By Julie Greness

    I was listening to an old song the other day, “We’re all just bricks in the wall…” Too true. Planet Earth is bustling with life forms, including billions of humans. But each individual person can be considered as merely one little brick, existing in a giant wall.

    This great wall we are all creating, just by waking up in the morning, is based on powerful entities. You might call them the ‘powers that be’, as a Science Fiction author once wrote. The ‘powers that be’ are basically the media, the finance industry, the munitions industry, the oil industry, and the mining industry.

    Each little brick in the wall is toiling away, breathing until their last, as a little serf of the ‘powers that be’. Unless, of course, you are one of the owners of such mega industries. These five ‘powers that be’ make up the capitalism of the global economy, whether it is the economy of a western liberal democracy, if such really exists, or a Communist regime, or a dictatorship.

    The ‘powers that be’ make money, which most humans need at most stages to survive. For example, Microsoft make a truckload of money in the digital world, as do the owners of television stations or cable television, or the print media. We read and listen to their views, and should take all such with a grain of salt. Who is writing? Is it propaganda?

    Similarly, the munitions industry has an insatiable demand to create weapons to destroy lots of humans, the little bricks in the wall. Weapons are currently made from iron ore and uranium; hence the profits for the mining industry. For instance, as a pragmatist, one would note that the mining taxes are propping up our Australian economy.

    All these weapons, and the machines to produce the materials for them, require transport fuelled by oil products. This is why the oil industry is another of the ‘powers that be’. There is only a finite limit on how much “black gold” is available, so OPEC can hold the world over a barrel (excuse the pun). Thus the ever increasing rise in the cost of petrol and other oil products.

    One explanation for the current conflicts in the Middle East is that this is where most of the world’s oil resources are. Very few lands have a stockpile of oil, so there is a vested interest for the other ‘powers that be’ not to nuke the Middle East. Or, one might add, the mining industry located in Australia. Fear not, little flock of fellow bricks in the wall.

    Naturally, even the ‘powers that be’ need finance. That is the reason for the influence of the finance industry. One example of this is power of the big four banks in the Australian banking industry. These banks here make the most profits per capita of any finance system in the world. Due to unfair interest rates, they can hold little bricks to ransom. I read that information on the internet too, but it is quite true.

    There is nothing much the little bricks in the wall can do to change the status quo in the world of the 21st Century. All we can do is hope for leaders with benevolent visions, for a flourishing economy, with opportunities for young people of Australia.

    But you cannot always get what you want. So, let’s all hope we wake up each day. If we do, the assassins have failed again! We hope to get through each day, collecting more survivor baggage. This is a tale of survival of the species, the humans. We are an interdependent network, incorporating the ‘powers that be’ and each little brick in the wall…

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