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I think it's the money lenders who are raking it in well as well as the big businesses of course. Lending of money isn't an equal partnership. There's big profits to be made from lending money.

 

They don't rake it in through lending as there's competition in the market. Otherwise you wouldn't get varying interest rates between financial companies for the same product.

 

The main luxury these companies have is people don't learn about their rights.

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How did we get into an argument about money and politics.

 

Muse is a band. They make music. They're political at times, but not everything they do is about politics. It's not like Matt is Bono.

 

Bottom line is, if you enjoy the music (and I do), then it's all good. Not every song is supposed to be a masterpiece...sometimes it's just good music.

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Muse do believe what they are saying. I am just waiting for this uprising to start. Though I fear it is already too late.

 

I would be surprised if there really is an Uprising. We'll have to see what happens after the government announce next week what the actual cuts are going to be. But even though there is true political basis to the lyrics of Uprising (imo) there is also an element of tongue in cheek.

 

The song, Matt said, was from the point of view of a reaction of football hooligans. I wondered whether he may have been thinking of the Woodstock festival Muse played at when the crowd lost it. I don't quite understand that interpretation tbh, it's kind of double edged. Championing and discrediting the people in one sweep. But I think it's the idea that people have been pushed too far and the public will crack and lash out, particularly if they already have an aggressive mentality. That doesn't, for me, undermine the issues that the song alludes to and I do think that Matt believes those issues to be important and serious.

Edited by CarrieB
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Is it equitable that power and money dictates, that the majority of the top jobs are occupied by people from public schools, that half the population own 93% of the wealth, that there is poverty in the third world while shops in Bond Street, or wherever it was, are running out of designer handbags?

 

Neither is it natural. Things happen because of policies that support it, often resulting from a background ideology.

 

Consumerism and the placing of profit above other considerations is being actively supported and it can be as much a trap as a freedom, people working long hours in an attempt to buy things they don't actually need but that they think will make them feel better, when in fact it's often the case that well being is being compromised by lack of free time.

 

Then stop buying stuff. It really is that simple. You can't have your cake, eat it, then complain that it tastes funny.

 

I'll decide what makes me happy, thanks, not you. A government dictating to me what I should and shouldn't like, what I can and can't buy or do - no thanks.

 

For most the perceived standard is unachieveable without credit that puts everyone in debt to the banks and the bar is continuously being raised. That debt means that a lot of people have to work long hours just to keep their heads above the water.

 

Oh no, people have to work to earn a living. The horror of it all. I disagree that you have to go into debt to maintain a high standard of living, by the way.

 

Also there are vast amounts of overproduction in order to support this business led culture. Why on earth do we need 50 different variations of shampoo to choose from? Western consumption is unsustainable. Stripping our earth of resources for the manufacturer of products we often don't actually need is about the most unnatural thing that can happen.

 

I don't think you understand what I mean by "natural". By your interpretation of natural we should be dead, because that way we have no impact on the natural world.

 

Again, I agree that we don't need that many variations of shampoo. But other people disagree with me, and I can't force them to agree.

 

It's not about roads and hospitals, a lot of that comes from our taxes, it's about business and the market. Neither is it about jobs because jobs are being cut in services that provide social benefit like education and the health service.

 

Do you actually think those things aren't heavily funded by private investment?

 

I'm not sure that I would want it to go as far as overturning Capitalism entirely but the way we are going needs to be given serious thought imo.

 

And the alternative... is?

 

---

 

As Humphrey alludes to, people are stupid. They are within their rights to be stupid. It's not worth my time, or anyone's time, to try and be smart for them.

 

I don't need 50 types of shampoo, but some people feel they do. Or some people feel that the "main" type is of inferior quality, and don't settle for mediocrity. Whatever, they can do that if they like.

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And the alternative... is?

 

 

The alternative is an ideology which focuses on social values above market ones. And a fair constitution which isn't dictated to by those with the most economic power.

 

And at some point there is going to have to be a reduction in how much is produced and consumed because it is unsustainable. Ideally changes would occur through consumer choice, but I don't think that is going to happen and it certainly is less likely to happen as long as long as there remains a continual assault on people's senses to get them to buy things and a continual drive to achieve economic growth to keep the shareholders happy.

 

It's unnatural because it's not about taking from the earth to live but taking from the earth to produce for the sake of economic growth in the market. Consumers are a means to an end, not an end in themselves.

 

BTW when I'm talking about working, I'm talking about how people are being pushed to work from early in the morning until late at night because that is the only employment available to them, not only to sustain a lifestyle they feel they need, but to keep the boss, the customers and ultimately the shareholders happy. Do you really think an ideal society is one where people spend so much of their waking hours working they have little time for other experiences? Because that's the way it's going for a lot of people working for private industry.

