Friday, 1 April 2011

Post Consumer World

I was involved in a discussion on Facebook with another radical bookshop. It got a bit heated and I began to create a longish tract which was far too up itself for the post. Undeterred I'm putting here - to get it out of my system. Although it assumes a particular reader, its contains points I nevertheless want to express.

...the current social landscape ... has barely changed, actually, in 20 years since the rot began with Thatcher (or you could argue, the sixties when the boom began and the planners moved in to move communities out) and then deepened under Labour who totally bought into the big business gravy train. With respect, the inequities of which you speak, to me are much less of a consequence of insipient cuts than consumerism which has in itself caused much of our social justice issues in the first place. For decades. I think it is a delusion to think that consumer spending will ease these... it'll just do what it's always done: line more pockets and pay off more debt interest (which is why we have to 'grow' anyway - when debt costs 5%, we have to grow by 5% to pay it off - or rather our kids will, those future homeless, future illiterate, future prostituted). No. Enough. Sure the debt is less than it was in the war; sure its a complete lie that we have to cut to pay it off. Stop the cuts then make the banks payup; recall the tax dodging deals; close the loopholes; save the billions, then get our communities back by investing for them in a socially just infrastructure where the debt is managed, the arms are not dealt and our needs are manufactured (using green power, of course). In the meantime we need to engage and educate our kids properly and stop using the totally redundant and target driven educational formats we have now, fight like stink for the vulnerable and disaffected, oh yes, and feed the poor.

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