To me, when you reach a positive position through open free discussion, general legitimacy and meritocracy and it is properly made known, then it is not hard to deal with people who provide a truthful narrative about you or your nation. This is true in families, organizations, nations and the planet as a whole. Legitimacy and sound and fair decision making are critical.
I and likely many millions more have often tried to provide narratives that honestly show where the fissures are in society that need repair and more justice needs to be applied. There can be different views on how to accomplish that justice and harmony, but a general agreement should be that excessive fear, abusive use of economic and political position and pure propaganda should have little or no place in the modern world in finding key solutions. They should definitely have no place in countries that declare themselves as peaceful democracies.
Of course, I was schooled in these ideas in the West about fairness and the respect of the individual and free expression. Even my Christian formation underlined respect for the legitimate underdog and the value of the individual. Liberal democracy as part of the central Canadian political ethos and culture I was brought up in accepted pluralism, at least on paper. My country, Canada as one that played critical roles in supporting the UN charter, developing the universal declaration of human rights and peacekeeping had an admirable record therein.
But did I find as a student and a 17 year old entering the university and summer work force that the elites really insufficiently supported those values. I had a fairly distinct perspective including going to a posh school that my father had to scrape up money for as a small banker, certainly not an executive one which anyway in those days did not get overpaid like bank executives do today? I digress slightly.
I learned from my experiences directly that first and foremost the wealthy family elites very much stick together and unless you show your social pecking place a lot, they certainly will not accept you into their groups as equals. I ensured I did not defer to such nonsense.
Through NGO activity I especially also learned that the United States being so much more powerful than Canada had gained almost a veto-like say in our foreign policy and even national economic policies that count to it. This seemed to be hastened after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but not exclusive to that.
In essence, that democracy is largely for the powerful or those who thoroughly agree with the powerful on the issues that these elite powers consider big is still too much the case. Then if you step out of line on these items – say you think Putin has some value- they will “banish” you for long periods of time no matter how right you are. In essence, authoritarianism only by another name at times.
And the worst is if you were right,they will be too often dismissive of you or simply rationalize like Tony Blair did when it was proved that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to support an invasion of Iraq. The vanity of these elites, or some of them, knows no boundary to greed for power and money. After all, they feel superior and wish to maintain that position than just coming down to level to the rest of us.
That these groups are largely concerned with making money for themselves and care little about common people, arguing over money incessantly, and doing whatever necessary to keep it. As reported in the Vancouver Province I further got turned off to Canadian elites when I saw a forestry school drop out from the same university faculty I graduated from inherit a major size forestry company which I could accept. But I had a hard time understanding why he made it so secondary about replanting the huge clearcuts his company had created having some knowledge that he and his company along with the government should properly restore those areas. That was such a blatant example of greed. Or yes and fear if you told him so.
This kind of ecological violence, thankfully lessened over subsequent decades by the hard work of responsible environmentalists and foresters, was my introduction into Canadian elite social and economic violence and arrogance 101. And on top of that, these kind of people bullied decent activists and academics.
I remember meeting the head of the largest mining company in Canada in Toronto. When I decided not to bow down in awe to him and his ideas, he brought out the fear card of swearing profanity. Mind you I was 28 and unfortunately more informed about what I was talking about – forestry. He was after all a chartered accountant, only. He needed to do a much better job at talking to younger people and those who knew what they were talking about even if they were not multimillionaires. More silly hubris at the top.
We all should worry less about position and pick up ideas from anyone with good ones especially but not exclusively from those within their competent fields. It would be nice if the war mongers might listen to the peace mongers. But war mongers are not exactly good listeners including these with explosive size egos who like to bully rivals and so-call put people in their place. That meeting with that CEO was another turn-off of top leadership in Canada.
Then later I decided I needed to openly discuss this and some related ideas. So I tried to get my articles published about the excessive involvement of certain corporations in environmental destruction and buying off our Prime Minister of the day, by certain companies (and the United States, indirectly). Almost all newspapers rejected them save one. I later found out that this PM did not properly declare major illegal payments from an aero-defense lobbyist. The Canadian media backed this PM thoroughly until he was out of office that story broke.
So I gained also a very healthy contempt for most though not all of our media who now are exposed thoroughly as still being too behooved to certain greasy elites who put in questionable leaders and keep out more decent ones. I suppose I tried to look at it rationally like the applied scientist I was naively exposing such a system as not optimal and irrational. Too many journalists and editors who go outside those system constraints fear for their jobs or even their lives.
