Combating hopelessness

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

  1. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    I expect a lot of people wouldn't either - I know how busy you are campaigning.
    Greebo likes this.
  2. Greebo

    Greebo 'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back? R.I.P.

    Me? Compared to some, I'm doing sweet FA.
  3. boohoo

    boohoo No.

    Greebo and friendofdorothy like this.
  4. brixtonscot

    brixtonscot Well-Known Member

    Slavoj Žižek on Greece: the courage of hopelessness
    "The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben said in an interview that "thought is the courage of hopelessness"
    - an insight which is especially pertinent for our historical moment when even the most pessimist diagnostics as a rule finishes with an uplifting hint at some version of the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
    The true courage is not to imagine an alternative, but to accept the consequences of the fact that there is no clearly discernible alternative: the dream of an alternative is a sign of theoretical cowardice, it functions as a fetish which prevents us thinking to the end the deadlock of our predicament.
    In short, the true courage is to admit that the light at the end of the tunnel is most likely the headlight of another train approaching us from the opposite direction. There is no better example of the need for such courage than Greece today." ...????
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
  5. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Ok everyone. I'm about to start a private conversation including anyone who has expressed an interest in some sort of consciousness raising. To begin with it will be just that - a conversation. No comitments, no joining anything, no hard and fast rules (yet?), lets just talk. Perhaps at some future date we will meet in person - but that like everything else is up for discussion.

    It is not private to exclude anyone so if you genuinely want to join in, just pm me. I'm only doing it as a pm to avoid casual attacks, shit stirring, bun fights, derails, etc. As it is a pm there is no 'likes' or moderation. I understand if there is any abuse to report then this still can be done and mango5 will be happy to assist us.

    We can all continue on this open thread too and perhaps report back here any ideas or developments from the pm.
  6. smokedout

    smokedout criminal

  7. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Greebo likes this.
  8. campanula

    campanula diminished responsibilty

    fraid I have zero interest in conscious-raising (been there thanks) but an enormous appetite for throwing a fucking great monkey wrench into the works at every possible opportunity - mayhem, carnage, destruction - that sort of thing.
    Just biding my time....
    ice-is-forming, J Ed, tufty79 and 2 others like this.
  9. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    sounds hopeful. Glad to hear someone has some fight in them.
    Greebo likes this.
  10. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    I've only just got around to watching the whole of Mhairi Blacks speech, if you missed it I urge you to take a look.

    I like what she says about hope, that SNP was elected not on a wave of nationalism, but on a wave of hope, 'hope that there is something different, something better, than the Thatcherite neoliberal policies produced from this chamber'.
    I like what she said about Benn and signposts to a better society. I suppose lately I feel all the sign posts have gone awry and I don't know where they should even be pointing anymore.
  11. brixtonscot

    brixtonscot Well-Known Member

    This is from comments after post on Libcom -
    Emma Goldman wrote of synchronising the individual and collective instincts through horizontal cooperation.
    Murray Bookchin's 60s and 70s writings spoke all the time of developing a new kind of selfhood, rejecting the productivist work ethic, and how the highest form of class consciousness was self-consciousness.
    Paul Goodman even co-developed gestalt therapy (which more anarchists should really look into) and practiced as a psychotherapist for ten years.
    There are anarchists today who focus on personal problems and overcoming alienation, but sadly they tend to be lifestylists who put social struggle to one side.
    Workerist anarchists have the opposite problem of focusing only on social struggle and dismissing out of hand issues of personal psychology as "bourgeois".
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  12. Greebo

    Greebo 'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back? R.I.P.

    You want to know how to combat hopelessness?

    Keep the faith until it keeps you. Don't wait for it to fall in your lap, but get on with your life as best you can, while leaving a small gap for what you need to have a chance of happening and keeping an eye out for anything which might help you get there.

    I know that sounds ridiculous (and it doesn't always work as well as you hoped), but IME the more that people try to make their own luck and improve their own chances, the luckier they seem to get.
    Celyn, ddraig, phillm and 8 others like this.
  13. chainsawjob

    chainsawjob Kipping in the dunes

    Interesting article about the personal vs the political, what activism means, working out what action to take, 'doing' vs 'being'.’t-‘be-change’-alone

    Maybe not very concrete, and I hadn't much come across this idea before of believing that personal/almost spiritual change is the place to start for some people, but it raises some interesting questions about the balance between the personal and the political. Transformation/Open Democracy has some interesting stuff, some of it focusing on real examples (of political change) giving reasons for hope.

    Eta: ah, this was the article I was trying to find

    Like the last sentence. Too positive? Feel I should go and immerse myself in some cynicism for balance :rolleyes:

    Eta again: "no meaningful democracy until we work through our differences in a spirit of common purpose"... yeah, there's a tiny problem with that... :D
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  14. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Its taken a while but I've just re read those articles, Thanks chainsawjob . This is what I've been thinking about:

    I should add to the bit I've put in bold:and balance that with the challenges of how to survive in this dog eat dog capitalist world.
    I find this interesting and want to discuss it more.
    chainsawjob likes this.
  15. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Sorry I've not bumped this thread much recently. To anyone who's interested we have a private conversation going on to discuss how to take this forward in a 'consciousness raising' way. We are still discussing what that means and will probably just call it 'combatting hopelessness'.

    The reason I've taken it to a private thread is to keep out trolls, derails etc and so we can build some trust between ourselves and say personal stuff in a slightly safer environment. We are still discussing ground rules, until after the summer hols.

