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This was originally written on Sunday the 6th of February, 2005, after watching Peter Mandelson, then Britain’s European Commissioner, being interviewed on the ‘Politics Programme’ on BBC1.

He was asked when the EU would fulfil its commitment to remove agricultural subsidies (see my related post written at the same time).  His bullshit answer, and the fact that the interviewer allowed him to get away with it, angered me and inspired the following.

How does Peter Mandelson, and his kind, get away with subterfuge on a daily basis?

My train of thought ran thus:


  1. He (Peter Mandelson) is a professional politician.
  2. His position gives him access to knowledge and lends authority.
  3. He is taking advantage of our ignorance and trust.
  4. Both allow him to lie (manipulate the truth) to us and get away with it.
  5. He lies because he knows we would not allow him to do what he is doing if we knew the truth.
  6. We would not like what he is doing because it does not favour us, either in the short-term or the long-term.
  7. So who does it favour?
  8. Preserving the status quo makes his life easier, but also ensures that patterns and conditions of trade remain in the favour of the rich.
  9. Why favour the rich and not the voting populace?
  10. The voting populace exercise their power once every four years (if they’re lucky).  The rich exercise their power daily.
  11. How can a rich elite of the few be more powerful than the mass of the general populace?

Two reasons:

1) A society is made up of many parts – the larger the part, the more important it is to the health of that society – UK society is dominated by the banking sector, the oil industry and the military industrial complex, each of which are the biggest in the world outside the USA.  This is the ‘who’.

2) The power of the democratic vote is directly proportional to the degree with which the society is publicly controlled i.e. the more elements under the direct control of the government, the more say the people have in its running.

  1. Following the lead of the USA, the British government has been steadily reducing publicly controlled elements selling them off to the private sector (putting more power directly in the hands of corporations).
  2. The democratic vote has no jurisdiction over the private sector.
  3. The private sector can only be influenced by the public will in two ways: through the judiciary (and we all know that ordinary people can’t afford lawyers long enough to mount an effective challenge) and through our daily spending.
  4. Thus, the less democratic a society, the less influential the political vote (voter apathy is a symptom of this) and the more influential the spending ‘vote’.
  5. Thus, the more money you have the more spending ‘votes’ you have and the greater your influence.  This is the ‘how’.
  6. Thus, wealth equals power and democracy equals the illusion used to trick the populace into thinking they have a fair say in the running of their society.
  7. This false belief lulls the populace into passivity and makes victims of us all.

It is, therefore, understandable that the accumulation of wealth is becoming people’s dominant motivation.  However, most people do not strive for wealth to increase their say in society as most either don’t care to be heard, or don’t know that they are being ignored.

Most people strive for wealth because the industries controlled by the elite thrive on unnecessary and excessive consumption and, moreover, want people to abandon democracy altogether – thereby removing the last vestiges of safety for the weak.

It is worth noting that by allowing spending votes to become the dominant mode for the expression of social will, those with no votes get no say.  Thus, those generations yet to be born will be, and are, excluded from consideration.  Corporations certainly aren’t going to restrict their activities to benefit future generations when there’s no guarantee that those future generations are going to be their customers.  This is one reason why wise governance is necessary to a healthy and sustainable society.

What sort of person values personal wealth over the survival of his fellow man?

Someone who is ruthless; utterly selfish; always gets what they want and always has.  Someone able to insulate themselves from the negative consequences of their actions – detached from wider reality.  Someone so focused on personal gain and winning that to allow loss or diminishment is literally unthinkable.  Our world is led by such people.  This is the ‘why’.

Dark times ahead.

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