Friday, 11 April 2014

What some people have said about the book 
Changing Generations - Part 2

‘Where I live people are all northern white working class. They discriminate against me because I’m a southerner and am educated.’

The world is full of conflicts between people who to others might look the same as each other. Between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. Between Serbs, Croats, Slovaks and Bosnians in the former Balkans. People are conscious of oppression by people who they see as having more privileges and power in the human part of the Great Chain of Being. They will use non-violent means, such as lobbying and strikes, to get justice. If they are still ignored some will move to violent action, such as the attacks on the World Trade Centre, in order to get their grievances paid attention to. Victims may be portrayed by the status quo as ‘innocent’, but to oppressed people they are complicit with the work of globally oppressive institutions and benefiting from an oppressive system.

Sadly, people who have been greatly oppressed can themselves in turn become oppressors of others. Adolf Hitler suffered at the hands of an abusive father amidst strong rumours that Hitler’s grandfather was a Jew who had conceived his father with a mistress. The result was to develop from a child’s fury into acting like his father and taking vengeance on a worldwide scale.

People of both genders and of all ethnic backgrounds can be both oppressed people and oppressors. But some oppression has bigger consequences than others and most effort and focus should be given to stopping the oppression with the biggest consequences. Imposing the form of capitalist system that we have worldwide caused the wealth differential per person in the developed world compared with people in the underdeveloped world to grow from 3 times in 1820 to 72 times in 1992. The action to maintain this differential is reaping a boomerang effect among people in the West who formerly benefitted from the system. Not only are white working class people struggling to get jobs but so are white middle class people, whether young or older. The earlier a country industrialised the less able it is to compete as a mature economy, particularly when its manufacturing base has been ripped away. It is time we listened to people movements across the world demanding a more just and sustainable economic system.