Back in 1789 when the Queen of France, Marie-Antoinette was told that the people had no bread she apparently quipped “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” (or more commonly known as “Let them eat cake”). This statement and her general attitude would lead to the French revolution and her ultimate overthrow.
Surely the civilised Europeans could never let this happen again, secularism an ideology which apparently evolves and learns over time could never let this happen again. However now in 2020 when politicians are told that children are going hungry the reply is simply “it’s the parent’s job”. Unfortunately there shall be no immediate revolution forthcoming, democracy is too ingrained within the people, however this kind of arrogant attitude is indicative of the existing power structures. In reality, nothing much has changed since the 18th century.
With Marcus Rashford having to take on the job of the government to feed its children, one could be forgiven for thinking we live in Dickensian England and not in the fifth richest country in the world. The only difference is that unlike Oliver Twist, children are not even asking for more, but a simple square meal to get them through half-term.
Billions have been found to prop-up the system via loan payments to businesses and billions lost via turning a blind eye to tax evasion by tech giants, however nothing seems available to feed the most vulnerable in society. This is not a government or a Prime Minister out of touch but a political and economic system reeking of the same air of arrogance that Europe did in the 1700s.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the inability of capitalism to provide for its people, the economic and political systems are at breaking point. Politicians and world leaders are doing their best to not address the issues directly either by denying their existence like Donald Trump, attempting to deflect the problems onto others like Macron in France or downright telling the people to buck-up their ideas and feed their own children.
Is it little wonder the average person will look for answers elsewhere and move their political affiliations to the right where it is easy to blame others for the problems inherent within capitalism.