Virtually all successful politicians are well-trained snake oil salesmen, bought long ago by immortal corporate interests as one of the most effective long-game investments in the lobbyist portfolio. It’s an investment that pays out greater dividends than any stock, derivative, bond or developing world slave-village.

But the politicians are not the problem. It’s easy to blame these tools of the entrenched power structure but this would be an unearned absolution — an evasion of real culpability that’s much closer to home. It may be a bitter pill to swallow and doubtless individuals have their excuses but — burning off the obfuscations — the only deserving recipient of blame is us.

We are to blame for the corrosive politics of fear and belligerent posturing. We, the people, choose these incompetent representatives; and we know them to be unworthy of the powers our votes confer. What’s more, we let ourselves be made into prey, voluntarily, meek as lambs. We keep buying the bullshit — the never-ending supply of snake oil that always promises big and delivers less.

We let ourselves be bought and sold on the free market, clumsily indoctrinated into tribalism — the most perfunctory divide and rule — falling into line time and time to vote on our worst instincts against our best interests.

Politics is real simple. The people will get as little as possible in every single transaction with authority. This does not mean authority will seek to clash with the people — quite the opposite — because when “power” decides what next to do, it knows how tight to turn the screw. How tight that is depends entirely on the credulousness, docility, organisation and expectation of the people.

Power isn’t fixated on the human variables for people are just one component of a bigger picture. Power begets power and money, this latter can distilled into ‘the profit motive’ — one of the most durable and potent energies in the world. Money employs power as its best guarantee, safeguarding those who wield it so they can chase down the best (“most efficient”) route to profit. If this route requires it be driven over the bodies of the public doesn’t matter.

None of the damage caused by the drive for greater and greater efficiency is personal. Everything is collateral except profit. There’s no tangible evil, per se, in the profit motive and the free market. Power pursuing profit won’t choose to waste resources squashing the helpless and the weak but neither will it be made less efficient by sentimentality or artificial restraint.

Profit is an easy sell and it’s true to class it differently to how money can be used to do ill. Power is the same. We’ve all heard the rhetoric used to advertise “goodthink” word associations: profit is potential and freedom, its aquisition the epitome of rugged individualism and no-nonsense can do attitude and power is the basis of independent safety and security and being best positioned to ensure stability so these favourable conditions continue unmolested.

Conspiracy theories explaining apparently complex global arrangements to secure highest profits and most stable power miss this key point: conspiracy is far fetched but collaboration motivated by maximum shared gain is relentlessly honed by market forces. These market forces scale ‘organically’ by default. Conspiracy, on the rare occasion it happens, is hopelessly inefficient by comparison — inconsequential.

Ironically the most useful conspiracy could be one of the most simple and least secret: the people of a country or region conspiring to stand together against exploitation by power and demand a fair distribution of profit (money) to serve the needs of the people.

The day people demand more, and make clear these demands won’t be compromised, we will get more.

The day people look ahead when deciding what to do, this power — currently dominated by money and by occasional exhibitions of public voting — will start flowing back into the hands of the electorate.

It won’t be easy. Power is exerted to control dissent as softly and as subtly as possible; yet still win. The people will never overcome by main force. The people will only beat the rigged game with fortitude, togetherness and patient momentum.

Until then, keep watching the carnival and taking the medication and eating the slow-acting poison. Keep letting headlines invented by hired manipulators dictate where you turn your attention. Think only about today. Think only about your own community. Think only in two-dimensional slogans because it feels like action without any of the risk. Blame Russians, blame the Left, blame the Right, blame the Mexicans, whatever gets you through the day.

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