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Combating hopelessness

friendofdorothy

Solidarity against neoliberalism!
Ok this happens to everyone to much(wont go into the depressing reasons why) When it happens to me i read, watch or listen to undiniably credible media sources that feed back to me the statistics and observations that the movment is working. Example : Goverments are now scrutinised about all aspects of war, which makes them have to cover their tracks / do it on the sly which limits their scope for action.
Inedpandant media needs to establish itself further in UK. I mean the yanks have got democracynow.org FFS . We need a European model of DN! i rekon. Anyone up for getting the ball rolling?
hello Mr Llama and welcome to urban. Though I'd generally advise against first time posters diving straight into the politics forum as it can be rough here.

The opening post is from a while back and a lot has happened in UK politics since 2015. This thread has rather floundered since with only a few ideas about what to actually do.

Can you expand a bit? when you say 'this happens' and 'when it happens' which part of my post are you refering to and what do you think the 'depressing reasons why' are. Which 'movement' do you think is working?

I don't know a lot about US politics, though I do think the US has some weird ideas, especially on democracy. What is democracynow (good/bad?)
 

Ralph Llama

ERROR 23 : DEFAULT MODE NETWORK COMPROMISED
Banned
Hello and nice to be here. Hope you can bear my gramma..

This happens - "Defeatism" hopelesness and confusion. A down trodden state of cynical detachment, which, personally, leads to apathy because Im completely cynical about any idea . In society , imo, it leads to apathy also.

Why this happens atm? Imo the public relations industry creates a kind of illusion which appeals to the downtrodden state. Its quite invasive. I`m not shure anyone really understands how deep into your mind and how much of your reality consists of institutional conditioning and whats left of yourself to think indipendantly or co-operatevly outside the common symapthy.This can be quite distressing.

The web has challenged the PR industries(and most peoples ideals thank fuck) but they (PR) seem to be stepping up the game , and its quite confusing for a lot of people aparrently . The conspiracy theorys are coming back, usually laced with rightwing sentiment reflected in a Holywood blockbuster.
Witnessing this kind of thing can be despiriting in its own right.

i`m quite depressed now

anyway a reliable indipendant daily hour long broadcast staffed by well known radical journalists like democracynow.org (good... well established) could solve a lot of these issuses.

The obtusness of `the movment` was intended... i mean everything to left ... socalsim. I am an anarchist . I mean when it came to it in Spain all others sucked the bits of capitalism, so personaly would favour a more imidiate solution, but i`ll hand those leaflets out to:thumbs:
 

vanya

Well-Known Member
Reasons to be cheerful

All That Is Solid ...: The Last Days of the Conservative Party?

I love it when a Tory shambles comes together. Watching Theresa May's ridiculous cabinet reshuffle unfold on Twitter provided for some wry amusement in-between marking papers. Chris Grayling as party chair, and then 27 seconds later he was dumped for Brandon Lewis. The awful Jeremy Hunt, fresh from the NHS debacle, said no to a move to business and ended up coming out of it with social care added to his portfolio. Or, depending on who you believe, Greg Clark said no to his sacking at BIS, and that meant a fudge for Hunt. Just when the people of Staffordshire Moorlands thought they couldn't see their MP any less, Karen Bradley is moved from culture to Northern Ireland. Sajid Javid stays where he is, but gets a new name for his brief. And there is Justine Greening. May wanted to move her to the DWP and she said no and so quit, ostensibly strengthening the relatively sensible, centrist-bordering awkwards ensconced on the back benches.

To coin a phrase, nothing has changed, nothing has changed. At least in the grand scheme of things. The most odious and despicable of this government went untouched, and remains as much a miserable mess of dysfunction this evening as it was yesterday. The permanent instability on which the government is poised teeters a little, but not threateningly so. Of more interest, and more pertinent to the party's survival, comes the news the Tories have fewer than 70,000 members, at least according to the chair for the Campaign for Conservative Democracy. Putting that in context, that's half-a-million fewer than Labour, almost half the size of the SNP, smaller than the Liberal Democrats and about where the Greens were at the height of their pre-Corbyn surge.

Does this matter? Labour as the party of the 21st century working class needs numbers to represent. Its politics depend on collective mobilisation and the aggregation of the collective interests of millions of people. The Tories, as an elite party, do not. Labour needs big numbers to be able to spend big on campaigning. The Tories do not. With nearly 600,000 members Labour performed the sharpest turn around in political fortunes in modern times, and yet with a smaller, more decrepit operation the Tories managed to form the largest party. Do they even need a political organisation?

