Political will and the home and work divide

Very often a discussion on “what to do about emissions” ends up with: “You can’t do anything about it.  There is no political will.”  I think that a route to changing political will is to ensure that people’s personal values are carried with them to work.

Political will is what politicians are willing to do.  (Political won’t is what they are too scared to do.)

Political will is formed by three influences: the people, the media and corporations.  As our politicians are not leaders but followers (of polls, of lobbyists, of trends etc) their actions are simply a function of the three influences.  The influence of people is weak, and the influence of media and corporations is strong.

The media and corporations, through lobbyists and friendships, give politicians incentives to behave in a way to further the interests of those bodies.  Incentives are cash, promise of future favours and also negative incentives such as fear of losing power, influence, favour or friendship.

The media distort the politician’s understanding of what the people really think and want, and the media also exert strong influence over the people, dumbing them down and playing to their basest instincts.  The media are there to increase and perpetuate the influence and wealth of their owners and the allies of their owners.

The voice of a small number of media organisations and corporations heavily outshout the voice of very many people.  The result is that politicians will not dare to do things which their corporate pay masters urge them to resist.  Given that the most wealth lies with energy and energy intensive activities, there is no way that corporations will vote for radical action to reduce the power of corporations.

In all these flows of influence there is a very telling phenomenon: the values of a person at home are different from their values at work.  Someone who is a mum or dad at home has a goal to promote the long-term well-being of his or her children.  When parents go to work they often make decisions which look like the goal is to damage the long-term well-being of their children.  This double-life accounts for much of the malign influence of corporations.  If parents at work thought carefully whether their work actions are consistent with their deepest, personal interests (that of their children) then they would think twice or three times before making decisions at work.  The compromise would become conscious and all the more difficult.

One of the most important ways of shifting political will is to change the will of corporations, with their disproportionate influence of politicians.  To change the will of corporations, the will of the people in those corporations has to prevail: it is vitally important to help and encourage people to bring their home values to  work and avoid the unconscious suppression of home values in the interests of the corporation.

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