The short answer is: Governments across the world are currently engaged in attacking their own citizens/subjects on behalf of a few wealthy people and corporations. It’s a sort of movement, but not a people’s movement. There’s no conspiracy about what is happening, it is simply powerful people pursuing their own interests, but they cloak their actions with all sorts of lies, and use or abuse everyday ideas to justify themselves. They are engaged in producing propaganda, even if they don’t see it that way, and it’s all too easy for their ideas to become embedded in our thinking. Defending ourselves against this propaganda requires making an effort, and that’s what this is about.
The longer answer is: The way we see it, we live in an empire – not an empire belonging to a particular country, not an empire with a centre, but a global empire of ideas. In the Empire of Ideas in which we live, many things get passed off as ‘indisputable’ or ‘common sense’ or ‘proven’ or ‘widely accepted’ when in reality they are nonsense, and often dangerous nonsense.
The reason many of these ideas dominate is not because they are such great ideas – as their supporters would have us believe – but because they are promoted by the people with the money – people who can set up think tanks, or donate to universities, or buy political parties, or employ those whose ideas they agree with. And if they’re not challenging the ‘common sense’ you’ve got to wonder why. Maybe some of what passes as common sense serves their interests in some way.
Unsurprisingly, one of the main purposes of ideas promoted by people with money is to make those same people even more money. This wouldn’t matter too much except there really aren’t infinite resources to go around and already those at the top control too great a share of the resources while unimportant people struggle along as best they can – which is not very well at all if you live in a poorer, formerly colonised country.
The Empire of Ideas can be challenged – you just have to examine the ideas with the assumption that they could be totally wrong, dishonest, dangerous and calculated to make your life more difficult (if you’re one of the people who don’t hold the resources). The point of this blog is to try and challenge some of the ideas, not in a definitive way, not in order to establish that we are right, but as a starting point.