Combating hopelessness

Discussion in 'protest, direct action and demos' started by friendofdorothy, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. Miss-Shelf

    Miss-Shelf I've looked at life from both sides now

    I went to a great wedding at the weekend for my friend and her girlfriend
    long time coming but the moment came and it took a lot of fight over the years from them and many others to get there
    never give up
    Celt, Maharani, Libertad and 4 others like this.
  2. mwgdrwg

    mwgdrwg Be a Pisces. Jam.

    Don't let the bastards grind you down! x
  3. Looby

    Looby Well-Known Member

    A mate of mine drank a bottle of absinthe with his best friend and egged his own house (inside and out). He thought he'd got away with it until his mum move a painting to clean and there was an egg stain behind it.
    Greebo likes this.
  4. Looby

    Looby Well-Known Member

    I've been feeling really hopeless for a while. I've been an active union rep for 10 years but was dismissed from my job in April. Then the election happened and tbh since then I feel like I've lost all my fight.
    I'm hoping when I get to college in September and start feeling a bit better than I'll get involved again but I needed a break.
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  5. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Everyone does, and it's the sensible person that takes a break when it's needed, rather than after they've burned themselves out.
  6. Wilf

    Wilf Cocksucking Angry Columbo

    I've got to a point where I'm just involved in local stuff - anarcho and anti-austerity stuff. Some involvement with those groups in national events, but largely working on community things, building a response, solidarity, some kind of fightback. Yes, it is depressing and for someone of my age who has been involved in things since the late 70s it does feel like the class war has shifted pretty decisively, producing apathy and despair in equal measure. Same time, involvement in local direct action* does give you a sense that you can actually build things make a difference - in yourself, but also seeing new people coming in. It's not much, but it's that thing about working in ways that prefigure the kind of society you want to create.

    * not just illegal or even militant direct action, just the idea of setting things up yourself rather than getting representatives to do it.
  7. taffboy gwyrdd

    taffboy gwyrdd Embrace the confusion!

    This is such an important topic, thanks FoD.

    I'll be brief for now, have done a lot of thinking on it down the years...

    I think much depression is caused in sensitive, caring people who see the sociopathic system which dominates modern life. It's like they risk their personal sanity becase broad society is itself rather insane.

    So a prime thing to consider and work on is the certainty that you / we are ethically and logically correct in the assertion of our values of humanity. Then, I believe, we need to maintain this basic dignity, or else they have kind of already won. Our smile and laughter is their defeat. The struggle against depression, in this sense, is political. It is in such ideas as mutual aid that we can find solutions.

    Kropotkin's work on this stands in stark contradiction to the social darwinists. Just becuase they are fairly dominant at the mo, doesn't mean we are nowhere, or that we will never make progress. But if we convince ourselves they have won, and have final victory, then we've done a fair amount of the work for them.

    This was written off top of head so forgive if it's a bit garbled.
  8. treelover

    treelover Well-Known Member

    I think we are living through an historic period, tonight CH 4 showed a special doc on money laundering in London, "from Russia with Cash" they created a fake Russian(the brave guy is actually a Russian anti-corruption activist) to buy properties, he would tell the agent he was basically using pilfered public assets, money to pay for the properties, the agents went to great lengths to reassure him that he could be written out of the picture in terms of ownership. Experts on the programme, said the agents were basically committing criminal offences and they believed London was swimming in money laundered through expensive properties., this was on the day disabled people have lost thousands of pounds a year in social security. Its just so massive and imo not seen since the 19th C, sadly the 19th C left doesn't have a response, I wonder if someone eventually will
  9. taffboy gwyrdd

    taffboy gwyrdd Embrace the confusion!

    Max Keiser has been saying for years that the London Property market is a prime vehicle for global money laundering.
    Greebo likes this.
  10. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Any booming property market is, and has been since finance globalised with the arrival of the telegraph.
    mather, seventh bullet and Greebo like this.
  11. taffboy gwyrdd

    taffboy gwyrdd Embrace the confusion!

    Fair enough, but London for a bunch of reasons is a (if not the) world leader, and has been for some time.

    It is ordinary Londoners who are paying for this, suffocated by global crimewave, fully facilitated by successive "governments" who function as adjuncts of the crimewave.
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  12. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    London has taken off in the last 8-9 years because of Blair's legislating for limited liability companies and partnerships. Alongside of "off the shelf" companies industry and the City's off-shoring abilities, this provides a very appealing format for "laundering" money.
    That said, as soon as Maryland, Liechtenstein or similar jurisdictions enact similar legislation, they'll draw those flows of money away from the UK.
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  13. ibilly99

    ibilly99 Banned Banned

    Am oldy but goodie...

    or for the more hippyish keep your eye on the bigger picture ...

