Who are the puppets and who the puppet masters?
Maybe it’s a matter of perspective, a kind of glass half full or half empty perspective. Optimistic or pessimistic – make your choice and draw your conclusions. Let’s try some optimism for a change.
In spite of what we hear about poverty and social decay, most of us in the UK lead comfortable lives compared to those of our grandparents. The people who manage this satisfactory state of affairs are executives and senior players in a whole range of businesses, institutions and bureaucracies.
They are well rewarded of course, in many cases vastly over-rewarded because a fair number of them are useless parasites. But from a glass half full perspective, perhaps the price is a small one if we consider the advantages.
So if the situation works out to our advantage, who comes out on top? The executive who is owned body and soul by his or her business? The senior bureaucrat who works every weekend just to stay on top of the job? It isn’t always like that of course, but it can be and is it isn’t clear who is jerking the strings. Chicken or egg?
We have reached a stage where enjoying life isn’t wholly a question of money. Not so long ago it was money, but now it isn’t. Okay so only a few of us can afford to swan around in an Aston Martin, but what’s the point of that with speed cameras all over the place?
What’s the point of being even moderately wealthy? What luxury or lifestyle advantage lies beyond the reach of the majority? Again it is a matter of perspective, a kind of glass half empty or half full perspective...
...pauses for a sip of old Madeira...
...right where was I? Oh yes. Taking things a step further, what would the world be like if an unfamiliar social perspective were to emerge? One where the ambitious executive is a menial, deceived into swapping his or her leisure for ludicrously expensive gewgaws and an illusory social status?
Suppose we are in the middle of some gigantic process of discovering the good life? Suppose those who manage it for us are just as much puppets as we are? We jerk their strings just as much as they...
...or is that the Madeira speaking?