The chances of revolution in the UK are slight even though some people believe it is astonishing that it has not occurred. The reasons it has not occurred are manifold. In the first instance, it is imperative to recognise that as tabula rasa, human beings are compelled to make meanings and choices. As meaning-makers, we are compelled to create social norms, mores, modes, superstitions, roles, values and general ideologies. For example, nationalism is an ideology which instils in its people a habit of exalting itself and placing its stance and interests above all others. Religion is another. If we are brought up in Western society we generally internalise its ideology but if we were brought up in another country or culture with a different ideology we would just as easily adhere to the values and norms of that one. Ideologies are the cause of the world's problems in that generally, people want their particular ideology to be the dominant one. In reality, however, the dominant ideology is always the ideology of the dominant class, meaning that the ones who hold all the money, hold the power, and always determine the ideology. In part, this is achieved via inheritances, historical factors, stratification, taxation and banking.
The 'ordinary' people, the masses, need to be compliant with that set of circumstances. Acceptance of rule by powerful, wealthy minorities does not not occur of its own accord. In many respects, similar to tabula rasa, human beings are biological computers; we need software in order to become human, and particularly, to become social participants. Compliance has to be taught via societal institutions such as the education system, the media, religion and by family members who have already internalised the overall ruling ideology very effectively. These institutions are known as Ideological State Apparatuses [ ISAs]. In the West, religion has lost much of its power as an ISA. Education and the mass media are now the most effective socialisers. Power dynamics and socio-psychological conditioning are so subtly ingrained and hypnotically effective that on reaching young adulthood, most individuals are not aware that their compliance to society's values have been culturally induced. Some are so well socialised that they accept such situations with unbelievable degrees of loyalty and deference and these are the first reasons why insurrection has not occurred.
The masses do not revolt because they feel powerless. "Society is bigger than our numbers", means that although enormous, the masses are somewhat aware, albeit tentatively, that power resides with ruling minorities' ability to accumulate the masses' money via taxation and make laws amongst themselves. Deference abounds in the consciousnesses of the powerless. Where they attempt to protest, even in a peaceful way, they are soon defeated. All people are made from the same substances but most must 'know their place'. Powerlessness always precipitates lack of self-confidence. People fear paying more and more for energy bills. They fear homelessness, debt, unemployment. They also fear trying to sustain families on diminishing incomes. The lives of low-wage earners in particular, are so plagued with anxiety that they do not really live at all. Some cultivate an air of bravado as an armour. The powerful are much freer from fear. Moreover, they set the pace of society. Ruling minorities want the 'collective whole' to share in the idea of competing with other nations in economic growth. The masses are expected to keep up even though substantial numbers of people have not been facilitated to do so due to stratification and the vast array of multi-faceted environmental and socio-psychological factors that stratification precipitates. The notion of the 'trickle down effect' is apparent when we consider that not much trickles down into the pockets of the poor and low-waged.
The 'ordinary people's' discontent and fear cannot be consistently proclaimed because they are too fragmented and scared to revolt. Most importantly, they possess little solidarity due to differing politico-socio-economic understandings of what exactly they are a part of. Young, politically aware students, are the most likely to instigate revolt, especially if they do not have many responsibilities. Many working class youth will subsequently join them but the attempted uprising is soon quelled by kettling, water canons, tear gas and other sophisticated weapons purchased from certain sources including taxpayers' money. The 'new middle-class' are often an obstacle to revolution since although they are still part of the 'subject class', improved working conditions, access to credit and mortgages have caused people from essentially working class backgrounds to perceive themselves as varying degrees of middle. This tends to create a lack of sympathy and empathy with their less fortunate fellowmen, even where their own parents and grandparents came from very poor backgrounds. Such individuals can be mean-spirited towards their own social group once they obtain more money, making it easier for governments to 'set them against each other'. Moreover, the presence of poorer fellowmen, provides a baseline of 'failure' which reassures the non-poor of their worth. Revolution is inclined to bring rapid change but reactionaries openly oppose change. The general public are afraid of it. They tend to take a 'better the devil you know' stance and will only revolt en masse if hardship is collectively severe. Intergenerationally perpetuated ideologues of the establishment's past, play a very significant part in preventing insurgency.
