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Just to add a comment before this dies. There's a common thread in the comments that suggests something obvious, but unacknowledged.

Socially and politically we are living in a pseudo-reality, which is woven from a combination of hopes, myths and outright lies. In the 60s and 70s the hopes seemed achievable, and the gap between mythology and political reality was smaller than it is now.

Now the gap is increasing, and the pseudo-reality is starting to unravel, revealing some very disturbing truths about how our political and financial systems actually work, and how they're designed to concentrate and distill power and access to resources at the expense of the wider population.

Reality-based policy has to deal with political truths - and at the moment the truth is that the Capitalist Counter-Reformation is succeeding, and that the best possible goal is a return to the social conditions of the 19th century, when the poor were literally disposable slave labour.

A useful calibration is to understand that there is no politics of fairness any more. It's likely there never was outside the West, but internally we're used to the privileged assumption that we're equal participants in decision-making, who are due an equal share in prosperity.

Clearly that's not true any more. In the Anglo world the forms of popular democracy remain, and so do shells of some of the institutions. But there is no economic democracy. If we're not in the ownership class, we don't get a voice, we don't get a choice, and we certainly don't get a fair share.

I've no doubt the owners are feeling very pleased with themselves now, but the only possible outcome is utter disaster - eugenically, economically, and ecologically.

There may not be easy answers, but spreading awareness of the new reality may help snap the population out of the mistaken assumption that the ownership class isn't capable of starving them, robbing them, making them homeless, or murdering them.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 20th, 2010 at 04:23:57 PM EST

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