First published by Moon-Books.net, May 2014
Some people say that religion and politics don’t mix and in the modern world religious organisations and their leaders tend not to get involved in politics. Sometimes they like to make some form of social commentary but they rarely go out on a limb and directly confront the political and social actions of governments. Like many people, religious and otherwise (and Russell Brand), I have come to the conclusion that the political system is so intrinsically corrupt that it is near enough pointless to vote for any political party.
We are told that in ‘civilised’ society we have democracy because we have the opportunity to vote in a new bunch of idiotic cronies every four or five years, but what we really have is a form of fascism. I don’t mean jackboot dictatorship – the common interpretation of that word, I mean fascism in its original definition i.e. a synergistic relationship between corporate interest and government, which is most often enforced by authoritarian leadership.
Corporatism has been rising steadily since WWII, with lobbying and influence from the corporate sector affecting virtually everything we do – from the water we drink to the biased opinions foisted upon us by the mass media. I’m under no illusion that ancient Druidic/Celtic society was entirely democratic, it wasn’t – there were kings, chiefs and a hierarchy within society, however there were means by which even monarchs could be replaced if they failed to live up to expectations. In Ireland Brehon Law guaranteed the rights of ordinary people and even animals, something that was lost under conquest and which people around the world have fought hard to achieve the equivalent of with varied success.
Of course, these kind of laws existing in Ireland, Britain, Gaul and even much later surviving cultures elsewhere (e.g. first nation in USA), were not affected by corporatism as corporations did not exist within them. Most of us now live in a world where corporate interests are in direct conflict with the interests of ordinary citizens, but unfortunately most governments are more interested in placating the lobbyists than the public that voted them in. That is why I am interested in politics with a small ‘p’, grass-roots movements and direct action – because the big parties just aren’t listening and don’t want to know.
For that reason I will be joining thousands like me around the world on Saturday 24th May in protesting against the actions of Monsanto. They are not the only company that has insidious plans to remove our freedoms, but unfortunately they are one of the most successful at unduly influencing governments. They manage to change laws or bring in new laws to enable them to fast-track their commercial manipulation of human behaviour. There is much wrong with the control mechanisms of modern civilisation – it is undemocratic, but it’s up to us to make it change. Get out, get active, be the change – if we succeed your children will thank you for it.