The affluent inherit the wealth, the poor inherit the poverty with varying levels in between. Some individuals are groomed for public office and the management of corporations and conglomerates from the very outset, often through the old boy network. Inter alia, the wealthy use their power to finance elections and fund ‘think tanks’ which provide expert advice for the ruling elite in a variety of spheres. Corporations and governments are in cahoots with each other. Children of the affluent are steered toward public office and professionalism in one sphere or another via educational streaming thus perpetuating stratification. Those who obtain positions in public office, top banking and the higher professions virtually always derive from affluent, or at least, very comfortable, backgrounds. Substantial numbers are privately educated and many are recruited from similar backgrounds from abroad. They usually have no idea of what life is like for the disadvantaged and do not particularly care as long as they are not under threat from insurrection. Most of the time, the ruling elite feel exceedingly complacent regarding their control of the masses but they do fear runs on the banks and widespread general strikes, the latter of which can simply be made, 'against the law'. Powerful, ruling minorities also fear whistleblowers exposing the truth above politics and the possible ramifications of The Oil Weapon.
Since the majority of individuals are socialised into varying degrees of subjugation they have little control over their own lives.They are essentially batteries for the system. Many state that they need to wake up from the Matrix. Financial reward and security is structured according to scarcity and expertise but as aforementioned, scarcity and expertise tend to be concentrated among those whose backgrounds are conducive to their perpetuation. It is sometimes the case that people from humbler backgrounds enter the higher professions, big business, wealthy merchant middlemen, high level banking and politics but for everyone who does, there will be billions who will not. Social mobility is not anywhere near as widespread as generally assumed. The subject class, including those from the lower levels of the stratification system, act as consumer fodder, especially in the form of loans, credit and entrapment by federal reserve systems on which banks thrive. Society requires occupational layers right down to the most menial in order to ensure that ‘all areas of human want and need are covered’. The affluent, including professionals from abroad, reside in greener and more spacious pastures whereas larger numbers of the poorer members of society and large numbers of poorer immigrants tend to reside in the same sprawling, deprived, urban areas. The affluent have very little interaction or understanding of the disadvantaged since they do not reside in their areas. In the run-down and overcrowded areas, competition for menial jobs is rife. That ensures that wages are kept low because the supply will always exceed the demand; if one person will not work for low wages, another will. Just as the carrot is always ahead of the donkey, the majority of the people can never reach security. But they keep trying and that keeps their minds off revolt.
With the exception of the entertainment industry which can provide a short cut to riches, even for the relatively poor, very few people get to work in occupations they actually enjoy. For example, actors, astronomers, physicists, botanists, explorers and wild-life presenters are relatively few. Those who are lucky may have been in the right place at the right time but will generally derive from privileged or at least very comfortable backgrounds. Again, substantial numbers are recruited from the old boy network. Most people are employed in layer upon layer of jobs well below their potential, intellect or creativity levels. Their work generally involves only a repetitive aspect of catering for basic human bodily needs or they are employed in layers of retail and production owned by other people. Such monotony, especially with low pay, does little for the employee's self-confidence let alone for his human fulfilment or his economic security. Socialised acceptance via ISAs, neutralises revolutionary tendencies. Ideological control is much more effective than control by force. If generations were not socialised into inadvertently accepting stratification they would not cooperate. Lack of information about how society operates from the top down also acts as a means of alienation, control and a safeguard against insurgence.
