Once again I am posting something here which is pretty much a copy of a Facebook post I just made. It seems that I am tending to use Facebook as something of a workbench. Oh well, if that is the way forward, who am I to fight it.
Does life ever seem like riding on a fairground roundabout? You are gaily (in the true etymological sense) riding your dancing horse, going up and down, round and round, mesmerised by the loud fairground music dulling your senses, staring at the rear end of the horse in front. You have a moment, and you tear your gaze away from the horses backside, looking around at the passing scene. “This looks familiar” you say. “I’m sure we have seen and done this before”. A moment later, there it is again, and again, and again, until the end of the ride. And then the music stops.
Why am I talking about roundabouts and dancing horses? Life isn’t a roundabout. True, it’s not. But civilisation is. Modern life, as part of society, is. We have all at some stage stepped on to that roundabout. Many of us are happy being on the merry-go-round and may have even forgotten that this is where we are.
The trick is, to dismount, get off, before the music stops. Then to sit down for safety for a while, until the dizzyness that follows such action has passed and is replaced by a much clearer view..
Let me try to explain why the modern world, the western developed peoples anyway, are still riding the roundabout of civilisation, enjoying the distraction, and with nary (yes, that is a word) a thought that maybe they should get off the damn thing.
The (recently new) Australian Federal Government brought down its first annual budget in May of this year. Where are we now? Early August. About three months later, and despite their soundly thrashing the opposition at the last election, they still have very little of their policies passed into legislation. We have our two tier parliamentary system, specifically designed to ensure that nothing much changes in any hurry, to thank for that.
Even so, the government continues to find it very difficult to sell its budgetary measures on either the political or public market. In fact there is what appears to be a continual shedding or chipping away of some of the more controversial aspects of the beast.
This chipping away at the budget measures is kind of like the tiles falling off the space shuttle on take-off and re-entry, don’t you think? Remember the space shuttle? Emblem of a bygone era where debt, resource depletion and collapsing markets were not subjects that might generally be raised for polite discussion. Just a few lost tiles may have a significantly more serious impact on the operation of the whole structure than their size and weight may indicate.
I am particularly thinking of one little potential chip from the block, one loose tile potentially ready to drop off, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald today: Coalition MPs break ranks on $7 GP charges
Problem is, it’s not the government’s policy on this that is the issue, not that I am in any way a supporter of govt policy, it’s more to do with too many sick people around, dipping their fingers into the pie. I can say that, as someone who has a health condition but chooses to not dip my feet into the murky waters of the health system to treat it. And also someone of a certain age that is known to be the section of society which generally has the need to involve itself with increasing regularity in health centric matters.
Why are there too many sick people around? Well, that is also to do with government policy of supporting big business like the health, pharmaceutical, chemical and agricultural industries who see the health situation (which includes food production) as a means to make huge profits by making and keeping folk sick while pretending to be a beneficial force in society. All in the name of economic growth and profit.
The economy actually doesn’t need a whole lot of healthy people (or highly educated people either, as a matter of fact, which is why we have the education system we have). They only need to have just enough life in them (and be dumb enough) to perform the mindless tasks they are expected to perform to keep earning just enough to allow them to keep spending those earnings on, among other things, health services and the kind of food that is largely responsible for keeping them in this semi-comatose state so that they don’t realise that they are being screwed and can keep plodding along, spending, spending until retirement and beyond, where they will be kept semi-alive for as long as possible to become a burden on succeeding generations and perhaps the biggest contributors to the continuance of the growth paradigm by ensuring the ongoing need for a huge health and pharmaceutical industry.
If there weren’t so many drug companies, chemical companies, hospitals, health research institutes, fitness centres, health clinics/centres, supermarkets, and other businesses meddling with our food, groundwater and other environmental necessities, around, there would be nowhere near the huge numbers of sick people either.
Of course, that would also mean the demise of modern civilisation because as soon as one of the dancing horses on the fairground roundabout that is modern society comes loose and falls off, the whole thing will go out of balance and self-destruct.
We couldn’t let that happen, could we?
Well, maybe we won’t be given the choice.
Does that put the relevance or irrelevance of budgetary measures into a little clearer perspective?