nov 8 2016
Here we are. Thank you to everybody that came. As always, I am never sure how many people are coming, and this is something I hope to change as I continue to run these events this year. I am looking to make a strong community with a base of 30 or so dedicated members. Dedicated firstly to learning, practicing, and maintaining their English. But more than that I want to find people who are as excited as I am about learning together and from one another. This is not something I want to do alone. I don’t get inspiration to tackle difficult topics and questions all by myself with the intention of hosting people in my apartment a couple times a month to present these things to them. Instead I want to move from inspiration to action WITH other people. English Stuff shouldn’t just be about what I think, and what subjects im interested in. I want to find those things together, and so at every event we will have some time to think out loud about future activities, workshops, and discussions.
Now as for today, I am in fact going to start by presenting some of the ideas I’ve thought about and encountered through the course of my research for a True Political Education:
I believe that we live under a power structure which lies to us. A power structure which is constantly attempting to centralize and control more resources, and which continually distributes these resources to a shrinking elite class. In fact it would be more simple to say that human civilization is enslaved to an economic system which demands contant growth, production, and exploitation of resources. And we are in fact living the current result and momentum from centuries of this system and as a result we are all losing.
We I say we, i mean everyone, from all classes and backgrounds. The super rich billionaires and heads of trans national cooperations certainly control massive amount of resources which = political influence, but they are still losing. Wealth and power easily corrupts humans with an unstoppable desire for more. But the result of this insane increase inequality is harm to the foundations of society, individual happiness, and the planet.
Professors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, in there lecture titled Inequality: The enemy between us?
concludes that once nations are industrialized, more equal societies almost always do better in terms of health, well-being and social cohesion and that large income inequalities within societies destroys the social fabric and quality of life for everyone
Health is related to income differences within rich societies, not between them
Health and social problems are worse in more unequal countries
Health and social problems are not related to average income in rich countries
Child well-being is better in more equal rich countries
Child well-being is unrelated to average incomes in rich countries
Levels of trust are higher in more equal rich countries
The prevalence of mental illness is higher in more unequal rich countries
Drug use is more common in more unequal countries
Life expectancy is longer in more equal rich countries
Infant mortality rates are higher in more unequal countries
More adults are obese in more unequal rich countries
Educational scores are higher in more equal rich countries
Teenage birth rates are higher in more unequal rich countries
Homicide rates are higher in more unequal rich countries
Children experience more conflict in more unequal societies
Rates of imprisonment are higher in more unequal societies
Social mobility is higher in more equal rich countries
More equal societies are more innovative
More equal countries rank better on recycling
You see, everybody is getting fucked from this system. Because even if you have infinite money today, you must enjoy luxuries behind walls and gates, consuming endless junk manufactured out of the bones of a dying world. That has no really value when stacked up against the sense of connection and love humans feel when they are truly Together. And some people think that is something that you can only get from your family, but the measurement of the Nuclear family (man, wife, 2.5 kids, dog) has been invented for the convinces of competition under unequal circumstances. Being connected and support by an entire community, localized & autonomous blows that individualistic compartmentalized lifestyle right out of the water.
Trump is a perfect example of somebody who is ‘winning’ from the inheritance of tightly knit family wealth and power and he is crazy as fuck. Have you seen the way he relates to his own hands?
Ok next point,
I could endlessly critique things about modern culture and politics; from mass media propagandizing = which shoved a lid on the progressive movements constantly like with Bernie Sanders and in general creates a narrow box for conversations to take place in, OR the False forms of Democracy (Polyarchy is what they are called) where the participation of the masses is limited to voting among a few representatives of the elite class ,
In the words of a wise historian;
Change is never really evolutionary; It is really revolutionary.. Society is really changed by radical social movements, not primarily through electoral politics.. In fact many people believe that presidential electoral politics is all there is.”
But in fact I really don’t enjoy critiquing things. and I don’t think people really learn anything of value by dwelling in criticism, because it more often leads to anger, confusion, and helplessness, which is what I have felt many times over the course of the last couple years I have been heavily invested in these topics.
What i believe is worth focusing on is us. Questioning ourselves, what we believe, what we think, why we think that.
It can also be helpful to discuss, perhaps heatedly, questions like Can Democratic parties be reformed or radicalized, Why the Wars? (American Imperialism, French State of Emergency, Europe migrant crisis), Is Revolution necessary/ possible? (what does it look like, how does it feel, how does technology fit in and shape emerging possibilities?)
But tonight, looking past the web of invisible information sending results from a distance land where politics meets reality T.V, I want to look forward to our future, our children future, our cultures future, and ask the question
Do we really need Leadership?
If we really need leaders, that suggests that we are infants. That we are not capable of making mature and informed decision ourselves. that we shouldn’t think about any of these difficult subjects and instead shut the fuck up and do what we are told.
I feel the next step forward for human progress is the reduction of leadership. No more high profile campaigns and celebrity icons going around sucking up our attention and disempowering us. I drop the point that it is impossible for one flawed human being to make decisions on behalf of 300 million people, because we don’t actually NEED leaders, we can all be our own leaders, together.
To keep one hand gripping on our reality I concede that we need administrators, we need technocrats (which is an organization or structure where decision-makers are selected on the basis of technological knowledge, and can therefore do certain things for us) but they are working for US, we are not working for them or under them.
I’d like to now try something, a game, that I thought about last night while trying to fall asleep, that may demonstrate something, or not, lets see.
I ask that you take you decisions seriously, not because we are all about being super serious tonight, but because we have all lived unique and complex lives up until now, and it will be nice to see the results of our experience in the shape of values, beliefs, and decision. So take you decisions, and maybe even take example from Donald Trump… strange I know, but nobody is all bad and i will say for Trump that he says what he thinks without giving a fuck what other people will think. That can be valuable, if you also listen and are willing to rethink.
So, let play the Game;
direct / instant / democracy
You will be given a list of events, policies, ethical & moral positions, etc to vote on. I will give a little information about each vote before, including background and expected or real results, as unbiased as I can. Feel free to challenge my bias in the moments before each vote.
After wards, we will see what kind of world we have created through our decisions. Makes sense?