Western society is influenced by Machiavellian and Hobbesian philosophy; the gist being that these philosophies are the 'closest to human nature' and that without rule, life would be ' solitary, nasty, brutish and short' [not a very pleasant picture of what lies beneath the veneer of human civilisation. Some prefer Rousseau.]. The ruling elite hold the power even though they constitute only 10%. Progressive tax systems ensure that the wealthy pay higher tax rates but they still have plenty of money left for themselves. The 'ordinary' people contribute the most per se. Most importantly, it is not so much how much tax you pay but how much you have left after you've paid it that really counts. The great bulk of tax money is deducted, by law, from your wages. The State has first dip into your wages; you have second, albeit only to pay your basic living expenses. In the UK the bulk of taxes are spent on defence and the National Health Service. State educational streaming is funded out of council tax. Revolutionaries do not have the power to deduct money from people’s wages or enforce the payment of additional taxes. Without access to enormous amounts of money to create their own sophisticated media and educational systems, insurgents cannot promote widespread, alternative ways of thinking. Neither do they possess sufficient arms or the necessary means or wherewithal to instigate and maintain insurrections. It would necessitate a military coup.
Politicians are essentially the puppets of corporations since in addition to accumulating tax from the general public, government coffers are also lined by corporations, big banking and vice versa. Never believe politicians when say they say the country is broke. They can always find millions, even billions, in the tax-payer's coffers when it suits them. Fraud among the rich and powerful is absolutely astronomical. They can buy their way out of any exposed dissimulation via their knowledge of the right connections. Any fraud among 'lesser' people fades into insignificance in comparison. Corruption among the agents of social control, the ruling elite, including banks and the manipulation of borrowing rates, is only the tip of the iceberg. They will tell the public that 'nobody is above the law' but they always assume they are above it themselves.
The social status of individuals is very much defined by his money and educational background. Children are not usually aware of statuses or that they belong to a social class but data has revealed that when children are made aware they are 'only working' or 'only lower middle class' they experience embarrassment and feelings of inferiority. As adults, they are often heard to utter that specific occupations are, "not for the likes of us" or "we are only ordinary", thus reinforcing and accepting their sense of powerlessness and lack of self-confidence, usually, for all of their lives. The complete opposite is true of those from the higher echelons and this is reflected in their entire demeanour, mannerisms and speech patterns. Rebels try to swim against the current but many are eventually coerced into playing the game, at least ostensibly, especially if they have dependants and very little money. As aforementioned, ideological control is much more effective than control by force but once ruling elites are severely threatened with civil unrest by large numbers of very angry members of the 'subject class', they fear losing that control; that their luxurious lifestyles might be over. Take a look at Syria. Agents of social control are well equipped with water canons, tear gas, armoured cars and tanks purchased out of the people's taxes. Collectively, they are automata; part of the Repressive State Apparatus [RSA]. Where citizens are a threat to the ISA, it will send out its RSA to quell the usurpers, invariably with a licence to kill.
Another reason for the unlikelihood of revolution is job identification. Psychologically, it is extremely easy to socialise people into feeling an affinity with their occupation. The extraordinary loyalty which employees will devote to their place of employment is an fundamental factor. They will support the firm or establishment whether it is right or wrong, lie about its products, its integrity and even report colleagues who they do not consider to be displaying the same degree of loyalty. Where unemployment is high, many will join armies. Others will join law enforcing agencies or even mercenary agencies, thus either wittingly or unwittingly becoming part of the RSA. Many regard their occupation as their entire identity. A gas company employee, a civil servant, a shop assistant, a bailiff, a traffic warden, a clamper, an engineer or any other employee takes a very short time to identify with the people who employ him because that is how he obtains his wages. Wages are his lifeblood and therefore, a highly efficient form of control. The employee will invariably refer to the collective ‘we’ or ‘it is our policy’ when dealing with customers and clients. The company or establishment does not care about its workers in anywhere near the same degree except in the sense that they may be handy for now but undeniably dispensable. There are always hundreds more to take their place. Some believe that majorities are dumbed down so that they can focus only on the most basic of human wants and needs including the maintenance and production of them. Most will never develop to their fullest human potential. Even if their pay is meagre, their need for the basics of human survival such as shelter and food makes socio-psychological control easy. Alienation ensures that most possess little or no social conscience. Or, they deny their deeply buried conscience for the sake of their own survival. It is also easy to coerce individuals from humble backgrounds into oppressing those from the same in exchange for financial reward. The owners of corporations and the means of production feel quite comfortable announcing how much profit they made this year compared to last and nobody bats an eyelid. Induced public acquiescence ensures that the ruling elite do not feel threatened by the fact that your labour has funded that end.
