The Big Paranoid Picture

2089388_custom-be9a4e571a632807e169ce224da8a410379d85d4-s6-c30I’ve a simple philosophy when it comes to understanding what’s going on in the world. For example, if a survey shows that staff morale in the NHS is at an all-time low, I tend to think that’s how the government and managers want it to be. Apart from the fact that there’s a certain breed of manager who actually thinks people ought to feel pressure and stress (if they don’t they’re not working hard enough), the project to drive the cost of every public service as low as possible always takes priority. Why? Because they want all the money.

Take this story about the disgraceful industrial relations on Europe’s biggest construction project, Crossrail:

Leaked documents reveal a crisis in the £15bn Crossrail project, Europe’s largest construction site, with industrial relations close to collapse and workers too scared to report injuries for fear of being sacked. Crossrail’s managers are accused of photographing or videoing contractors’ staff who may be in danger and emailing it to others “with unmasked glee”.

There’s a certain group of people who want all the wealth, that’s the big picture. And the reason they want all the wealth is obvious, if you pull your paranoid camera eye back for a view of the entire planet.

But let’s start small, with my profession, which is edukashon. It’s safe to say that morale among teecherz is at an all-time low. There are many jobs you might call “burn out” professions. Policing. Nursing. Soldiering. Teaching. A burn-out profession sucks the gumption out of you until you can’t go on. I think it used to be the case that 30 years of teaching was enough to see you done. So you might start in your early 20s, and by your early 50s, you needed to retire. When my wife started teaching, it was common for people to jack it in at around 55, something you could do in those days, and the pension (relative to the cost of living) was decent enough for you to do that. If you don’t get out early, I think, you probably won’t live for long after you retire.

I work with lots of people who are around my age and a little older, who have been teaching 30+ years, and they’re ready to finish. Problem is, it’s more punitive to retire early, and the relative value of your pension is worse. For younger teachers, the prospects of a long career and a comfortable retirement seem vanishingly small. In fact, the kind of pressure that teachers are now under means that “burn-out” is happening earlier and earlier.

When the unions report that hundreds of teachers are being driven out of the profession, it gives you pause. What is Gove thinking when he reads about that? I’ll tell you. He’s thinking, “Good.”

Why? Think about this. Accept for the moment that the wealthy elites who educate their children privately don’t care about public education: they just want it to be as cheap as possible, like the NHS and Crossrail, and repairing the roads. Why is it good to drive teachers out of teaching early? Because it’s cheaper. If a teaching career is 10 years or less, the salary costs are lower (people early in their careers earn less) and the pension costs are insignificant. Fill the gap of lost experience with courseware and textbooks published by the private sector, and it’s win-win. Teaching is no longer a long-term career option. The first two years are horrible. Then you find your feet, but then the goalposts keep moving, and the pressure becomes unremitting, and it’s just not rewarding enough, in any way, to want to continue.

So what’s the vastly bigger picture? Why do they want all the money? Pull the paranoid camera back and look at the planet. The planet is fucked. Climate change is real, and yet it still seems as if our powerful elites are in the business of either denying that it exists or actually making it worse (fracking, cutting funding for renewable energy projects). Meanwhile, the wealth of these powerful elites is growing, and inequality is also growing, and their response to dissent is growing ever more aggressive.

Do they really think climate change isn’t real? No. But they think if they have all the money then they as a group will survive the coming catastrophe. That’s the plan. These powerful elites really have swallowed all that Ayn Rand bollocks wholesale, and they’re putting the plan into action. This is what they think:

If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.

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