A Post from Facebook 29/01/12

British Culture has become increasingly informed by greed and impatience. Selfishness and fear stalk the streets. Some would make the argument that this stems from the mind set that produced chants like “what do we want? More pay! When do we want it? Now!” But those chants were used by strikers who had finally realised that they had been exploited to the highest degree for many years. Theirs was a chant of frustration with a long existing situation.

It seems to me that the current problems in British culture are rooted mainly in 2 places. Firstly the Thatcherite belief that “there’s no such thing as society”, which can be unpacked to mean “you are on your own with no connection to, or responsibility for, anyone else”. This is a fearful place. We need other people, we need to be able to rely on other people.

The second root of the problem is the media. The constant bombardment of images, the focus on visual (surface) presentation, the soundbite format of information, all leads to a feeling of fragmentation and alienation. Seeing that others have so much when you (and I) are struggling to survive feeds envy and selfishness.
 How often is there an exploration of the sacrifices that have had to be made to gain material possessions? AND, more importantly, how often is there a discussion of the “real” worth of such things to both the individual and wider society?

We need to slow down, to give ourselves time to think. We need to think wider and deeper – consequences for ourselves in the short term and the long term, as well as what are the wider ramifications. Thinking is our greatest friend. We are all connected on a global scale whether we like it or not (personally I like it). We are all human beings. Time to take time to think globally and act locally (as the Green Party used to say). Time also to take responsibility for our own actions and our own lives.


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