What’s wrong with ‘Westworld’?- Maybe quite a lot but it’s not down to the workers!
Westworld is the name we have given to the nations of the Western world. The UK, Canada, and the US plus of course the European Union. Westworld has subsidiaries in South America and the Middle East.
It doesn’t seem a day goes by without more and more evidence of a crisis in Westworld. We know the symptoms: mass immigration, failure to integrate by large groups of people from places like North Africa, economic stagnation remedied by debt and an apparent disdain by our ‘Elite’ for the values of the Enlightenment, reflected in the apparent promotion of values hostile to ordinary worker’s freedom of speech. Enlightenment values of freedom and rationality underpin the principles of capitalism: namely contract, choice and consent and with them came our precious, albeit limited democracy.
So, what has gone wrong? Is it class warfare? is it a conspiracy by the Elite to control working people? Is it global backhanders from Saudi princes? is it naive top-down Cultural Marxism gone mad? Is it an exhausted liberalism and welfarism that has simply given up in the face of a moral onslaught from some individuals from the Islamic world and particularly North Africa and the Middle East? Is it the birth of a new global economic model?
Or is it a bit of all of them?
Welfare hasn’t really helped the West, but it may be unavoidable in a world of declining economic strength. There is no doubt that the social reform agenda that has been delivered since the end of World War two it has been a mixed blessing. Policies, like liberating the gay community a social and economic good, reducing hatred and fear within our communities and bringing the gay community foursquare into huge areas of economic productivity, has proven popular and progressive. Abortion became a necessary evil, it prevented misery for women and along with the contraceptive pill liberated them from a life with limited choices. Limited choices for women are once again being promoted by some within some incumbent faith communities using religious text as a justification.
Liberalising the Divorce Laws was again necessary, preventing a lot of misery for adults whilst an unintended consequence has been passing misery and depression onto many children. The economic aim was perhaps to maintain parents in the workplace and increase overall consumption (two TV’s as opposed to one!), whilst unintentionally rendering too many young people damaged by early adulthood and therefore economically inactive; the consequence of a “messy” divorce. It isn’t divorce, that is the problem, of course, it is the ease by which adults feel able to have children who then get embroiled in the emotional horror of the divorce itself. That is perhaps down to welfare again. It may also link to the economic uncertainties being created by the exhausted capitalist system as it rolls back to the West displacing whole nations from the value-creating juggernaut of capitalism or simply leaving people behind at home.
These are three big-ticket ‘social’ reforms of the post-war era. However, the impact has been different in respect of each. The latter two have left an unintended and expensive legacy both socially and economically. But we are where we are here in Westworld and no one would want to reverse the social progress achieved so far.
With capitalism only thriving in the Far East and China both active on the economic world stage, Westworld has been left with a legacy of unachievable moral and social expectations, declining economies and debt. With a white-faced Anglo-Saxon elite realising that the world that made them rich or powerful or both is in a state of permanent decline, they are forced to look around for a fashionable theory or policy to revitalise that which made them who they are. Now it all seems to have failed they consolidate their privileged position and then give up trying to advance ours, in fact, they make matters worse for working people by trying to place the guilt for the consequences of their failure on us in the form of ‘white privilege’.
The Elites incompetence has come close to killing the economic goose that once laid capitalism’s golden egg. But the goose isn’t dead because the Westworld working people are becoming an economically literate and motivated radical force driven by anger and constrained only by the old-world order of financial and social privilege. This hegemonic system will have to be burst asunder before the workers of the West can be liberated from the oppressive control of our Elites.
If our Elite continues to oversee the world’s economic affairs the Western economies are doomed. Hiding behind the protectionism of Trump’s ‘America first’, or the EU Customs Union the Western world is heading towards economic stagnation. As a result, our culture is at risk of being overwhelmed in places by the ancient simplicities of Nationalism or resurgent Islam offering solutions to Westworld’s social problems and emboldened in their determination to change our way of life by the power of engineered mass migration.
The Islamic world may believe it has some solutions to the Westworld moral crisis, but this simply isn’t the case. Islam has a poor track record of furthering economic and social evolution. Following a period of renaissance when Islam ‘secularised’ in the 12th century, when it became feudal, the various iterations of the faith since then would impede the evolution of the Middle East from then on with only a brief ‘enlightenment’ from the 19th to mid-20th century as capitalism held sway and again secular reform was intended to bring prosperity across the Muslim world. As crony capitalism has failed across the West and the Middle East some Islamic nations have re-adopted Sharia as opposed to secular constitutions. What else should be the response to economic stagnation in the 20th and 21st century Middle East one might ask. Well, a rebooted capitalism with the demand that its values are progressed to all people.