    If any urbs would still be interested in joining in - just pm me Thanks.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
    oryx likes this.
  16. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now


    I suddenly keep hearing the word hope again. Corbin mentioned it in his acceptance speech. Tom Watson said in his speech something about 'unleashing the implacable power of hope'

    phillm and Greebo like this.
  17. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    I think corbyns emphatic win has energised a lot of people who were in the slough of despond. Shit it made me grin. Bit early to say how things will play out though imho. I've said from the start he is a good bloke in a bad vehicle. Can he change the engine and stick some phat rims on it (to stretch a metaphor)? remains to be seen. But it is very nice to hear someone politically influential on the tele speaking against the entire upper middle class consenus of 'fuck the lower classes, they can tighten their belts'.

    I got no more notches left. Any tighter i'll faint
    mather, Greebo, oryx and 2 others like this.
  18. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Bump. Fuck how things have changed since I started this thread.

    How hopeful / hopeless are people feeling now?

    I'm just off out to the NOT ONE MORE DAY march in London, feeling considerably more hopeful than 2 years ago.
    Almor, Miss-Shelf, oryx and 5 others like this.
  19. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    Lots more hope, though feel this is make or break, and that we still have a massive battle to fight with the odds stacked against us.
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  20. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    we always did - but at least I feel there are a few more people who care. Good to see so many young people being quite passionate, and really weird (in a good way) to hear "oh Jeremy Corbin'' being sang by thousands of people now.
  21. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    I'm hoping for the best, but as usual I'm also preparing for the worst. There's far more hope down here, "on the streets", but it's also very obvious how The Establishment have kicked their dirty tricks up a gear in the hope of cutting The People off at the ankles.
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  22. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    Thats the worry of course, its fine when you can be tolerated as marginal dissent to be mocked with faint indulgence but the minute the wind is behind people the forces of reaction lose that tolerant smirk and get really on it.
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  23. Tom A

    Tom A Goat among sheep

    I'm hoping for the best whilst expecting the worst - which has been pretty much my default position for the past seven years, preparing for the government to do nasty things is better than having said nasty things sprung upon you out of nowhere.

    What tends to get me despairing is we, as in "progressives", "the Left", or just plain "good people", just can't stop losing. Cameron winning a majority in 2015 when everyone was expecting him to lose ground even if Labour was piss poor was a huge blow to the stomach to me. This pessimism stems all the way back to 2003, where 1.5 million people were just ignored and all was for naught as the UK went into Iraq, the only consolation prize (if you can call it that given the bloodshed) being that we were all subsequently vindicated by Chilcot many years later. After the Brexit vote it seemed that the wheels had fallen off the Corbyn bandwagon with dire poll result after dire poll result, and the left was doing it's usual trick of sticking its fingers in its ears and denying there's an issue and that any talk of an issue was a right-wing conspiracy - and it was always the small but loud group of idiots that were part of Corbyn's supporters that upset me more than Corbyn himself - although I still say the man is far from perfect even if he's the best hope the left has had in many years. Identity politics seems to have ridden roughshod over anything resembling class struggle to the detriment of everything, and people were too busy demanding that people "check their privilege" to work out their differences and build a movement based on a common cause. After all of this I wonder if the whole idea of challenging "the system" is just a dead-end path, and that socialist/anti-capitalist ideas really are doomed to be consigned to the history books. I certainly have not considered myself a "revolutionary" for many years, and often cringe at what my late teens/early 20s self did. Last year I had a major burnout, and subsequently scaled back my campaigning to my commitments with the Unite Community branch, having previously been heavily involved with the People's Assembly and Left Unity (which I left in December 2015 after it was clear it was going nowhere after Corbyn's victory made turning the Labour Party leftwards a more appealing option than building a mass left-of-Labour party).

    One year later and I am feeling the tingle of a small breeze which may indicate the wind of change. Last's month's Tory meltdown was a pleasant surprise considering how I had been resigned to a landslide and Labour being unable to mount any opposition, Corbyn or no Corbyn. The Tories are in trouble, and Corbyn has proven his doubters wrong. I also tend to be more optimistic about seeing the demise of neoliberalism and socialist, or at least social democratic ideas coming back into fashion. The "Establishment" will of course not give up without a fight but at present they have been shooting themselves in the foot in their attempts to do so. I still am not getting my hopes up, past experience has prepared me for the possibility for all these hopes to be dashed to pieces.
    friendofdorothy and oryx like this.
  24. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Bump. A lot has happened since I started this thread - I'm feeling more hopeful that our political climate is definitely changing. You?
    Tom A, chainsawjob and not-bono-ever like this.
  25. Sea Star

    Sea Star have you ever explored your dark side?

    I think somewhere in the last 4 years my spirit got broken. I'm trying not to be so down but my history of activism is not dissimilar to yours. We always expect the other side to operate within the rules and they never do.
    Was tweeting earlier about my activism in the 90s and how we were utterly crushed by the police and the justice system just as we were beginning to win battles - and then Blair became prime minister and it got worse.
    So yeah - I need to be brought out of this state of utter despondency I think. Despondency wins no battles at all.
  26. Miss-Shelf

    Miss-Shelf I'll meet you further on up the road

    I am more hopeful. The aftermath of the 2015 GE was a real low point. But it also took away some of my complacency and it was the start of me being more active in a range of ways - in solidarity and with more political involvement.

    I have seen how people can come together to achieve a lot when there is the will to do so. That has been powerful and hopeful.
  27. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Apart from anything else the word 'solidarity' seems to be back in fashion in the media anyway
  28. krink

    krink I'll do it this afternoon

    I'm pretty sure that we are fucked and things will just get worse.
    Sea Star likes this.
  29. Happy Larry

    Happy Larry Banned Banned

    They are doomed because history has shown that there has never been a successful socialist nation. Socialism is great on paper but simply doesn't work in practice. We will always put our families and other loved ones before society as a whole.
  30. Jay Park

    Jay Park quasihobo

    Case in point directly below :rolleyes:

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