In one sense, they don't. It's much easier to be a politician on the right because your political messages and assumptions about the world are transmitted by your powerful media allies. It is, after all, less difficult to blame than explain. Yes, not having members can be a pain. But as long as people can still be found to stand in elections (the Tories fielded more by-election candidates last year than any other party), delivery people can be bought and campaigning outsourced to call centres. So if you were a Conservative, you might find the collapse of the party embarrassing but it doesn't mean curtains. And indeed, it doesn't. But it presents the Tories some severe difficulties that are going to harm their prospects in the long run.

The lack of bodies for instance. By-elections are one thing, but actual elections another. Regardless of membership, there will always be people prepared to vote Conservative. Just as capitalism creates its own gravediggers, it summons squads of cheerleaders too. The problem is if there aren't Tory candidates to vote for, where are those votes going to go? This isn't an abstract question. In Stoke the BNP was able to build its vote support base in wards the Tories couldn't find anyone to stand in. If the mainstream right collapses, so the hard right and far right might fill the gap. The BNP, UKIP, there might yet be a twilight of unlife flickering through their stiffening corpses, and with it the prospect - again - of a semi-viable alternative on the Conservatives' right. And we all know what drastic measures were taken to deal with them last time.

The second problem goes to the heart of their difficulties. Over the last five or so years, this blog has documented the decline of the Tories, and the relationship between this, their decadence, and a certain autonomy from the interests the Tories have traditionally represented, which contributes to their extreme short-termism. The member collapse hasn't affected the transmission belt of anonymous donations via their not-dodgy-at-all dining clubs for spectrum of ruling class riff raff - hedge fund managers, nondoms, "naturalised" oligarchs, ad nauseum - and privileged access for big business and the old media are still there. But two things are wrong. While a small section of British capital has always, for whatever reason, supported Labour, in the 90s and up to the crash New Labour were the go-to party. This cracked the permanent hegemony the Tories had over business, and so just as voters have tended to become more mercenary and choosy about who to support so a large section of formerly Conservative-loyal business has as well. In the grand scheme, it means whole sections of British capital are not regularly and directly feeding their interests into their party.

The second is the absence of a mass base. Parties are expressions of interests, their organisation aggregating the experiences of and articulating policies that speak to masses of voters. Labour's job is to encourage as many of them into active political participation as possible. The Tories are a-okay with them being passive observers and four-yearly ballot scratchers. Minus a mass base feeding in to the associations (even if they are disproportionately petit bourgeois-types, managers and self-styled socially mobile working class people), the party is cut off from and no longer knows how to talk to ordinary people who might be sympathetic to Conservative values. Indeed, as Tim Bale's recent party members' survey shows, Tory activists are out of step with the values motivating other parties, which tend to be more in line with the ever growing cultural trend to social liberalism. There is every danger of the party becoming a sect, and if it cannot represent the interests of capital effectively then capital will start looking elsewhere. Those lovely centrists, for instance, the touchy feely types who are all loved up as far as capital is concerned suddenly start looking like a more attractive proposition versus the growing animus toward the system itself. Ultimately, the utility of the Tories lies in their command of millions of votes, which is jeopardised by their increasing social isolation thanks to the fast diminishing membership.

Can the Tories sort themselves out? One would be foolish to bet against the most successful political party in the democratic world, but it is hard to see how they can turn the situation around and look like an attractive proposition now they're inextricably invested in a political deadlock that puts them fundamentally at odds with a rising generation of voters. Too much to hope I know, but it might just be that we're in the final days of the Conservative Party as we understand it.
 

friendofdorothy

Solidarity against neoliberalism!
I wasn't sure where to post this.

I realised recently that I'd been on more demos, marches and written more letters/signed petitions in the last 2 years or so than in the previous two decades. (I used to do a lot of activist stuff back in the reign of Thatcher.)

So here we are again - the Torys, more austerity, more attacks on the NHS, the unemployed, the poor, the ill and the disabled. They are creating a deeply divisive society with ever increasing inequality between the 'haves and have nots' which sets everyone againgst each other. Its like being back in the gloom of 1980s - but much worse, with even less hope of any reprieve or change of govt policy.

