Category Archives: Revolution

What Would This World Look Like? #Trump #BoJo

Here’s a very short post, for a change. It may be nice to pause, amidst the political goings on of the moment, simply to ponder the following. In a world where it is possible, although not altogether plausible or desirable, for Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump and Boris Johnson @BorisJohnson to become head of state, respectively, what would such a world look like?

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Would it look like this? Might The Donald reach across the Atlantic and smack a big wet one on BoJo’s fleshy lips? Worse things could happen, don’t you think?

#VoteWhatever (it probably doesn’t matter anyway) #PoliticsIsDead

(ooh… Soul II Soul)


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It does make you wonder what was the inspiration behind the temporary art project, Dismaland…

It’s kind of hard to think…

Oh, yeah…


“…it’s always easier to get forgiveness than permission.”

…it’s always easier to get forgiveness than permission.

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In Banksy’s letter to the children of Bridge Farm Primary School, Bristol, the above words appear as a sentiment that expresses the need to sometimes just do things rather than wait around forever for permission before doing so. Now, obviously, there are limits that all decent people would expect to impose upon themselves before doing things that might just harm others, but looking past this to the kind of mentality that seeks its own liberation from restrictive practices seems to speak of the possibilities that are now opening up as a direct result of technological advances.

 

A recent example of this kind of thinking, witnessed only y/day, is that of design-led technology company Red Ninja Studios (@RedNinjaStudios), based in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. Red Ninja held a hackathon with a non-profit organisation whose business is concerned with the care of older people in the community. The optimism shared by all at the event that technology could indeed improve the lives of many older people was boosted by the attitudes of those involved with Red Ninja Studios, where the company ethos appears to be, pretty much: “Make Things Happen.”

 

An anecdote shared y/day w/r/t “making things happen” in the NHS involved new pieces of technology that take so long to be approved for use that by the time they are, they are less relevant and potentially even obsolete. Similar anecdotes exist w/r/t other huge organisations. Perhaps a bit more Banksy/Red Ninja philosophy is required?

 


Intersectionality: #brockturner and the Pity Project of a White, Privileged, Male Rapist, and Why the Law, and educational institutions such as Stanford University, are on His Side (even though they wouldn’t say that to your face)

Should you blame Stanford University’s rape culture for Brock Turner, the rapist? Should you blame Brock Turner’s father, Dan, who appears to regard his son’s rape “antics” as an inconvenience, w/r/t his son’s career? Should you blame Brock Turner, the rapist, himself? The answer would (almost) appear to be no to all of the above. Why? Because after raping an unconscious 18 year old behind a dumpster, and in the process unleashing a lifetime of change upon the 18 year old that only she will fully understand, but that the whole world will have a view on, Brock Turner may have to serve 3 months of a 6 months’ sentence for a crime that could have earned him 14 years behind bars.

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Brock Turner’s case makes clear that the Law, which dispenses the most lenient sentence for a most despicable crime, and Stanford University, which treats such occurrences as a minor irritation, in the way that its administrators barely even acknowledges them [the rapes and sexual assaults], do not work to end the practices of rape culture if you, as perpetrator of such crimes as listed above, are a white, educated, and reasonably well-off male (meaning you can stump up money for a sizeable bail without breaking a sweat).

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The 7,000-word letter detailing events from the unconscious 18 year old’s point of view just made Dan Turner angry. And so he responded in kind. The conclusion to be made here is that women are viewed as worthless by some men, and by some women for that matter. They are also viewed as worthless by the Law and by educational institutions such as Stanford University. If the outrage over this particular case of rape blows over and is forgotten (but never by the 18 year old), then the wider society must also be said to be complicit in this respect. So, will it blow over? Do we just move on? Perhaps consider Leah Francis and the #standwithleah campaign, which, according to a quick Internet search, shows that we stopped standing with Leah at some point in 2014. If we fail to remain standing for the time it takes to end rape culture behavior it will not end, and we can expect many more Brock Turner’s to behave in similarly despicable ways.


