Democrat September-October 2013 (Number 137)
Arthur Smelt's point of view
Oscar Wilde is said to have made the comment:
'We kill the things we love'
It is palpably obvious the EU was not created to bring about a more equitable and democratic social environment. In fact the EU is doing nothing to resolve the contradictions so deeply embedded in our society. Contradictions which are becoming more socially and environmentally damaging as time goes by and unless radical changes come about, these crises are unlikely to be resolved or " ameliorated. The distribution of wealth, care of the environment and use of the earth' s resources have to be dealt with in far more judicious ways if the future of human existence is to be protected.
The big question is, how do we go about educating humanity and changing the ethos of dog cat dog, to one which promotes more altruistic attitudes?
Recently a great deal has been said and written on the question of press freedom and how the Press functions. Anyone with a reasonable degree of sensibility cannot other than agree that the duty of the Press should be to accurately report news and events and to educate its readers.
Unfortunately there are large sections of the Press which are controlled and influenced into reporting to reserve the status quo. Instead of informing and educating the public, misinformation and propaganda are used in ways to perpetuate deeply entrenched oligarchical structures.
At the present time large sections of what is referred to as 'the popular press' relentlessly focus attention on the poorer sections of society to convey the impression that they are to blame for the pandemic crises now affecting millions of people. Unless the true cause of a problem is acknowledged then the chances of rectifying that problem are remote.
1t seems that in spite of the smokescreens being thrown up, one scandal after another emerges through the smoke. Bank robberies, bonus and expenses scandals, gross mismanagement and corruption in our public services. The free market which sells our assets abroad. Problems with drugs, alcohol abuse, obesity through the promotion of rubbish food, sexual scandals influenced no doubt by a massive porn industry. Then we have the 'wake-up' to mass spying on the part of the power mad aimed mainly at those appalled at the mess and would like it to change. The Press in the right hands could bring about considerable change in attitudes in these areas.
An interesting report appeared recently in the Manchester Guardian regarding Pope Francis. It seems that in September he visited Cagliari the capital of Sardinia where he is reported to have addressed 20.000 people. Sardinia is one of Italy's autonomous regions with a population of 1.6 million with an unemployment rate of 20%. He called for an economic system that puts people and not "an idol called money" at its heart.
The Argentinian pontiff said that when his parents emigrated from Italy to Argentina they lost everything. He understood the suffering that came from joblessness. He went on to point out that this is not just a problem of Sardinia. Italy or Europe ... it is the consequence of a global choice. an economic system that leads to this tragedy: an economic system that has at its centre an Idol called money."