I keep hearing people say what the point of protest, it won't change anything - how do we combat that defeatism?

Is anyone hopeful that this country can actually turn the tide and change for the better? What can we actually do? what orgasations, protests, stategies or philosophies offer any hope of a fightback?

I realise that back the 80s I coped because:
  • I thought there was every chance the Tory govt would fall, or be voted out next time
  • There was a lot of organised opposition to Thatcherism - from trade unions, political parties, terrorist groups and lots of single issue groups.
  • There was some idealised idea of rainbow coalition - that united the minorities could be the majority and win through to change things
  • I was young - I had the energy to fight and hadn't had all the hope worn out of me.
  • I beleived that you could win people over to your way of thinking by educating them one at a time.
None of those things apply now except the last one - which would suggest a long slog indeed.
I need ideas on how to face the struggle against the Torys and avoid depression and burnout.
Bump! alot has happened since I started this thread 4 years ago. Can we do a bit of - Reasons to be hopeful part 2
anyone?
 
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brixtonscot

Well-Known Member
Is there need to revive this thread ?
It was started by friendofdorothy before Corbyn was elected leader of LP.
Which , for me at least , was a glimmer of hope - which has now been largely dashed.
Except for places like London , Liverpool , Manchester , Bristol etc
And over 10 million voted for LP.
Not forgetting Scotland & Ireland.
Here's post from friend on FB....

Baring one's soul is a wholly unedifying task, for writer and reader. But after three nights of interrupted sleep, here I am, doing just that. I haven't shed a single tear, but have been close to them for 72 hours.

I am a political animal - I have been since my teens. I have been an active political animal and an inactive political animal. For most of my life, I have been on the losing side of political debate. I joined Labour in 1982 and my first political activity was campaigning for Labour's Peter Tatchell in the Bermondsey By-election. A more dis-spiriting experience would be hard to imagine. Then the 1983, 1987 & 2002 General Elections, campaigning for Labour against Thatcher and Major.

I supported the miners and their families during the 1984/5 miners strike, a brave, just and heroic battle that was ultimately lost. I supported the printworkers in their battle with News International in 1986 and joined the campaign against Section 28. I marched against the Iraq War In London, with millions from across the country. Being on the losing side of a battle is a concept not unfamiliar to me.

I was the Secretary of a left-wing branch of a toothless and collaborationist trade union for six years, from 1988 to 1994.

One would think that with that history, any semblance of idealism would have been well and truly knocked out of me by now. It hasn't. That defeats would be easier to cope with. They aren't. That rage and anger at injustices would temper. They don't.

I am nothing if not resilient, though - that is indisputable. The present fog will clear, given time. It always does.

Quite how the UK's membership of the EU became the defining political issue it has, I will never fully get my head round. When the referendum was first called, honestly, I could have gone either way. In the end, I plumped for Remain, but without any serious enthusiasm. A Labour member by that time, I wasn't moved to join the more enthusiastic Remainers in my party in campaigning.

Over the intervening three+ years, I have been sickened by some of the sanctimonious claptrap that many of the right of Labour have trotted out in favour of Remain, dressing this up as internationalism. There have been more principled arguments for Remain from the Labour left, but none of these really fired my soul either, being honest. I am today the unenthusiastic Remain voter I was in 2016, but Oh Boy - I really wish that Pandora hadn't opened her box in 2016 at all.

Those enthusiastically chomping at the bit for a second referendum ignore Thursday's election results at their peril, but they do. How the EU has come to symbolise all that is bad and wrong in England & Wales, I will never understand. The polarisation of opinion, on both sides of the debate is quite shocking and just a little bit frightening.

The casualties of this polarisation are many and will grow. But the one that is interrupting my sleep is the successful demonisation of Jeremy Corbyn. Caricatured as weak and a ditherer, nothing could be further from the truth. Principled, courageous and incredibly resilient, his leadership of the Labour Party was driven by duty and compassion, rather than ambition and a lust for power. If his election bids of 2017 & 2019 had broken through, that power would now be in the hands of ordinary people, not a bunch on lying, unprincipled Bullingdon Club toffs.

