Reawakening the intellectual life of the working classes

There are lots of people in the world with a whole variety of needs. Some are reasonable some are exotic some are crazy some are just stupid. How should anybody judge the opinions and actions of others? What causes people to do things that are abhorrent to others for the good of themselves? What is it some people need so badly that they will do almost anything to get it. These are the big mysteries that take up much, of many peoples time and lives. They ask. Why is the world so fucked-up for me when I haven’t done anything?

But are the mysteries, mysteries, or just ideologies. Are they learned ideas or just habits or are they brought about and controlled by some higher being? That is the option that the ruling elite who have accrued their billions on the backs of others would like us to believe. And unfortunately many do.

No one has ever been able to explain satisfactory why this should work. One person can own millions or billions of wealth, pick the currency, while practically living as neighbours with people starving to death. Most people thinking about this kind of situation usually find it difficult to get their head round it. Yet many of us inadvertently or otherwise, give it our blessing by the political and economic models and institutions we support and maintain. Remember they can only exist because we support them. The question is. Why do we?

What did we grow up with? When we were infants where we taught that the toys in the nursery were up for grabs to the child who could get in first and grab the most? Does the father of the family in times of shortage command all of the food in the household for himself because he is the strongest? When an old lady struggles in the street to keep from falling, when we see her struggling, do we turn and head in the opposite direction? Most of us would help. We have cohabited with each other over thousands of years as sociable animals. We live in cities above and below each other. We walk past each other in the street each day, work along side each other, share our dreams and passions with each other, socialise, share problems, co-habit, marry and basically get along with each other. These are the habits of intelligent people.

While mankind is capable of the most heinous crimes, people are also capable of the most wonderful acts of kindness. Given our ability to cohabit like no other species Surely our life should be about creating the circumstances for good things to happen and try to avoid the circumstances that allow bad things to happen. Is this not what we strive for? Is this not what we encourage in our children? Are we stupid to want to live like this? Are we wrong to encourage our kids to share and befriend each other and to try to help them to see and to do what is right? Of course not. But when do we give up these values most of us learned at out parents side. When are these values subverted by the state to serve a higher plain of justice, that in reality doesn’t even exist?

Intelligence is not generic to a class of people. Intelligence is widely spread among all people, no mater; colour, creed, woman, man rich or poor. A country, nation, or people, that does not recognise and use the full potential and intelligence of its people is doomed to fail in a multitude of ways. Just as soon as it steps outside of a situation that does not fit within the narrow parameters of its privilege and ideology. And as we are now witnessing, particularly if mother nature has anything to do with it.

Privilege on the other hand, unlike intelligence, is not randomly spread but developed. The maintenance of privilege by the privileged is about power over others, always has been and still is the cause of wars and the blight of nations and slaughter of peoples since society began. At this point it would be a waist of time going over the vagaries of the privileged as they are too many to know where to start, particularly at this stage in the time clock of the world as it nears the zero hour.

Each time we switch on a TV or open a newspaper we are confronted by the narrow views of millionaires telling us how we need to live in order to maintain their interests. We are also confronted with the legacy of our own interests of lack of interest. This in a country where many kids are either malnourished and even starving; where many have to survive on zero our contracts, where public assets and resources, including health services are being closed or privatised.

If we turn to the internet for an alternative, without caution, we will find ourselves dancing to an algorithm that will connect us to the elites rapacious appetite for the spread of bullshit. Such as a recent thread that paints “themselves” as victims. The tabloids have merged into a flow of unsubstantiated, heartless propaganda, radio internet shows, featuring a constant flow of moaning right wingers. What do they moan about? Left wingers and how everything is the lefts fault and nothing to do with them. Our freedom of speech is being curtailed and silenced they say. On these stations backed by newspaper moguls like Murdock, Lord Sugar et al, can drivel on about how people need to get back to work for their own good, (to maintain his rentier empire.) The left are destroying our heritage, (imperialism, slavery, colonialism?) Each contributor unchallenged by witless, apologists, show anchors posing as journalists. In the middle of a pandemic that is killing workers, exposed to the kind of worker-farms Sugar makes his millions on. And we could go on and on…

The degree of corruption is unfathomable. There is no need to mention or go on about it, there is so much that affect the lives of so many. The temptation is to go on a rant like Lord Sugar, of the many details, but it is a waste of time they are endless. And that is perhaps what the right expect of us, hope for us to do, to complain of the unfairness, because if that is all we do, we can do nothing else.

