Covid & George Floyd illustrate need for evolution beyond classes, privilege, & wealth

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Agatha Farmer

As I sit to write this editorial I'm trying to find the right words to really convey to you the heaviness of our world inequality. Societal classes have existed since the birth of civilizations; kings, gods, pharaohs, queens, dukes, nobleman, peasants, slaves. But humans have been evolving over these millions of years. We now have incredible technology and as a species we have embraced tolerance of different cultures, religions, sexual orientation etc. And yet we are still so incredibly archaic when it comes to equalizing our socioeconomic existence. We have simply renamed the above medieval class divisions and altered them to; poor, the working poor, low middle-class, middle-class, high class, Jeff Bezos class.

It only takes a scroll of your social media and news feeds to see the gaping divide between the have and have nots, and to some degree this pandemic has further exposed the canyon. Is there a new world order agenda? Maybe? Consider me sitting on the fence when it comes to conspiracy theories. However, do I think it's a coincidence that a level 4 bio lab in Wuhan, China, which played with SARS type viruses and is located a mere 200 meters from the Seafood market Covid has been said to have originated from, well that's one theory I might get behind. But we digress. Is there a new world order agenda? Well in short I would say no. We haven't really moved any closer to a one world central government which pulls the strings of the entire globe as this theory alludes to. In fact, if anything England just told the EU to take their "one" European government and take a hike. The US is currently melting down into anarchy and so I ask which participant of the one world government would want to take that on?

So I don't necessarily believe in a one government world order plan, However, are corporations who are in bed with government legislators and their wealthy owners willing to step on the general slave labourers making minimum wage as they rake in 80% profit margins, yes I absolutely do believe that. Unions are the result of pure capitalistic corporate greed. Both governments as well as corporations feed the bullshit of trickle down economics and consumerism and yet the big bucks get stuck somewhere at the top and remain there. Our civilization of today has not adequately evolved to actually evenly distribute the wealth of the world and yet 90% of the population is forced to work 40 hours a week in support of this "theory."

Here is a little fun fact in case you didn't know where the 40 hour Monday to Friday work week originated from; The Ford Company. Believe it or not prior to Henry Ford establishing these hours employees in the 1800's during the industrial evolution worked as much as 100 hours a week. In a 1926 interview with World's Work magazine Ford said: "Leisure is an indispensable ingredient in a growing consumer market because working people need to have enough free time to find uses for consumer products, including automobiles."

"It is high time to rid ourselves of the notion that leisure for workmen is either 'lost time' or a class privilege," Ford stated. Ford decreased work hours and increased pay and created the "company man." While Ford said this would reduce the "class privilege" between employees and employers he really implemented this not for any scientific reason, but rather to increase consumption. His step, however, inspired many across the world and soon almost all manufacturers adopted the Monday-Friday workweek. Profit and money have always been the driver.

So the question in 2020 is if we have evolved from the industrial revolution to decrease our working hours but increase our pay in 1926 tell me why over the last 8 decades have we not evolved further? The answer is simple; because this model has been working for the wealthy and those aspiring for wealth. Jeffrey Epstein wouldn't have been able to become the decades old sexual predator he was without wealth and power. And just to illustrate how strong this class bond is; In 2008 Epstein was found guilty of sexually abusing minors (not one but several.) All of the victims were from poor socio-economic neighbourhoods. While in jail he was given special privileges and when he got out the likes of Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew showered him with a "pedophile r us" party to celebrate his release. Remember he was a charged sex offender at this point but those powerful privilege ties run deep.

The idea of trickle down economics has not been working for 90% of the population for what seems decades now. Wages have remained stagnant, then were outsourced all together and yet prices increased with "inflation" as did profit margins for the corporations and business. The rich really did become richer over the last few decades. This model of employment and economics might have been feasible in the 1920's when most jobs remained within said country, paid well, and prices were much lower (think no interact fees for businesses, lower interest rates, fewer banks and no website maintenance.) It seems that when corporations were presented with larger profit margins through Chinese sweatshops, with zero human rights let alone employee standards, trickle down economics went out the window with the bathwater.

The lack of evolution of our socioeconomic state and the stubbornness to remove social classes and barriers will continue to yield division and violence. Right now there are two shining examples of this; Covid-19 and Minnesota. During Covid-19 people have questioned the opening of golf courses and not Drive-In theatres? Why have there only been recommendations made to cottagers not to travel during this pandemic instead of an outright ban since this is life and death according to the powers that make up and set the rules. Because let's face it Ontario can't piss off their wealthy contributors to almost everything from healthcare to infrastructure projects. Easter weekend Ford and Trudeau recommended people not see their relatives, yet both went to cottages and both spent time with family members outside of their isolation circle. WTF do you ask? Ya me too. With wealth comes privilege including powerful network connections and education. We need to evolve and equal out the playing field for all.

Tragically this week that privilege is being taken to task in Minnesota. Too often the circumstances of ones birth create the lives which will be lead. George Floyd had the circumstance of being born a black man in a racist country. The cop who killed him had the circumstance of being born white, which came with built-in privileges he felt he needed to exercise. If you need to know what those are this editorial really isn't for you. Perhaps if Floyds and his murderer's socioeconomic backgrounds weren't so wildly different this incident wouldn't have occurred. Perhaps if we champion the evolution of a society based on its community value as humans as oppose to its consumer value based on buying power we might stumble onto a happier more harmonious world.

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