Why is there still so much anger?

As we enter the Festive Season, we reflect on the year past and the one ahead. It’s a time when Christians celebrate Christmas and other special days, Jewish folk enjoy Hanukkah, Mexicans celebrate the Fiesta of our Lady of Guadalupe, and Swedes celebrate St Lucia Day. The New Year is ushered in as an opportunity for new hope. For Chinese this is their most important celebration.

Yet this cheerful time for so many is defiled by widespread, unremitting anger all around the world. Why is it so? Is there a remedy for this simmering malaise? What can we ordinary citizens do?

As I explored what title I might use for this piece, and toyed with Why is there so much anger I found that it had already been used on The Political Sword over three years ago, way back in June 2016. I was disappointed as I re-read that piece and realized that nothing much has changed since then – the genesis of the anger is the same, only the players have changed.

My conclusion then was: It is social injustice that is the root of all of this. Inequity, unfairness, disadvantage, the over-abundance of have-nots in our wealthy society, and the experience of marginalisation that induces anger, and in extreme cases radicalisation and violence.

You may care to glance through the piece and quickly read some of the excerpts. Be prepared to be dismayed though, because little has altered since then.

At this time of year, you won’t want to read a long report of the anger that still grips the world. Suffice it is to draw your attention to what has been going on in France these past weeks. You will have seen on TV the widespread disorder throughout that nation, particularly in Paris where there have been violent riots, over a hundred injured, thousands detained, treasured icons defaced, cars burned out, shop windows smashed, and property destroyed. Much of the destruction has been caused by gangs of ‘casseurs’, urban guerrillas determined to loot and pillage, some of whom wear gilets jaunes. Among the ‘yellow vest’ protestors were black-clad and masked youths who likely belong to ultra-right, ultra-left, or anarchist groups, all taking advantage of the chaos.

All this is the result of President Macron’s economic policies, which, in the view of the gilets jaunes, punish members of the lower and middle classes with taxes on pensions and a fuel tax rise, while rewarding the rich with tax breaks. As one of them said: “Today, the poor are losing their rights. It’s understandable that we’re angry.”

The protests have now spread to Belgium, inspired by falling wages, rising costs of living, rising costs of healthcare, privatization of essential services, cultural disruption as a result of heavy migration, and growing unemployment.

So here we are again – inequity once more is the prime cause of the anger. Widespread social injustice leaves the poor feeling disadvantaged, disconnected, disenfranchised, and languishing in poverty and hopelessness.

Since time immemorial the poor have been left behind, but those at the top seem not to notice. In his brilliant book: The Price of Inequality Nobel Laureate in Economics, Joseph Stiglitz, wrote: “The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live.” The Paris riots are intended to highlight this – to send a clarion call to those who will listen that the inequality that the poor now suffer, the inequality that will worsen with Macron’s policies, can no longer be tolerated. Forced now to reverse the punitive ones, he hopes to restore order and revive the shattered French economy, but that may be problematic as freeloaders have now blighted the protests with their own extreme agendas. The future for France looks bleak.

What can be done? Is there a remedy?

If ever there was a time to foster hope, it is the Season ahead. Our politicians though will not, indeed cannot help. They are imprisoned by ideologies that shackle their thinking and restrict their actions. In the same way that they refuse to act on the other grave existential crisis we face – climate change – they will not act on inequality and social injustice. It is simply too hard, too inconvenient, too demanding. Progressive politicians might – conservatives can’t and won’t.

Can we, the ordinary folk that get the chance to vote only now and again, do anything at all? Yes, we have a voice.

Never before have there been such opportunities for us to express our views, our desires, our hopes for our nation. Social media abound with opportunities for us to say what we think, how we feel, and what we need. Everyone can use them. They are especially suited to those who cannot join street protests. This site is among a few select political blog sites that expresses views, encourages debate, and suggests remedies. Use it to say what you think and feel, what you want for yourself, your family, your community, and your nation. If we sit mute, no one will hear, no one can hear. If we speak up loudly and often enough, the politicians cannot avoid us.

So with our Season’s Greetings, we seek to hold your hand. Will you join those of us who publish The Political Sword to make it vibrant and influential? Will you add your comments as each piece emerges? If you do, we can change the course of our nation, we can prevail on our politicians to act, we can calm the anger and foster a warm, compassionate and caring society.

There is a remedy - it is all of us.


This is our last offering for 2018. We will resume publication early in February 2019.

