The terms of political discourse have two meanings according to Chomsky, one is the dictionary meaning; and the other a meaning that is useful for serving power. Take democracy, according to the literal meaning a society is democratic to the extent that people can participate in a meaningful way in managing their affairs.
But the doctrinal meaning of democracy is different – it refers to a system in which decisions are made by sectors of the business community and related elites. The public are merely spectators of ‘the action that matters’ what they are not, is ‘players’ in the power game.
In short? We may ratify the decisions of ‘our betters’ but we are not allowed to either criticize or interfere with ‘matters of policy’ those matters of policy which afflict us? Are none of our business.
You know what a crisis of democracy is? It’s when we take one look at the unbridled manure ‘our betters’ are serving up, and decide to organise and take action. In short we precipitate and necessitate the kind of action being taken by the business elite, that overcomes the threat to them posed by the ‘democratic crisis’ voters refusing to be taken for a ride necessitates.
As regards the housing situation in Poole, Dorset, it effectively means this; interested parties can mess with your benefits entitlement and insinuate that your ability to obtain scarce housing stock might be adversely affected. They can even drag you into meetings in palatially affluent surroundings where ‘your betters’ can insinuate that poor, little, ineffectual you has not a clue what you are talking about and you would be better off knowing your place rather than asking loudly why things don’t change. If you’re from out of town? Then that place apparently is any place other than where the problem is.
Speechless with rage? I frequently am. In fact I am becoming speechless with inarticulate rage so often as I encounter the people being walloped by the Council’s indifference and the significant bods themselves, smugly all-powerful.
Today I spoke with the ‘Rough Sleeper Team’ funded by the council to help rough sleepers, they are not able to do much because Poole Council won’t build the youth hostel needed, the emergency housing needed nor the subsidised housing needed.
Today like every other day I also spoke with members of the homeless tribe, many of whom are on medication for anxiety and depression, who wouldn’t be?
Today I walked through the old part of Poole Town, admired the gorgeous Georgian Architecture and the wonderfully pervasive atmosphere of calm and peace that suffuses every place the rich live. If this state of affairs in terms of housing continues how much longer will that pervasive peace last.