There is only one thing I have to say to most of these elites. You are still the greedy bullies who put down dramatically innocent decent souls too often trying to make a better world. You create conflicts unecessarily to distract from where you have messed up your worlds, local to global. You essentially get caught up in macho-type cock fights so you can save or make another billion than save a billion people from war, famine and pestilence. And you are disproportionately full of egotistical maniacs though certainly clever people and even some being hard-working. But only a minority earning the money they deserve for the hours the put in and the risks they took and this especially applies to executive banksters.
Too many of you are narcistuc psycho-paths (see Chris Hayes on this) socially isolated more and more from the common people starting where you live, where you are educated, where you work and even by the clubs you go to and the type of philanthropies you support from the front lines. Again, I do not say all.
As well, I say to you, the elites that you are cut off while you cut off many from obtaining decent wealth because of the way you manipulate the financial institutions. This includes making it extremely hard to finance and support a new entrepreneur of success coming up from below. In union terms, there is an expression for this -closed shop.
My blog on the new elitism of mega millionaires and billionaires (versus the older more holistic one) of private schools, private universities and dynasties describes this post war, post Reagan era elite phenomenon especially in England and the United States.
There is a profound need to recognize the fundamental value of all human beings into this hyper-technological world with academia so ad to solve the big problems before us; to get on with eliminating poverty and war. But a major percentage of the elites is still making too much money from the war-intelligence- military complex and unfair government subsidies. Other sectors are doing much better for humanity or simply fulfill normative retail needs.
Thee worst have shown, as well a profound commitment to kill snd destroy the careers and lives of the decent who legitimately stand-up against them. The world is not only tired of war, but the warmongers who are such a core of these top establishments now concentrated in NATO, especially the US.
In fact, most of the world is fed up with these establishments’ smug, narcissistic sense of themselves couched in outwardly looking sophistication and top School education at times. Most of the world is tired of too many of the silly puppets they engineer into political power that do little to help the general populace. That are largely not competent because if they were, the elites would worry about controlling them.
In essence, the West needs to rededicate itself starting with its leadership. A greater dedication to the positives of the Judeo-Christian creed, as well as tolerance of other positive spirituality. It needs to stick to ideas of “we the people” while at the same time having leadership and social and economic value backbone and strategic vision over short-term expediency.
When the West sticks to the democratic values and sense of Judeo-Christian principles that are supposed to be inherently at its foundation, then we do not get companies that massacre and pollute to infinity. Or leaders do not get away with the arrogance of Roman emperors in the way they dealt with decent people insistent on promoting their very respectful values, Christian or not.
Where there is real dedication to building sustainable forms of democracy, we do not get imperialism including one sided exceptional perspectives of the world. In short, we do not give into the military-industrial war complex wagging the dog of government, media and academia, etc. We avoid corruption from the top to bottom and love thy neighbor and even our rivals.
The sooner the West realizes it is also practically no longer a spiritually sound democracy because it has gotten away from its stated ideals, the better off we will be. To cure oneself, the West, especially needs to get mass therapy and fast before it is too late. We need to do this before certain elites barbecue the World or create further unacceptable conditions of economic polarization that will provide a powderkeg and pathway to destruction. It is that simple.
So those with the money and power have to take their fair share of responsibility. But more importantly using just and peaceful means to solving these problems. If they do so, they will find a more willing partner among the general public. Not one that is currently near contemptuous of the present leadership.
If not, then they will have to prepare to be in charge of a state that emphasizes dealing with more communities like the city of Ferguson. They will have to put the state on constant war alert from outside and inside and have a growing worry about huge dissent building up that could make the French Revolution look like a pic-nic. In essence elites will be forced to govern by fear and militarization.
It is not too late to prevent this from happening but the eleventh hour has surely arrived by observing the state of America and the world that growingly fears it. And by more and more of it own citizens that fears Washington or the direction of polarization and authoritarianism to which it is more and more headed.
Fear lenses are not any way to often have to see the world through or worst to try and run it by fear. It is not a world for more and more citizens to be in if we are to call the West the leadership of the modern age. Elite arrogance combined with fear are totally unacceptable as a main instrument.
I recognized it as a high school student with prefects and corporal punishment and pro-elitist regime. I realized it staring down titans as a young man, then and subsequently. And for millions today, it is more and more an awful reality of living in constant fear of these elites of which too many are far from fully legitimate as the 2008 meltdown on Wall Street further signaled.
It is time for the world to focus on cooperation then feeding the psychoses of a small group of people, many of whom lost a lot off their legitimacy decades ago particularly in the West.