25. Jul, 2016

ZOG

THE PLANET ZOG

As an unrepentant STAY voter, I am sorry to have lost the vote but proud to have won the argument for a reformed and federal Europe, there are two points on which I and the pro-Brexiteers to whom I have spoken do agree…

(1). Most of the electorate did not understand what the vote was really about.
1.1.They assumed it was solely about national sovereignty. They do not grasp that wealthiest 1% among them own more than the poorest 55% put together. That 1% have never agreed on what would make them even wealthier…belonging or not belonging to the E.U.
1.2. This small group has a political wing called the Conservative Party that has reflected this split. To silence those who wanted to leave the E.U. in his own party, the Prime Minister answered their call for a Referendum, gambling that he would win.
1.3. He lost with the “Brexit” campaign being led by a political elite, funded by an economic elite and fuelled by a media elite, popular anger being channelled towards undeserving targets – migrants.

(2). The vote has brought about social regression.
(2.1). There is little doubt that the Brexit vote has empowered the most gruesome collection of schemers, misfits, liars, extremists and puppets that British politics has produced in the modern era.
(2.2) The political problems it has caused are frightening…
-possible economic chaos
-the legitimisation of xenophobia and racism;
-the coming dismantling of the United Kingdom and the stress placed on the Northern Ireland peace process;
- the ascent of the Conservative hard right to the coming attacks on everything from workers’ rights to the NHS;
-the inevitable anger that will follow the leave campaign’s abandonment of their unachievable promises to the inevitable retribution from a European Union following fears for its existence and suffering from the Brexit aftershocks.
HOWEVER…
There has been a political movement to overturn the result of the Referendum.
I feel that this would be a grave mistake.
-for it would amount to graduates telling non graduates: “We reject your democratic choice.”
-It would further alienate those for whom the referendum vote was a howl of rage against exclusion, alienation and remote authority. That is why the slogan “take back control” resonated. Is it not better to seize this opportunity to put right what is wrong with the system that brought the referendum about?
So what is wrong with the existing system?
Economic
-Society dominated by unearned income, market failures, zero hours contracts, workplace surveillance, non-sharing of profits, non-paying of taxes.
Political
-Whoever you vote for, the same people win, because where power claims to be is not where power is…in the hands of those affected by it. “If voting really changed things, we would not be allowed to do it!”
-Parliaments and Councils have little real power for decisions are made elsewhere by the money for the money to make sure business capital is protected from democratic control.
-An electoral system that results in millions of votes being wasted
-Parties funded by wealthy donors- those who pay the piper.
Social
-Education, Health, Welfare, Transport, Recreational services as far away as ever from being so good only a fool would go private.
-gaps between richest and poorest as wide as it was in Victoria’s reign.
-80% of the UK’s national and regional newspapers are owned by a small elite whose political, economic social and cultural beliefs are rammed down our throats and printed in such as way as to sell more copies and hence bring in more advertising and the real profits of the industry
Cultural.
-Do we know where we belong any more? Are we not all just part of a global culture, listening to the same banal music, walking through the same shopping malls and supermarkets, playing the same computer games, watching the same mind-deadening television? Languages might differ but it is the same pap.
Do we have ethical standards any more? If so, on what are they based?

These short term failings could be righted fairly easily but what of the long term?………

In a galaxy, far, far away, and in a solar system not too different from our own, there orbits the planet Zog…

ZOG PAST AND PRESENT.
Having lived in peace for 500,000 years among both themselves and their planetary neighbours, the inhabitants of Zog consider us Earthlings as still living in the equivalent Early Stone Age, so an outline of their past is surely well worth a study.
Prehistory.
The Zogans originally lived in peace with each other, believing that everyone had a right to life, liberty and the possession of property. This was all well and good until there arose a minority intent on depriving the rest of one or more of those rights.
The State.
Feeling the need for protection from each other, the majority of Zogans founded their state with a Legislature for making Laws, a Judiciary for deciding when and if those laws had been broken and an Executive to see that those laws were enforced.
Dilemma! They had protection alright, but who was to be protected from whom? The few from the many or the many from the few?

The First Zogan Republic.
A powerful minority (an Oligarchy) took control and instituted rule by the few, rather than the many and with it a Capitalist economic system. Every year there were more billionaires but more and more slums and shanty towns as people grabbed what they could while they could. Freedom of thought they had in spades butre ruled by individual greed .
Wealth did not trickle down but was stashed by the wealthy minority. Soon they looked to expand their undertakings. They looked at their neighbouring planets, realised they were rich in raw materials and provided ready made markets. Developing a powerful military, the Zogans began a campaign of invasion.
However, The Wars left Zog virtually bankrupt and cost millions of lives as conquered peoples fought to regain their independence.. NEVER AGAIN! Said the Zogans, their must be a better way! Capitalism had failed. It had led to the dole queue, a scramble for markets and WAR.

The Second Zogan Republic.
Another powerful minority took control and on behalf of the people instituted rule by the many at the expense of the few and with it a Collectivist economic system.
It soon became apparent that although everyone had a house, food and access to good communal facilities, the freedom of thought they had taken for granted under the First Republic was curtailed. Secret police were employed to detect dissidence and to allegedly protect The People from subversive ideas.
Asking questions was sufficient reason for a state trial and inevitable removal to a concentration camp from which there was no return.
The one time powerful minority was in turn replaced by the infallible Leader who controlled virtually every aspect of life “In The Name of the People.” He looked at their neighbouring capitalist planets, realised they were rich in raw materials and provided ready made markets. Developing a powerful military, the Zogans began a campaign of invasion. The Wars left Zog virtually bankrupt and cost millions of lives as conquered peoples fought to regain their independence.. NEVER AGAIN! Said the Zogans, their must be a better way! Collectivism had failed. It led to the dole queue, leader worship and WAR.

The Third Zogan Republic.
The fall of The Leader brought about the opening of the concentration camps and the release of The Independent Thinkers. They recognised the need for mutual protection from each other and that the only true protection lay in everyone treating everyone else in the way they themselves would wish to be treated.
To this end they instituted a planet-wide education programme in which everyone was taught not what, but HOW to think, how to formulate arguments and to express them… in short, a Critically Literate population.

People were encouraged to openly debate and argue. There was no Great Political Idea, yet as intended, the next 250.000 years saw the build up of a critical mass of ideas that coalesced around what worked and what was ethically acceptable. In short there evolved on Zog, a society with values based on Wisdom, Kindness and Mutual Respect. Other planets in their solar system liked what they saw and bought into the same principles so what governed the relationships between individuals on Zog also came to govern the relationships between whole planets. Co-operation replaced competition in a planned economy. Enormous scientific advances were made but went hand in hand with parallel ethical social development. Physical resources were held in common.
The elected Thinkers had combined the freedom of thought prevalent in the First Republic with the planned economy of the Second.

QUESTION.
Which of the three Zogan Republics would you prefer and what is there to learned from them?

(Thanks to the works of Owen Jones, Kant, Bentham, Aristotle and George Orwell.)