I am ashamed to be complicit in this

April 8, 2009


When I was in secondary school and then again at University – I made certain conclusions about life, democracy and social consciousness. I decided that democratic capitalism was hardly the ideal way for society to function, but that given all the alternatives it was probably all for the best. If it was practiced in a calm and secure manner the single redeeming feature was that it allowed for the expression, meditation on and inclusion of alternatives. Dissent. 

 As much as I love the political philosophies of anarchism and socialism  I bet you can’t point out a society that carried out these ideas de facto without a fuck load of oppression and decided reliance on  the mechanisations of oppression. ( I think we’ll have to wait and see when it comes to the new model of South- American socialism and then again community living and squats do tend to work…but anyway…).

As nice as it is to have high faluting thoughts about the demos and the proletariat and all that jazz,  ultimately it comes down to being able to eat your tea in peace at night. Without the bloody secret police busting  in and sending your shepards pie  (oh shepards pie how i miss thee) sailing 3 feet into the air.

Anyway, pie related diversions done with, ultimately modern democracy, it ain’t perfect but the emphasis it places on human rights is laudable, important and a joy (at times) to live in.

However, if socialist theory is right, the positives I’ve just spoken about as well as other factors easily read as inherently condraditory and ultimately implosive.  I remember sitting with my history teacher in upper sixth and we were reading the communist manifesto together over a cup of tea and a plate of bourbons and I couldn’t stop spluttering – ‘But…he’s right…it’s all going to come tumbling down of it’s own accord…’ (My history teacher was a bit mental – she was finishing her phd as she was teaching us and when I was twelve she made me stand as the socialist candidate in our Conservative, Catholic school’s mock election…everyone else was 17 dammit).

To be honest, eventually I just couldn’t see socialism being applied to society and functioning. Infinately more preferable was the way I was currently living – able to go about my daily business in peace. 

Last week, however, homes were raided and anti-capitalist materials removed. Senior government officials are not being taken to court about there collusion in the torture and false imprisonment of British citizens. Cabinet members are being exposed as charging their lavish properties (and spousal pornography…haha) to parliamentary expenses, Bankers who have gambled with lives are being allowed to wave £50 notes at outside protesters. The protests at G20 have been criticised for their lack of a single, unifying platform. And what is implicit that the general sense of unease they expressed was just ignorance and boredom – I don’t think that this is wholly fair. Many tangible things are wrong with our society and typically they are caused by the logic and philosophy at the very core our systems of governance. It doesn’t really matter which personality or celebrity is in power. It runs deeper than that and that’s a difficult thing to fit onto a placard my friends, let alone a solitary sentence on a blog.

 This should be where the single redeaming feature of this system kicks in – the vocalisation of dissent. 

However, the chap in this video wasn’t even protesting – he was allegedly walking home and got penned in by police cordons. He is slammed to the ground by officers and later collapsed and died. If you choose to exercise your right to protest, today, in modern Britain you have to accept that you might not come home and that. That, to me – is terrifying.  I know this assesment doesn’t fully map and explore every facet of this situation but holy frack. It’s bloody scary)

The single positive in a sea of negatives appears to be dying in the death throws of capitalism. The right to a private life and a private death are evaporating in the shadows of the Bank of England and nothing could be more poetic or more apt.

And whats more – I’m ashamed to be complicit in this.


One comment

  1. Too bloody right its scary love. Have you read pedagogy of the oppressed? I think you may find it interesting if you havent already done so.

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