Neither should be seriously countenanced for success and wellbeing.
We are all one family: brothers and sisters under the skin.
Whatever our religion or secular beliefs, our values, the country we call home, we share an ancestry and are invested in one group DNA.
The same blood runs through our veins, whether those veins belong to a European, an Asian or an African. That family we share is many things, but it is fundamentally human.
Part of being human is the ability to show humanity in our dealings with others within our family, the families of those we share the planet with — beings and plants — and the planet itself.
All the prejudices of race throughout the last century were based on ignorance. There is no doubt that significant gains have been made, but the race is not yet run. No one is born a racist, it’s learned behaviour.
Ask two little girls of three or four years old, who are friends — one with brown skin, the other with white skin — what it is that makes each other different and colour is seldom the first thing that will be offered up in answer. We are more likely to be given a more thoughtful response such as ‘Mariella is better at skipping’ and ‘Justine has a kitten.’
Our domestic dog shares a common ancestry with the wolf. Their common ancestor was a prehistoric wolf that lived in Europe or Asia anywhere between 9,000 to 34,000 years ago. Dogs use the same language and observe the same behaviour as their cousins. One family.
So there is no difference where it matters. Skin colour is as inconsequential as whether someone is blonde or brunette — and it’s about time it was treated as such. Culture is something to be considered and respected — but we were all born equal.
The only negative at work here then, in terms of prejudice, is laid at the door of education: ignorance and fear produce discrimination. Racism is a learned thing.
Humans have to live in harmony, and the societies that are among the best at promoting that are western societies, based as they are on democracy and capitalism. It’s an egalitarian model and it forms the basis of most enlightened cultures.
So it is as astonishing as it is dismaying to watch the Labour party self-emolliate as accusations of root and branch Anti-Semitism within its ranks proliferate.
How can it be that, in the year that the RAF celebrates its centenary, and just two years away from the 80th anniversary of The Battle of Britain, members of the Jewish faith seated in the UK Parliament are speaking of some of the worst — and most distressing — examples of discrimination. Actually, more than discrimination — this is full-blown thuggish bullying of the worst kind by people who should know better.
I would like to say that no one in this country would want to see a repeat of the genocide carried out during WWII. Jews, the Romany community — targeted and treated in a way that makes civilised members of this shared family sick to their stomachs. I would like to say so, but now I find myself brought up short when considering the repulsive nature of the privately-held views of some of those who walk the corridors of power.
Auschwitz was the largest of the German Nazi concentration camps and extermination centers. (Pixabay)
So after all the mistakes, the terrible, terrible mistakes that man meted out to fellow man in the last century — how can it have come to this, that some have been elected with the darkest of regard for some of their colleagues?
How could it be possible for anyone with racist and anti-Jewish leanings to progress thus far: far enough to have earned a stake in running our country and influencing policy decisions. These are not the views held by fair and even-handed people — people who the electorate have voted for in good faith.
Revelations around the currents of anti-Semitism at Westminster were widely reported in the national media.
Labour MP Diane Abbott was booed in the Commons earlier this week (Tuesday 17th) after she announced plans to tackle the rising level of hate crime in the UK — against the backdrop of those revelations.
Ms Abbott was heckled after addressing Haredi Judaism issues and the ‘rising level of hate crime’ while pressure mounted on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during the Government’s three-hour debate on anti-Semitism.
Mr Corbyn was forced to apologise at the end of last month for the anti-Semitism within “pockets” of the Labour Party.
He was quick to say: “Labour is an anti-racist party and I utterly condemn anti-Semitism.
“We recognise that anti-Semitism has occurred in pockets within the Labour Party, causing pain and hurt to our Jewish community in the Labour Party and the rest of the country.”
Mr Corbyn had also, earlier, been under pressure to present his apologies for supporting a Los Angeles-based street artist whose mural, featuring anti-Semitic imagery, was due to be removed after complaints.
Whatever the truth behind the scale of the discrimination, the confidence of fair-minded voters has to have been shaken.
I’m deeply concerned about a combination of rising support for communism as an alternative to capitalism — and the very damaging views held by some of those who might back it.
It is a modern capitalist society that has built the innovation and prosperity of the last 400 years but there is a fundamental shift toward a different way of doing things — a way that, some suggest, could be facilitated by the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution and Artificial Intelligence.
Everyone is a journalist, everyone is a broadcaster. There is a lot of outgoing ‘noise’ but to get the right people to listen still requires money.
Google and Facebook are collecting data and these companies are using it for marketing. We are the people paying the piper, with every detail about our lives, likes, loves and locations. Facebook’s uncomfortable exposure as a cynical cyber-sleuth and seller of the detail of our private-lives has been a riveting watch. More than a whiff of ‘Big Brother’ — George Orwell’s fictional regime that owes its ‘total control’ roots to Communism.
Populism is growing — evidenced in the recent Italian elections — and it is also rising in the UK.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution & AI will create unemployment. Of that there is no doubt.
In Italy there are already calls for a fixed state salary to be paid to people. This is not something that defines a capitalist model. It is, however, one of the elements included in Italy’s Five Star party’s campaign manifesto.
While the far right League Party campaigned on a platform of tax cuts to small businessmen in the wealthy north, Five Star was waving banners for a “citizen’s salary” for the poor in the depressed south. Not too far from communist China’s model.
The Communist Party is making its way deeper into everyday Chinese life — and that includes the foreign companies doing business there, says the New York Times.
Honda, the Japanese automaker, changed its legal documents to give the party a say in how its Chinese factories are run. A Chinese state oil giant vowed to put the party front and centre in its joint ventures with foreign partners. Cummins, the engine maker from Indiana, felt the party’s reach, too, when it tried to appoint a new manager for one of its China businesses. The party said no.
Google and Amazon are creating products — no specific type of product, just product that is OK. We don’t need choice because the one product works. One choice which will work and which will do — sound familiar? It’s a core idea that helped define communism.
Capitalism is seeing Communism’s tide turn — and it is feeling exposed. Capitalism is at the heart of Conservatism and it has served us well. Conservatives and capitalism have to flex and change to weather a storm that is more of a Beast from the East than early March’s cold snap ever was.
Those warming toward the idea of the country without capitalism and a state society without innovation, competition or consumer choice are strongly advised to look to history to see why capitalism works — and how total power (and control) under a Communist regime will ultimately, always, corrupt.🔷
(This piece was first published on The Blog!)