Jeremy has been lied about, smeared and ridiculed by those who aren't fit to tie his shoelaces. He started this election campaign needing an eye operation (hence the glasses we have all seen him wearing for the last 6 weeks). He could have jumped the queue at Moorfields Eye Hospital with one click of his fingers, but steadfastly refused to do this. Instead, he embarked on a gruelling tour of TV studios and towns and cities across the UK. Everywhere he went, there were thousands there to greet him. He struggles with the hero-worship mantle, but put on a brave and gracious face in the interests of those who turned out - recognising that this was good for our movement, not him. I quite simply adore the man.
(the therapy angle of writing this just worked, because I have now shed my first tear).

If there are positives to come out of last Thursday's election, one of those is that Jeremy will be able to finally put down the weight of all our hopes and aspirations and get some of his life back. That goes for his family, as well.

It is a credit to the man that he has survived the last four years, buoyed in large part by being comfortable in his own skin. A lesser man would have crumbled a long time ago, with all the crap that has been thrown at him. Dragging ex-partners out to paint him as some kind of machine, powered only by baked beans really is the gutter in which his detractors now lie.

I love the photo that I have posted to accompany this rant, because I think it encapsulates just how comfortable Jeremy is with his lot. He has a wonderful supportive partner, three fantastic sons and a cat. He would have made a fantastic Prime Minister, but it was not to be. That is our loss and we will feel it for years to come.

Continue speaking truth to power, Jeremy - you did all (and more than) we could possibly ask of you. You will be very hard to replace, but you have more than earned a period of rest. Then come back and sock it to them, for us all.
 

friendofdorothy

Solidarity against neoliberalism!
Thank you brixtonscot

When I heard the result the next day in the depths of a hangover from out works xmas do, I remarked to a young despairing co worker that I had survived Thatcher and intend to survive this. We should be kind and support one another and do as I did in the 80s and dance our arses off.

All other ideas for surviving are welcome ...
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
Is there need to revive this thread ?
It was started by friendofdorothy before Corbyn was elected leader of LP.
Which , for me at least , was a glimmer of hope - which has now been largely dashed.
Except for places like London , Liverpool , Manchester , Bristol etc
And over 10 million voted for LP.
Not forgetting Scotland & Ireland.
Here's post from friend on FB....

Baring one's soul is a wholly unedifying task, for writer and reader. But after three nights of interrupted sleep, here I am, doing just that. I haven't shed a single tear, but have been close to them for 72 hours.

I am a political animal - I have been since my teens. I have been an active political animal and an inactive political animal. For most of my life, I have been on the losing side of political debate. I joined Labour in 1982 and my first political activity was campaigning for Labour's Peter Tatchell in the Bermondsey By-election. A more dis-spiriting experience would be hard to imagine. Then the 1983, 1987 & 2002 General Elections, campaigning for Labour against Thatcher and Major.

I supported the miners and their families during the 1984/5 miners strike, a brave, just and heroic battle that was ultimately lost. I supported the printworkers in their battle with News International in 1986 and joined the campaign against Section 28. I marched against the Iraq War In London, with millions from across the country. Being on the losing side of a battle is a concept not unfamiliar to me.

I was the Secretary of a left-wing branch of a toothless and collaborationist trade union for six years, from 1988 to 1994.

One would think that with that history, any semblance of idealism would have been well and truly knocked out of me by now. It hasn't. That defeats would be easier to cope with. They aren't. That rage and anger at injustices would temper. They don't.

I am nothing if not resilient, though - that is indisputable. The present fog will clear, given time. It always does.

Quite how the UK's membership of the EU became the defining political issue it has, I will never fully get my head round. When the referendum was first called, honestly, I could have gone either way. In the end, I plumped for Remain, but without any serious enthusiasm. A Labour member by that time, I wasn't moved to join the more enthusiastic Remainers in my party in campaigning.

Over the intervening three+ years, I have been sickened by some of the sanctimonious claptrap that many of the right of Labour have trotted out in favour of Remain, dressing this up as internationalism. There have been more principled arguments for Remain from the Labour left, but none of these really fired my soul either, being honest. I am today the unenthusiastic Remain voter I was in 2016, but Oh Boy - I really wish that Pandora hadn't opened her box in 2016 at all.

Those enthusiastically chomping at the bit for a second referendum ignore Thursday's election results at their peril, but they do. How the EU has come to symbolise all that is bad and wrong in England & Wales, I will never understand. The polarisation of opinion, on both sides of the debate is quite shocking and just a little bit frightening.

