Albert Einstein once said ‘The Definition of Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results.’ Sure it’s probably the most over used cliche of all time, but thats probably because its true.
Perhaps the definition of frustration is repeating the same cliche over and over and expecting people to ‘GET IT’. Or to change their behaviour. Because lets face it. We’re lazy. We’re spoilt. We’re shallow. And we don’t like discomfort. Even when we know we’re screwed we won’t pull back from the brink. Human beings, it would seem, would rather bring the planet to it’s catcylsmic demise than not use a plastic bag. Or walk when you can drive. Or have one car when you have seven. Or build a smaller house. Or only use sustainable ethically sourced botox. We’re narcissists. We want what we want and we don’t want anyone to tell us we can’t have it because we believe we signed up for this thing democratic capitalism calls ’choice’. The truth is there is no democracy. For the people by the people? No, its all clearly for the corporations. And there’s certainly no ‘choice’. Our choices are as manufactured and processed as our food. Probably more. At least some food is free range or organic. It’s finally time for revolution. I’m sorry. I know you’re sitting on the couch going, not now. Not me? I’m watching Master Chef. Can’t we have a revolution next week? Next year? Next decade? I’m too fat for a revolution. Will there be much running? Can I be part of a revolution and still stay in my chair? Maybe. Maybe not. Human beings need to stop waiting for change. They need to create the change. Think of change as some sort of craft beer made by artisans in the backyard rather than something you pick up at a drive through bottle shop. We need to give up on the hope that these silly things we call ‘political parties’ and ’government’ are ever going to enact the policies and processes required to facilitate real systemic change. It’s not going to happen. I remember reading Marx in my early twenties and pondering this concept of when the workers would rise up. He predicted that revolution happened when industrialisation pushed the ‘worker’ to what he called ‘alienation’. He described this as a time when the dehumanising work conditions estranged people from their essence. What he didn’t forsee was that it’s not just the workplace, its the whole of society. Everything estranges us from who we are. We are depressed, suicidal, we are psychotic, we are drug dependent, we are violent, we are lonely, we are fat, we are thin, we have eating disorders, we hate ourselves, we have nature deficit disorder, we have ADHD… we have first world captitalism! Congratulations! This is what ‘our choices’ have signed us up for. Don’t despair. The system you live in has a vested interest in telling you that ‘this is how it is’ ‘just accept it’. But its a lie. Other people around the planet are starting to wake up. Like in Italy with the Five Star Movement (M5S). Started by a comedian and blogger Beppo Grillo in cohoots with a web strategist, this is a populist, anti-establishment, environmentalist, anti globalist movement that does not wish to be included in the left-right paradigm. In fact they call themselves a movement. They are not a party. And the five stars? Well they are a reference to the five key issues: public water, sustainable transport, sustainable development, right to internet access and environmentalism. The party also advocates the principle of zero cost politics, degrowth and nonviolence. And no, they’re not loonies yelling in the wilderness. They are in office. They hold seats throughout Italy. In fact two of their members Virginia Raggi and Chiara Appending were elected mayors of Rome and Turin respectively in 2016. Their belief is that politics is not a career, it is a temporary service. Finally! Some true democracy! So why not make it happen here? Interested in a conversation about how to make this happen?