The need for Active Community


We are told that the poor are grateful for charity. Some of them are, no doubt, but the best among the poor are never grateful, they are ungrateful, disobedient and rebellious. They are quite right to be so. Disobedience in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. Oscar Wylde


Wait for things to be done?

In our communities we can be quiet and wait for things to be done, other people to act and government agents to get-round-to-it. Or ask yourself the question. When has this ever worked? The answer is never. All we have to look forward to in none action is the excuses and reasons of someone else who will be happy with your apathy. Apathy breads denial and a reliance in the explanations and ideologies of others. For-

When we believe in the out dated Malthusian explanation of the slums (the law of population growth makes them inevitable), slums cease to trouble us.
When we believe the biggest good is a balanced budget the misery of those cut from relief rolls is a secondary mater.
When we are convinced that any worthy man can get a job, unemployment can be disregarded, and measures to alleviate it can be opposed.
When we believe bombs dropped on peoples of other countries, by permanent armies, on enormous budgets, and power given to them by modern centralization, is for the peoples of those countries own good, we can believe in our countries idea of democracy.”

This statements was written by Stewart chase in 1937 in a book called the Tyranny of Words The last paragraph in the light of recent events rings with a certain poignancy of how little has changed in the ideas of those who corrupt, lie and kill in the name of democracy. How does this connect with communities? If we add the next paragraph to the equation.
When, (in the same country the bombs here sent from) we can slash spending in the public sector to facilitate a pan European monetary union, then we can accept the closure of hospitals, nurseries, community facilities and schools to subsidize it.

Think about it. The buck ends in communities.It is communities who sponsor war suffer the financial burden, human cost and social effects of it and have no say in when and where it will be perpetrated. We are always told that there is no money when it comes to public facilities in the health, education, and community sector. Governments do not respect these services as achieved and owned by the taxpayer and in trust of government. But rather as expenses, overheads and a burden on state capital; profits, shares, and war funding – which is also sponsored by the public purse.

Direct action?

So given these circumstances which must be apparent to any but the stupid if they have been listening to, even casually, political debate over the last six months. How do you get anything needed, done, or improved in your community when you are dealing with an administration whose only concern is with bigger things? You can do two things. You can make paper demands. (Write to the council, apply for grants, which could be fruitful if you have the stamina for the bureaucratic labyrinth – or the process of you or your groups ideas and suggestions being watered down to suit which ever agents criterion judges them. Or, you can take direct action.
If you need a bus shelter build one (out of anything). If you need a safe space for your kids to play, find a bit of space fence it Sign-post it well and use it. Ok you may or may not win your demand but at least people will know about them and have the opportunity of joining you. At least you will expose the oppression of those who control your environment. And at the very least you didn’t waste your time in a ritual of participation you can’t control, with a body of people who say that they have your interests in mind but haven’t. Lets face it. If they did you probably wouldn’t have the problem in the first place.




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