Are we a consumerist society - or a 'producerist' society?

We are thoroughly used now to thinking of our society as a ‘consumerist’ society, and of ourselves as, above all, ‘consumers’. This seems to many of us now quite simply an obvious truth, and in some ways a good truth: think of ‘consumer protection’ and ‘consumer rights’ organisations, from Ralph Nader to Which? Think of ‘ethical consumerism’.

But: what if this self-image were in fact both misleading and disastrous?

Corporate money, the deformation of politics, and a values alternative

There is a deep need for a deep reframing of politics. Politics needs to be understood as about making the world a better place, about saving our common future.

But there is in fact widespread cynicism about politics at present. Why is this?

Because: such cynicism is largely justified…

In other words: the bind that we are in as a culture is that, because of the state of our politics, which frequently and in many respects justifies cynicism, there is insufficient drive towards creating a non-cynical alternative politics that would work. Moreover, in order to succeed in creating that politics, we have first to understand properly just how bad the current situation is: that is, how deep are the forces that create our more or less corrupt current politics.

The British should heed Free Libya’s call for a no fly zone

The most crucial argument in favour of a no-fly-zone is that it is what the free Libyans, at least as manifested in the Transitional National Council in Benghazi (the fledgling caretaker-government-in-waiting), have themselves called for. Just as we supported sanctions against South Africa because it was what the black South Africans themselves called for, so we should do what the free Libyans are calling for.

AV means you can stick to First Past the Post if you really want to!

I’ve made the case for AV in detail here and here. I thought I had worked out all the pro-AV arguments. But sometimes a question comes along that makes one realise that there is still more to learn.

Example… I was recently asked this question: "Will there be an option, in AV, to just vote for one party when not wanting any of the others in at all?"


Subscribe to Writings