Edited by CarrieB
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The alternative is an ideology which focuses on social values above market ones. And a fair constitution which isn't dictated to by those with the most economic power.

 

Like what?

 

And at some point there is going to have to be a reduction in how much is produced and consumed because it is unsustainable. Ideally changes would occur through consumer choice, but I don't think that is going to happen and it certainly is less likely to happen as long as long as there remains a continual assault on people's senses to get them to buy things and a continual drive to achieve economic growth to keep the shareholders happy.

 

If it doesn't happen (within the next 20 years) I will be incredibly surprised. Private enterprise has taken a far bigger role in the development of new renewable technologies than governments have.

 

It's unnatural because it's not about taking from the earth to live but taking from the earth to produce for the sake of economic growth in the market. Consumers are a means to an end, not an end in themselves.

 

So stop buying stuff. People don't buy stuff because they feel the need to give profits, they buy things because they want them. I'm not going to force them not to want it.

 

BTW when I'm talking about working, I'm talking about how people are being pushed to work from early in the morning until late at night because that is the only employment available to them, not only to sustain a lifestyle they feel they need, but to keep the boss, the customers and ultimately the shareholders happy.

 

Really? I was under the impression people worked to make money, not to please someone else.

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The alternative is an ideology which focuses on social values above market ones. And a fair constitution which isn't dictated to by those with the most economic power.

 

Doesn't work. The moment someone decides "Bollocks to this, I can have more than everyone else", that system falls apart immediately.

 

It's a nice pipe dream, but that's it'll ever be.

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Doesn't work. The moment someone decides "Bollocks to this, I can have more than everyone else", that system falls apart immediately.

 

It's a nice pipe dream, but that's it'll ever be.

Which takes about four nanoseconds. Or about as long as it takes for you to tell them how the system works.

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Like what?

 

Like maybe a mixed economy. We've had it before. Globalisation makes things more difficult but I'm thinking about the possibility of a new paradigm, a change in the way of thinking, involving the world. It happens.

 

If it doesn't happen (within the next 20 years) I will be incredibly surprised. Private enterprise has taken a far bigger role in the development of new renewable technologies than governments have.

 

If you're right I am happy, but I really can't see any of that going far enough to negate the spiralling effects of mass over-production. And the amount of industries that have been persuaded to produce more ethically is a drop in the ocean at present.

 

So stop buying stuff. People don't buy stuff because they feel the need to give profits, they buy things because they want them. I'm not going to force them not to want it.

 

I think you are being very simplistic over this. People often feel the need to buy things to fit in with others in society, for their own sense of esteem, and a lot of people have inadequate incomes. Put on top of that the continual appeal of advertising which promises a happier life. The fact is that people often don't know they need something until it's there to be needed. Technology is advancing so fast and products quickly become outdated. It's not surprising that people go beyond their means. It's not about forcing people to stop, it's about pointing out the paradox and attempting to promote a change in values. I think it's fair to say that the situation is unhealthy. It has always been there but it's reaching fever pitch.

 

Really? I was under the impression people worked to make money, not to please someone else.

 

Well you're under the wrong impression then. Some people work hard because they're consciencious, for their own feeling of self worth and to help others. It's not just about money. In fact your answer to that has summed up your whole outlook. I know it's a waste of time presenting an alternative viewpoint to you personally.

 

What I say here is out of context though. What I was referring to is bully tactics used in private industry where people are overloaded with work but do it because they are consciencious and want to do well. It's cheaper to employ less people, gives greater profit to the shareholders. It's all very well having maximum hour directives, but who is going to snitch on their employer if it means they will be out of a job or just make that working relationship extremely uncomfortable?

 

I think it's good to discuss this stuff though. Even if solutions are complex.

Edited by CarrieB
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this :LOL:

rich rockstars need to stick with making good music. personally, i don't wanna hear them lecturing about politics.

 

Sometimes politics make good music. i.e. Muse, Bob Marley, U2, etc. Not saying they sound alike musically, but they've all written great politically charged songs.

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Sometimes politics make good music. i.e. Muse, Bob Marley, U2, etc. Not saying they sound alike musically, but they've all written great politically charged songs.

The question is, are they good BECAUSE of it, or despite it?

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Like maybe a mixed economy. We've had it before. Globalisation makes things more difficult but I'm thinking about the possibility of a new paradigm, a change in the way of thinking, involving the world. It happens.

 

And how does this work? You're spruiking all kinds of vague idealisms without any hint of how it might actually work.

 

If you're right I am happy, but I really can't see any of that going far enough to negate the spiralling effects of mass over-production. And the amount of industries that have been persuaded to produce more ethically is a drop in the ocean at present.

