What If All World Leaders Are Stark Naked?
J.S.Larochelle - 2004
"There is no other means to safeguard a propitious development of human affairs than to make the masses of inferior people adopt the ideas of
the elite." -- Ludwig von Mises
"Behave yourself, will ya? Go find real work."
-- Texas Governor George W. Bush to Michael Moore
(from Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" Movie)
"Hell is other people."-- Jean Paul Sartre
Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Emperor's New Suit" is about "two swindlers" who "made people believe that they were weavers and declared they could manufacture the finest cloth to be imagined. Their colours and patterns, they said, were not only exceptionally beautiful, but the clothes made of their material possessed the wonderful quality of being invisible to any man who was unfit for his office or unpardonably stupid.
"'That must be wonderful cloth,' thought the emperor. 'If I were to be dressed in a suit made of this cloth I should be able to find out which men in my empire were unfit for their places, and I could distinguish the clever from the stupid. I must have this cloth woven for me without delay.'"
As the story goes, none of the emperor's ministers could publicly admit that they couldn't see his newly purchased suit for that would have meant they were unfit for their jobs. It was only after a young child said, "But he has nothing on at all" that the emperor's adult subjects laughed and pointed out that their leader was naked.
But if all of the world's leaders
believe in the same set of delusional
political and economic policies...
then even democracy can't create a good society.
Democracy was supposed to solve the problem of delusional politicians for "we the people" can just vote them all out of office. But if "all" of the world's leaders believe in the same set of delusional political and economic policies then even democracy can't create a good society.
As it happens, virtually all of the world's current political leaders believe that the only solution to world poverty is "full employment." If there are any politicians who don't support the "find a job" idea, they are certainly keeping their alternative ideas to themselves.
To provide full employment, politicians must promise policies that will create "economic growth." Many people are so adamant in their belief that "growth" is the only solution to world poverty that they want to completely cut all forms of government assistance. The obvious goal of ending the so-called "welfare state" would be to "force" everyone who is unemployed or underemployed to either find a paid job or a better one where they can be more productive and earn more money.
Surely, the most hellish predicament any politician could face would be if society in general was carrying out their policies, but that their policies were creating horrendous social problems. It would be especially hellish if billions of people were behaving themselves, adopting the ideas of the economic elite but doing "real work" that was destroying the physical and ecological systems that make life possible.
The overwhelming evidence is that the vast majority of world citizens are trying to produce more goods and services to sell to make more money. One particularly bizarre problem is that many people are trying to produce and sell more foods and beverages such as wheat, rice, milk, butter, ice cream, chicken, eggs, beef, pork, fish, vegetables, fruits, coffee, tea, chocolate, donuts, soda pop, wine, beer and so forth.
It's now so easy for a heavily-industrialized economy to produce vast quantities of foods and beverages
that politicians must pay farmers not to grow food.
It's now so easy for a heavily-industrialized economy to produce vast quantities of foods and beverages that politicians must pay farmers not to grow food. But how can politicians tell citizens that "real work" is the solution to global poverty when they are stopping people from working to prevent the price of foods and beverages from plummeting and causing terrible economic problems for the business sector?
One solution to this unfathomable economic dilemma has been Western Civilization's idea of sending all young people to school and then on to university to study philosophy, law, medicine, science, engineering, history, journalism, literature, music, art and the social sciences, which includes sociology, and, of course, economics.
However, now there are vast numbers of people who are have "no choice" but "to think" to make a living. Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was a writer who's now very famous for his fairy tales. Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) had a Ph.D. in economics and US President George W. Bush has a masters degree in business administration (MBA) from Harvard University.
Jean Paul Sartre (1905-1980) was a French author and philosopher, and the quote "hell is other people" comes from his play "No Exit," which was set right in hell itself, where the actors can't escape from each other.
Indeed, writers "need" readers, producers "need" consumers and politicians "need" voters. One reason that existence is now increasingly hellish is that as soon as we admit we need other people we can't claim to be self-sufficient and autonomous, especially from an economic or political point of view.
