Slavebt. [sla-vet] (n) legalised debt slavery, state of slavery enforced through debt and legislation.
Okay, so that’s a made-up word – just me being a smart-arse. But, if ‘slavebt’ was a real word, what would it mean, exactly? Okay, I think this might be a long and convoluted post, so settle in.
I’m 47, male, single. Lived in the same village practically all my life, in the same flat for nearly 30 years, my ancestors lived here from just about the beginning of the village, it’s a part of me as much as I am part of it. It’s Home. It’s me.
School was a dreary waste of time. Work turned out to be the same – but, like school, work had to be done. So I did it. Started early; summer jobs at school at the contrivance of my Dad, who was a proper hard worker. Farm work, mostly. Hard work with hard people – but fundamentally good people. They might spend all day taking the piss and hiding your wellies but they’d not see you come to any harm. Shout “HELP!” and they’d come running. If it was serious they’d rescue you and then take the piss, or if it wasn’t serious they’d take the piss and then rescue you.
So I worked: farmer, butcher, sweet-seller, storesman, van mechanic, mini-bus driver, waste-paper recycler, coach driver, shop worker, truck driver, factory worker, factory processes instructor in Eastern Europe, benefit recipient and now, truck driver again – operating from the same farm where I worked those first summer jobs all those years ago, working for the same family my Dad often worked for all those decades ago.
When my Dad died in the late 90s it was said that he didn’t leave much, and in a way that’s true. He left no stocks or shares or savings, just a modest insurance policy. But he left things in good order. Mortgage paid, house in good order. Everything paid for, no debts. My Mother had nothing to worry about on that score – although she would not be living in the lap of luxury and she would still have to work but not as much. And he left me treasured memories and wisdom.
“If you can’t afford it, you can’t have it.”
Borrowing money was okay, under strict self-imposed rules. The money has to be for something necessary. Make damned sure you can pay it back. Borrow from someone you trust if you can or a bank if you must. If it can wait; save up.
In the latter part of his life, my Dad was a self-employed diesel fitter and general mechanic. He enjoyed it, apart from the paperwork. He’d grown up with cash -you know what you’ve got with cash – but the Age of Cash was by that time coming to an end. It was all cheques and banker orders, direct debits and standing orders and accounts. And tax.
At first he tackled the annual trauma of The Accounts himself – but how do you explain to the tax man that you spent half a day here fixing a bulldozer in return for five tons of sand or an hour there fixing a tractor in exchange for a bag of spuds and a promise of future work? The official bank stuff, cheques and such, were fairly easy to keep track of but the cash and barter transactions were a nightmare to quantify for Her Majesty’s finest. In the end he got himself into a frightful mess and was forced to hire an accountant – an ex-police constable whom, on retrospect, I wish I had got to know better – who sorted it all out.
My Dad didn’t actually begrudge paying for an accountant as such, but he did once quip to me dryly that not only was the tax man robbing him but he was also paying someone to help the tax man do it. I don’t think either of us appreciated the full significance of that remark. The accountant and my Dad became very good friends and my Dad surprised Mum by crying at his funeral.
But those times are long gone now, in time but not in memory, and what is past is prelude.
Time passed. Life and death happened. I played the game as best I could, working to pay for it all. No matter what I did, I couldn’t balance the books. I seemed to exist in a permanent state of debt. The harder I tried to get out of it, the deeper I got sucked in. In the end, I broke. I was lucky enough to get a bit of a settlement with which I paid off all my debts, then lived a meagre life on what was left for a time before being forced,under the threat of unavoidable debts, onto state benefits. I languished there for a decade because I was ill and it was too hard to ease oneself out of and too easy to keep oneself in. I was weak and I am not proud of this.
During this wilderness time, I began to question and finally discovered the whacky world of conspiracy theories. As an aspiring writer, many of these theories fired my imagination, which is one of the reasons I started looking (the other was a challenge, as I have previously mentioned). There was and is a lot of rubbish in that area, as I guess there is in most areas, but some of it was seriously disturbing and disturbingly serious.
Watching the documentary “The Money Masters” finally brought at least part of the world into sharp enough focus for even my limited intelligence and stunted education to ascertain.
Money is being used against us. It is being used as a weapon and it is being used as a shackle. A decreasingly small number of huge private banks has convinced kings and emperors, governments and industries and you and me that they, and only they, have the knowledge, expertise and God-given right to create and control the money supply.
Very simply, if a government wants to build a hospital, for example, and needs £1M to do so, where does it get the money? The modern myth is that the money comes from taxes but this is not true in the way most people believe; the money comes from the promise of taxes.
The government goes to the private bank with its tax revenue predictions to borrow the million. The bank is happy and so the government issues an I.O.U. for £1.1M, the additional £0.1M being the bank’s fee, and gives it to the bank, which then authorises the creation of £1M which is spent building the hospital. The government now owes the bank £1.1M and must get this back through taxes – but if only £1M was created, where is the extra £0.1M supposed to come from? Governments are forced to borrow more and more just to make up the shortfall. When this isn’t enough they have to start charging for licenses and permits and imposing levies and fines. Legislation after legislation is passed with the sole purpose of raising revenues to keep ahead of the ever expanding debt; car tax, driving license fee, test fee, M.O.T. fee, parking tickets, speeding tickets, spot fines, impound fees, registration fees, etc., etc.
And so the people must work harder and harder to pay more and more for less and less and, at some point, paying down debts becomes more important than living your life. At this point, one has entered the state of slavebt. Working to pay enough to keep the government ahead of the inevitable wipeout becomes more important than a holiday or a new car or a hot meal or a roof over someone’s head.
It’s a lot more complex and nuanced than I have the powers or wit to adequately describe, of course, but that’s the gist of it and if you want details go to Max Keizer or Stacey Herbert or somebody equally expert. I’m just here to make up the numbers.
We are all in slavebt but it’s easy enough to fix.
@Governments_everywhere: Stop borrowing money and make your own. It’s not rocket surgery!
Let’s not allow the word slavebt to thrive, governments, let’s kill it quickly and painlessly. Because, you know, there’re several billion people here to see you, and we’d like our futures back, please…