But that is them. What about us?

Think about it. What happens to the un-privileged intellect in our communities. Where are the movement intellectuals? Where are the working class agitators, the community firebrands, the McShane’s the MacLeans, the Mary Barbour’s and the miss Molly Browns. Where are the knickerbocker anarchist, the Guy Aldred’s who came because of the politics and activism of ordinary folk and to protect the innocent and objectors to the violence of war.

Why do so many of us spend so much of our time concerned with, listen to and analising the endless diatribe of the privileged when our communities are in such disarray. What do we have to learn listening to what we know as bullshit, when we have so much more to learn that is important in organising in communities. Is the pandemic teaching us nothing about the changing social dynamic. Are the bold young nurses, doctors, auxiliary and what we call essential workers not showing us back into the way of building community based organising and solidarity? The radical imagination is reawakening in the work place as the pandemic is exposing more and more of not only the foul practice of the corporations and the rentiers, but a reconfiguration of what it means for ordinary people to go out to work and how they are under valued by employers and in how they are starting to value themselves.

Things will never go back to normal. But why would we want them to? Our spare time if we had or have any during the pandemic shouldn’t be used to wonder what we will do with our time or which films to watch, but in how we can use the opportunity we have to counter the thought process of those who will use every opportunity they have to get back to normality and business as usual.

Q. What can we do. A. Stop acting normal.

The crises we are in has been normalised: 120,000 dead from austerity, 63,000 dead from corona virus. Windrush, Grenfeld, the hollowing out of the welfare state and replaced by the surveillance state. This is not normal. This is Trumps America. The need for an internationalism, an open mindedness between countries, people and ideas to deal collectively with international shared problems is being inculcated by the all consuming media directives from one place, the corporation of America. Our country is being sold as a business, while we sleep. The shop fittings are being shipped in and rearranged whilst we fumble on Facebook looking for answers, or come up with another new schemes that only blinker us from the inevitable. This also is a microcosm of what is happening in the communities of our cities in disjointed campaigns that have no overarching aims to building the kind of power needed to sustain them.

There can be no better burden of proof that we are in a serious sliding slope in relinquishing our agency than what is happening in a London court, where the laws of our land are being manipulated and directed by a foreign state to entrap a journalist who is not a British citizen and extradite him to a foreign country? Is there a more prescient issue at this moment in time than avoiding the further emboldening of the leader of a rogue state? What will it affect if the US succeeds in this dystopian show trial of Julian Assange. The question would need to be. What won’t it affect (negatively).

The attack on Julian Assange and Wikileaks is an attack on our sovereignty by the US administration and exposes UK legacy journalism by their lack of interest and for what they are, the stenographers of power. Part of the US governments effort to limit the publics access to inconvenient facts that affects us all, no matter where we live. The British government are rolling over to allow the extradition of Julian Assange to go ahead to facilitate, not the public good, or their rule of law that they should be representing, but for the benefit of the psychopaths in the Whitehouse as well as their own financial interests.

As Julian Assange says. “Every war is the product of lies”. That includes as well as the wars abroad the wars on our communities.
We are at a time of transition, where chaos, derision and alienation rules and is designed to obscures and disrupts the need for level headed thinking that can create unity. The opposite of alienation is solidarity. If people are left alienated all they have to rely on is the nearest point of corporate news propaganda. Things will not go back to normal. But if we spend less time protesting and preaching to the converted and more time organising, not in the middle of town but in the peripherals, the housing estates, where the people who are not being reached live. If we revive the websites, the publications, news sheets, broadcast, video, photography, use any medium available. to flood our communities with information. Replace Facebook and work from our own channels, it is the only thing worth relying on as has been proved many times before. We might just find the fresh faced movement intellectuals, the agitators and fire brands we will need, on the ground, in the communities, that can establish a; more inclusive, less transitory, sticky, ground-up grassroots movement towards lasting sustainable change and peace. If we don’t, we are…