Saving mankind from its own destruction, saving wildlife and nature that is threatened by human activity, making communities better and humans more self sufficient are probably a few of the things that are high up on the agenda of ‘must do’s’ when I am considering my political agenda.
It has been said numerous times by top scientists, governments and experts alike that there is a clear and present threat to all of the above things. Some say we have 50 years to reduce carbon emissions by 75% worldwide before its too late, some say 100 years, some say just 10 and some say it’s already too late. Whichever stat you side with one thing is clear, the threat is real. Whether you believe it’s man made or not is irrelevant…if it’s natural, our actions are still accelerating the process at an unnatural rate and even if you are a total climate change denier..which is ok..then hopefully you will agree that preserving and respecting our planet and the nature on it is a good thing regardless.
Yet the issue of climate change is often a side note for most governments around the world. Even the recent Paris climate change meeting really didn’t amount to much apart from promises, yet we have heard many Promises before.
If we are serious about tackling all that was mentioned above what will it take to turn the tide in our favour? This is where deciding your stance on politics and what methodology you support in achieving those goals comes into play.
Before I address what will likely work I want to digress somewhat and for a moment talk about the political picture across the globe and it’s important so you understand the conclusion I have arrived at.
Change doesn’t come easily nor quickly in any country and when it does appear to come it’s often the ‘same but different’. A case in point is the United States of America, right now there is something amazing happening in their presidential race. On one hand there is Bernie Sanders and on the other is Donald Trump. Both are seemingly at the extreme ends of the political spectrum whilst Clinton sits firmly in the middle of the two. Sanders and Trump though are not as different as the media would have you believe. Both want to take control of their country from the career politicians and dispose of the money men at least in one capacity or another. Both want to bring prosperity, jobs and industry back to the fore. Both are clamouring for a revolution of sorts. Of course the two of them are different in many other respects including respect for others but they both represent something different from the current establishment.
Likewise in the UK it could be argued that Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party is within the same bracket as both Sanders and Trump, he also wants to take back control of the industries and stave off competition from the likes of China in the steel industry for example. Exactly the same rhetoric as Trump although Corbyn indeed would likely try to achieve that objective with diplomacy rather than brash threats and ultimatums which you can’t help but feel is how Trump would achieve his objectives.
None of these base ideas are anything new. Perhaps real change will come from tackling the money within politics, the corruption and back handed favours which seem to dictate what happens in most western government’s.
How do you achieve that though? You have to start by electing the officials who have the will to make those changes and on the face of it you would have to argue that the likes of Sanders in America and Corbyn in the UK are best placed to make those changes. It won’t though be easy, even if they are elected. Be in no doubt that change will be difficult, change will not be as significant as you and they hope and change may not be long lasting. You see the problem is not just who is in charge, the problem is the system itself. If the system is set up to limit ‘change’ either by accident or with intent, then the changes needed to make the difference on the ground will be in short supply.
Change always comes, eventually. Every freedom and positive impact from legislation comes about as the result of years of pressure, a change in societal attitudes or even societal upheaval. Civil rights, being a key example, has never been easy to obtain in any society. Gay rights have been hard fought for over the decades but many states in America are still far from accepting of Gay rights. Even racial negative attitudes are far from banished from the great ‘land of the free’.
If it takes this long to change anything how are we going to achieve any of the objectives mentioned in the first paragraph before its too late? The truth is we can’t. Not under the present system.
In the UK if legislation is to be passed there is a mind numbing dull process to go through before anything is passed into law. There are multiple readings of a new bill before it even reaches the House of Lords and even then it might not get signed off. If something threatned the very system we live in now, threatned the status quo of the capitalist free market we live in, do you for one moment think the ‘system’ would allow it to pass? On past evidence it is so unlikely that it barely warrants a debate, and this is where the likes of Trump, Corbyn and Sanders would come unstuck.
So what kinds of changes would we need to see to make the radical differences that we would need to stave of the destruction of mankind and much of the nature upon it? Some examples might include the immediate banning of cars that require fossil fuels to operate, banning the use of plastics in goods and consumables. The capitalist mantra of ‘ever more profit’ would need to be banished and total control by one party would need to be done away with, where government is made up of multiple voices and where the people have a far greater say in what happens at every turn of decision making, schools as one more example need to start teaching our kids how to be self sufficient, to know how to cook, to know how to maintain food supplies and crops, they need to know how to build and maintain as much as they need to know about maths and language and all from a very young age.
How on gods earth will any of that be achieved with our democracies at the helm?
When one minute a left wing Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders can be elected into power to make radical changes just for 4 to 8 years later another Cameron or Clinton would likely take charge again and we go right back to where we started.
So you have to begin to ask yourself… how will things ever change?