 

Arnotts recently said they were phasing out the use of palm oil in response to a relatively low-key campaign that was given some impetus by Facebook. I assure you, if a company's practices bother you then the easiest thing to do is not buy their products. I assure you it hurts them and they listen. That's the wonderful thing about a market that encourages healthy amounts of competition and alternatives, it means you don't have to compromise between things you want and things that make you uncomfortable.

 

I think you are being very simplistic over this. People often feel the need to buy things to fit in with others in society, for their own sense of esteem, and a lot of people have inadequate incomes.

 

But that's exactly my point. The reasons for people wanting things are completely irrelevant because you are allowed to want to buy something.

 

Put on top of that the continual appeal of advertising which promises a happier life. The fact is that people often don't know they need something until it's there to be needed.

 

That is not my problem, it's theirs. If they want something, and can afford it, why shouldn't they be allowed to buy it?

 

Of course the situation changes when you think you can afford it but actually can't, but that's not the issue at hand here.

 

Technology is advancing so fast and products quickly become outdated.

 

That, last I heard, was a good thing.

 

It's not surprising that people go beyond their means.

 

Perhaps not.

 

It's not about forcing people to stop, it's about pointing out the paradox and attempting to promote a change in values. I think it's fair to say that the situation is unhealthy. It has always been there but it's reaching fever pitch.

 

But how? Education is one thing, coercion is another.

 

Well you're under the wrong impression then. Some people work hard because they're consciencious, for their own feeling of self worth and to help others. It's not just about money. In fact your answer to that has summed up your whole outlook. I know it's a waste of time presenting an alternative viewpoint to you personally.

 

Well OK, what's the point of debating then if you're going to be an elitist jerk about it all?

 

Ignoring that...

 

It is extremely rare that people work in a career in which the nature of the work itself is what drives them and not the money that allows them to feed their family and generally live a happy life. Musicians probably fall in that rare category but then again if they can't make a living for it, most will give it up. Scientists probably do as well, depending on the scientist of course.

 

What I say here is out of context though. What I was referring to is bully tactics used in private industry where people are overloaded with work but do it because they are consciencious and want to do well.

 

Such as?

 

It's cheaper to employ less people, gives greater profit to the shareholders.

 

I would remind you that these shareholders of which you speak, if you mean "big" businesses, are the ones insuring your home and funding your retirement. There are no money sinks in the market, it all goes around somehow.

 

It's all very well having maximum hour directives, but who is going to snitch on their employer if it means they will be out of a job or just make that working relationship extremely uncomfortable?

 

Surely you have systems in place allowing for anonymous whistleblowing? I've never heard of a Western country in which that would fly easily under the radar in any kind of large business. And if not the media does it for them, because lo and behold people do care about these issues, and the best way to protest is to have nothing to do with the company offending, and as I said - that sort of protest does hurt.

 

My issue here is that the only way to do what you want is through governmental control of the market in a way that shouldn't be done. It's just a really bad idea, causes infinitely more problems then it solves, because the market is just a manifestation of the human condition on a massive scale. And trying to predict it accurately is impossible, the result being the government doing something that has utterly unintended consequences. This, of course, is assuming that the government is totally free of corruption which is of course nonsensical.

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Sometimes politics make good music. i.e. Muse, Bob Marley, U2, etc. Not saying they sound alike musically, but they've all written great politically charged songs.

 

Muse and U2 are at their worst when they do politically charged songs, Muse's attempts have always been vague and fairly simple or just alluding to conspiracy theories and might as well sing about dragons & unicorns for all the political value it has.

 

But yes, there's plenty of great political songs.

 

What I say here is out of context though. What I was referring to is bully tactics used in private industry where people are overloaded with work but do it because they are consciencious and want to do well. It's cheaper to employ less people, gives greater profit to the shareholders. It's all very well having maximum hour directives, but who is going to snitch on their employer if it means they will be out of a job or just make that working relationship extremely uncomfortable?

 

Sounds like you're living in a dream world. Businesses will have anonymous whistleblowing set ups in place, so will independent bodies, there's laws in place to prevent such things going on, as well as unions.

It's not necessarily cheaper to employ less, it looks cheaper on paper, but there's only so much a person can do.

Edited by haze015
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Don't you reckon you're taking this a bit seriously?

It's a discussion about serious matters. Should we all just make Muse lolz instead?

 

Oh, and make awful Muse puns. Because we should all be feeling good.

 

 

(OMG SEE WHAT I DID THERE? lolololol)

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My issue here is that the only way to do what you want is through governmental control of the market in a way that shouldn't be done. It's just a really bad idea, causes infinitely more problems then it solves, because the market is just a manifestation of the human condition on a massive scale. And trying to predict it accurately is impossible, the result being the government doing something that has utterly unintended consequences. This, of course, is assuming that the government is totally free of corruption which is of course nonsensical.

