Nationalism is so last century

Giant soccer ball in the skySo I’m in Berlin and things are going well. Have a large unfurnished room on the 1st of May with at least one über cool flatmate (the other to be found in the next few weeks) and a broken arm due to my experimenting with “bicycle catapulting”, a new sport I hope to put my name to. I have also made progress on the social front and have meet many super friendly, young Germans, all busy doing their thing and doing it well, as far as I can tell. Also, they have painted the TV tower at Alexander Platz like a giant pink ‘fussball’ (see photo, thanks to bollin @ Flickr).
Continue reading “Nationalism is so last century”

Bombs again

More bombing action in London. Even closer to home this time.

Rode home today to find that my street had been blockade by the cops and they weren’t letting any one in. The 26 bus that had an attempted bombing goes right past my place. So tonight I’m at Jon and Neridas who live in Camden.

Poor Nerida had a horrible trip home from the city. The bus driver lost it when some people jumped in the back door and he turned off the bus, and then when he turned it on the let the people off he started revving it till people got scared. I guess the bus drivers are a bit stressed at the moment.

Nerida said she’s scared by the bombings. Jon seems indifferent. I’m reminded of the struggle that the rest of the world is going though again. It was very evident in East Timor, with the BBC beamed in via satellite reminding me of the rest of the worlds decadence.

Seems the third world is now making the decadence aware of it via the BBC.

Amateur media

As the media becomes more restricted by the powers that be independent amateur media might be the way forward for democracy.

I remember I had a long and ugly debate with Bernard and Sara one night over a couple of bottles of wine. I proposed that with the advent of cheap media devices, and internet community sharing sites, we would not have to rely on the commercial main stream media completely anymore for information on current events. As the media becomes more restricted by the powers that be independent amateur media might be the way forward for democracy.

Examples from the recident London bombing:

  1. The London Bomb Blast Pool
  2. Wikipedias ‘7 July 2005 London bombings‘ entry was up to the minute
  3. London Explosions @ Londonist

Update: Seems I’m not the only one thinking this way.

Boring old May day

May day musings, have the lefts political means changed with the times or did we miss thge point to begin with?

I’ve long thought that ‘direct action’ is a waste of time in a modern indirect world. Protest are a bit of a throw back to the 1960s where they were first tried in a democracy to a successfully end

  1. I think they were successful because it was quite a new thing to do in a 1st world country and the system of power wasn’t prepared for it thus there was unlimited media focus.
  2. It was coupled with a social movement that expressed the angst of a large group of young people (i.e. ‘the baby boomers’), and rode the already existing momentum of social change.

Time has changed dramatically and I don’t think a political decision in the 1st world has been swayed by a protest in decades. What makes me say this is that we had the biggest series of protests around the world in history against the ‘war on terror’.

So maybe it wasn’t the direct action that was important in the 60s but the social movement. People hanging out, sharing love and drugs and generally having a good time. I think the article ‘Your Politics Are Boring As Fuck’ sums it up nicely and offers a more evolved way forward. It realises that people need something back from volunteering, even if its just the basics of pleasant human interaction.

If political activates are fun and sociable (rather than socialist) they will be able to affect more people for longer. After all who doesn’t want to be apart of fun?

Cops and garbage bins must go

Would society work without cops?

I was waiting at the bus stop and a van full of chunky cops pulled up with what looked like light combat gear on. I thought about how in North Sydney they have removed all the garbage bins and the streets remain clean. What would happen if we removed all the police, would the crime rate increase?

By removing the garbage bins the council has managed to save money, but they have shifted the responsibility from them to us, the public. It’s a leap of faith on their part, or perhaps recognising that its citizens can be trusted. Why not with the police force? If the police force were removed from a city, what would happen? How much does society really rely on the police to maintain order?

I think the cops server two purposes and only one is law enforcement, the other is maintaining the inequality within society. We saw in the famous LA riots how looting and pillaging went on as soon as there was a perceived lack of law enforcement. This I believe is the society coming to equilibrium, or the ‘redistribution of wealth’. What would have happened if it had been permitted to carry on? Once all the shops were looted then what?

Even the looters would have to come to some sort of truce in order to maintain food and shelter, utility services and so on. One thing that could not happen is that people could not continue to ignore each other’s poverty or wealth. Once the responsibility his shifted to the everyone then everyone would have to become aware of this new responsibility. Groups would have to form for protection and to maintain existence.

As a side note I just went to Glasgow and came back to find my Laptop had been stolen. The police came around and could do nothing nor did they get my hopes up about anything happening. Would this have occurred if everyone were a cop?