• Against cuts but for what?

    This was in response to Chris challenging me about my slight involvement in Cornwall Against the Cuts Alliance (CACA). Worth starting with Chris's original in full as he makes some good points:

    Hi Roger,
    This is an oxymoronic missive but bear with me.  I see that you are involved a little with the ant-cuts campaign. It is utterly none of my business, BUT, is energy expended on cuts not better spent on building resilience?


  • Anti-Cuts - part of the problem

    Whilst I see Howard's point [in an email urging people to go to a CACA march rather than a previously arranged Green meet at the same time], I personally am pretty dubious about the point of "anti-cuts" campaigning. The basic thrust of the campaign is to try and preserve something that is frankly part of the problem and not part of the solution - by which I mean that the problem is late capitalist industrial civilisation and spending time arguing about tinkering with the balance between different parts of it is rather like discussing which tree to chop down for firewood when a hurricane is heading your way and will flatten the forest anyway.

  • On Protests

    Last month hundreds or thousands or a million people "marched" against climate change. I'm sure climate change is quaking in its boots and will stop changing the climate forthwith. To be fairer they marched for their "leaders" to take "effective" action to stop climate change. I'm sure the leaders were duly impressed and have taken note.

    I attended this "march" in Bristol, which I think was pretty typically of all the other more or less simultaneous marches around the world. 350, Avaaz, 38degrees, and all the other inside-the machine "environmental" organisations hailed it as the "biggest climate march ever" which "made history".

  • The future is here now

    In 1969 Theodore Roszak, considering the emerging youth counter culture which flared briefly and threatened the status quo, wrote. "If the resistance of the counter culture fails, I think there will be nothing in store for us but what anti-utopians like Huxley and Orwell have forecast - though I have no doubt that these dismal despotisms will be far more stable and effective than their prophets have foreseen. For they will be equipped with techniques of inner manipulation as unobtrusively fine as gossamer. Above all, the capacity of our emerging technocratic paradise to denature the imagination by appropriating to itself the whole meaning of Reason, Reality, Progress and Knowledge will render it impossible for men to give any name to their bothersomely unfulfilled potentialities but that of madness."

    In the event of course the counter-culture turned out to be a flash in the pan quickly treated with the tools of disconnection - fragmentation, marketisation, isolation of the core, and assimilation of the mass. You can't rely on the young to stay the hard course of revolutionary change - they are too easily distracted.

  • Trumpt Protest Yawn

    Can anyone point me at an anti-Trump protest or group in the UK that has had any achievable purpose other than blowing off and whingeing?
    Trump is president of the US and that is their problem (or not problem). Where it affects us in the UK is only in the relationship between the two countries.
    Is anyone actually calling for a withdrawal from the "special relationship" (ie the UK govt as the USA's poodle or gimp), or a boycott on US goods and services? That could be smart (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) even if difficult. The simple mutual hand-wringing about how terrible it all is serves no purpose and when you delve deeper is often simply disguised class bigotry.