The casualties of this polarisation are many and will grow. But the one that is interrupting my sleep is the successful demonisation of Jeremy Corbyn. Caricatured as weak and a ditherer, nothing could be further from the truth. Principled, courageous and incredibly resilient, his leadership of the Labour Party was driven by duty and compassion, rather than ambition and a lust for power. If his election bids of 2017 & 2019 had broken through, that power would now be in the hands of ordinary people, not a bunch on lying, unprincipled Bullingdon Club toffs.

Jeremy has been lied about, smeared and ridiculed by those who aren't fit to tie his shoelaces. He started this election campaign needing an eye operation (hence the glasses we have all seen him wearing for the last 6 weeks). He could have jumped the queue at Moorfields Eye Hospital with one click of his fingers, but steadfastly refused to do this. Instead, he embarked on a gruelling tour of TV studios and towns and cities across the UK. Everywhere he went, there were thousands there to greet him. He struggles with the hero-worship mantle, but put on a brave and gracious face in the interests of those who turned out - recognising that this was good for our movement, not him. I quite simply adore the man.
(the therapy angle of writing this just worked, because I have now shed my first tear).

If there are positives to come out of last Thursday's election, one of those is that Jeremy will be able to finally put down the weight of all our hopes and aspirations and get some of his life back. That goes for his family, as well.

It is a credit to the man that he has survived the last four years, buoyed in large part by being comfortable in his own skin. A lesser man would have crumbled a long time ago, with all the crap that has been thrown at him. Dragging ex-partners out to paint him as some kind of machine, powered only by baked beans really is the gutter in which his detractors now lie.

I love the photo that I have posted to accompany this rant, because I think it encapsulates just how comfortable Jeremy is with his lot. He has a wonderful supportive partner, three fantastic sons and a cat. He would have made a fantastic Prime Minister, but it was not to be. That is our loss and we will feel it for years to come.

Continue speaking truth to power, Jeremy - you did all (and more than) we could possibly ask of you. You will be very hard to replace, but you have more than earned a period of rest. Then come back and sock it to them, for us all.
Thanks for posting this.

A lot of it resonates with me.

I found the whole election depressing. As a regular on Urban for years on the Brixton section I've found the response there making me feel hopeless. I thought Urban was an antidote to hopelessness and in last few days I've been questioning that. So thanks for this.

Apart from the supporters of the Tories there is also a of of people who are loving the fact that Corbyn is out.

I've seen it on Brixton Forum and its been getting me down.
 

brixtonscot

Well-Known Member
Very true Gramsci , I always get your namesake's quote mixed up......
"Optimism of the intellect , pessimism of the will"
Or
"Optimism of the will , pessimism of the intellect"

Depending on my mood , either could be valid for me ....

And friendofdorothy , it's not just worse than Thatcherism now.....I think it is also a deeper continuous entrenchment of Thatcherism.....her legacy in much of the "post-industrial" North , and also seen in all the selfish , hyper-individualistic bastard children of Thatcherism now coming of age
 
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campanula

diminished responsibilty
Feh, have gone full retreat mode from all news (political shit). Horribly depressed for similar reasons mentioned by Gramsci. I am miserable about the whole lying fiasco, mortified by social media and really quite upset by the vitriol directed at Corbyn, who I mainly considered an essentially dutiful and compassionate man, by his lights. I liked the idea of a more collegiate politics and am dismayed by the demands for charisma and leadership (mainly because I tend to regard people with those qualities with some suspicion). More worrying, I think, is what brixtonscot refers to as selfish, hyper-individualism...and it is this malaise which I am finding much more pervasive and insidious. A neighbour of mine, a single man, embroiled in a slow, alcoholic suicide, has just been taken to hospital (again) so I have somehow landed with cat feeding duties. His house is awful - reeky, dark and grim. His daughter visits him (but keeps him at arms length from her home and family and has made ir quite clear that she will not be helping out at all...so what to do? Not looking forward to airing and cleaning the place, buying cat litter...but would look forward to seeing him delivered back to a shithole even less. So yeah, I guess I am reducing my 'circle of care' to my immediate family, my (poor) friends and neighbours - everyone else can fuck off. My daughter, a social worker, discovered her manager voted Tory. This would probably have been the last straw (she is on the FAST team - literally the last line of defence for children's and families safeguarding) in a system utterly broken. She is a good social worker...which is why she is being consumed with despair...and feels betrayed that her manager should be so fucking misguided or insulated as to vote for a Tory. I did social work too...and actually thought being fully leftwing was part of the job description. All of us in my family have had the 'leaving the country' fantasies (Portugal is the most popular option...but skint) so we carry on, doing what we always do. One day at a time.
 

