Class- Submission to the NUS Website

Thatcher once said, “there’s no such thing as society, there are individual men and women and there are families.” There is perhaps no wonder why she missed the boat in comprehending the legacy of her policies. Society, no matter how disjointed, exists in Britain as much as it does in the rest of the world where there is some form of human civilisation. We are, after all, social beings. Quoting John Donne: “ No man is an island”.
But I do contend with the idea of class as originally stated the communist manifesto. Yes, at the time of writing, there was a clear economic division in society. And yes, there is still a level of inequality in our society today, but not in the same dire conditions illustrated by the works of Marx and Engels. I am not saying that they were the first to recognise the existence of class, but they were the first to recognise that exploitation had to be combated.
Class, like religion, gender, race and other binaries set upon us as either voluntarily or otherwise, is another means of segregation within our society. It is ranking individuals with some form of socio-economic status that is unnecessary and unjust in this day and age. Regardless of class, everyone is required to work in some mode of employment to make ends meet. How much one earns does not eradicate this point. We are all clogs in the rusting clockwork mechanism of a society. Like Marx and Engels said “the labourer, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity.”
We are all dependents on an elite group of people, who I would say are above the government or any authority.  They are the ones that see us as bait for their next Ponzi scheme, especially Britain, as we trade nothing but magic paper and pixels on a screen. We are a net exporter of services, basically nothing particularly tangible. And as we see the increase of education standards across the globe and higher living costs in Britain, Britons are going to be seen to be more disposable than ever before.
We are all on the same boat. However is it not all doom and gloom. No matter how much one earns, it is a matter of how much one values money relative to everything else in life. The very founder of capitalism, Adam Smith said in his book: The Wealth of Nations that “the value of any commodity to the person who possess it and who means not to use it, is equal to the quantity of labour with enables him to purchase or command.” In more simplistic words, he is suggesting that someone who works harder for something will value it more than someone who did not have to endure the same level of work.
What I am trying to say that class is irrelevant today, however is it still in existence in contemporary society. But we need to stop comparing ourselves to what our neighbour has, or how many cars Jeremy Clarkson has or how big Jordan’s fake breasts are, and just concentrate on ourselves. The most important thing to ask, is not how much do I have but how happy am I? As my tattooist once said, “sometimes more is less.”


Anwar Ibrahim, a serious opposition?

The end of Sodomy 2.0, Anwar Ibrahim

As a newly made member of the Malaysian electorate, I have no idea who to vote for in the next election. Anwar has no real policy but simply to be anti- Barisan Nasional. And nepotism is prevalent in his party. I despise the fact that politics in Malaysia is racial, there’s always positive discrimination towards the Malays in which I admit my immediate family have benefited from. But in personal circumstances, I believe that if all races within Malaysia were treated equally the country would be more successful and competitive yet I understand why it is the way it is.

The race riots of 13 May 1969 have constantly been brushed under the carpet by Malaysian historians, but it is, in my eyes the cause of the Bumiputra benefits which was re-branded as the New Economic Plan of the country from there on.

With change under a charismatic, focused and straight leader then country has potential to correct the undertones of the obvious racial and economic factions within the country. Just there aren’t any capable candidates. It is a shame because the country does produce some brilliant people, who normally decide to recite elsewhere. (My mother was one of them, who did not return to the country for 18 years, she’s one of the amazing people FYI) I feel like I may follow suit until I can see Malaysia as a place without great economic and social boundaries, and I know many friends  who feel the same way.

So behind the opaque curtains that Malaysia hides it’s flaws, there is the government censored evidence of unhappiness with a governing party that has ruled for 54 years (since Independence in 1957, under different names and structures of course). Like the rest of South East Asia, it’s natural beauty, cool people and laid back way is shaded by a history of discontent that is often unmentioned. So in that way, Malaysia [is] truly Asia.

Another interesting feature on the Malaysian economy from the BBC : It’s from last September but it’s still relevant.

I’m home-sick 😦