Leftie Zeitgeist

Yesterday afternoon was another eye opener for me, sitting on the sofa feeling absolutely drained, as if a tap had been left on in my foot and all energy emptied from my body. I’ve tried to describe it before, as the fatigue I experience now is so different to even extreme tiredness I’d experienced pre-crabtime. For example, previous tiredness might have been muscular from lots of physical exercise or work but current fatigue is as if every part of my body, every cell is knackered. Or maybe not every cell as after taking a while to come round in the evening and some re-fuelling at dinner I returned to my blog and although quite an arduous process produced some writing that caused for the first time more than one contrary response: thank you Richard and Martin.

Richard, I did not write that the Greens began life as an environmentally concerned group as a putdown but as a fact, and that they did not originate in direct response to wealth inequality and the kleptos and bb’s austerity bollocks as Syriza have. Since then they have evolved and are now asserting their opposition to austerity, their humanist credentials and attempts to create ‘bottom up’ policies which chime with many of us on the left. I understand the appeal of ridding ourselves of the duality of left and right and it’s polarising effects, but I have yet to develop beyond Socratian dialogue and dialectic as a means of understanding and progressing. Our current Westminster politics is but a very pale shadow of this as they bandy insults and dodgy statistics, just the simulcra the powerful want. But I rejoice in the simplicity of Syriza who are by no means extreme left wingers, merely people who want simple justice and fairness and reflect how skewed to the right our politics has become. As Mehdi Hassan writes their programme of “debt relief, fiscal stimulus, and financial support for the poorest, rather than the richest, is mainstream macroeconomics”. Let’s wish them all the best as there are many powerful people and groups, both outside and inside the country, who will be plotting their downfall, then we might have, as Martin suggests, Germany 1935.

Martin you’ve too long been swimming in the pool of the prevailing right wing orthodoxy and portraying the Greeks as lazy, non-tax paying and corrupt reflecting what the powerful want. Syriza are against such corruption and of course nothing like that happens in our enlightened country; home to most of the world’s tax havens and world leaders in tax dodging (let’s just call it this instead of pretending that avoidance and evasion are somehow morally different) and chief architects of a horribly simplistic ‘austerity’ which is used as cover for the right wing fucks to dismantle the welfare state, workers rights and working conditions and the complete hegemony of the kleptos and bb’s. Also to talk about the failure of communism is a rewriting of history, it’s certainly not the end of history. Look around at the effects of so-called neoliberalism and an unfettered free market. There have been some attempts at communism, and variations of, and each time we should learn from the failures and shortcomings but not then assume that capitalism is the only game in town. Perhaps some fusion of Green approaches, especially considering the environment, and left/socialist principles? Bring on the dialectic!

So read this blog and surf the zetgeist, you pompous twat Duncan. But, a few days after I write about the prevalence of the privately educated in the arts the New Statesman has it’s latest edition given over to this. Stuart Maconie writes an impassioned piece: “The current economic climate is returning the practice of art to what it was 300 years ago – a rich fellow’s diversion, a pleasant recreation for those who can afford it, rather than the cultural imperative it should be”. There is a blanding and coarsening of our culture with the increasingly bland art being produced by the privileged few and the coarse prurience of Jeremy Kyle and Benefits Street (alongside the fetishisation of wealth). Will we witness the likes of Lennon and McCartney again? At the end of his piece Maconie has bows and arrows to fire up the ladder at james blunt, so with my pitchforks our arsenal is growing.

Maybe I’m not a zeitgeist surfer. I may have mentioned my recent marmalade craving and a reawakening of it’s pleasures, in my new more health conscious phase I have just one slice of toast but with a really thick layer of butter underneath an equally thick layer of marmalade. But marmalade sales have been in decline for a while with the less sophisticated likes of nutella increasing with the marketing gurus saying marmalade is old-fashioned – ignorant twats. Then along comes the Paddington film and sales increase, see me sharing my board with a Peruvian bear.

More affirmation of the simulcra of modern existence when Will Self (now he really uses words you need to look up in a dictionary) as he writes about Jo Malone on Desert island Discs being asked about packaging being as important as content and her agreeing profusely. Self then writes about the victory of style over substance being complete and we have exchanged ” the indivisible, and the eternal, for the many, the fissiparous and the provisional”. (I had to look up fissiparous – inclined to cause or undergo division into separate parts or groups).

Kate and I are off to a pretty flash spa stay tomorrow, Careys’ Manor in the New Forest (when does it become old?). Bleedin’ champagne and spa socialist that I am.

Manifesto 74:

  • a realignment of political descriptors so that all reporting truthfully presents stuff as either right or left

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

One thought on “Leftie Zeitgeist

  1. Yes, Duncan, oh yes, let’s send Syriza any support that we can; their resurgence against the corrupt wealthy of their own country and the apparatchiks of austerity ( who prop up the wealthy of other countries ) is to be admired and celebrated. In the short term it can only happen here if there is a substantial schism in the Labour Party and a team up with Greens and nationalists. As George Monbiot said earlier in the week, it is clear that in their present guise, Labour are part of the problem not the solution. Thanks for the heads up to Stuart Maconie’s piece, right on. Enjoy your spa weekend, and each step slowly back into the extraordinary ordinariness of the world. Richard


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