    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
    Greebo likes this.
  14. bingiman

    bingiman Jah Gaza

    Don't pretend you have all the answers. One of the problems with politics is the need (discredited elsewhere) to come up with all the answers at the very beginning of the process of change.

    Our goal is too big to imagine victory. Break the big problem, (in this case the system) into lots of small problems and come up with easy things you can do that will make a change.

    As someone said earlier on in the thread if there is enough of us we can't all be down or up at the same time. We need you and people like you. Don't give up. This is a long haul.
  15. brixtonscot

    brixtonscot Well-Known Member

    A couple of links from Plan C which maybe of use -
    Six Theses on Anxiety and Why It is Effectively Preventing Militancy, and One Possible Strategy for Overcoming It
    Consciousness raising
    This project comes from a desire to change the way we’re thinking about the world and about activism – to start from our experience and emotional states, to foreground issues like anxiety and subjectivity, to make those things a key part of and starting place for our strategy, and to have that inform our actions.
    friendofdorothy, Libertad and Greebo like this.
  16. Yuwipi Woman

    Yuwipi Woman Whack-A-Mole Queen

    It's not just organized gangs. The Republican Party in the US actually pays people to be trolls on comment pages.
    treelover and Greebo like this.
  17. Yuwipi Woman

    Yuwipi Woman Whack-A-Mole Queen

    I've been changing the way that I do things too. I used to be an "in your face" protestor whenever I could get near a senator. Some of them still remember me. I'd write letters and letters, show up at government meetings, etc.... These days, I try to be support staff for volunteers. I do things like feed people or organize events. I figure that even if what I did that day didn't end global climate change, at least I fed two dozen people. I still write the occasional nasty-gram too.
    xenon, Wilf, Greebo and 1 other person like this.
  18. Libertad

    Libertad Man of Steal

    This seems as good a place/time to remember the words of Emiliano Zapata and popularised by Dolores Ibárruri :

    ¡Más vale morir de pie que vivir de rodillas!

    Much better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
    friendofdorothy and Greebo like this.
  19. David Clapson

    David Clapson Well-Known Member

    I find it cheering that a self-described socialist is actually running for the US presidency and attracting big crowds to listen to him. If you do a Google News search for Bernie Sanders there's a lot of interesting stuff to read about the American so-called 'Left'. It's mind-boggling to Americans who've been brought up to believe that socialism is the same thing as Cuban or Soviet communism.

    Realistically I can't quite see how Sanders can give a fillip to the left over here. The chances of the new left in assorted countries forming a cohesive movement seem to me to be as remote as the Tories ever agreeing on Europe. Such a shame....when you add the new left in Europe to the truly progressive Americans you get quite a sizeable block of people.
    Greebo likes this.
  20. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    That's nice of you to say. Its been a horrible week for me.

    I'm doing ok, I've been very fortunate personally, I have work, savings and a home - I have a lot for which to be grateful. I would feel happier if I knew there were homes, jobs and food for everyone.

    I know its fucking shite now, no need to add more to my gloom. I don't want homilies or comedy on this thread, and no more talk of Absinth please. > knobbing & sobbing, wasting bandwidth, that way >

    But I don't want just 'cheering' but I'm looking for some political hope, some agreement on how we can change anything. Thatchers hateful rhetoric and ideology is everywhere, and it usually goes unchallenged, young people don't even know there is any other way.

    I grew up in 1960s in a merotcratic, socialist country. I was priveleged to benefit from a free health service that my parents hadn't had in their childhoods - I knew I was alive because of it. There was jobs for everyone, and decent wages. Unions were winning better hours and conditions for workers. There weren't enough good houses but they were building more. We knew luxuries our grandparents had never dreamed of (new shoes, TV and an annual trip to Butlins!) We got a free education, and we could go to poly or uni if we had the brains. My mother hoped we'd get better jobs than they ever could. The welfare state was there as a safety net for when things went wrong, to look after us from cradle to grave. Living in a small town in the north was no problem - we were still at the centre of the industrial revolution, with our 'white hot heat of technology', George Best played for Manchester and the Beatles were no1 - it was the centre of the world. Science was finding cures for everthing and man was going to the moon - it was exciting! (this may not have told the whole picture - but this was what I saw around me as a girl).

    I was 2 months too young to vote against Thatcher in 1979. Her 'managed decline' to close the north, to rid our country of heavy industry and strong unions. She deregulated everthing to allow banks and the finance industry and she sold off our national assets at reduced prices. Unemployment became a price we have to pay for her misguided monetrist dreams. UB40s 'I am the 1 in 10' was already an underestimate by the time I left the north with its 50% unemployment. She gave away the proceeds of North Sea Oil to higher tax earners. There was always someone to speak out against all these these things and usually a song in the charts against it.

