As I sit here smoking my finely cut, Du Maurier cigarette, I cannot help but be awestruck by my seemingly vexed perceptions of the world around me. Contrary to the school taught norm that not only is the world fair, but that the country you live in is an innocent and wholehearted player in the global, "honest", arena, things tend to operate on a much simpler and less rosy level. Students of evolution need no convincing that greed is something which has brought about the success of many lifeforms, and within our own form of life, greed has brought about success and failure in a long dramatic history of few individuals exercising various forms of power over many. In first world nations, this greed is what drives the never ending demand for new and improved products, however frivolous. I'm still smoking that finely cut cigarette to which I am so thoroughly addicted. The only difference between this "chemical" addiction and an addiction to products is that I'm actually inserting a substance into the system that is "me", with the less physical addiction of purchasing things, which essentially amounts to greed or gluttony, the chemicals are already preexistent in the brain. This personal drive on the individual level forces people to manage themselves in their own interests when presented with any adversity toward the fulfillment of their desires. On the micro-level, this means that some people will work underpaying jobs and endure whatever they must to get the things that they want, and that said perhaps they will enjoy it all the more for having worked hard for it. On the macro-level this behavior quickly changes to an "any means necessary" approach where if a "rule" can be broken for profit, there is often more incentive to break the rule than there is to not break it. Groups of greedy people come together to form organizations with the sole intent of maximum success. We've heard of the "serial killer" personality type which has been attributed to the methods and habits of some sorts of organizations/corporations, is that what happens when already greedy people come together, differ their sense of responsibility onto one another, and put a "trigger happy" leader in charge?
Very vague yes, but when you apply the sort of thinking that acting in ones own interest regardless of the interests of others leads to success in terms of just about any business organized interest, cheating, lies, theft and manipulation become some of the most powerful tools in any arsenal. Facilitated through groups of individuals vying their own internal interests, pragmatically and instinctively, there are several arenas which have allowed different markets and methods to evolve. Mass advertising through various media forms designed to sell products, people and policies is something which has undergone extensive rebirth, change and refinement. Beginning with a bare statement of prices and facts, we now are inflicted with colors and whistles designed to grab our attention and simply deliver their image in order to make you familiar with it. Political presentations are now at best, 1 or more people trying to save face and keep their jobs and followers, or are attempting to get a job and win followers. It's as simple as lying when it comes to some things, but just like any situation where there is room for gain through some sort of deceit, theft or manipulation, using the most powerful tools you have is the best way to lead to success.
Resource collection based companies like loggers, miners, oil drillers, for example can fund politicians in exchange for special permissions and lenience when it comes to specific regulations that may interfere with the companies interests. Payment can range from funding the advertising campaign to outright bribery right? Elected officials can share information which may affect the stock market for their own gain. They could institute certain policies which may just happen to give a contract to one specific company, which is owned in part by them. They could even attempt to initiate military action in pursuit of this sort of gain if the actual gain was great enough, could they not?
Industrial centers are guilty of using these "not in our best interest" tools as well. Factory waste in both the first and third world presents a problem. Unfair working conditions in outsourced factory's which can in effect destroy local competition through access to this cheaper labor, meanwhile getting more business, selling more products, (for the same price as before eventually), and paying less for it overall can make it impossible for a local economy to thrive. Essentially, money is absorbed into this one specific entity, which once large enough, will continue to grow at a pace no individual can match.
Leading back to the consumer based economy, it is our greedy nature that drives our dependence on them for our products and professions. Paycheck to paycheck amounts to nothing at the end of a lifetime but a really thoroughly worked for and hopefully filled set of desires. In the grander scheme of things all the work and effort that was put into first buying the car, then the house, then the television, then the furniture, etc, can in time amount to millions. Knowledge of how to apply effort is one thing, but a basic understanding of what money is and how it works can mean the difference between constant debt and a rising savings fund. But alas investments are only for those who are in the know. Knowledge is certainly powerful in a world where everyone and everything seems to be hardwired to craft against you. And when it takes a lot of effort to gain the knowledge required to make informed decisions like "what profession do I choose or not choose", "what should I invest in?", "who should I vote for?", and don't forget "How can I take action against those things done by political parties and other organizations which were not in my best interest?", few people seem to find the spare energy to take care of every vulnerability.
In appraising my own society I find amusement in taking a quick sample of the key points of my culture. My education system is laughable, evidenced by the fact that I use words like "laughable". The products which graciously trickle out of the ass crack of the elite corporations have become absurdly excessive and excessively absurd. We buy things, we are legion. The political realm, which should be one of the most intellectual arenas of them all is actually the worst in that it is nothing but a bunch of stand-in mouth pieces which serve the sole function of pacifying the semi conscious population at large who for a time shift their paths of least resistance for a petite foray into the wonderful world of drama which begs such satire that I have not the heart or balls to attempt it or do it justice. Put simply, nobody remembers campaign promises, and it seems like whatever everyone see's on T.V goes.
tl;dr: Where is this all going?
The world is a corrupt emotionless place, where you are liable to be deceived in all manners of interaction with others and especially groups of others if you are not vigilant. Governments can very easily be corrupt, aka, driven by a macrocosm of individual greed, addiction and ignorance.
Your government might be corrupt... Find out?