What Is There That Can Be Done?
Life is good. Life expectancy is approaching 100 years, technological marvels allow us to communicate with
people on the other side of the planet and it takes half a days travel should we wish to visit a friend on the other side of the world. Medical science can cure diseases and maladies that thirty or forty years ago would have been fatal, we can build telescopes so powerful they allow us to see the very edges of the universe. We can tweak the very essence of life and make crops that are resistant to pests and frost, indeed we can even go beyond this and harness the energies of creation itself by taming the atom and generating energy from the elements themselves.
We would appear as gods to our forebears of only a few generations past.
All of these marvelous achievements made by the human race yet still a child dies every couple of seconds due to poor water or through being malnourished. Still a third of children in this country live in relative poverty when compared to the lives of the affluent. Still we spend a full half of our waking hours working, selling ourselves to the highest bidder. We must do this of course for we have to think about the rent or mortgage, we have bills to pay and children to support. We honestly have enough on our plates without considering how others are faring, or to consider that life does not have to be like this.
We see the afore mentioned wonders and of course we are glad, and often times amazed at ourselves and our creation. We do not however benefit from these wonders despite the fact that they are paraded in front of us, a carrot to the stick of unemployment perhaps? We do of course share to some small extent in this progress, mobile phones, computers and cheap holidays in the sun have become the norm now rather than the preserve of the wealthy.
Proof that the system works? Well yes the system does work but the question is for whom? Whilst we may have a better standard of living than our great grand parents and have access to some of the wonders of technology we still work as long and have as little time as they did to enjoy our lives. Is it any wonder we at times go out and get raucously drunk or take drugs and dance like wild things of a weekend? If this system did actually work for us then why would we be so stressed that we require a weekend of debauchery to unwind? But this system does work, just not for us.
The present system works in so far as it maintains the imbalance of wealth and power both in this country and abroad. Whilst we spend our days working in call centres, on production lines, serving coffee or whatever we do to earn a living the wealthy few who sit atop this society grow even more wealthy for far less work than we will ever know. To top it off we are told that we have to tighten our belts and make cuts in what little we do have to enjoy in order to stave off the effects of the coming ‘credit crunch’.
“We are all in this together” is the coming mantra of the newspapers and morning TV shows. Even the wealthy will feel the affects of the economic downturn we are told. It may in fact be true that the wealthy few will have to make adjustments to their lifestyles due to the world economy but they will not be affected in anything like the way we are. Fuel prices
are sky rocketing along with the price of food. The parasites at the top of society will never have to make the choice between warmth and food, a choice no human being should have to make in the twenty first century.
That anyone should have to make decisions like this is disgusting, equally as disgusting as the poverty that is rife around the globe. That may seem a little but disproportionate but when we consider the advances the human race has made over the last century and a half that either situation exists is intolerable.
There are various reasons why these situations exist. Liberal guilt-mongers would have us believe that it is our standard of life in western countries that leads to poverty in so
called third world countries. If we would just buy that £5 jar of fairtrade coffee instead of the half that price regular coffee then everything would be OK! Such utter rubbish only continues to feed this system of exploitation that keeps the poor poor whichever part of the word you live in. The fact of the matter is that there is plenty to go around so that not a single person on the planet has to go hungry or cold. In fact there is enough to go around that every person on the planet could have their own solidly built home complete with plasma TV, internet access with room for a hot tub. The only problem is all the resources of this world are owned and controlled by a fabulously wealthy parasitical minority.
So the question remains what is there that can be done? We are in an extremely low point in the social conflict that has dominated the history of the human race. This is going to change in the near future however as the full effects of the credit crunch are felt and as the state and business react to attempt to counter the downturn in profits. This low point though gives those of us who see the inequality within society a chance to build the organisations and networks that we are going to require in order to combat the sure to be coming attacks on our class and to spread revolutionary ideas and modes of organisation.
In order to increase our lot in life and the lot of our children and grand children we have first to build up our strength so as to best be able to resist the attacks of capital and to build that strength through our resistance and our victories.
How do we do this then? Well the first place of activity should be within our communities. By building strength where we live we will better be able to resist rent hikes by unscrupulous landlords and resist the insidious creep of groups like the BNP who would only make things worse by sowing the seeds of racism that will split and fracture our communities further. By claiming that we have more in common with rich folks who happen to have been born in the same country as us they would cloud our eyes to all that we have in common with our neighbours who may have come from afar.
How then do we go about building this strength then? The first obvious step is to form neighbourhood and residents/tenants associations. By building groups that encompass as much of the community as possible we can work together to take on landlords and the council when they threaten us and our neighbours with either eviction or by refusing to maintain the public spaces in our area like we pay them to.
These groups would however be extremely weak if they are isolated and only focus on the problems of their own community, Nimbyism makes us weak. By forming these groups we must encourage others to do so and then work together with one another. Not just on issues that concern all of us but on issues that may only concern one area or community.
If the residents of Possill struggle against the Glasgow Housing Association running their area into the ground and they win then they become stronger, if we all struggle with them and win then we become mighty and no force in Glasgow or beyond can stop us.
In order to prevent these groups being taken over by opportunist politicians or those with agendas that would divide us then we would have to be careful how to go about forming these groups and with how they work together. By restricting the power of elected officers within these groups to the point where they can merely carry out mandated instructions from the entire group then we reduce the risk of groups being steered by those with a political agenda that does not benefit us. By groups networking with one another in a federation and organising through meetings attended by delegates who again have to carry out a strict mandate then we reduce the risk of these same people derailing the actual work we have to do for their or their parties own ends.
The second place of struggle is obviously the workplace. In the UK we have seen a massive downturn in union membership with hardly any young people today belonging to a union. This is a terrible state of affairs seeing as how the union is traditionally the first place people encounter struggle within a workplace. As appalling as this is it is not at all surprising when we even take a perfunctory glance at the trade union movement as it is today. What then is thee that can be done?
All the answers to societies problems coming soon followed by a wee bit on why ‘radical’ greens would have us all living in caves and grooming one another for lice.