Living in occupied territory

Anyone with even a scrap of humanity left in their bones can or should be able to see that we live (in the UK) under an occupation.

The economy and thereby society is dominated by the kind of hierarchical manipulative “right-wing” businesses identified by Illich. These businesses present a “civilised” front but their activities are all about domination, surveillance, and killing.

This is no exaggeration. The editor of this web site works as a contract/freelance web developer. Time after time I am offered a contract which on (even the slightest) investigation appears to be linked to either surveillance, the arms trade or some other practice of manipulating other human beings for profit. It seems virtually impossible to offer these skills in a way which would be meeting peoples’ needs. I am not even objecting to working for someone else’s profit. I am just looking at the end product; what we are actually doing. It seems that not many others are doing this.

Recent examples:

i. I was offered a contract/interview with a local business who makes traffic control systems for local authorities. That sounds innocuous enough. I looked at their web site and discovered that one of their products is a device which covertly scans cars to identify blue-tooth devices and uses their MAC addresses for traffic control. This is legal because the Data Protection Act gives a blanket authority to government departments to gather data in the public interest. It doesn’t mean though that it isn’t sneaky and invasive. It is the attitude to other people I find objectionable. If you don’t respect people’s privacy and boundaries it follows that you don’t respect them. It is a good example of the manipulative top-down approach characterised by Illich. It is also a good example of how loosely worded legislation can be used to legitimise practices which on the surface at least no reader of the original legislation would have anticipated. The legislation looks like it is protecting freedoms but is then used as the basic for having a “legally defensible position” for all sorts of manipulative practices.

ii. I was offered a contract/interview with a local engineering firm. That sounded promising. I discovered that they make video surveillance equipment. This is used both by foreign militaries and UK local authorities. Note how UK local authorities are using military grade surveillance equipment on their own populations.

iii. A high paying contract with a financial services organisation. In my dreams I am imagining a building society. An organisation which helps to meet a real human need; housing. But no. It was for Barclays. Barclays are a major investor in the US arms business. If you help Barclays you are helping Lockheed Martin – one of the main armers

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer