What is Chris Balding really trying to say in a nutshell?
June 17, 2012
The rich will always get richer – it’s not about good or bad genes, right or wrong living – that is just the way it is. As when you are rich, it is easy to hire the right people to hide your wealth. Go on try to follow that elusive paper trail – well you cannot. Not without running aground at least. As there are really so many dead ends and cul-de-sacs, that at some point – anyone stupid enough to ferret out that electronic trail will just reach the inexorable realization: this simply isn’t worth it.
As for the poor they are always screwed by the system. But since they have very little to start off with. Usually the system ignores them – as how much can you really get out from someone who has nothing? Besides the system isn’t dumb, they aren’t going to spend good money chasing after loose change.
But the group that really find itself taking up the ass all the time has to be the unassuming middle class. As since they aren’t so rich that they even feel the need to hide their wealth. They are really ambivalent when it comes to protecting their money and so they are really easy prey. The middle class are the perfect victims for the vampire state. You could even say without the systematic exploitation of this class materially – it is impossible for Singapore Inc to prosecute on its goals and to even exist.
I think when you read what Christopher Balding has to say, that is really the gist of it. In life, you really need to take something big and complex and reduce it all into something as compact as a pill – So if you happen to be middle class, it may be a good idea to get accustomed to the idea your way of life in Singapore will progressively come under stress.
Perhaps if you are middle class and living in Singapore, it may be a very good idea to see yourself as just a battery. That I feel sums it all perfectly.
“I have blogged for over 10 years. And the sum of what I have written really amounts to a great zero. I have to be brutally honest with myself and you as well, if this conversation is going to mean anything. The facts are crystal clear and undeniable. Zero is zero. Zero cannot be one, two or one hundred, it is zero, no matter how it is spliced. I am not saying blogging is an altogether useless activity, it definitely isn’t – as any acitivity that forces you to use the power of the written to convey thoughts is really something that is never a waste of time. However as I get older and become much more comfortable in running my own business. I am slowly beginning to understand the relationship between money, power and politics.
This a man does not usually notice in the first half of his working life – but in the second half. I think this is something that will gradually reveal itself when you cultivate more and more friends and begin to appreciate the power of networking.
Let me give you an example of what I mean by this trilogy of money, power and politics . Lets say that I control a few oil palm refineries stretching all the way from east to west of central Africa from Cameroon, right through to Angola to even perhaps the Eastern cost of Rwanda and Somalia. Now there are only a few roads and railway tracks that run Northwards, up to Chad. In the dry season when the Harmadan turns the roads ochre and the Zambilli runs dry, only the railways can really transport goods. Now lets say, I happen to know a few serious men who own these railways along this route. Together many things are suddenly possible. Do you now see the relationship between power, politics and money?
The same can be done for steel, rice, cement, corn or even corrugated zinc roofing. Control one aspect of this commodity and it is really not so different from how we are able to establish command and control over the entire universe by just monopolizing the trade on spice melange. Without this commodity, it is impossible to fold space. Without the ability to tranverse the infinity of space in a single bound. Whole communities will be marooned. They will not be able to trade – so do you now see how we have been able to consolidate our position as compradors to the four trading houses in the virtual for over 3,000 space years?
In the same way, when you have an owner of a oil palm refinery, a plantation owner and a maybe a man who owns a couple of ships sitting in the harbor of a trade route – these are just not a loose and random collection of people that you would usually find on a train platform - as when they are combined, they hold the possibility for great expectations, very much in the way when you combine perfectly benign items such a saltpeter, charcoal and sulphur – then at some point, these things are no longer just stuff that sit on some dusty shelve – they suddenly acquire a deadly purposefulness.
So do you now understand apprentice when you have a proprietor of an oil mill, a plantation owner and a chap who owns a couple of ships in the dock speaking to a government official in Nyapidaw or Nariobi, it is really not so different from putting a loaded revolver on the table – this in my experience is not such a bad thing – as ALL governments only really understand ONE language, the mathematics of necessity, it is pointless to try to speak to them in any other vocabulary or to even try to appeal to some higher calling like ethics or morality - that is really a waste of time that only guarantees platitudes and hollow words – the most reliable to have a productive dialogue with governments is to use the alphabet of plus and minus. You see apprentice, when you are in a position say to them, in next year 3,000 jobs in X or Y region MAY disappear or that you expect to see cooking oil going up by 50% next year – then you will suddenly start to find governments pricking up their ears; they are not so self confident any longer - and they will begin to listen to you like a child – there is not need to wave this revolver around like a bank robber – you do not even need to raise your voice or to slam any tables to be heard. All you have to do is tell them politely in a whispering rush what you want to see done and what MAY theoretically happen IF those things are not done.
I believe as a man begins to marinate himself more and more in the business world another dimension of reality will begin to unfold before him. That is the way I see us playing the game in maybe 3 to 4 years down the road. I think for me, it is really too late to play this game. You see. A serious man needs at least 10 to 20 years to accumulate the chips to play this game. I have regrettably started too late in life. But for the rest of you, it is still very early days. Let the games begin.”