Tag Archive: policy


1936: Lebensraum (help·info) (German for “habitat” or literally “living space“) was one of the major genocidal political ideas of Adolf Hitler, and an important component of Nazi ideology. It served as the motivation for the expansionist policies of Nazi Germany, aiming to provide extra space for the growth of the German population, for a Greater Germany. In Hitler’s book Mein Kampf, he detailed his belief that the German people needed Lebensraum (“living space”, i.e. land and raw materials), and that it should be found in Eastern Europe. It was the stated policy of the Nazis to kill, deport, or enslave the Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, and other Slavic populations, whom they considered inferior, and to repopulate the land with Germanic people. The entire urban population was to be exterminated by starvation, thus creating an agricultural surplus to feed Germany and allowing their replacement by a German upper class.

2012: Imposing policies which effectively force single people, small families, divorced, bereaved or mentally/physically disabled from larger Council/Housing Association houses: ie, forcing anyone receiving Benefits from their homes by changing Housing Benefit Rules in order to impose a burden of payment for unoccupied rooms – is, in effect, identical to the effect of disempowering, dispossessing and removing any right of freedom.

 

1936: Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work.[1] Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation. Historically, slavery was institutionally recognized by many societies; in more recent times slavery has been outlawed in most societies but continues through the practices of debt bondage, indentured servitude, serfdom, domestic servants kept in captivity, certain adoptions in which children are forced to work as slaves, child soldiers, and forced marriage.[2]

2012: The core issue to identify slavery or slave-labour in this situation is that: – Slaves can be held against their will. Slaves can be deprived of the right to refuse work or to leave without penalty. This Government has imposed a de-facto state of ‘debt-bondage‘ upon all those who are unable to work through impairment, disability or simple unemployment. That is Slavery!

The debt-bondage is held by the Government and is enforced in the form of “sanctions” – these ‘sanctions’ deprive a citizen of part or all of their benefits for a supposed infraction or breaking of imposed rigidly-applied ‘rules.’  Alongside this, it is made plain (though the threat is somewhat ambiguously stated publicly) that refusal to do ‘x’ or ‘y’ will result in sanctions being applied. This is State Indenture and another ‘de-facto’ form of enslavement. The final form of enslavement is much more insidious, for it calls upon the citizen to ‘volunteer’ to their own enslavement. There is no definitively explicit ‘punishment’ for not Volunteering, but it is ‘suggested’ that sanctions may be applied for some other supposed infringement. This too is a de-facto form of enslavement popularized in Third World Dictatorships –  because through the threat of  some ‘other’ punishment other than death (rather by threat of mutilation or amputation) , young boys and men were pressed into becoming pro-dictatorship ‘guerillas.’ The example may seem exaggerated, but its effect is the same – even in non-lethal circumstances.

1936:  The expression comes from the title of a novel by German philologist Lorenz Diefenbach, Arbeit macht frei: Erzählung von Lorenz Diefenbach (1873), in which gamblers and fraudsters find the path to virtue through labour.[2] The phrase was also used in French (“le travail rend libre!”) by Auguste Forel, a Swiss ant scientist, neuroanatomist and psychiatrist, in his “Fourmis de la Suisse” [“Ants of Switzerland”] (1920).[3] In 1922, the Deutsche Schulverein of Vienna, an ethnic nationalist “protective” organization of Germans within the Austrian empire, printed membership stamps with the phrase Arbeit macht frei. It was adopted in 1928 by the Weimar government as a slogan extolling the effects of their desired policy of large-scale public works programmes to end unemployment. This use of the phrase was continued by the Nazi Partywhen it came to power in 1933.

Raised over the entrance to Auschwitz I where, according to BBC historian Laurence Rees in his “Auschwitz: a New History”, the sign was erected by order of commandant Rudolf Höss.

The slogan “Arbeit macht frei” was placed at the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps. The slogan’s use in this instance was ordered by SS General Theodor Eicke, inspector of concentration camps and second commandant of Dachau Concentration Camp.

At Buchenwald, “Jedem das Seine” (literally, “to each his own”, but idiomatically “everyone gets what he deserves”) was used.

