Thursday, December 15, 2011

My way to see the world – words for my sons

Dear Sons,

I don’t know if what I’m about to write to you both would still make any sense by the time you both are old enough to read and understand what I’m about to say. You dad (out of a sudden and for no particular reason today) would like to share with you boys his view of the world. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, let alone years or decades from now. So, as of the time that you both are reading this post, the world will have definitely been changed for better or worse.

In various channels, like school or through mass media, we have been told that all human beings are supposed to be created equal and have free will to pursue our way of life. At least, that’s what they are told where we live in a relatively free, rich, and educated society. However, is that really true? Are we really equal and have our free will to do what we want? Some of us who think like sheeps would say yes. They would say that we can choose to have chicken for dinner in an eatery in a shopping mall that we choose to go, and bring along the mobile phone to play the game or read an ebook that we choose at the time that I want. Who is gonna stop us? Or, they would say that they can take time off to fly to a country of their choice to go sight-seeing and shop what they can or even can’t afford. Or, they can exercise their law given right to vote for the candidate to become the leader of their government. Who is gonna stop them?

Yes, it seems that we have freedom to do a lot of things and feel that we are entitled to them. Is that really true? Well… it is sort of true for people who are ‘narrowed’ minded. Why would I say that? It is because they are just too focused on their ‘own’ and doesn’t see things from a more macro-higher-up point of view. There is nothing wrong with them. They are just too ‘busy’ to mind their own businesses. They don’t care much about the world unless they feel that they are affected personally. For example, they would care about the earthquake, tsunami, and radiation leak combo that happened this year in Japan because they were thinking to travel to Japan, or they are sushi lover, etc. They just don’t care much else. The internet and technology do bring us closer to see what’s going on in the world, but the information overload has ‘clouded’ most people’s mind as they are being over-informed and misinform at the same time. The result is just as bad as those old days when the lack of information that made people ignorant of the world. The situation from my point of view is surprisingly the same – people are just disoriented and can’t see the world clearly.

I think that I’m fortunate enough to be able to exercise my ‘limited’ freedom to read and think in my spare time all these years to develop a relatively independent mind to form my own view on how things are running in the world. I’m not saying I’m unique or any superior or smarter than others. There are certainly other people who are sharing similar view as mine, though they are in small number. I’ve to emphazie that I can’t prove my view is the truth, but I just wanna share how I see the world as an alternative to the so-called ‘mainstream’. That’s how I see the world…

As of this year, there are 7 billions people living in about 200 countries in the world. However, the life and fate of the 7 billions may well be controlled by 7,000 or merely 700 people. The exact figure is unknown, my point is that the world is ruled by a very small number of people. I’m not gonna throw terms or teach you what politics is all about. Things should be looked from in terms of a spectrum, i.e. there are numerous degrees of grey between black and white. However, to make things a bit easy to understand, in terms of political model, there are the extremes of dictatorship and total free democracy, and anything in between. Many countries in the world are run by dictators. The smaller countries would be run by military dictators that get power through civil war or military coup to overthrow popular civil elected rulers. Those dictators will either keep their absolute power within their family or few trusted ones around them. For them, they will do ‘anything’ to stay in power as long as they can, a life term would be preferable, and create their own dynasty if possible. For some bigger countries where their political systems are not democratic, a big dominant party usually rules the country. Opponents are either allowed to form smaller parties or in the form of different factions within the big party. Regardless, the leaders of the ruling party would do whatever they can to say in power while they are in office, and would still try to run the show from behind after they left office. Namely, they try to be the ‘king-maker’ before they left office and would run the show behind the curtain after their official term is over. It is because they often try to do things that are either or both immoral and illegal that against the interest of the mass. That’s why they want to make sure their own self-interests would be protected after they left office. Anyhow, they always put to their own self-interest above the people.

Another end of the spectrum is democracy which suppose are for the people and the one who wins the most votes will be the leader of the country on fixed term with powers within pre-set boundaries. That sounds very ideal. However, to tell you the truth, as long as they are capitalist countries, the ultimate determine factor in victory and failure in election is money. Who control money, control the results. That’s why elected leaders of all ranks have to answer to their constituency (i.e. their voters) superficially, but in fact they have to kiss the invisible hands (i.e. their financial backers) that lift them up to their posts. Yes, voters can financially support their candidates, but running elections are expensive, and most voters are neither rich nor really willing to donate. Thus, the financial backers have their hands in the election. Candidates need money and the backers have money. Certainly, remember that there is no free lunch in the world. Those financial backers will ask for favor in return if the candidates are elected. So, it all comes down to when the interests of the financial backers are not in line or simply contradict to that of the voters in majority. Guess which side will the elected leaders tilt towards to? That’s why democracy is ideal in theory but it also has its dark side.

Who are those financial backers? They have many names, but they key to become financial backers is that they have to be rich. The richer they are, the more powerful they are. In reality, they are mega-rich, rich enough to run the world! You see, there are all types of countries, big and small, poor or rich, etc. However, one thing in common is that they all need money to function, so money rules! They need money to grow to become prosperous. They need money to feed their people. They need to maintain their national defense. They need money to provide services to their people. They need money to go to war if necessary. They also need money to recover from war or natural disasters. So, no money, no country!

Who have the most money? Banks are the ‘mothers’ of capitalism. They feed all companies and industries with capital to function properly. The bigger the banks, the more powerful they are. Each country (most of them) has its central bank which controls the fiscal policy and liquidity in the economy. However, the funny thing is that many of those central banks (I’m talking about the major economies) are owned by a ‘fuzzy’ list of stockholders, many of whom are actually the mega-multinational banks. Thus, they are actually the most powerful entities in the world, given big economies affect the smaller ones, not vice versa. Well, who own those mega-multinational banks? That’s a billion if not trillion dollar question. There are various conspiracy theories about who are the real owners of those banks, like some century old private banks owned by some century old families or Royalties. I’m not go into that cuz they are still partially subject to speculation and can’t prove if those conspiracies are correct without thorough investigation. However, at least up to the point of mega-multinational banks, you can tell at least how powerful those banks are as they are in control of the world that we are living in.

The world economies are already globalized these days. Isolated entities are hard to compete without forming linkage/connection/cross-ownership among themselves. So, what makes those mentioned mega-multinational banks that powerful are because they have formed closely grids of financial relationships with other big oil companies, military subcontractors, pharmaceutical companies, food producers, mass media companies and industrial conglomerates. Altogether, they basically control the lives of billions!

Therefore, my advice to you boys is that don’t just take face value of stories being reported when you boys are reading news through the traditional media. It is always worth to peel the skin of stories and take a deep look of the connected interests of entities behind if you don’t just wanna be fed with ideas superficially. That’s what intelligent and curious mind should do. Certainly, I can’t tell you exactly what difference does it make on ‘practical level’ for knowing the truth behind or simply take things at face value. Nevertheless, I always don’t believe that we should always just follow the ‘herd’ without thinking if it makes sense or not. Our intelligence is too valuable to be wasted!

That's what I wanna tell you both today!



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