Do you remember that old childhood joke when someone would wait until you were about to sit down and then pull the chair out from underneath you and watch you helplessly fall to the floor and then laugh at you? Isn’t this what is happening in the UK with this period of Austerity? Somehow the hope is that through austere measures the country will stabilize, but in reality, its shedding light on more social and cultural discrepancies. The current measures on Austerity present themselves to be some messianic promise of a false future yet to come, (i.e., if we follow these measures, it will pull us out of this crisis). However, in reality, the immigrants and the younger population are the victim of these austere measures.
Cameron has recently promised that he will cut housing benefits from young unemployed people. Obviously, Cameron has not listened to Whitney Houston, aren’t the children our future? He also promised to provide stricter laws on immigration and immigrants. So, has the previous ‘nanny-state’ turned into a now dictatorial state where scapegoating is now justified through power-laden political rhetoric?
Is Cameron the new Farage? By creating a period of austerity, there will erupt out of the ether, a pure xenophobia, a hatred of the other. Cameron is being political here, not smart. He is picking easy targets, but is not thinking through long-term development goals. If we invest in youth, train them, provide them with relevant resources, and focus on helping them and not neglecting them, society would be better, not worse.
This goes for the same with immigration, rather than shoving them into a corner with a magazine, we need better resources, not condemnation. Cameron is simply looking for victims to attack. He has chosen the wrong ones. What Cameron should be focusing on is a more sinister culprit hiding in plan sight — taxation. Which of course is included in this period of austerity. This seems to be a growing issue across the West, predominantly due to the more visible presence of The Robin Hood Tax. Which is itself a problem not a solution.
In a society built around taxation, the human does not exist. The human is expendable. A convenient victim. An excess to the dollar/pound/yen/euro. In light of our current technological desire to be a part of a post-human society, as long as we embrace taxation as if we need it, we already live in one. Taxation is misanthropic.
Taxation didn’t start with the first human, and yet, it seems we never question its existence, we simply accept its presence without challenging the very antagonisms it manifests. The only thing we all seem to come up with are alternative ways to view it, restructure our approach or our society, but no one ever wants to posit the other option hiding in plain sight…maybe we actually don’t need taxation. It just exacerbates an already increasing divide of economic disparity we already is there.
“The word ‘tax’ first appeared in the English language only in the 14th century. It derives from the Latin taxare which means ‘to assess’. Before that, English used the related word ‘task’, derived from Old French. For a while, ‘task’ and ‘tax’ were both in common use, the first requiring labor, the second money. ‘Tax’ then developed its meaning to imply something wearisome or challenging. So words like ‘duty’ were used to suggest a more appealing purpose. Political spin has just as long a history as taxation, and neither has been detained unduly by the meaning of words.” (LINK). Tax has an origin. It has a beginning. We created it. We must not forget that. It seems so cliche today to fight for equality while paying taxes. There are semblances of taxation that date all the back to the Egyptians taxing people for using household oil. The Chinese military levied taxes that ended up being the early signs of bureaucratic administrations. The ancient Jews had a similar crop taxation. One fundamental feature all of these nuanced practices share: economic inequality. There were those who could pay the taxes, there were some who couldn’t. The penal system in some of these societies were so aggressive, that some were killed on the spot if taxes were not paid. Like Pink Floyd once sang: “We don’t need no education”, I think a new rant for a new age must be sung: “We don’t need no taxes”.
For a whole host of expandable reasons, taxes only exist to:
To provide a revenue stream for government
To redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor
To avoid negative externalities (unintended bad results)
Notice that all of these reasons are not necessary.
The first reason is based upon the mass population supporting the presence of government, as if we needed government to rule us. We can no longer be naive to think, that without government, we simply fall into anarchy. Self-mobilization, especially with the entrance of new technologies, is now a much more viable option. Global, regional and local coalitions would be a better choice to pursue, one of many.
The second reason gives those who have money a saviour complex, a false-sense of philanthropy, a chance to judge others, a chance to hate others. The disparity within global economics exist today, because basically, some are more selfish than others. Some care less about others. We would rather negate responsibility and embrace the western illusion of rights-based thinking that pervades every inch of our society, including religion. As one college student stated: “The government believes that by taxing the wealthy and distributing wealth to the less fortunate, America will have a more stable society and be able to maintain its relatively large middle class. (And note: There are more poor voters than wealthy ones.)”. The class system, that fact that it exists demonstrates that there is an underlying desire for this disparity to exist. That no one really wants to change anything.
The third reason is simply based on a what if. Saving up for a rainy day. A fear-based reason. Taxation isn’t necessary. If we all considered one another above ourselves, each one, the world might be different. But are we willing to take that risk? Too risky is it, to give up our illusion of individual freedom? To costly, all of our creature comforts? Or is it easier to allow injustice in all its forms to exist, so we can occasionally pick up the phone a donate to some cause to absolve the voices in our head telling us we know the world and ourselves could be better?
The Robin Hood Tax is a failed idea. Mainly because it agrees to the divide already present within America. It simply wants to help bridge the economic divide and minimize the disparity rather than annihilate the disparity all together. It’s soft idealism. Robin Hood is a bad example for wanting to fix things. He simply fought for one side, sure it was the 99 percent, and to be on the side of the 99 percent in this divide, of course is the better option, but isn’t there a third pill we’re missing here? The end of taxation would make a massive dent in this economic behemoth. According to the website, “Simply put, the big idea behind the Robin Hood Tax is to generate hundreds of billions of dollars. That money could provide funding for jobs to kickstart the economy and get America back on its feet. It could help save the social safety net here and around the world. And it will come from fairer taxation of the financial sector.” – See more here. If Cameron misses this point. This rhetoric of austere measures will promote societal breakdown. How so? If we are told that youth and immigrants are the problem it will simply exacerbate the already growing racial divides. In 2013, a poll was taken on racism in the UK, and over a 1/3 of the English population had confessed to blatant. That same year, over 37,000 hate crimes were race-related. (LINK). Austerity is not the answer, it creates more problems, justifies victimization of the very population Britain needs to restart its economy, and allows for blatant racism. Does Cameron knows that he is advocating this social gap? If so, he should not be voted in, if he doesn’t, then he definitely should not be voted back in.