In The Kingdom of Auschwitz, Otto Friedrich wrote regarding Höss:

He seems not to have intended it as a mockery, nor even to have intended it literally, as a false promise that those who worked to exhaustion would eventually be released, but rather as a kind of mystical declaration that self-sacrifice in the form of endless labour does in itself bring a kind of spiritual freedom.[8]

2012: Minister for Work And Pensions Ian Duncan-Smith uses the phrase “Work makes you free..” (Ger. Arbeit Macht frei..) during a BBC Radio Four interview.. protesting that what he ‘means’ is that “any kind of work makes you feel freer, more empowered, more a part of society..” However, in the light of policies Ian Duncan-Smith imposed upon those in receipt of all manner of State Benefits (and in particular those who have had their ‘disabilities’ or ‘sicknesses’ assessed under outsourcing to ATOS (a private medical company based in France) through the Work Capability Assessment, the   suggestion has been made that IDS meant his  ‘Work makes Freedom’ comment in the ‘literary’ sense, and that the Minister for Work & Pensions was actually alluding to the notion that he was suggesting that  most unemployed, disabled and sick people were/are “gamblers and fraudsters” who “require to find the path to virtue through labour!”Probably the most scurrilous allusion any Minister has ever suggested under the mask of a supposedly “compassionate nature.”

If such historical remarks, references, comments, political policies and social policies are to be continually invoked by this Coalition – I have only one question?

Just how much of ‘Meine Kampf’ has this Government decided to ‘borrow’ from?

 

Since the very beginning, Governments of all political ideologies have tried to ‘control’ as much of what the public thinks as possible. It is a factor that is absolutely vital to being able to maintain Government’s Party Political aims and aspirations, while governing the population of the Country as a whole.

It is a sobering thought that much of modern Government is about controlling what you and I ‘think‘… and even more importantly, ‘what we think we think!‘ 

It is not enough to control and direct the thoughts of the Public: the very things that make us think the way we do,  must also be controlled.

A simpler way of exploring this idea is to consider why football is considered to be so important to so many people?

On the surface one might say that, it is a spectator sport, full of excitement and high energy: or, that it is a game of physical and mental skill where only the best players are winners! One might go further and say that, as it is a ‘team’ sport it encourages loyalty, cooperation, devotion to winning, determination, focus and ‘teamwork.’  One might highlight the skillsets needed to excel as a footballer: physical fitness, mental alertness, keen awareness, the ability to make instant decisions, self-management, self-determination, leadership. Yet these are all positive characteristics, and, to excel in any walk of life, whether it be sport, academia, art, music or dance, there must also be characteristics which are regarded as negative. Selfishness and self-centredness, disregard for failure, the inability or unwillingness to bow to criticism, an expansive or robust ego, elitism, the ability to ignore or block-out the thoughts, opinions or criticisms of others: moreover, a violent and reactionary personality, the tendency to sub-psychotic rage, possessiveness, jealousy, avarice, greed and a controlling or domineering nature are likely to make a better athlete, than a pedantic, meticulous and stoic personality.

It could be argued that it is not primarily (or only) the ‘good’ and ‘advantageous’ aspects of personality that make eg. footballers “winners.” On closer inspection, one might come to the conclusion that it is actually the negative aspects of personality that push us further!

Historians and Archaeologists have often suggested that team sports like ‘football’ are a kind of  “sublimated warfare..”  and have grown out of (among others) the Ancient Mongolian practice of wrapping the head of an enemy, killed in battle, in a linen or cloth bag and hitting it with sticks around a field on horseback. There is also reference to the Ancient Mayans who  played a similar game with a human head, but that the head belonged -not to an enemy slain in battle- but a member of their Tribe who sacrificed themselves for the game.

The modern game of football is indeed like sublimated war. It consists of two teams of eleven men (ten players and one goalkeeper) It is played between teams of different areas, localities, nationalities and continents. There are millions of football ‘fans’ world wide.

The desire to be on the pitch with the players during a football match can arouse very powerful emotions, such is the excitement generated. These emotions find different outlets – and for some, any and every match will end with violence, often between the fans of opposing teams, but sometimes directed towards their own supporters.

So. Why is football so important? Based on all the evidence we have about the game itself, the fact it is a form of ‘warfare’ without killing, but has all the excitement of a ‘blood sport’ (boxing)  is probably one of the most key factors!

Thus, any political party or Government trying to ‘control’ the thoughts and actions of a football fan needs to appeal to his/her loyalty, self-interest, elitism, goal-oriented personality, their selfishness, avarice, greed or violent/reactionary personas.They need to focus on exalting their sense of ‘self’ and making them feel unique, privelidged, gifted:

the ‘us’ as opposed to ‘them.’