Yuwipi Woman

Whack-A-Mole Queen
Yeah, I've been feeling a bit out of sorts. Doesn't help that I've been ill otherwise (kidney stones, followed by kidney infection, followed by the flu) and tired from working full-time and going to school.

There are times that I think of just ditching everything, moving back home, and rolling up the sidewalk behind me. I have four acres. That's enough to raise my own food, and spend a good amount of time puttering about to keep busy. I almost did it when Trump won the last election. If he wins again, I'll be hard put not to just dump everything and go for it. I could rent out my house in the city for enough cash to keep the taxes paid.

In the meantime, I realize that there are limitations on what can be done. I try to focus on little things that I can do. I work making baby items for a group that puts together new baby packages that are given out at WIC offices. If you feel you're not making any progress, its good do something that lets you see the tangible, but small, result of your efforts.
 

brixtonscot

Well-Known Member
The following quotes are from January 2019 article looking at work of Mark Fisher & Capitalist Realism....

Capitalist Realism as.....a widespread sense of resignation over the foregone conclusion that neoliberal capitalism is the only game in town.....

...He saw the rise of Donald Trump and Brexit as a reaction to that resignation: both represented a “fantasy of nationalist revival,”.....

( and devastatingly mistaken )

... Capitalist realism is beginning to break in the United Kingdom, where Jeremy Corbyn is on track to become the next prime minister. Mark saw this before his death.....

( hope against hopelessness ? 10 million people voted for Corbyn led LP )

The Beginning of the End of Capitalist Realism
 
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campanula

diminished responsibilty
I am an optimist by and large (despite being reclusive and anti-social) with an abiding belief in the cyclical nature of reality...but feel we have gone over the cliff, with an increasing likelihood of falling into fascism. There is a fatalistic perception, amongst my friends and family, that resources are going to be scarcer and while those with sufficient wealth feel they are somewhat insulated (although I fail to see how you can buy your way out of rising sea levels or widespread pandemics), it will be those of us with more precarious positions (along with much of the global south) who are elbowed into oblivion (as unproductive mouths or worse, choosing to become a burden) - yep, I have heard this said, particularly when relating to homelessness. The diminishment of labour (rather than Labour) has been an insidious trope with layers and layers of stratification. My daughter and her colleagues in the front line of social care feel they have nowhere to go. Strike action is no good at all because they are not seeking individual redress in terms of pay and conditions, but a reassessment of the huge bureaucratic (and resource sucking) middle-management, stuffed to the gills with business metrics (the process, the monitoring, the outcomes, statistics, spin, allocations...where compassion simply cannot be shoehorned into some business school of 'successful outcomes'...while families and children are not even getting many of the crumbs which fall from the table. How to combat Capital when it is seen as literally the only option? Retreat or put yourself on the line? I feel I have failed as a parent by emphasising social duty, service, sharing, kindness and community...as my empathetic daughter is being consumed with grief while harder, more detached, workers can somehow ignore the fact that we are all the same under our skin.
Not feeling too resilient today (need to do some restorative pruning and wait for new shoots and buds).
 

StoneRoad

heckling from the back!
Thursday's election result - the triumph of greed and racism, on top of various personal losses this year, has toppled me back into hopelessness.
The work I do seems harder than ever, as our clients/customers are finding that trying to get funding for restoration projects is becoming more and more difficult.
My inner self was buoyed up by our garden over the summer (such as it was), now that looks as decrepit and dead as it can be. A long, long time until Spring.
 

Edie

Well-Known Member
I try and remember that as an overall trend we remain so much more better off now than we ever have been. Ever. Not everyone, but generally. Worldwide and in this country. Yes there are some who genuinely have to rely on food banks and are homeless and that is shit and avoidable. But for the majority we have seen generation on generation improvements in living standards, healthcare, leisure time, technology, food quality, environmental standards. No point getting so pessimistic you can’t see the wood for the trees.
 

friendofdorothy

Solidarity against neoliberalism!
The following quotes are from January 2019 article looking at work of Mark Fisher & Capitalist Realism....

Capitalist Realism as.....a widespread sense of resignation over the foregone conclusion that neoliberal capitalism is the only game in town.....

