Dukes is a beatsmith, historian and mailman hailing from the south of The Netherlands. He knows more about politics than you and is as nuanced as a brick through your car’s front window. This is his exclusive column for TRU. (the opinions expressed by Dukes are solely those of Dukes and do not represent the TRU board of editors).
After my grandma died we went to her house to start sorting things out. In her former bedroom I saw something I never noticed before – a framed certificate thanking my grandfather for his many years of loyal service to the then still state-owned Mail. What once was an honorable job has been raped by neoliberal logic to the extent that even the most loyal, die-hard, old-skool mailmen, who take pride in their trade, wanna leave this sinking ship as soon as fucking possible. My grandfather got a certificate thanking him for his work, my uncle get’s a pretty decent fuck-off bonus with his more or less forced early retirement and me, the third generation mailman, gets his hours cut back to the level where I can’t even finance my own bummy bachelor lifestyle anymore. I need to look for another job or else I’ll probably end up on welfare. I hope things don’t work out like that, but if it does, thank God Dead Prez gave me some pointers on how to survive in times of economic hardship.
What happened to the Mail also happened to the our energy supply, public transport, healthcare and other public services that shouldn’t be put in the hands of suits who think it’s justifiable to apply Tony Montana’s vision for Miami to entire nations. Decent people lose their jobs or have to accept huge wage cuts while the management makes profits that even the Medellín drug cartel wouldn’t dare to dream of. The most bizarre thing about this all is that we have a diverse political system. We’ve got about 10 political parties in our parliament and only one of them seems to give a fuck about the disastrous effects of 25 years of neo-liberalism. The rest of them are occupied with trivial bullshit. I have a hard time trusting politicians who lie to their voters by claiming that privatization of state-owned companies is a good thing, when it’s obvious that we now have to pay higher prices for crappy services that used to work fine at a decent price, when the state took care of it. Why should I want a free choice when it comes to my electrics? How is that gonna enrich my life? We’re on the way to become Ronald Reagan’s wet dream.
For some reason I still vote. This is probably the effect of years of indoctrination in high school where we were told repeatedly that if you don’t vote you don’t have the right to complain. Which is bullshit. If you don’t like Mario Kart and therefore don’t play Mario Kart I think you have every right to say Mario Kart is trash. The same logic applies to voting. Your vote legitimizes the system, whether you voted for the ruling party or not. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t vote – I also do it for some reason – but at least I don’t have the arrogance to think that voting gives me a monopoly on complaining about politricks. Far from it.
I’ve been called a paranoid commie. That might be the case, but several of what were once regarded as my more paranoid predictions have aready come to fruition. Ten years ago I predicted that they were gonna make it harder for non-rich kids to get a college degree and that therefore I needed to get one as soon as possible, before they would change the rules or my seeds wouldn’t get the opportunity to go to university. Last year our government changed policy in regard to financial aid for students to the extent that everybody who opts for a study faces a huge debt. And they’ve got the balls to call it the ‘social loan system’. This is the kind of newspeak that even George Orwell couldn’t come up with.
Now the European Union wants to privatize tap water. I also predicted privatization to the extent that it would fuck over civilization beyond recognition, but even I didn’t see this one coming. If this is gonna happen we all know what that’s gonna mean: higher prices, shoddy service and if they can pump cancer into it to somehow cut costs they will. It’s back to the Middle Ages when people drank beer ‘cause the water was too dangerous to drink. Thank God years of following politricks gave me enough drinking experience to be able to function in such times. Neo-liberalism put us all in a time of moral, spiritual and political bankruptcy. Get money.