It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.
The role of the media plays a fundamental part in preventing revolution. The information we receive is packaged in ‘media frames’ which create a sort of 'prison-house of the mind' in that they shape an understanding of the world beyond which few venture. The established media will use language that justifies why ‘we’ had to go to war or why 'we' have to embrace this or that although sometimes, the media will expose some corruption with 'due impartiality'. The masses have insufficient information but Wikileaks and social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are undoubtedly opening up a truer window on the world but whether it is likely to incite revolution is debatable. Some stipulate that ruling elites are afraid that the masses are 'waking up'. It is undoubtedly the case that people are seeing, understanding and hearing about situations that were previously oblivious to them. Hence the need for Prism. Everything is always justified in the name of 'National Security'. The agents of social control are not generally on the side of revolutionaries because the state pays their wages. Moreover, people have no time to revolt since they have to go to work to earn the bill money. Keeping busy ensures that people do not see the bigger picture and that in itself keeps the masses in check.
It is said that orthodox religion is losing its grip on people in the UK but its teachings have generally been incorporated into secular society. It has served, and continues to serve the purpose of discouraging people from enviousness of the comfortable and to accept exploitation, inequality, social streaming and poverty with grace since refraining from doing so would incite social disapproval. The Church lost a lot of power during the last century but has always gone along with the establishment and continues to do so even though it is well aware that Christianity is not in any way compatible with turbo-charged capitalism. In the past, religion taught that the the more people suffer the more they will reap their reward in heaven. Religion has been instrumental in conditioning people to accept the precepts of inequality. Below is a verse which was part of the hymn, All Things Bright and Beautiful during the Victorian era, which just about sums things up:
The rich man in his mansion
The poor man at his gate
God made them high and lowly
He gave them their estate
In addition to value consensus conditioning , concessions such as the voting system, Child Benefit, Tax Credits, Social Security and the National Health Service play a vital role in preventing insurrection. Salaries are topped up with various credits to save employers having to pay decent wages. Governments want to ensure employers do not go out of business. Employees are topped up out of public taxes so that employers can continue to make profits in both the private and public sectors. Without top-ups, workers might revolt. Ironically, they cost billions to administer.Voting provides people with the illusion that they are participating in the decision-making process. Similar to prison-houses of the mind regarding media frames, parliamentary politics at national and local level also have political frames outside of which few politicians venture. Radicals or independent thinkers must be brought into line or ousted if they refuse to conform to collective responsibility which essentially means, for refusing to think within the peripheries of the parliamentary framework or by refusing to agree with the views of their own party. An extremely important point to remember is that the major political parties in the UK have a common commitment to the managed economy, the welfare state, the parliamentary system and the total social structure. "Differences in policy and practice of major political parties are marginal in comparison with the fundamental agreement on the foundations of society." [Jessop]. The masses, feeling compelled to oust one of those similar parties during a general election by voting for the other, provide the illusion of democracy, utilitarianism and choice. In reality of course, there is no democracy or choice if the major parties support the existing total social structure. The majority have not even voted for the 'winning party'. 'Democracies' become plutocracies. The Parties may appear to be wearing different masks but they are all on the same face. They have no intention of changing and will continue to accumulate the public's money and make laws amongst themselves within the existing socio-economic structure irrespective of the public's approval, disapproval or even knowledge. The public have been socialised to assume that the total social structure is beneficial to them, when in effect, the majority of people are voting for their own and other people's oppression.
