If Pastor Martin Niemöller were alive today he would have had a thing or two to say to those who scapegoat the vulnerable for society’s problems.
Economic inequality is caused by “free-market” (rigged-market) capitalism, not immigrants, asylum-seekers, “benefits-scroungers”, etc.
- Get the facts. Reject the propaganda.
Here’s a handy compilation of resources. I hope you will find it entertaining and informative, if not jaw-droppingly shocking. My novel may also be of interest.
- Find out what Pastor Niemöller said.
Here’s one version of his famous words:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.
Learn to distinguish between statistically unrepresentative anecdotes (propaganda) and evidence. In particular, be suspicious of those who scapegoat relatively powerless minorities for societal problems. They are almost certainly in politics to accumulate wealth and/or power for themselves and their cronies, regardless of the consequences for society at large.
I cannot possibly advise everyone on the planet on which parties and political movements to support or reject. However, I permit myself to make these observations about two countries:
As I write this, in April 2014, I am visiting South Africa, which is in the run-up to elections twenty years after the ANC (African National Congress) first came to power. I have been struck by how many people of all races seem to be accusing the ANC of kleptocracy/crony capitalism. Were I South African I am not sure which party I would support. However, the DA (Democratic Alliance) strikes me as just another “free market”-worshipping neoliberal party which will therefore not be able to address the gap between the haves and have-nots. (I put “free market” in quotation marks as it is no such thing. As Ha-Joon Chang and others have pointed out, the market is heavily stacked in favour of the super-rich.)
While Michael Tellinger, the founder of the Ubuntu Party, also known as the Ubuntu Liberation Movement, has some far-fetched ideas, it strikes me that there is a lot of sense in much of their policy. Check them out.
I am Scottish-born and -resident. On 18 September 2014 the people of Scotland have a unique opportunity to vote for independence from the UK, which in my view is our only hope of breaking free of the environment-destroying, inequality-generating and warmongering death-grip of “free-market” capitalism (crony capitalism/neoliberalism/hypercapitalism…).
Alas, the UK’s mainstream media are owned by hugely wealthy individuals and corporations who fail to see that their long-term enlightened self-interest also lies in a fairer economy. In their desperation to hold onto their wealth and power, they ceaselessly churn out propaganda against Scottish independence.
If the mainstream media are your major source of information you will probably not know what the term “neoliberalism” means, and you will be unaware of the work that has been done by us independence-campaigners in planning a sustainable and fairer society (info and links elsewhere on this blog).
If our only concern were the wellbeing of the people of the rest of the UK…
The main point I want to make here is that Scottish independence is not about “separation” or xenophobia. For all I know, there may be some anti-English sentiment amongst supporters of independence, but I have never encountered it amongst the people I campaign alongside. Indeed, I know that I speak for many of us when I say that if our only concern were the wellbeing of the people of Northern Ireland, Wales and England, then we would still support Scottish independence, because we believe the only way we can help is by demonstrating a more humane and caring, less unequal society. Only in this way can we give the lie to the scare stories of the pathologically wealth-hoarding super-rich (who require psychotherapy and education – they know not what they are doing).
I am against hatred and division and so I am against “free-market” capitalism/neoliberalism. To conclude, I repeat: the only way we, the people of Scotland, stand a chance of breaking free of this divisive philosophy, and of being a good neighbour and example, is by voting to govern ourselves. If you believe in togetherness, the evidence suggests that you should vote ‘Yes’.