It is not the strongest of a species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it is the one most adaptable to change, that survives. Charles Darwin.
The growth of civilisation was made possible because every able bodied person is capable of producing more goods than they need for their own personal survival, bearing in mind that human societies were formed and flourished long before mechanisation.
Work, as we now know it, was established in the Industrial Revolution. Workers were not paid for what they produce, but the minimum that the industrialists could get away with, whilst keeping all the produce and the profits from their exploited workers.
To be honest, I think that overall we’ve been pretty tolerant of this over the last two and a half centuries, as far as I know not a single factory or business owner has been strung up, not least for the exploitation, beating, maiming and killing of children in the work place. Measures to support and protect workers were hard fought for and hard won by workers unions, which are, to this day, utterly despised by many business owners, conservatives and, what we now call, the right wing media.
I think it is remarkable that contempt for workers seems to exist in direct proportion to the greed of factory/corporate/business owners. Perhaps it is just an extension, from feudal times, of contempt for the peasantry and perhaps that helps explain the contempt of the Tory party, which is establishment to the bone, who are busily dragging us back to, for them, the halcyon days of Poor Houses/Work Houses and Debtors Prisons.
Work, or employment, is one of those encultured norms, like Royalty and Christmas, that are so difficult to challenge. Working class people who vote Tory, called deferential voters, also tend to follow the Daily Express, Daily Mail, and latterly The Sun, line in despising our Unions, and are frequently likened, with a fair degree of accuracy, to turkeys voting for Christmas.
The corporate media is well practised in the dark arts of division, sowing and breeding hatred between different groups of tax paying workers. In the recent Birmingham bin strike, the Daily Mail headline, or one of them, was “Birmingham bin strike costing taxpayers £40,000 a day”. Stoking discord and petty hatreds is pretty standard stuff, as George Osborne proved in his 2012 Conference speech, “Where is the fairness, we ask, for the shift-worker, leaving home in the dark hours of the early morning, who looks up at the closed blinds of their next door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits?” Sadly, it works like a charm, preventing workers from seeing or doing anything about the daily reality of being robbed blind in the work place and the accumulation of wealth made on the back of their daily toil and even being paid a minimum wage that is not enough to live on.
Not content with getting away with paying a minimum wage, many companies now exploit workers through zero hours contracts and what Damien Green, then Work and Pensions Secretary, called the exciting Gig Economy, saying it had huge potential, but omitted to say, ‘for worker exploitation’.
It is a measure of the tenacity and determination of workers, even the most exploited and befuddled by political and media rhetoric, that their ability to adapt and change under the most trying conditions imposed upon them is taken for granted and exploited by their oppressors.
Not so their oppressors, the merest hint of actually paying their fair share of taxes or decent wages is enough to send them into apoplectic rage, resentment and the bribery of politicians to maintain their accustomed and cosy lives of greed and plenty at our expense.
It is in the nature of human vanity that those who enjoy the benefits of the current system the most think of themselves as the strongest and most intelligent, but they are the least adaptable.
The Tories despise the rise of social media and its existence as an open democracy for ordinary people. They simply cannot adapt and can be frequently seen walking into the brick wall of their own privilege and ignorance and would like nothing better than to shut social media down. The Snoopers Charter, under the guise of preventing terrorism is, in reality, a means to snoop into the lives of ordinary people who they uniformly despise.
Unable to adapt, they choose repression and when challenged they bluster, hide, lie and deny, or besmirch and vilify those who oppose them.
2018 is going to be an interesting year, because, if Darwin is right, then the end is swiftly approaching for the Tory party which is ripping us all off and has plunged the country into chaos, not least in our greatest ever achievement, our NHS.
It is not my intention to suggest that the Tories should die, and, like the dinosaurs, become extinct, but it is my personal and fervent hope that, as a political party, they disappear into the vault of history and never darken our lives again. Then we might begin to address the oppression and exploitation that has bedeviled us for centuries and achieve a change for the better for all ordinary people, the many, not the few.