Political awareness

Posted: 10/11/2012 by zandtao in Struggle
Tags: , , ,

Political awareness is an integral part of personal development, and therefore needs to be integrated into your way of living. Put another way, political awareness means activity. I have just discovered an Al Jazeera programme "Activate". It is concerned with activity, and the first one I watched focussed on a group of Argentinian women who campaigned against a mining company and won.

Now of course what they did did not solve anything globally, they just protected what was theirs – their mountain, their water. The mining company presumably went somewhere else and inflicted their damage on some other less resourceful community. But what it did show was that their political awareness becoming active had an impact. Their activity had an impact.

When I was active myself we always fought the apathy and arrogance of the “armchair socialists”. Unfortunately that battle was drastically lost because discussion has proliferated leading to “internet socialists” who can point to a signed petition, a discussion on facebook, a pretty website, as a means of expressing activity. Whilst these are better than nothing they are marginally so, having the t-shirt does not fight the power of the 1%. In reality the 1% are more than happy with the majority of the internet discussion as it is mere wind whistling through cyberspace, and has very little to do with the exploitation they perpetrate on the ground in real life. The internet should be recognised for what it is, a means of communication and not a “place” where socialism can defeat capitalism or the 99% defeat the 1%.

In reality no such “place” exists at the present time, and maybe in the conceivable future. The machinery the 1% has in situ through its control of the workforce and the control of politics means there is very little chance that the democratic movement can do anything significant to dislodge it. Sadly the catastrophes endemic in capitalism and its fiat money have to eat far more into the liberties of ordinary people before they are prepared to become personally active. We are left with the activities of those strong people who “activate“.

The term awareness is more a spiritual term rather than political, and as such is often misinterpreted as not having an encumbent practice associated with it. This mistaken approach is much more stark when political awareness is considered. Political awareness is only the beginning, and it is not a beginning that takes great steps to reach. It is quite obvious that politically the world is in a mess, people who don’t recognise this choose not to do so. And therefore those, who claim political awareness as a justification of who they are, are not claiming much. To measure politicisation is to measure activity as it is only in activity that politics is enacted. “Internet socialism” means little because it does not imply activity. Even the least novice who joined the Occupy movement on the streets has gained greater politic than the many sophists who inhabit the cybersphere of internet socialism.

And wherein is this political awareness they speak of, it lies in the manipulation and control of money, those that do not see this are not being politically aware. It is for the creation of profits that wars are fought, political elections are not fought based on ideology but the control of politicians is bought by campaign contributions and this control then leads to profits through government regulation on behalf of the vested interest. Profit-making is the purpose of those that exploit and financial control is the purpose of politics.

For the political aware their first activity is how they earn their money and how they spend it. Traditionally for most people on the left their expenditure is not considered, and whilst on the one hand they might campaign against transnationals, they might do so over a coffee at Starbuck’s. Whilst organic coffee at an independent health food cafe might be beneficial, contributing to the coffers of a transnational however minimally is not an act of political awareness. As with the conclusion of the movie “Ethos” our personal power lies with how we spend our money. And that means all our money especially our investments such as pensions. To live a life of consumerism whilst claiming political awareness shows a lack, sustainable consumption is the mark of awareness.

The actions of the politically aware begin with an examination of their personal expenditure, and then their actions move onto street activity; awareness is not an intellectual pastime, it is not “internet socialism”.

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