Fwd: tim hardy's blog - good to spread around!!!

Mark Barrett marknbarrett at googlemail.com
Mon May 23 11:46:45 BST 2011

One repeated and misguided criticism of the extraordinary Spanish Democracia Real Ya protests that have continued all week and of the solidarity demonstrations that are taking place in cities around the world is that they are not political. What this accusation boils down to is the fact that the demonstrations are not party political – but that is precisely the point.

Of course, our frivolous corporate media, more interested in the sexual antics of athletes than in analysis or in investigative journalism, is only too happy to relegate the story to a semi-racist footnote about exuberant young Latins. The good-natured, festive spirit of the demonstrators is used as further proof that their demands are not really serious. This fits into a narrative that is beloved of politicians, one in which they are the hard-headed realists and everyone else a starry-eyed idealist who needs to grow up.

A practical scheme, says Oscar Wilde, is either one already in existence, or a scheme that could be carried out under the existing conditions; but it is exactly the existing conditions that one objects to, and any scheme that could accept these conditions is wrong and foolish.

Emma Goldman, Anarchism: What it Really Stands For

We must be practical, we are told. We must be reasonable. Ideology disguises itself as common sense. This is capitalist realism: the limits that are placed upon the ways of living we might imagine.

But is this world we are forced to live in reasonable?

Is it reasonable that the UK’s young were seduced into voting for a party that promised to abolish tuition fees who then turned around and tripled them? Is it reasonable that our government is giving away billions of pounds in corporation tax cuts while pretending there is no money for education, for the disabled, for healthcare or pensions? Is it reasonable that rather than help the millions locked out of the housing market, the government refuses to increase protection for private tenants, is trying to raise the cost of social housing for tenants to meet market rates and is aiming to “level the playing field between investors and owner-occupiers” making it easier for parasitic speculators to drive up the price of housing now that ordinary people cannot continue to inflate the value of asset bubbles that might once have been considered homes?

Forget being reasonable. Reasonable isn’t getting us anywhere.

The demonstrators have had enough of a political system that fails to represent them, one that restricts their power to expressing a preference every few years for one identikit professional politician or another. This is a far more radical politics. This is a crisis of confidence in democracy under capitalism when the failure of the free-markets is being used as an excuse to extend their poisonous reach.


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