| "They who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin 
| "All governments lie and nothing
they say should be believed."
-- I.F. Stone.
| "Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men are
almost always bad men."
-- Lord Acton
1. What kinds of things go wrong?
2. Since when do these things go wrong?
3. What is the reason these things go wrong?
Actually, the following text is the same as that of January 16, 2013, apart from some added links and some boldings, and an added "the" in the title. My reasons to duplicate it are as follows: It is quite good; it is not sufficiently read; and also I can't much improve on it at present. And I never read anything like this by anyone else, in one file or article, while I still quite agree with it. Incidentally, most of the points are not my own: what is my own are the selection and the stresses.
There are some additional points to be raised, but these have to wait till another time.
In this Nederlog I am only trying to chart some very general tendencies and patterns of explanation, so to speak. In a way, this can be seen as the less cynical version of my hypotheses of corporate fascism + the surveillance state, that tended to the assumption (hard to prove, hard to disprove) that much that has been going on, at least since 9/11/2001, has been planned.
Suppose, on the contrary, the things that have gone wrong have gone wrong mostly by accident and/or by confluence of existing tendencies - which has the advantage of being true anyway, regardless of whether there is a hidden planned component, e.g. in the arisal of and lobbying for the surveillance state.
Then what sort of things have gone wrong, in a major way, in Europe and the US, and since when, and why?
I give some brief and sketchy points and answers, that are only meant to help one to get things clarified, and certainly not as complete or certain answers.
1. What kinds of things go wrong?
There are at least five sectors of society and one of nature that seem to go wrong currently and for quite a while now:
- the economy: The economies of Europe and the US are in a major mess and a crisis since 2008, while also nothing much effective has been done about this, other than save the banks while forcing the population at large to pay for the debts. See the crisis series.
- health care: The health care systems of both the US and Europe are in a major mess: The dominant end is profit rather than good health care, and both the management of health care and medicine itself are corrupt in major ways. See the DSM-5 series.
- education: The educational system, on all levels, in both the US and Europe is in a crisis, and offers far worse education for far more money than before. See my published columns.
- politics & civil law: Politicians, political parties and legislatures are all for the most part quite corrupt in the US and Europe, and seem to attract and protect precisely the wrong kinds of careerist and naturally born posturers, liars and deceivers (already feared by the ancient Greeks). Also, it has turned out there are no really independent courts: the courts follow politics mostly. See the crisis series.
- public debate: There is hardly any intelligent public debate - language has grown corrupt through political correctness; public relations talk and marketing rule almost every important topic: much of the public debate - if there is any - is along public relations lines, in Orwellian doublespeak. See Bernays' "Propaganda" to get a grasp of what is going on.
As to the climate: I rarely write about it because (1) I have noticed it has been getting warmer the last decade; (2) I cannot get my head around the popular explanations, though I think it is quite probable there is a considerable human contribution; but (3) I don't think this can be effectively changed, by human beings and their societies such as they are: it seems to work out mostly as marketing for the producers of modern windmills and for the Good Intentions of politicians and bureaucrats, who acquire a Public Conscience by supporting Noble Goals.
- climate: The climate gets warmer and warmer and is effectively out of control, with unforeseeable and unstoppable social consequences.
That is, as ends for realistic actions "the climate" and also "the environment" are blind alleys: The problems of the climate are problems beyond real solutution at present, except through some sort of global population control, which also takes several generations if it works at all.
This does not mean changes in the climate may not have major social consequences: it does mean that "the climate" cannot be changed or warded off by present political or social means - which is also why I tend to write little about it.
2. Since when do these things go wrong?
All of the above developments, if you start thinking about it, and know some recent history, or are over 60, or both, as in my case, have been taking place for quite a while. Here are some temporal indicatons:
- the economy: The present crisis started in 2007-2008, but got started in principle under Reagan, Clinton and Greenspan, namely by successive deregulations of the banking world, also obfuscated some by the arisal of PCs and the internet, that also fundamentally changed the economy: 1980-1990. See the crisis series.
- health care: (1) The management of health care seems to have been always a mess in the US compared with Europe, but in Europe the American model has been introduced since 2000 in the name of "the blessings of market forces", and has grown steadily more expensive and worse for patients, if highly profitable for medical doctors and medical managers; (2) the practice of medical science and health care has grown a lot worse: The science grew to be an adjunct of the marketing of medicines; the health care got thoroughly bureaucratized: All of this has been ongoing since the 1980ies. See the DSM-5 series.
- education: Both schools and universities have been giving less and less real education, normally in the name of equality, since the 1960ies - and note this is one of the changes the victims can neither really see, nor really feel, nor really understand: To be able to know and understand what they miss they need what they miss - a (half way) good education. See my published columns.
- politics & civil law: Politics became much more of a top down market and public relations driven careerist thing especially since the 1960ies and 1970ies showed anything can be sold by TV, including actors who want to be presidents; politicians are for sale to lobbyists; opinions can be created and bought by marketing / public relations campaigns; and judges turn out to be not to be independent from politics nor able to constrain politics, and indeed for much that is new - computing and internet - there is no existing and in any case no effective legislation. See the crisis series.
