Article Index

SO WHAT? 

The perception and power gap effectively stop a serious debate taking place about the shortfall. Let’s unpick this statement; it is not simple and it is not all being done as a conspiracy, we just blundered into it, but nevertheless; 

  • Social media is being used by the powerful to distort & manipulate perception (exposure of the use of face-book data to influence elections)
  • Social media become a distorting mirror, we only see what we already like, moderated by those whose (only?) motive is to sell us stuff
  • Balance has been interpreted as giving equal weight to both sides of a debate even when the evidence and majority opinion is decisively on one side which is only ok if the context is explained)
  • Newspapers make no pretence at being un-biased and campaign relentlessly for extreme free market economics, which, since 2008 has been shown to be in need of radical change
  • Ideas which are floated but not necessarily in line with the ruling paradigm (zeitgeist, received wisdom) are ignored, rubbished, parodied
  • Many of the distortions and misconceptions are ones that we actively participate in, the system makes us all complicit; e.g. in the acceptance of sharp practice like up-selling in retail (how the PPI scandal came about), in the placing of outsource care contracts which don’t deliver a living wage, in subsidising poor wages through in work benefits, treating homes as investments and on and on…

The combined effect of all this is that we are individualised, fractured and set against each other. So, although grounded in our current understanding of human nature, our behaviour and natures, the case for holistic political economy has to find space to grow through these gaps – without being strangled at birth. This picture summaries the discussion of gaps