Appalled by the polls (UK election on May 7th, that is now looming)
Great article sent by Avaaz on the quite dreadful press
coverage damage mis information machine.
From it went to another called Learning from Scotland. Wonderful phrases like “But in the course of the summer of 2014 it become clear that, in addition to Greece and Spain, another country was giving birth to a popular politics of opposition to neoliberalism.”
Still trying to understand economic need for reform.
Watched this feature documentary The Four Horsemen, and found it scary – because it is simplistic. There is ‘bad capitalism’ as neo-classical economics would have it, and ‘good capitalism’ return to Adam Smith and the gold standard and all will become well. Sorry, does not convince me. It had come from Positive Money, a group I am learning from – but – but – I am a slow learner and a critical one.
This feature documentary, that has big hitters like Noam Chomsky in it, seemed to offer a great deal to begin with, especially how it showed the desperate need for money reform of some kind. It began with a great comment “the way they stay in power is not by controlling the means of production… but by controlling the cognitive map, the way we think…”
But it ended up a big disappointment. I felt the push to what it called classical economics, but seemed really a return to a more guilt free capitalism than that operating in the present. I felt it ignored the kinds of valuing that any money system needs to take on board. There were more than traces of a familiar right wing rhetoric of ‘need little government, local community works’ – without any distinction being made between when a local community became tribalistic and when it became co-operative. I wanted to scream: try a local community in the deep south of USA – or I am sure you can find one closer to home that is not very nice. I heard things I believe were plain wrong – such that in a previous century under classical economy workers had a co-operative ‘ownership’ of some kind in their factories. [don’t remember the exact phrasing here] But really? Are you kidding? Where do songs like the ‘company store’ come from in that fantasy? Has Downton Abbey and Poldark got it all wrong? All those lower classes and miners were really committed freely to those places wherein they worked?
What is missing? Enough.
This was when I found the article “Learning from Scotland”and it also says
“We should define our politics around the central concept of livelihood. As Raymond Williams argued, this unites production and consumption, family and work, generations and environment. For all to enjoy the livelihood that fulfills our potential we need a cluster of networks, some of which will be local communities, some employment-based, some educational and others governmental: local, national and international. ”
YES YES YES
The Four Horsemen, for all its good qualities, did NOT understand the systemic concept of a ‘cluster of networks’. Sometimes I doubt that Positive Money supporters understand it either. Understanding systems, their ecology, their non-linear unfolding and impact, is the nearest we have to getting a grip on the reality of disparate lives.
We all do desperately need money reform. Let it be consistent with reform of a foundational level of understanding of how lives are indeed lived.
Is this what I would like to contribute to somehow: Make a more VALID COGNITIVE MAP where money reform is one part of a cluster of reforms we also sorely need.
Getting there. I am always very hopeful.
At what other time in the history of the world could so much be available? To someone ordinary like me? May it become available to all us ordinary people.