The State as a body is not altruistic. The sociologists, Westergaard and Wresler stipulate that the Social Security systems and the National Health Service act as effective buffers against revolt. All government branches are interlinked and collect colossal amounts of personal and demographic information. Deprived areas require much more healthcare than wealthy ones. Stratification ensures the intergenerational perpetuation of low-income groups which in turn, ensures excess supply over demand. The unemployed and low-wage earners will invariably suffer from severe stress, anger, valitudinarianism, poor diets, perpetual anxiety, respiratory disorders due to poor housing and smoking; the latter of which makes governments substantial sums of money even for the NHS. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, depression and alcohol and drug abuse are rife. The deprived and unhealthy provide a plethora of jobs for social workers, doctors and the like. Many deprived poor souls are concentrated in the numerous, very basic, meagre-pay occupations of providing 'human wants and needs' often to the extent of neglecting their own. They live their lives at subsistence level or below. But despite their high deprivation and stress rates, they have to be kept in working order inasmuch as possible in order to keep the cog wheels turning. People cannot be left dying on the streets. Many of the involuntarily unemployed and extreme low wage-earners are world-weary; they do not have the health, the strength or the spirit to revolt.
Middle incomes with high mortgages or low incomes providing hand-to-mouth existences ensure that few could afford to bring up children were it not for tax credits and child benefits. They are forms of appeasement. The system does little to redistribute wealth since the bulk of the welfare coffers are financed by the people it was intended to assist. The NHS is a hot potato with politicians since even the relatively comfortable would be furious if it were abolished. Social housing often comes under attack from the media and politicians. They want everybody to purchase their own homes since mortgages make big money for banks. The buyer pays for it three times over. It is intermittently asserted that once council house tenants are earning above a certain amount they should rent privately or take out a mortgage but most can never earn enough to do so. The Coalition have introduced a 'spare bedroom tax'. Ironically, although social housing is financed by the tax payer, so are the apartments, houses [ sometimes two - with spare bedrooms and of far superior quality] of the politicians. The amount of deviousness, fraud and frivolous spending of tax payer's money is much more extensive among politicians and big bankers than it is among those on benefits but still, revolution does not occur. Take away the right to vote, the social services and the national health service and revolution would probably occur in less than a fortnight.
Many people believe that economic collapse in Europe, especially regarding runs on the banks, is the most likely factor to incite revolution since it will precipitate a domino effect on all countries. In such situations, people cannot gain access to their own savings or wages. People are entrusting banks to look after their money. They are essentially giving them unsecured loans but in a crisis, the banks will only allow their customers to take out small amounts of their own money at any one time. In Cyprus, the doors of the banks were closed for two weeks; armed guards stood outside. What happened to the people's money? The banks had spent it. If anything is likely to incite revolt, it could certainly be runs on the banks. On the other hand, nation states arrange deals with each other and possess so much control due to the accumulation of the masses's money that you can be absolutely assured that they will always find ways to prevent revolution. Others state that we are living on a life support machine due to the artificiality we have created. "The neuroses lies dormant, just under the skin. Imagine if trade routes in other countries denied all access to the West. Imagine no petrol. Imagine no Prozac! People would go berserk. They would be revolting all over the place." It is all about greed among the elite and the deliberate ploy of convincing the public that excessive materialism is the way. Children become shocked when they see the reality of the world adults have created. Their innocence is destroyed. They do not inherently want to emulate and accept what has been created for them but ISAs will ensure most of them will. Some people pessimistically believe that the world is heading for a natural disaster due to environmental pollution and imbalance. Others believe we are heading for germ warfare or nuclear war since no idea has ever been invented that has not been used. Many think we are heading for technological pancapitalism. Revolution or evolution? What people really need is a harmonious society; a society in which we all share in the world's work with a living wage. Most thinking people want peace, love, fairness, humanitarianism and genuine care about the environment for their children's future. But collectively, the human race is still at a fairly primitive stage of evolution due to lack of spirituality. Wars, human misery and discontent abound. It is only when the world wakes up to the fact that oppressive ideologies, capitalism, greed and inequality are the cause that we will take a collective leap into the light.