by Michael Faust

This is a short book about madness – the madness of the world. Every person, every city, every nation, every continent and the planet Earth itself is steadily going insane. What are the causes? Can anything be done? Can the process be arrested and even reversed?

This book concentrates on the United Kingdom as one of the most deranged countries in this Mad World, but a host of other nations would have served just as well.

The major causes of insanity are: 1) religion 2) nationalism 3) corporations 4) capitalism 5) the family.

It’s time to put the world on the psychiatrist’s couch and listen to its tale of fear, alienation, angst, inauthenticity, disenchantment, over-expectation, constant disappointment and thwarted dreams. Never has so much been promised to the ordinary man and woman and so little delivered.

The politics of the future is here. Meritocracy represents the end of the democratic hegemony. Join the Revolution.

The Meritocracy Party campaigns to replace democracy with meritocracy. Democracy has become the single biggest obstacle to the rise of the most meritorious. In the USA, no matter your talents, you cannot become President unless you have access to vast wealth to fund your campaign. In Great Britain, social mobility – the opportunity to improve your social standing – has gone into steep reverse. If you are born into a poor family you are statistically almost certain to remain poor, regardless of your merits. If your parents are rich, you can start looking forward to a prosperous future, again regardless of your merits.

The Meritocracy Party seeks to remove the link between parental wealth and children’s outcomes in life, and to eradicate nepotism and cronyism, the dual drivers of privilege. The Meritocracy Party is “viral”. You don’t need to join anything, seek anyone’s permission, go to any meetings or pay any money. If you’re broadly in tune with the meritocratic ethos, all you have to do is go out and spread the word. The world can be changed: conversation by conversation amongst intelligent people.

The human race is ill. One story above all reveals the sickness at the core of the human psyche... the tale of the Tree of Knowledge. What does it say about the human race that knowledge is associated with the loss of paradise, with the forbidden, with the defiance of the rightful authority (“God”), with alliance with the serpent (the Devil), and with the advent of suffering, sin, and death?! Why should we be surprised that Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism, described reason as “the Devil’s whore”? Why was Socrates put to death by Athenian democracy? Why has no genius ever been a king, prime minister or president? Why are intellectuals held in contempt? Knowledge and reason have always been viewed by the human race as distasteful, suspect, unnatural, and likely to lead to trouble.

Even more than an economic system, capitalism is a psychological instrument for manipulating and exploiting gullible, credulous, suggestible human beings. It’s about “pressing your buttons”, about working out what makes you tick in order to sell you more stuff. It’s about operant conditioning to control your behaviour. Where religion wants to control you by making you fear God, capitalism wants to control you by making you desire to be treated like a God... while you have the money to buy things.