Philosophical Enquiry 1.0 #MoneyForAll

Late Stage Capitalism, for all its faults, and there are many, is still the dominant political force in the world. What’s perplexing is that with so much disaffection aimed at the present world structure, dominated as it is by Late Stage Capitalist thought, there exists little in the way of alternative thinking that might lead to a better way of managing progress in the world.

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Such disaffection can be seen in many Western capitalist societies. Examples of this, and this is not an exhaustive list by any means, are: the coming farce of the 2016 U.S. elections, which will evidently be so judging by the proposed presidential nominees, where neither candidate appears to be winning over the masses, despite the hype saying that they are; the EU referendum in the U.K., where so many untruths appear to cloud the issue entirely and where voter apathy could lead to a very low turnout; the battle in France between its workers and their protests against a socialist government that aims to strip away worker rights; the brain drain happening in other E.U. countries who cannot retain talent due to economies stagnating; and the list goes on ad infinitum.

Couple this disaffection with some inventive “economics” designed to maintain the status quo: negative interest rates; 40 year mortgages; prime/sub-prime mortgage repackaging; and what we end up with, at some point in the future, is a system [capitalism] that has to keep reinventing itself in order to hang on, by its finger tips, to the power it so craves. An alternative to such crazy thinking might be to replace it with another kind of crazy thinking. Unlike factional and fictional depictions of anti-capitalist sentiment – Puritanism (English Civil War period) and The Sparrows (Game of Thrones) – where the alternative to excess is rather pious and boring, there is a very simple way to counter a capitalist model that seems only ever to benefit the few, and not the many.

The answer is to pay every citizen a fixed annual salary. In return, each citizen will do a job (probably the one they’re already doing or are already qualified to do). Citizens continue to spend. Businesses thrive. The rich can stay richer than the rest of the population. But, the poverty and hardship suffered by many is obliterated overnight. Money is not real in the sense that it is an abstract concept that is made to feel real because of the mechanics of capitalism, where if you don’t have enough money you’re life can be made to feel pretty crumby. It doesn’t have to be that way. There just needs to be more discussion around the issue, because if we can’t conceive of something it is unlikely to happen. #MoneyForAll

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Politics: Unworkable in Its Current Form

Just two examples relating to the current political landscape are enough to highlight the fact that politics is unworkable in its current form. David Cameron’s tax avoidance is most depressing and marks, in a way, if you think about it, the shift to a terminal phase for “Late Stage Capitalism,” although that probably requires a further post in order to make that point clear (watch this space).

The equally depressing state of U.S. politics is the other such example, where it appears that U.S. voters will end up with a Republican nominee who is to face, amongst other things, charges that his “Trump University” scheme was fraudulent, and a Democrat nominee who, it seems, is being hounded by the F.B.I. with respect to the “email server” scandal.

When you trace back through history to see the efforts of people who wanted politics to be about effecting change for the good of the many, and there were a good number, it is obvious that today’s political climate is not worthy of the name “Politics.” As such, citizens across the globe need to think about solutions to this current problem.


Shielded: @david_cameron

A brief search of the internet (well, Google) with the search term “petition over cameron tax avoidance” seems to falter around the middle of April 2016, where it appears that all interest in the Prime Minister’s financial affairs falls off a cliff. Either this shows a massive shift from anger to apathy from the British public, and if that is the case then I suppose we all get what we deserve with respect to a figurehead who publicly condemns others for tax avoidance activity whilst employing similar tactics with respect to his own financial affairs, or there is something else at work.

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Interestingly, the headline below is dated Friday 8th April 2016 but when you search the internet using the above term the first few pages bring back results dated no later than 13th April, a mere five days after the scandal hit the tabloids.

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In what universe does such a huge news story suddenly stop being big news? In our universe, apparently. Anyway, in an attempt at working towards a kind of politics that ceases to be about the exploitation of the masses for the benefit of the few, here’s a link to a 38 Degrees petition (click this underliney bit) calling for the PM to resign for deception and conflict of interest, which sounds fair enough. Politics in its current form is unworkable and needs a radical overhaul. A Prime Minister who lies to the public is not a Prime Minister, unless the apathy of the public allows it to be so.


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