- public debate: Ongoing with the decline of education and with the rise of marketing / public relations as the tool of choice of governmental bodies, corporate bodies, and political parties, the standards of public debate have grown ever and ever lower, and indeed many questions that should be intelligently discussed in public are either not discussed at all, or only in marketing / public relations terms that make a rational debate, discussion or argument impossible. See Bernays' "Propaganda".
3. What is the reason these things go wrong?
- climate + environment: Since the 1950ies (Rachel Carson, Club of Rome).
The main reason the things mentioned have gone wrong is a combination of deregulation, increased power of corporations and governments, and mistaken ideas and ideals.
Again I limit myself to headings and points:
Deregulation and decline of standards:
- in education
- in banking
- in lobbying
- in law
- in medicine
I have been writing about this often in Nederlog, especially in the crisis series and the DSM-5 series; in my published columns; and in ME in Amsterdam, about the utter disappearance of the maintenance of the law in Amsterdam and in Holland as regards illegal drugs.
I think deregulation and the associated decline of standards in many fields is in fact the main theme and the main force behind or enabler of the things that went wrong: Relativism, postmodernism, stupefication on an enormous scale through the lowering of educational standards, and specifically:
The rise of Orwellian postmodernism:
- "everybody knows that truth does not exist"
- "everybody knows that everything is relative"
- "everybody knows that everybody is equal or equivalent" 
For which see Scientific realism vs. postmodernism and Morningstar shines a bright light and Yahooism with a human face. NB for those who can recall the postmodernism of the 1970ies-1990ies, and who might want to object there is much less of it: This is because so much has been widely accepted; because so many standards have been replaced by propaganda and/or public relations prose; and because the main damage, the decline of education and educational standards have succeeded and are in force since the 1980ies.
Increased power of corporations and governments:
- since 9/11/2001 and the "war on terror"
- the introduction of the surveillance state
- datamining by Google, Facebook and others
The internet has made it possible for corporations and governments to spy on everyone; the lack of any real or effective legislation combined with the presence of computers everywhere and the apparent enormous profitability or possibilities for control made it possible for both corporations and states to spy on the population to an extent that never has been possible, and until very recently was not even conceived of by almost everybody.
Mistaken ideas and ideals:
- the "war on terror"
- the liberating forces of the market
- the desirability of spying on the population
- the European Union
If there was and is no plan to create authoritarian states in Europe and the US, that are effectively controlled by the executives and owners of the big international corporations, and/or are being run by politicians and yes-men that corporate powers mostly control, then the fact that this was the outcome of the last 10 years must be due to the wide acceptance of mistaken ideas and ideals:
The "war on terror" is bullshit that works out as a tool to begin and impose state terrorism, in the form of forced identity papers, reading of e-mails, secret wire-tapping, and surveilled and stored internet behavior, followed by whatever a truly corrupt and power-crazed government may impose using the force and the information they acquired, including concentration camps, renditioning to torture centers, and disappearance without trial or trace.
The "liberating forces of the market" have turned out to be a ploy by corporations, e.g. in health care, first to get free from control by the law, the public and the press, by deregulating these checks and balance away, and then succeeded by appropriating power and control over health care by its managers, through public relations.
The "desirability of spying on the population", which is what has been practised systematically by European governments and by the US government since 9/11 is in fact a ploy to impose state terrorism - which is a fundamentally insane notion even if, as perhaps in the Soviet Union and China, it gets introduced for what seem moral reasons: No man can be trusted with absolute power over other men, and least of all the men who run a state or large organization - if these are not controlled by effective checks and balances, such as independent courts, a real free press, and an educated public that needs not fear to speak or write as they please, corporate or state governors will enthrall as much and as many as they can, for that has happened always wherever they got the chance.
The "European Union" is a plan for a federal state that was not based on any tenable social or political theory, and a plan for an economic union that should not have been implemented by a common currency: Now all hang together, so will fall together if any falls, while the vast majority of the citizens of the EU is as nationalistic and chauvinistic as they ever were.
So far for these brief notes to help you and me get some perspective on very complicated processes and patterns that depend on many factors, and that for the most part exist for one to five decades at least.
 Here it is necessary to insist, with Aristotle, that the governors do not rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the government, if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn Greenwald:
It is more proper that law should govern than any one of the citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.(And I note the whole file I quote from is quite pertinent.)
 This is almost literally as these things were taught, also to the public at large, and in the name of the Board of Directors and the scientific staff of the University of Amsterdam, since 1978 there, when these things were claimed in the speech by professor M.A. Brand that opened the academic year 1978-1979, and that were still in force 25 years later. (See my Truth and Value, of 1989.)
The reason these evident Orwellian insanities were in force for - at least - a full human generation (i.e. 5 or 6 generations of university students) is that people liked it: "No truth" meant nobody could be refuted; "everything relative" meant nobody could be wrong; and "everybody equivalent" meant nobody was worse than anyone else. It gave everybody a license to think, do, say and feel as one pleased, while being at least as good as anyone else, by logical implication. Wishful thinking is always the mode of thought the majority prefers, for that way one gets what one wishes, in the imagination at least.
About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: