The right to participate/The need to participate
What stops participation in public life? Partly it could be, the neoliberal parasite that feeds on peoples fear of what it can do to them if they slip the leash of conformity. The conformity of conditioning, propaganda, rent, mortgage, debt, wage slavery, consumption, insecurity, insurance, privatisation, banks, junk economics and all of the other appendages that weigh down the spirit of ordinary working people, including the unemployed, the destitute and the homeless.
The need for participation and self determination are held down by the lead weights of life it would seem. But it's not really life is it? When did this drudgery for many folk become life? When did we learn to start despising the poor, the destitute, the innocent victims of oppression and violence?
The despair of thinking about these things can lead to activism, organising and working for change, but all to often the apathy of absolutism. By absolutism meaning, political agendas, environmental movement, feminist movement, anti war and that which balkanises the left.
“I happen to see as part of my daily activity a large proportion of what is written by social change seekers, at least in English. If I actually read it all, every day, I would wind up in an asylum or an early grave. Too much negativity to endure. Too little aspiration to bear. Too little agenda to adopt.” Michael Albert
Absolutism is solitary confinement of the imagination
While we have an absolutes to think about, we can avoid reality. We can all focus on absolutes for different reasons. We can think of where we are heading in the work we do. Or we can hide behind absolutism as a safety barrier or to avoid the reality of austerity, the failure of our political representatives and the lack of a broader all encompassing movement for change.
We need aspirations and innovations to bring bring to life the ideas as stepping stones towards finding solutions to that which we strive towards. If we strive towards anything. We don’t need to keep thinking the world is a terrible place, we know, we live in it. But to make it any different we need to concentrate on what is possible, what could happen what could change and finding a place in the broader picture in helping to change it. These are the pragmatic questions that need to be dealt with if we are serious about an alternative and what we want.
The Fundamental Human Needs of - Being - Having - Doing - Interacting. And what should inform and unite an alternative to capitalism.
Subsistence physical and mental health food, shelter work feed, clothe, rest, work living environment, social setting
Protection care, adaptability autonomy social security, health systems, work co-operate, plan, take care of, help social environment, dwelling
Affection respect, sense of humour, generosity, sensuality friendships, family, relationships with nature, share, take care of, make love, express emotions privacy, intimate spaces of togetherness,
Understanding critical capacity, curiosity, intuition literature, teachers, policies educational analyse, study,meditate investigate, schools, families universities, communities,
Participation receptiveness, dedication, sense of humour responsibilities, duties, work, rights cooperate, dissent, express opinions associations, parties, churches, neighbourhoods,
Leisure imagination,tranquility spontaneity games, parties, peace of mind day-dream, remember,relax, have fun landscapes, intimate spaces, places to be alone,
Creation imagination, boldness, inventiveness, curiosity abilities, skills, work,techniques invent, build, design, work, compose, interpret spaces for expression, workshops, audiences,
Identity sense of belonging, self- esteem, consistency language, religions, work, customs,values, norms get to know oneself, grow, commit oneself places one belongs to,
Freedom autonomy, passion, self-esteem,open-mindedness equal rights dissent, choose, run risks, develop awareness.