Politics is not the answer

I’ve been asked a few times recently why I haven’t blogged on here lately. Truth is, I’ve been struggling to find the motivation, and tonight it hit me exactly why that is.

I went to see Andrew Simms’ talk at the Pavilion Theatre, part of the Brighton Festival. Andrew has recently written a book called “Cancel the Apocalypse”, which I have yet to catch sight of. I thought I’d go along and hear what Andrew had to say, the Festival brochure tempting me in with the following:

From bad banks to global warming, the world sometimes looks as if it is falling apart. But what if the only things holding us back are a lack of imagination and a surplus of old orthodoxies?

Andrew started his talk by telling us that Caroline Lucas is the godmother to his daughter, and later mentioned “his friends at the Guardian (newspaper)”. He then presented us with some detail about the levels of carbon dioxide in the air and the timescale needed to adjust them to a safe level.

Comparing economics to fantasy football, he then presented his fantasy economy, listing all the aspects that he would like to see in his personal utopian economical system. The list of ten or twelve points included a generous president who lived like the rest of us, a true democracy representing civilians, a banking system with fair rewards and punishments and a renewable/sustainable green economy.

Andrew then proceeded to tell us how this IS all possible, citing real examples from other countries, from the Uruguayan President to the green economy of Nicuragua.

Now I admire his enthusiasm, and there was nothing to criticise within Andrew’s performance or presentation. However, it got me thinking…

Andrew presented these suggestions as radical and suggested that the only thing that stops these sort of changes coming about in this country is a lack of awareness – in part due to the corporate-controlled media. He was given a rousing round of applause when he had finished.

But now it was question time.

I couldn’t help myself and I had to ask: “Andrew, thank you for your presentation. I can see that you’ve clearly done a lot of research, and I wondered why you stopped short of advocating a resource based economy?”

Andrew asked me to briefly explain what a resource based economy is. I very briefly explained the overarching concept of The Venus Project, and Andrew responded that he didn’t want to offer something that didn’t allow people choice. I then explained (rather weekly, as my voice had gone) that the Venus Project is absolutely not about that.

The next person then asked a question about the Labour party, and Andrew talked about how Labour are unwilling, or at best very slow, to take on board new or radical concepts.

Which, ironically, is my point. I stand by my view that, as good as Andrew’s suggestions are, they don’t go far enough.

A system based around politics and the monetary system will always be open to corruption. It will always lead to scarcity in parts of the world. It will always lead to unnecessary deaths in the name of profit. And mankind will never reach it’s potential (utopia is unobtainable, we can only ever be the best we can based on the knowledge we have at that given point) while we rank human life based on their “economic” output. The political system cannot be fixed. It IS the old orthodoxy, and needs to be replaced.

And THAT is why I now very rarely blog on politics.

EDIT: You can now watch the full talk online, including my question and my shiny head.

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