Rate This Post

Current rating: 5 / 5 | Rated 16 times

Phil Gorman

17/12/2018

Doggerel for the times – Christmas 2018

Pensioners just have to bide quiet until the April Budget. The Lousy Nasty Party will lightly sprinkle us with just enough golden showers to pick up the old fart vote in May. People on New Start will be kept waiting indefinitely. If you're lucky enough to live in a marginal seat there will be pork enough to make you gag.

Gone are the days when my heart was young and gay
Gone are my friends from the workplace far away
Gone from the factory, the office and the store
To casual work and unpaid hours
without recourse to law
I hear their gentle voices calling poor old Joe

chorus
I'm coming, I'm coming,
for my head is bending low
I hear the gentle voices calling, poor old Joe

Gone are the happy times of an eight hour day
Gone are opportunities for work and rest and play
The economy is sovereign , all must bend the knee
Ruled by wilful ignorance in a corrupt corpocracy
I hear the plutocratic voices calling
stuff you Jo

And now I’m on the pension and all my strength is spent
My heart’s clapped out, my hands are weak, , my back is getting bent
My eyes are dim, I’m going deaf, my knees are really crook,
And only at election time do I get a second look
I hear the pollies’ voices calling poor old Joe

are the hearts once so happy and so free
The children of democracy who knew equality
The people were once sovereign for the common good
Now the homeless steal to live in our neighbourhood
I hear their husky voices calling
help me Joe

Why do I weep, when my heart should feel no pain
Why fear for the future when there’s been so much gain
It’s my grandkids’ future in a world racked by heat
A man made hell bereft of life and nothing left to eat
I hear their starving voices calling
were you Joe?

Ad Astra

18/12/2018

Phil Gorman

Thank you for your Christmas doggerel - so very apt!

TalkTurkey

20/12/2018

Damn. Yesterday I wrote about a page in reply and also acknowledged Phil Gorman's doggerel contribution but I finished it and answered the 3 Oranges puzzle  :  and submitted message and it DISAPPEARED!

So I'll see if this one goes before I say anything else. 

Ad Astra

20/12/2018

Talk Turkey

Sorry you had trouble posting. I looked for your comment but couldn't find it. I hope you will have success when you re-post it.

TalkTurkey

24/12/2018

Hi Ad and Everyone

Best wishes to All for Christmas and the New year. 

I just took a trip back into TPS Archives to 24/12/2010 when I posted the doggerel below. Since then I have only grown harder-line in my condemnation of Religion which I see as THE great and evidently insurmoun hurdle for humanity. I thought during the Hippie era that we would be able to shuck the shibboleths of "Faith" but plainly that's not going to happen. 

Sorry about the double spacing. 


Tis the night before Christmas, and all round the Earth The “Christians” are fighting for all they are worth,

And so are the Moslems, and so are Hindus, And so are the Buddhists, and so are the Jews.

The works of the holy are every seen: In Ireland there’s hatred ’twixt Orange and Green;

While “Christians” bomb Afghans with help from above, And Jews shower Arabs with napalm and love.

Each other religion is always at odds With anyone worshipping different gods;

They all reckon their god’s the one god that’s right, So for permanent peace, they eternally fight!

Some folks say of Evil that Money’s the root

But Religion’s its seed, and Blind Hatred’s its fruit

And as for that Evil, it’s religion’s own word!

And the “Christians” claim Love’s what they spread! How absurd!

Please observe that I only use “parentheseses”

Around those who claim to be followers of Jesus,

For as he observed truly, as plain as can be,

The worst of transgressions is Hypocrisy.

You can’t blame folks for ignorance, if they’ve had no teaching

Of the brotherly love that was Jesus’ main preaching;

But find me true Christians so gentle and meek

That genuinely do turn their own other cheek . . ? . .

O sure, Jesus’ teachings would be very good

If anyone practised them – if anyone could!

But here in the real world, saints don’t exist,

A slap on the cheek’s mostly met with a fist.

The parable of the good neighbour was Jesus’s,

’Course, he wasn’t “Christian” in parentheseseses!

You don’t need religion to be a good neighbour:

Good Samaritanism's just Labor behaviour!

Ad Astra

27/12/2018

Talk Turkey

I'm so glad you have succeeded in posting your doggerel. Thank you.

I reciprocate your good wishes for the Festive Season.

I hope that all who visit The Political Sword will enjoy this time of year as we refresh ourselves for another hectic year of political commentary. 2019 promises to be even more bizarre and contentious than the year almost gone.

How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?