 

 

The government are already controlling the market. They do it by providing an environment which supports private industry, encouraging public companies to contract out to private companies. They have even installed ridiculous pseudo-market conditions into public services like the health service which didn't work. I know the Third Way may have had people's interests at heart but it didn't work. Predominantly the government should be representing the issues of the people over and above business. PR would be a start. More control of constitutional processes another.

 

I haven't the expertise to propose a full solution but I know there are countries that function differently in Europe with a lot more emphasis on social provision and yet they are not falling apart. There have also been alternative ways of doing things in the past with social policies that support such things as full employment, and nationalisation of industry and respect that trade unions are needed. Yes there can be problems but things have gone to far in the other direction. I think the idea of taxing the banks or huge company profits to fill the deficit is better than taking away people's benefits and services. A lot has to do with ideology.

 

You have a lot of faith in the power of consumers. Yes, change can happen through consumers boycotting or publically rubbishing the brand etc, and that has happened on a small scale, with firms like Nike changing practices by using suppliers that don't use child labour, but that can't be done by an individual consumer, it has to be orchestrated. Awareness has to be raised etc, and even then people won't necessarily support with their actions what they support in theory because it's too challenging. It's a huge expectation that the buying practices of individual consumers alone can make a big difference and rather idealistic.

 

One example of a company who I've heard bully their employees is Tesco by threatening someone suffering from cancer with job loss unless she returned to work immediately. These things filtrate down because people are under pressure from the top to reach profit targets. Now how are we going to go about making large numbers of people boycott Tesco? At least it needs a huge amount of work, and most people haven't got time for that. Nipping into Tesco to get something nice to eat to cheer themselves up after another pressured day at work is a far more likely reaction.

 

You must know what bullying is. People having a go and putting you down because you haven't managed to achieve something they asked you to do, even though you have been working flat out and the demands on you are frankly ridiculous. The pressure starts at the top and is dispersed through the hierarchy. And I think you are living in a dreamworld if you think that the majority of private companies have whistle blowing policies. Whistle blowing to who?

 

You also can't avoid a company you are actually working for. Not buying their product will have little effect because lots of other people are, and the media aren't necessarily going to know the type of practices that go on in companies. If they do, what will happen, an occasional documentary? It's not enough. Not to mention that the media have an interest in retaining things as they are.

 

The facts are, it hasn't always been like this and we are not just consumers, we are workers and citizens as well and unless there is balance and social welfare is taken into account as well as the welfare of workers, rather than prioritising the ideology of economic growth above all other, we end up with a society where only the powerful do well. To say we should just put up with it because it's the only way it can be, is a rather defeatest attitude don't you think?

 

There is never going to be a perfect solution, but what we need is more balance. What we have now is far from ideal. I think a real democracy would be a good first step. And a wider debate that gives more prominence to alternative ideologies.

Edited by CarrieB
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One example of a company who I've heard bully their employees is Tesco by threatening someone suffering from cancer with job loss unless she returned to work immediately. These things filtrate down because people are under pressure from the top to reach profit targets. Now how are we going to go about making large numbers of people boycott Tesco? At least it needs a huge amount of work, and most people haven't got time for that. Nipping into Tesco to get something nice to eat to cheer themselves up after another pressured day at work is a far more likely reaction.

 

You should probably realise that being ill does not protect your job. If you're off for massive amounts of time through illness then it is legal for a company to enforce its rules of attendance in the employee's contract. You may not agree with it, but legally it's fine and not classed as bullying.

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One example of a company who I've heard bully their employees is Tesco by threatening someone suffering from cancer with job loss unless she returned to work immediately. These things filtrate down because people are under pressure from the top to reach profit targets. Now how are we going to go about making large numbers of people boycott Tesco? At least it needs a huge amount of work, and most people haven't got time for that. Nipping into Tesco to get something nice to eat to cheer themselves up after another pressured day at work is a far more likely reaction.

 

I'd imagine there's more to that story than what you mentioned. No company can force a member of staff to come in if they've been signed off as unfit to work by a doctor, they may choose not to pay that person while they are ill, but they can't sack them.

 

Seems like another example where people need to learn about the law yet again. ;) There's no guarantee managers for any company do either.

 

And there has been boycotts of Tesco, this year, residents of Stokes Croft managed to have plans to build a Tesco in the area overturned.

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I'd imagine there's more to that story than what you mentioned. No company can force a member of staff to come in if they've been signed off as unfit to work by a doctor, they may choose not to pay that person while they are ill, but they can't sack them.

 

Seems like another example where people need to learn about the law yet again. ;) There's no guarantee managers for any company do either.

 

And there has been boycotts of Tesco, this year, residents of Stokes Croft managed to have plans to build a Tesco in the area overturned.

 

Actually, you can be released if you're ill for extended periods of time. It comes under the attendance section of the employment contract. As long as the correct disciplinary procedures are followed there's nothing stopping someone being sacked for hardly ever being in work.

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