...He saw the rise of Donald Trump and Brexit as a reaction to that resignation: both represented a “fantasy of nationalist revival,”.....

( and devastatingly mistaken )

... Capitalist realism is beginning to break in the United Kingdom, where Jeremy Corbyn is on track to become the next prime minister. Mark saw this before his death.....

( hope against hopelessness ? 10 million people voted for Corbyn led LP )

The Beginning of the End of Capitalist Realism
thanks for that link, this bit seems to sum up Urban atm:
And he saw that resignation in how leftists communicated with each other, describing, in one of his most famous essays, “Exiting the Vampire’s Castle,” how leftists have abandoned solidarity, shared experience, and common purpose in favor of essentialism, individual turf-guarding, and brand-building, often weaponizing identity to bludgeon each other rather than build an effective movement. Tragically, the approach paralyzes these movements, making them unable to take up the urgent task of fighting oppression or much of anything else.
I think solidarity is key and I'm trying to establish it where ever I can. As have you brixtonscot - remember that you have given me hope.
 

friendofdorothy

Solidarity against neoliberalism!
And friendofdorothy , it's not just worse than Thatcherism now.....I think it is also a deeper continuous entrenchment of Thatcherism.....her legacy in much of the "post-industrial" North , and also seen in all the selfish , hyper-individualistic bastard children of Thatcherism now coming of age
yes it it much MUCH worse than Thatcherism now, true.
You have inspired me to change my tagline
 

brixtonscot

Well-Known Member
I try and remember that as an overall trend we remain so much more better off now than we ever have been. Ever. Not everyone, but generally. Worldwide and in this country. Yes there are some who genuinely have to rely on food banks and are homeless and that is shit and avoidable. But for the majority we have seen generation on generation improvements in living standards, healthcare, leisure time, technology, food quality, environmental standards. No point getting so pessimistic you can’t see the wood for the trees.
I'm sure I remember reading that relative living standards in UK had been historically gradually improving in general - until the advent of ......Thatcherism , when they started to go into decline , for the first time ever.

"Thatcherism" is probably wrong term , as it should more accurately be called neo-liberalist capitalism.
Drawn up by Chicago school of Economists , first brutally implemented by CIA assisted coup in Chile , then taken up by Reagans govt in USA , and Thatcher's in U.K.
 

brixtonscot

Well-Known Member
I have the impression most of us commenting here are getting on a bit ( I"m 66 ) and that shapes and informs our views , for worse or better.

It would be good to hear opinions of younger folk too......IF there are many on U75 or any suggestions where else to look ?
 

campanula

diminished responsibilty
I try and remember that as an overall trend we remain so much more better off now than we ever have been.
I don't think we are, tbh. Wages have been in decline for 40 years. It is a fucking disgrace that so many working people need to be subsidised through tax credits (essentially, like Housing benefit, a subsidy for employers and landlords Housing is in utter crisis with the relationship between salary:mortgage borrowing broken, no social contracts between landlords and tenants, benefit caps. Public services are worse, right across the board. My children grew up with youth clubs, cheap swimming ( leisure facilities all privately owned and unaffordable). Education - what can I say - on every single level, from primary schools to HE it has become a brutally selective, exclusive process of sharp elbows and sharper practice. Food and agruculture - this us a disaster zone - we are looking at intense soil erosion - parts of East Anglia are a summer dustbowl with unprecedented disease levels. You work in the NHS - tell me this is better and how. Energy - privatised, spendy and inefficient as water companies fail to invest in infrastructure (the recent floodings are not simply weather and not even climate change...but a woeful mix of greed, neglect, insane policies (such as grouse moors) with the priorities clearly revealed... no money for places like Yarmouth. More children in poverty...with mental health crises. More loneliness.
So, we have the internet, cheap consumer goods (bit always with a price for someone). I think the myth of progress - each generation being better off than previous, is exactly that - a myth.