Not being self-sufficient and autonomous is particularly hellish for free market economists and politicians such as von Mises and US President Bush, who demand that world governments stop redistributing wealth because "socialism" is evil. But if society didn't give politicians money to live on then they would become destitute even while giving speeches calling for more hard work and economic growth.
Canada's Prime Minister Paul Martin gets paid $284,122 in taxpayer dollars, but many free marketers bitterly complain that Canada is a "socialist" country because it provides its citizens with public health care and welfare. But not only does "capitalist" US President Bush get paid $400,000 a year (also in taxpayer dollars), he also gets to use two "free" public houses (the White House and Camp David) and gets a lifetime pension of over $150,000 a year.
There's an overall historic pattern at work here for society has had to "give" money to thinkers because "thinking" by itself can't keep anyone, fed, sheltered, healthy and alive. But if society is going to "exempt" politicians, economists, scientists, judges, lawyers, university professors, journalists, philosophers and others thinkers from doing "real work" then it's only logical for society to demand that these thinkers solve everyone's problems and not just their own.
One of the most mind numbing aspects of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" movie was that it was just plain obvious that George W. Bush only became wealthy because his father US President George H. W. Bush had political and economic power. But many of the political pundits who attacked Moore and "Fahrenheit 9/11" seemed to be infuriated at the very idea that any average citizen would dare to criticize the US President, who is, after all, the world's most powerful political, economic and military leader.
In an article titled "Michael Moore: Immoral, fat, lazy, stupid," U.S. media pundit Joseph Farah wrote: "America is quickly becoming two nations. It is polarized not between haves and have-nots, as Moore might suggest, but between people of good moral character and those without... It is divided between the immoral, fat, lazy and stupid and those who strive to do the right thing, to work hard, to sacrifice and to use their common sense" (July 1, 2004).
What sort of society mass manufactures and relentlessly
pushes the consumption of unhealthy foods and beverages ...
and then has the unmitigated gall to criticize people
for consuming them?
Of course, Farah's use of the term "fat" is preposterous. Not only does the United States produce staggering quantities of soda pop, junk food, candy, ice cream and donuts, it also produces vast amounts of very clever, highly creative advertising that specifically targets young people to persuade them to buy and consume food. So what sort of society mass manufactures and relentlessly pushes the consumption of unhealthy foods and beverages and then has the unmitigated gall to criticize people for consuming them?
Clearly, supporters of the free market economic system are now desperate to prove that economic growth is limitless. Given this situation, free market social critics must blame and vilify people not only for causing their own poverty but also their own ill health, and regardless of the fact that vast numbers of business people make money only because millions of average people are now chronically ill from unhealthy consumption.
Marilyn Frye wrote: "One of the most characteristic and ubiquitous features of the of the world experienced by oppressed people is the double bind -- situations in which options are reduced to a very few and all of them expose one to penalty, censure and privation. For example, it is often a requirement upon oppressed people that we smile and be cheerful" ("The Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory").
Many millions of average poor world citizens, including destitute children and mothers caught in economic wars, must smile and be cheerful while not noticing that fanatical free market politicians such as George W. Bush and many others professional thinkers are being very well-paid in redistributed "socialist" wealth.
As if this blatant hypocrisy isn't bad enough, many environmental and anti-consumer activists are now telling us that we must all stop shopping, buying and consuming to "save the planet." However, in his book "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?" Martin Luther King wrote: "We must create full employment or we must create incomes. People must be made consumers by one method or the other."
No one needs a degree in medicine to know that if we don't consume we will die. Therefore, the only non-genocidal way to "save the planet" is to stop people from producing, which is impossible under any economic system where it's mandatory to work to escape poverty. As such, not only are most of the world's political leaders walking around stark raving naked while bragging about how "productive" they are (to justify their six figure salaries), but so are most of the other social leaders as well.