    Now there are outrages against the poorest and weakest in our country all time. Corruption seems endemic. Govt serving the interests of big business and foreign property investors over ordinary people. Why do the vast majority of people not seem to know or care what is happening? Where is the opposition now? where is the left? where is the fight? How do you face this - how are you organising? Tell me about that.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
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  21. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Thanks. Media lies, how do we challenge them? -
    We can certainly highlight them to each other here on Urban. Thats a good start. I think we do this well.
    Perhaps others can use twitter/fb /other forums to challenge the govt message? I'm not that much into social media - how do think that is going? I keep hearing about the most stupid, mysogynist, violent trolling. Is there an intellegent lefty debate out there?

    I think we must reject and challenge the govt /media use of language - don't use 'shirkers' 'hard wrorking families' don't use their lazy and oppressive cliches.

    We must remember millions of people read the mostly Tory newpapers and swallow what they say whole without chewing it over at all. Theres a lot older Tory voting readers who believe all that shit. How do we communicate with those people? how do we challenge messages they have been drip fed daily for over 30 years. Ok I'm still doing the try to win over one at a time thing - any other ideas?

    good question.
    Torys have dragged most of parliament so far right - only Plaid cymru and SNP sound left to me, and I can't vote for them in London. I've given up reading about the labour party - after war-mongering Blair I find it so depressing- is there anything/anyone worth listening to now?
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
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  22. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    see #50 above I think there was more general opposition in '80s, everywhere, in the street, in music on TV. The unions have had so many powers stripped from them now. News papers weren't so homogenised they didn't all say the same party line - even the Tory ones.

    But it wasn't all blue rinse brigade that voted tory back then - she bought the working classes too with talk of controling inflation and buying your own council house.
  23. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    I've never been keen on party politics - never been a member of any of them.
    I beleive in people (a party politico laughed in my face when I said that once, shows what she thought of the people)
    - but I do think we're being miss-led and having the wool pulled over our eyes by a govt and system that wants us to scapegoat some weak targets and divide us so that we just fight each other (just look at some threads on here)

    I think all authority govt, police, bosses, whatever - are dependant on our willingness to trust them, and forget they serve us too at their peril.

    Fight? never an inch of what? fight who and how.
  24. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    I think that the idea of passive resistance and civil disobedience are very powerful. Sitting down in the road and refusing to move is a powerful thing. I think it says so much more than violence.
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  25. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Thats why I started this thread. You sound like you need a rest, like I said I've taken a break for the better part of 2 deacades.
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  26. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Thank you I think life now and the 'system' is increasing insane, especially now the govt are pathologising unemployment with their language and policies and utterly mixing up the issues of mental health and unemployment in a dangerous way (theres a thread about that here somewhere).

    Human dignity is being stripped from so many and it saddens and angers me. I feel a must shout because those being targeted are those least able to shout like the mentally ill.

    I'm also making sure I get out socially to keep sane and enjoy myself because enjoyment, community activity and conversation are so important. (To those who know me it may look like like I'm getting pissed - actually I'm practising solidarity, and doing my bit to preserve the fine british tradition of pub culture- honest)

    I'm not familliar with Kropotkins work - can you quote/ link to something relavant. ta.
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  27. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    I wish our govt would stop looking to the US for inspiration too
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  28. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    yes, local stuff feels more achievable - its great to organise something free, non corporate knit-your-own-fun sort of thing, thats a great feeling. We had a street party a few years ago - the joy at seeing all the cars gone and everyone in the middle of the road was liberating - like kids riding their bikes down their own street for the first time. Chatting with neighbours after dark on a sofa on the pavement was fab. Ms Ordinary - don't let the Neighbourhood Watch win in your street!

    My Girlf says we should do more small anarchic acts, though I'm not sure what she means yet.
    What sort of thing do you have in mind?
    ChrisD and Greebo like this.
  29. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    well said. I'd quite forgotten, so thank you for the reminder. People like me are who though? I keep hearing on these threads that this or that sort of person is not welcome, well on the Brixton threads anyway - like only local born people who are oppressed or disadvantaged in some way need apply, I have a a job, a home, some money - am I still welcome?
  30. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Yes - this was one of the small bits I campaigned for back in the '80s. In my first few years in London I hardly knew or met any gay men. Thatcher's homophobia effectively brought all sorts of queer people together who who nothing in common prior to Clause 28 - and yes we won in the end. Personally it makes me sick to hear Cameron saying that he beleives in same sex marriage because he's a Tory (perhaps I'm just being curlish)

    But now Torys are picking upon the disabled, the illest and the weakest people - who have less physical, mental and finacial ability to get together and fight. I think most of the public have bought into the people pretending to be ill & robbing benefits idea. I see so little opposition to it - are there many groups challenging this?
    Yuwipi Woman and Greebo like this.

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