Our freedom has been hijacked
Its powerful mantra of the ‘free market’ is the single most destructive political ideology to have found mass appeal in the West since the 1930s.
At the heart of this deception is a simple, but fatal, misuse of a single word: Freedom. No other word in the English language has been more abused than this word.
This word has been hijacked, kidnapped, locked in a room with no windows, dolled up, taken out on to the street in chains and prostituted to the public, who have been consistently lied to from day nought.
We have bought into this version of ‘freedom’ on a promise that our pockets will somehow all be lined with wads of pretty green paper. Ultimately, we have given in to the temptation of a good shag.
The result? Look around you. It is not us who are free. And it is only the pimps themselves, the chosen elite who concocted this prostitution ring in the first place, only they have found their financial reward.
Oil companies, the richest of them all, they are digging further, deeper into the seabed than ever before. They are ‘free’. Free to dig, take risks with our ecosystems, with the environment, and for what?
Supermarkets, they are free to sell goods at whatever price they want. They are free to pay their suppliers what they want. They are ‘free’. Free to spread poverty, free to enslave the poor farmers whose own freedom was long ago stolen.
And the banks? Ha. Here’s the funny part. The achingly fucking hilarious part. It was their freedom that not only helped spread poverty, helped spread environmental destruction, it was their fucking freedom which brought down the very economic system upon which the elite’s wealth was built.
If you hadn’t yet realised, the ‘free market’ is no such thing. It is an open market, yes, but it should not in any way be associated with freedom. Freedom belongs not just to any old entity, any old business, corporation, industry, market, whatever.
Freedom, true freedom, is the possession only of a living, breathing creature. Man, woman, child, dog, cat, spider. We’re all equals. We’re all equally entitled to our liberty. Organisations are nothing without us.
So when organisations threaten our freedom, we should ask why. Is it because the organisation is in charge of us? Is it because it is protecting us? Is it because it is representing us? Is it because it is providing for us?
Long before humans were able to organise themselves into groups of common interest, our individual freedom was under threat. Back then the enemy was hunger, thirst, predator. Our ability to organise saw us rise above that.
And yet, for many individuals in this 21st Century world, two of these three problems persist. Something has gone wrong somewhere. At some point, we stopped using organisation to our collective advantage, and began to use it for the advantage of only a few, privileged souls.
Perhaps it was the moment we began to think of organisations, corporations in particular, as entities that deserved freedom in their own right.
Perhaps it was when the market ceased being controlled, regulated and monitored closely.
Perhaps it was when corporations became free to do whatever the fuck they wanted.
Well, look what happened. In 2008, the free market got found out for what it was. A hoax. Free to do what it liked, it suddenly found that without intervention, without a compromise, it couldn’t.
But still, the ‘free market’ has survived. This right-wing political ideology is still alive. Worse still, the free-market disaster of 2008 is being used as an excuse by conservatives like David Cameron and co to pursue ever yet more anti-regulatory policies.
Except, we are no longer blind to their lies. We know now that freedom for the market, for the organisation, is not the same as freedom for us, the individual.
So what are we going to do about it? Those genuinely concerned with liberty are fighting back. In Britain, we’re organising just like we began to do way back when.
To win our freedom.
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