Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A swift reminder...

While I think it's great that such issues are being addressed, I find it says much more about us as a nation that it takes Jamie Oliver and a TV documentary campaign to actually get people to think about the food we give our children (let alone ourselves). Apparently we live in a world where things only change if a big name gets lots of publicity first.

Yup, the media is stronger than sense. Propaganda outweighs rationale by a thousand to one.

What's worse is that nobody's addressing the issues of why things are this way in the first place. My own, personal suspicion is that this is a symptom of the very same cause behind crap train services, expensive buses and stressed families - namely, that our concentration on money as a driving force, and our faith in its "effectiveness", seriously obscures our attention on the things that matter, e.g. health, environment and whether or not things actually work. School meals are bad because profits need to be higher to pay shareholders, which leaves far less for what the money's supposed to be for. Same goes for the railways, apparently. Makes sense to me.

All the hearty capitalists I've met hold fast to some utopian idea that their economic theory works, by its own nature of being a theory. But this is like saying that there's no point in having a firewall so long as your software is up to date - it's theory versus practice, and theoreticians need to realise that economic ideas don't work in a vacuum.

So really, I say, most of the crap we have to deal with here on a day-to-day basis can often be related back to the same thing - faith in Capitalism's invisible hand, invented in the same way as God was invented, with the purpose of relieving us from direct responsibility. "The Market" will save us, oh yes. Ha.

And now, the market has been around for so long that we've forgotten what faith we place in it, or what we were really supposed to be doing. It'll get worse before it gets better.

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