The last thing to die is hope
Can you see yourself represented in today's world? Can you see yourself represented by the main parties that dominate the political scene in your country? Do you feel like a bystander who does not share the global values and events you see on TV? Do you feel that it gives you little or no pleasure living in today's world? Now for some good news.
We are presented daily with the world's hotspots and conflicts, in which polarized positions present sexy headlines, in which juicy soundbites sell more copies. Welcome to the "Oooh" "Aaah" daily news package presented by our mainstream media which controls our access to information and shapes opinion.
Notice the drumbeat in the background as the theme music is turned up and a colorful headline goes hurtling through your living room, where you are seated 3.5 metres away from the TV set that dominates the space physically and mentally, the symbolic control of the family group being symbolized by the person holding the zapper. And now for an example of utter stupidity: "Ebola outbreak traced to Kremlin".
As the story unfolds, supposed experts present their views that the current outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa is a plot hatched in the Kremlin to take over the ultimate target, Burkina Faso, whose cutting-edge cloud seeding technology could be used to create devastating weather systems over the USA and its allies, posing a direct and immediate threat to the Grand Alliance. And NATO meets in Brussels next Monday.
The collective "Ooh" is almost audible and the vector of collective fear has been introduced, justifying the "us" against a powerful "them", someone big and strong, and someone who does not dance to the west's drumbeat. Enter frontstage Vladimir Putin, who was recently accused, together with mention of his real-life name, in slanderous fashion by western media outlets, of firing a missile at a Malaysian passenger aircraft, flight MH-17, over Ukraine. Now for the truth.
Under Vladimir Putin, Russia's GDP has risen from 195 billion USD in 1999 to 2.113 billion USD today. The GDP per capita has risen from 1.320 USD to 14,800 USD. Inflation has fallen from 36% to 6.5%, the pension has risen from under 500 Rubles to 10,000, the national debt is now 8 per cent of GDP compared with 78% in 1999, income has risen from 1,500 Rubles to almost 30,000 and the reserves of gold have increased from 12.6 billion USD to 511 billion USD.
Now you are not going to read that, or anything like it, in western media outlets. If anyone dares to put out that sort of information on a free media outlet, such as Pravda.Ru or other internet or printed press, the first reaction is to say it is all lies, and the second, "prove it".
It is depressing, distressing, demoralizing and downright boring to live in a world in which the manipulation of fear and the fanning of the flames of hatred mark our collective positions. My personal email, which I include at the foot of my pieces, is full every day of threats to slit my throat, drown my animals in acid, murder my children (none of whom even live in the same country as myself), amid insults such as "You brainwashed Commie b*stard", or puerile, primary sexual remarks to myself and Putin and so on and so forth.
Does it get me down? To be honest it makes me wonder what sort of being is on the other side, actually bothering to sit down and write such vitriol which, if I were another sort of person, would put them in a court of law. Block delete, click. But that is not the only sort of email I receive.
Among the others, are people trying to reach out, to discuss and dialogue, to forge bonds of togetherness; while their media is telling them we should be foes, they are trying to be friends. These people do not represent one country or one continent. More and more of them are appearing every day on social networks, as well as in my email account.
They share common values, they share a collective goodwill to make the world a safe place in which we can all smile at each other, they show respect for other countries and cultures, they understand that not everything is black and white, and that there are several shades of gray.
These people, by and large, feel misrepresented by their elected representatives and feel that their only contribution to democracy is to vote once every four or five years, and very often have no real idea who or what they are voting for. "Oh I do like that man with that lovely haircut, I think I shall vote for him, he looks ever so nice". "But Aunty Doris, he is a Democrat!" "Ohh then I shan't be voting for him. Who's the other one?"
This example represents a lot of people, but not all, and today, globally, people are not stupid. A growing number of Americans are seeing through their mainstream media, a growing number of western citizens are switching to media outlets such as Pravda.Ru and others, a growing number of people are not even buying television sets because they can entertain themselves for free on the Internet and for news and information, get the real picture, not a cosmetic one. Remember SKY News' Jeremy Thompson crawling up to some GIs in Iraq back in 2003 and saying "Hey you guys! Looking for some revenge for 9/11?" or words to that effect, trying to link the Twin Towers to Saddam Hussein.
One look, for instance, at Vladimir Putin's popularity ratings inside the Russian Federation and the massive distance between United Russia, his Party, and the second most popular in the rating, the Communist Party, and then the also-rans, one look at his record as President and Prime Minister, and we see his profile is one of a respectable, professional and concerned politician who delivers for his people and his country. An attempt to tarnish his image linking him to a downed passenger aircraft is as ridiculous as it is risible, and people are seeing through this.
What we can see, then, today, is hope because if people are informed enough to kick off the shackles of those who try and fail to manipulate them, then they are informed enough to bring real issues onto the political agenda and hold representatives responsible for the way things are going, deselecting those who do not represent global values.
And there is hope because we see and feel these global values among all people from all continents. It is Governments and corporations which want to force us into an "us and them" mindset while those who elect them do not want conflict, do not want democracy imposed from 30,000 feet and do not want intrusion in the affairs of sovereign States. The newspapers speak of WWIII under way already, the people do not wish for that.
In the midst of all the vitriol and hatred, we can hope for a world in which Israeli and Palestinian boys play soccer together, in which all girls have equal access to education, in which every child born anywhere on our beautiful home has the same birthrights, in which we all have access to universal education and healthcare programs, in which people celebrate their wonderful differences in terms of creed, color and culture, instead of allowing supranational corporations to use these as means to spread mistrust and division.
For this, people must network and get informed, and hold those who are in positions of power responsible to respect the collective goodwill, not the interests of lobbies.
Let's call it the People's Revolution. The BRICS have started it, Latin America has started it, time for the West in general, NATO in particular and especially the FUKUS trio (France-UK-US) to change tack.