Long, long ago, in a far away place, women began receiving education. For a very long time, only some men who were wealthy enough to also have the spare time, received an education about the world we live in. Very few women, such as Queen Elizabeth the First, and Catherine the Great, were also privy to stunning benefits of a thorough education, but it was the white, rich, male majority who enjoyed this luxury.
However, as wealth began to trickle slowly down to the peasants in some countries, such as England and Australia, an increasing number of non-white, non-male and non-rich people were receiving ever-improved levels of education. By the 1920s, there were fleets of women who were as capable, if not more so due to their having to work twice as hard to prove themselves, as men in mathematics, physics, commerce and politics.
All these other people, especially those who had traditionally been paying for the huge creation of wealth with blood, sweat and tears, began to notice they were being shafted by their socio-economic circumstances, and they wanted something much better for themselves and their children. Naturally enough, all the white men who were not rich, were in vast agreement with altering the balance of power and distribution of social wealth.
Many countries began investing in tax for the rich so as to build a social network of hospitals, roads, telecommunications, businesses and tariff systems to support the continued development of their peoples in exiting poverty, and enjoying the delights not of surviving, but of thriving. And thrive so many countries have!
Yet, not all is well, as the rich, white men at the top disliked the weakening of their profit centres and wish eternally to get the maximum possible return on investment at other people’s expense…
At the time women’s suffrage became part of social discourse, about a century ago now, the richest, whitest and manliest of the rich white men devised an amazing solution to ensure this newly burgeoning society of educated folk focussed on equality not just in rights but in social access, would forevermore experience disunity, and thusly, consumerism was born!
Consumerism in its intent is that which focusses people’s economic strength on self-aggrandisement. The individuality which forms a functional basis of western culture and thought thusly becomes the essence of our weakness. The gradually more sophisticated application of consumerist ideology has become the basis of our own identity.
Buy this large, expensive, difficult to drive and park sports truck, and you, too, are big and powerful! The endless array of accessories and poor fuel efficiency will keep your credit card at the limit for several years, not including the financing! You have made it!
Buy this season’s latest blouse for only several hundred dollars, which you must replace within a few months, and you, too, are beautiful and popular! The endless array of accessories and matching hair and make-up will keep your credit card at the limit for, well, as long as you breathe! You have made it!
With the advent of political lobbying, and by cleverly keeping the church on-side by never charging taxes, and keeping the populace complacent by never transparently passing on the cost of fuel and waste disposal, we arrive at our current society: continuing deregulation, continuing lack of accountability, and environments unable to sustain not just our species, but almost all species.
Yet how could Australian society recreate a nation of people capable of critical thinking, who would reinstate regulation which forces break-up of monopolies, enforce waste limitations, promote repair and longevity, uphold education and health accessible to all, and effectively reduce the power of the banks?
Social education takes place where most people gain their information: the news, current affairs, and social networks. Schooling and university used to be those sources, but are not any more. The tidal wave of non-Australian content in Australian media and other information sources reveals where this nation gains its information, and therefore, its attitudes and values.
Feminism proved that democracy is an entitlement of educated people, capable of critical thinking, yet consumerism works to disempower all but the wealthiest through divide and conquer. We are falling quickly from thrive into survive.