Oil money in the twenty-first century is offering some ‘progressive’ development of a very limited and questionable sort in Saudi Arabia a country promoting fundamentalist Islam around the world, but a country that without oil wouldn’t exist as a viable nation-state. So, with capitalism collapsing in the weaker Islamic nations and Islam as a faith resurgent and confident, the Westworld worker has street corner theologians shouting down our values as our utterly lost Elite turn a blind eye. Westworld has its own dodgy theologians of course.
When one listens to the theologians of Westworld, in the US the Clintons and Obama, in UK Blair and Nick Clegg, in the EU every technocrat with a microphone and in Canada Justin Trudeau one can see people who simply can’t grasp the concept that the system that made them rich is finished. Whilst the system may have finished for them however, it has plenty of life in it, if it is given to the people at large. The Elite seem unwilling to do that and we are therefore at risk of having our culture compromised by advancing ideologies of Nationalism or from some quarters a demand for the promotion of radical or even just observant Islam. Both would limit the rights of working people. Therefore in creating the demand for repressive change, our Elite is now a threat to us, Westworld’s working people like never before. So, what are the causes of the Elite’s and our collective crisis?
At the top of the political sphere, the Elite promote the old-fashioned idea that debt unconnected with investment can be a stimulus to growth. They have also embarked upon regeneration wars to bomb democracy into the Middle East and North Africa, whilst hoping to reconstruct these places using Western firms and Middle Eastern oil money. The consequence was as we know complete failure. Additionally, in rubble-strewn failed states Islamism becomes coherent as a way of ordering an otherwise chaotic society, so the world got ISIS. ISIS of course inspired by the hard-line Sunni Muslims of Saudi Arabia promote the example of seventh century Mohammad as a major influence on their way of life, a life of shameless brutality.
On the home front and for working people welfare has unavoidably become the Elite’s replacement for real social and economic value creating employment. Within the context of declining economies and a new reliance on debt, there is the illusion of a vibrant free market economy which whilst failing to keep the West on top economically has continued to reassure the Elite that life for them is business as usual. They have allowed a mechanism to be engineered by the banking system and global markets that turn our debt (national and personal) into wealth for them and their cronies. Of course, it brought us to our knees in 2007/08 and today we are back on the same horse.
If we pick up from 2007/8 the Elite have managed to save themselves and convince themselves, they have saved us but only by working the biggest confidence trick in modern history. They have turned the Westworld workers into a new class of twenty-first-century Serfs. We now pay taxes, service National and personal debt and spend what money we must ensure the Westworld economy looks like it is functioning when, like putting compressed air through a steam engine rather than steam, it just looks like it is working. This is a ‘Wizard of Oz’ illusion. The Emerald City of the Clintons, Blairs, EU and others involves workers giving away our good jobs, our productive capacity, plus amassing debt on an eye-watering scale to keep the elite in their positions of power and influence. They can use the banks and the Wests 18th century political systems and associated institutions to maintain their illusion and of course, they do.
Their wars of ‘reconstruction’ have burdened the working people with an additional problem. Migration. Not Migration from places with a cultural heritage of the Enlightenment and Contract, Choice and Consent but migration from places with a pre-capitalist feudal-like and simple worldview based on control, coercion and compulsion and for many this is linked to belief in the infallibility of the Quran and Hadith. The wars of reconstruction have failed, but the elite has it that migration has always been good at stimulating growth. Well yes and no. It depends on who is coming in. The Jewish community that came before and during World War two undoubtedly contributed a great deal to post War Britain’s economic reconstruction.
The Windrush generation added much socially and culturally but was probably less significant in economic terms and the most recent arrivals sadly seem to have added very little. Many have either taken low skilled work or some having pre-capitalist values of submission, have introduced a form of multi valueism in the West offering to compete with Western values. This has wrong-footed the Elite as previously their multiculturalism was set within a thriving capitalist framework and was the West’s expectation, not value systems competing within the Nation States themselves.
The lack of thriving capitalism is what has exposed the difference in values and made them so stark causing fear within all communities; established and newly arrived. The big debate is whether this has been a deliberate policy by the global elite to alter Western society. Our view is probably not. It’s just the consequence of everything we have described above and the Elite not knowing what to do about it.
One specific challenge to Western values comes in the requirement of Islam as a faith for men and women to be treated with differential standards and expectations. Something Karl Marx and Frederick Engels disapproved of, calling it Father “right”. This is linked to the control of women for essentially seventh-century economic reasons but is today presented as a twenty-first-century moral necessity. It seems to have become a political requirement adopted by many men and women within the Islamic faith and is being reflected widely in the wearing of hijab and less widely in the demand for Sharia law with all its seventh-century moral simplicity.
