymore. And it is just a game as the late great Bill Hicks alludes to here "Video Link". People need to wake up and get off the ride.
Now, if at this stage of this article you are thinking that my words are the words of just another crank from the loony left, I want you to ask yourself a question. Is the intervention of NATO into Libya an act of humanitarian kindness or an act of imperialist capitalism? If you think that it is an intervention based on the human rights of the Libyan people then I suspect that you need to wake up from your dreamworld. If this intervention was based on humanitarian ideals, then the question must be asked, why have the same imperialist powers not intervened into the many other countries where human beings are being slaughtered? The answer is quite simple. These other countries don’t have the oil reserves of Libya. The only reason for this intervention by the imperialist powers of the USA, Britain and France is to gain access to future markets once Gaddafi is removed. It was a similar story in Iraq, and to suggest otherwise is just naive. The world of liberal democracy that we live in is nothing more than a constructed reality that the masses have unquestionably bought into. When George Carlin spoke of the American dream in the video clip above, he was in effect speaking of the liberal democratic dream, which all of the western world have bought into, none more so that Ireland. As George so perfectly puts it, “it’s called the American dream, because you have got to be asleep to believe it”. It is time to wake up!
Be Moderate? We Only Want The Earth.