In many ways, Government focuses upon the ‘fears’ of people far more than anything which suggests ‘security’ or ‘well-being.’ Hence the reason for focusing upon fears concerning : ‘Immigration, Employment, Housing and various types of State Welfare (including Tax and Benefits.)’

These are all issues which Politicians know are ‘hair-trigger’ emotionally driven issues. Read the following and think of how you felt while doing so….

The ‘reasons’ are many and varied, but they all hinge around the same racist accusations: the same Urban Myths! .. “Coming over here and…..!”

  1. Taking ‘Our’ Jobs..
  2. Not paying their Taxes..
  3. with too many of their Relatives..
  4. expecting Hand-outs..
  5. living off Benefits…
  6. getting Everything for Nothing..
  7. going to the top of Housing Lists..
  8. telling Us what to do..
  9. giving nothing back..
  10. using our NHS etc..like it was their own

The irony is, of course, that though many immigrants have found themselves in difficulty for a long time after they have come to the UK, they have often relied upon their own Communities (people who have already come to the UK) to help with settling in etc. In many instances the emigrés have been unable to speak English, which has been perceived as a reluctance or refusal to learn: yet, looking closer – one finds that some emigrés have religious and cultural reasons for not learning English. Certain Arabic/Islamic people (particularily Wives) are forbidden from leaving their houses without being accompanied by their Husbands. Others have experienced great hostility towards them by racist and bigoted individuals and families, being unable to leave their houses for fear of being set upon.

A greater proportion of Indian and Pakistani emigrés immediately start work for their families in established immigrant family businesses, without ever needing to claim any Welfare Benefits of any kind!.

It is perhaps, the perception of the relative ‘ease’ with which some immigrants seem to find their ‘niche’ in British Life that has been largely responsible for many of the grossly-exaggerated claims against them. Sometimes, when a lot of immigrants arrive from war-torn Countries such as happened with Bosnians and Croatians, it can leave those who are affected by emigrés arriving in their town, feeling as if they are somehow “getting everything they need.” But neglected houses are hurriedly decorated. Second-hand furniture arrives and the house is furnished. The family arrives and they are plunged into the local Community, knowing nothing of what to expect. Friends sometimes arrive to help as best they can, (for they too are strangers in a strange land,) and there may be an exchange of trinkets, rescued bric-a-brac, small things brought from home – now thousands of miles away.

They may be peasants, used to sleeping in conditions we might think are ‘inhuman’ or ‘squalid.’  They may be the equivalent of ‘middle-class’ people, having a good education and a good sense of their own ethnic identity. They may have been rich, used to much finer things, but now find themselves in great need and living only by the charity of others. They may live in fear for their lives – especially if they have come from war-zones where they experienced horrific ‘crimes against humanity.’ Whatever their misfortune, it seems there are those who cannot wait to double and re-double that misery. It is doubtless that some of the ‘urban myths’ (for that is exactly what they are) have become ‘mantras’ for the misguided and badly educated: the brutalized and abused of our own Country. Little wonder they feel so threatened and angry as soon as they see a darker skin!

Did you feel annoyed, angry, disappointed, unhappy.. or did you feel a sense of pleasant agreement, consensus, satisfaction, engagement?

The problem is, of course, make the above statement to the British Public and you are likely to find yourself in political turmoil and losing any hope of being voted for. The Public does not want to hear the unvarnished truth. Such comments might make for good sermons, but they will alienate and enrage those ‘football fans’ we spoke of above. One cannot talk of ‘compassion’ and ‘generosity’ to those who are ‘self-determined’ ‘selfish’ and ‘greedy.’ They only want to hear things that appeal to them on the deepest levels of their being. Words like ‘Restriction,’ ‘Reduction,’ ‘Embargo,’ ‘Control’ and ‘Confront’ will positively emotionally excite, while ‘Apply,’ ‘Concern,’ ‘Attention,’ ‘Benefit,’ and ‘Allow’ will negatively emotionally excite.

Strangely enough, the word “Austerity” is also a word that seems to have a positive emotional meaning to certain individuals, while retaining it’s negative impact!

nb. It is of no consequence to Government or any Political Party to try to control ‘reactions’ to policies, events or issues: they are only interested in being able to control how we think..

(more to follow)