So how are the Elite managing this complex situation all of it of their rather than our making? They do not seem to have seen their folly and have not apologised to their own working people or the people of the bombed Middle East. They have not apologised to their Nation’s economically active and liberated women or the children abused in various ways in the name of ‘faith’, culture or both. They have not talked down the politics of seventh-century radical Islam by assertively promoting our values of contract, choice and consent. Instead, they have tried to manage opinion to prevent working people complaining too much and have compromised the future of generations of women by ignoring the flagrant hostility from some radicals towards some outspoken women. We need to assist any faith that theologically and doctrinally has no respect for individual rights and freedoms particularly those that empower women economically. There may be some people within the faith of Islam who do accept the principles of the Enlightenment, but when you research the Quran, Hadith and Islamic history it seems likely that out of fear they are a few brave souls indeed. So, what does the overall picture of the West look like?
- Societal and moral decline amplified within the context of declining economic power and influence
- An Elite who have developed exaggerated expectations of their own economic and political power
- Following the 2007/8 collapse, an economic ‘revival’ paid for by indebting working people and creating low paid jobs.
- Failed wars of reconstruction leading to mass migration
- A clash of ideologies between the enlightened West and a large migrant population from feudal systems often with pre-capitalist moral principles.
- An elite that having turned Westworld’s workers into serfs, (paying for the Elite’s power and wealth with debt and taxes) begins to roll back the values of the enlightenment and the principles of contract, choice and consent.
- An elite who realise their Nations can’t pay for the State bureaucracy and for them as well as pay for the consequences of their and our, Western moral decline.
So, what of the future? We all need to reflect on the challenges facing the Western world because the health of the West affects the health of the rest. We need to avoid the easy conclusion our political class and global Elite are there to sort it out. They really can’t because the West’s political systems are not set up to allow them to. Indeed, the experience of London under Khan and Trudeau in Canada confirms that things can be frighteningly unpredictable within our eighteenth-century political systems. With binary systems, ideology can flip into something unacceptable to ordinary people and flip on the outcome of one election, as with the knife crime epidemic in London. So, what conclusions can we draw?
Firstly, the Elites current economic strategy won’t work because you can’t borrow to spend and spend to borrow. The Westworld needs real social and economic value (business and profitability) and value is out there in the wider world, but the elite can’t conceive of how to get it, because it means bringing down trade barriers and giving more power to the people. Their failed strategy was to take up arms in the Middle East to get some added value that way and thankfully they no longer have the money or the inclination. They would rather spend what money they take from us on themselves, which is good news for the peace of the world in general.
Secondly, the Westworld worker is a global player with global values and can trade freely when given the freedom to do so. With ‘hot’ war largely a non-starter we all need to demand a system that allows us all to engage in sorting out Westworld’s problems. the Elite need to unshackle the power of the Western working people. Trade is the bringer of peace. It always has been, and we need to do more of it not less, so we need to empower the Western worker to go out into the world as in the 18th century and trade. The Elite need to ask us our opinion before deciding on a policy that affects us and not them!
Thirdly the Westworld worker is someone who believes in the enlightenment and the principles of contract, choice and consent and can easily identify those who don’t. Those who don’t consist of our Elite and those for whom discrimination against freedom and the promotion of control, coercion and compulsion are articles of faith including a growing number within our so-called ‘left wing’. Marx would have hated the West’s current ‘Left-wing’ made up as it is of too many narcissistic economic illiterates.
Fourthly we Westworld workers need to stop allowing the Elite and the ‘thick’ end of the left to differentiate us and turn us against one another based on bogus criteria like religion, sexuality or class. If we believe in western values, we should not support politicians who clearly don’t. Become radical, because after hundreds of years of exploitation we are one group of workers at last because we all share the same values even if we differ on policy detail. And we should remember it is our values that are at risk.
And finally, start to take the argument to the institutions that have landed us where we are today. Our 18th-century political system (not our enlightenment values), our mainstream media in the UK the BBC and Channel 4. The Church of England and all those Episcopal churches that seem to be handmaidens to any and every regressive faith going.
We should all shout about the importance of freedom and equality, identify those who don’t and humiliate them into silence. Over hundreds of years our values have made the world prosperous whilst most of the rest of the world was either to fractious or obsessed with doctrinal observance and submission. The Western world’s workers still have much to achieve in liberating ourselves and the workers of the world in general and we don’t want or need an elite to help us achieve it. Indeed, they ceased to be any help decades ago.