You can’t even suggest Communism. Communism is an amazing ideology and if it could ever be pulled off it would work and would be wonderful (That’s true Communism my American friends, not ‘the reds are coming’ type Communism that your government tries to scare you with). To achieve communism within the system we have now you would need a period of what many would see a dictatorship. Not in the sense of telling people what to do in every aspect of their lives and making sneezing illegal..so to speak, but in the sense of changing the direction of our democracies on a permanent basis. For that to happen then there would be some unpalatable things that may have to happen without the overall consent of the people. What chance of that happening?
Anarchism is another well intentioned ideology but suffers the same problems as communism in coming to widespread fruition.
You then have the possibility of a planned revolution. This though will mean again the same problems as above. I say ‘planned’ because any spontaneous revolution never results in anything much better as no one follows through with any plan once the revolution is over, and who’s going to plan it? If the authorities caught wind of it you can bet you will be considered a terrorist in the eyes of the authorities.
What is actually needed is fundamental societal change and that can only come from the next generations. A revolution in teaching. A school system that is not dogged by curriculum. One that is not tied down to purely ensuring you get enough qualifications to get a job. It needs to be one where children are taught to self sustain, to think, to become humanitarians an education that teaches children by the time they are 18 to be able to sustain a vegetable patch sufficiently on their own, to build an outhouse on their own, to maintain that outhouse, an education that teaches children to forage and to cook, an education that teaches children diplomacy and tolerance for others and nature alike. Only then after a generation or two will we see the seeds of change begin to grow, we won’t need a revolution nor coup. We won’t need communism or anarchism…it will already be in existence with no need for any form of dictatorship.
In the meantime we need radical changes such as some of the things mentioned earlier in this post. Changes that right now we don’t have any hope of seeing. Just today I watched a documentary that stated a drinks bottle would take 450 years to degrade.. this as they collected rubbish sack after rubbish sack of rubbish from the shoreline of a faraway island. The rubbish had likely travelled there from some Western nation. Why is it not possible to pass laws that state no consumable drink must be in anything but cardboard as just one of a myriad of examples.
How do we get that change though? That’s where government must come into its own, that’s where the pressure must be applied and the people already knowledgeable in these fields, must begin to apply their efforts now.
In the end, we can only do what we can in the countries we reside. The world is moving towards the democracies we see already in existence today. China, India to name but two are already world leaders in pollution and they nowhere near believe they have achieved what they want to for their societies. The situation can only worsen as other nations from Africa, Asia and the Middle East increase the burden on our planet as they try to better their societies and economies. Who can blame them? Many of those countries have seen their potential held back by our very own Western democracies.
So we must look to our own countries to set the example the world can work towards. It may be too little too late, but we must try otherwise we are the fools that will, despite all our intelligence, see our own demise.
If though neither the current system nor communism, anarchism or revolution will effect the changes we need…then what will?
That is the question that has no good answer. The question should really be what has the best chance of succeeding and in a quick enough time frame for it to be worthwhile.
Focused radicalised pressure.
What If a group of dedicated people could form a pressure group that instead of focusing on a wide range of ideologies or has an over-arching remit, it instead focused on one radical idea at a time. Take for example a group like Greenpeace, there is no doubt the work they do is enviable and more than worthwhile but their remit is global and huge. A monstrous task that lacks focus. What might work in one country certainly won’t work in another… at least not enough of the time.
A focused group in one country, let’s pick the UK for this example, could start with carrier bags. It take over 20 years for one plastic bag to degrade. Just ban their use. Done. Then focus on drinks bottles. Ban that form of packaging. Done. Eventually tackle cars…ban fossil fuel operated cars and pump money into electric cars and the infrastructure. Done. These things are not far off dreams as it is, electric cars are here, plastic bags must now be paid for, more products are using recyclable material… it’s all happening but it’s the pace it’s happening that is the problem. As for the issue of school education.. that would be the biggest target but must be changed. These pressure groups though must be country based, country relevant and run nationally and not internationally for they too would be bound to fail.
With the advent of (fingers crossed) leaders such as Corbyn and Sanders in charge it would be a lot easier to implement these ideas, but even then, which one would be bold enough to make those radical decisions and would they even get the ideas through their respective houses? The people have to want the changes enough to pressure the government’s to concede and getting the public on board would be another remit of the pressure groups.
If the people by themselves without interference come to the conclusion that their governments are ignoring them, then and only then does protest and uprising become workable, but that has to be on a huge scale to work effectivley.
You can’t force through change any other way. Not without blood being likely spilt in pursuit of the ideology. Maybe though that would have to be a necessary evil to save our own souls. The question is, how bad do you want change? How much ‘will’ do you have, to see the changes needed? The answer to that is in your everyday actions and where you stand on the political spectrum.
Yes we have protest movements and groups right now but they tend to focus on wide ranging problems such as ‘austerity’ and indeed austerity is a choice and money is man made etc.. but poverty can’t be fixed by protesting austerity, poverty can only be tackled by the causes not the symptoms. You have protest movements clamouring for the Government to tackle climate change or cruelty against animals… but what’s the focus? Give the Government something to change and focus on that and above all don’t focus on small changes. Make if big, make it radical, make it achievable and then we may see some of the changes we need to see.