Skip to main content

Plan 30 years Ahead, Start Today

Many experience politics as an external force, ruled from above. Politicians that understand this and realize we have been duped, and who want to create a relevant government, are viewed with cynicism and suspicion. It's as though graduation into adulthood means you understand this and any conversation about how to improve our collective lot will be met with derision. 
"Extrinsic values such as power, fame and status" writes Monbiot, make love and peace redundant.  
Monbiot offers  examples of how we might begin to rebuild our shared future: Community shops, development trusts, food assemblies (fresh food directly from local producers), community choirs, free universities where people exchange knowledge and skills in social spaces, time banking where neighbours give their time to give practical help, transition towns, potluck lunch clubs, Men's Sheds where older men swap skills, temporary playgrounds on streets, fun palaces and technology hubs. 
Apparently these are called "thick networks". They proliferate further ventures and potentially a dense participatory culture that attracts others who have not found the skills to become socially active before.

Think of a service or skill we expect our government and big business to provide and then work to build it in the community among volunteers.

It took 30 years to get from the complex democratic politics of Western societies to this proto-fascism.  We might look 30 years ahead in our conversations about how to reclaim a desirable future.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

About Humanity

"A chosen people is the opposite of a master race, first, because it is not a race but a covenant; second because it exists to serve God, not to master others. A master race worships itself, a chosen people worships something beyond itself. A master race believes it has rights; a chosen people knows only that it has responsibilities." Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Not in God's Name, Schocken, New York. 2015.

As someone who does not identify as a chosen people or part of a master race, I ruminate about how to respond to the world, particularly that part of the world I cannot endorse. So I am comforted by the people who have taken on ministry and who feel responsible enough to care for community.

How do I act on a feeling of responsibility without assuming that I know what other people should do, or what we should do? It's very easy to slip into a political preaching that suggests I know, or that my being a good example means that others should follow it. Or worse yet, create…

Creating Chaos

A very important article in The Guardian analyses the rise of hyper-masculinity and the phenomenon of Angry White Men.  "Sociologist Michael Kimmel is one of the world’s foremost experts on the phenomenon. - His recent research has looked at topics including spree killers (who are overwhelmingly male and white), as well as the relationship between masculinity and political extremism."

In the article there is a report on a study on testosterone where 5 monkeys are observed. The one who rises to the top beats up number 2 and number 2 beats up number 3 - and so it goes down to number 5. 

"So the experiment is: he takes monkey three out of the cage and he shoots him up with testosterone, off the scale, and puts him back in. What do you think happens? When I tell this story my students always guess that he immediately becomes number-one monkey. But that’s not true. What happens is that when he goes back in the cage he still avoids monkeys number one and two – but he beats the …

Albert Camus: Our task