eta - quite a lot of keyboard letters have been worn away - particularly the entire top line from r,t,y,u,i,o which are completely blank, so apols for terrible spelling
 

campanula

diminished responsibilty
However, this thread is about 'Combating Hopelessness'...not having a bloody great whine so...my plan (such as it is). I sowed my first wildflower meadow this summer. I have wanted to trial the concept for ages but meadows tend not to translate into small urban gardens (my customers)...but do work rather well in larger, council-owned public spaces. I had a patch of awful soil (after grubbing out a dozen blackcurrants) so ordered 100grammes of wildflower and native grass seed (with a few extra seeds and plantlets and spent summer, prepping the area.
More and more councils are abandoning traditional 'bedding out' in favour of sustainable community gardening - our council not being one. They are both lazy and cheap and have come up with a wheeze to monetize public gardening by allowing residents to plant out verges. but are charging us £117 for an individual 'licence'.
However, I will be taking pics of my meadow and, armed with both theory, practice and pics, I will be nagging the council to set up a city-wide gardening initiative, providing seeds, advice and getting as many people as possible reclaiming our public spaces, one cornflower, wallflower, dianthus at a time. And not paying to do so because we will go ahead and do it anyway. I will keep the thread updated.
 

campanula

diminished responsibilty
at the risk of stating the bloody obvious, but are you aware of GuerrillaGardening.org ?
I am...and cheerfully participate. It can be very sporadic and patchy, with very mixed results. Also, tends to involve planting mature plants which have been donated or home-grown, so works best when the spaces are small and accessible and clearly benefit from a clean-up and addition of a few tough and resilient plants. To plant a roundabout or pavement verges requires place specific plants, in quantity...and the best method (most economical and environmentally sound) is to grow from seed...which is a longer-term project and requires a certain amount of co-ordination. Community planting is also about an investment of energy, engagement and commitment, rather than just a handful of people, planting in secret. Both methods are valid and result in a net gain.
 

Yuwipi Woman

Whack-A-Mole Queen
However, this thread is about 'Combating Hopelessness'...not having a bloody great whine so...my plan (such as it is). I sowed my first wildflower meadow this summer. I have wanted to trial the concept for ages but meadows tend not to translate into small urban gardens (my customers)...but do work rather well in larger, council-owned public spaces. I had a patch of awful soil (after grubbing out a dozen blackcurrants) so ordered 100grammes of wildflower and native grass seed (with a few extra seeds and plantlets and spent summer, prepping the area.
More and more councils are abandoning traditional 'bedding out' in favour of sustainable community gardening - our council not being one. They are both lazy and cheap and have come up with a wheeze to monetize public gardening by allowing residents to plant out verges. but are charging us £117 for an individual 'licence'.
However, I will be taking pics of my meadow and, armed with both theory, practice and pics, I will be nagging the council to set up a city-wide gardening initiative, providing seeds, advice and getting as many people as possible reclaiming our public spaces, one cornflower, wallflower, dianthus at a time. And not paying to do so because we will go ahead and do it anyway. I will keep the thread updated.
One of the reasons that I consider going back home is that the four acres there is currently being farmed by a neighbor who puts it in corn every year. That's bad for the soil, bad for biodiversity, wastes water, and requires a lot of pesticides. I think sometimes of taking it back and putting it into a food forest, planting native species, and rebuilding my father's orchard. (There's currently only one apple tree left.) It would be a much better use of the land than just one more corn field.
 

campanula

diminished responsibilty
One of the reasons that I consider going back home is that the four acres there is currently being farmed by a neighbor who puts it in corn every year. That's bad for the soil, bad for biodiversity, wastes water, and requires a lot of pesticides. I think sometimes of taking it back and putting it into a food forest, planting native species, and rebuilding my father's orchard. (There's currently only one apple tree left.) It would be a much better use of the land than just one more corn field.
For over 200 years, farmers in east anglia practiced the Norfolk crop rotation...or 4 course system. I imagine there are similar methods in Nebraska, Yuwipi. My farmer neighbour still adheres to this exact system (although he grows sugar beet instead of turnips). However, there are so very few small, mixed farms...and for people outside of farming families, it is an over-capitalised, closed shop of massive land tenure systems and intense soil wrecking agriculture. Some parts of industrially farmed Norfolk are almost wild-life deserts with highly managed islands of National Trustified ersatz pastoral redoubts. Urban bees are frequently healthier than their rural relatives..Soil is a precious declining resource. Planting a seed is a true act of hope...and gardening, which requires no great outlay, no specialist tools, can be practiced by everyone and is a truly immersive, sensual, creative, nurturing experience - what's not to love?
 
Isn't it weird and fucked up that connection with nature, planting seeds, enjoying the company of plants and thinking of the Plant realm as important and significant is considered to be revolutionary or subversive or odd.
i think it's only considered to be subversive and odd when a big-business garden centre isn't involved...
 
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