Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.
I’ve spent the last 10 months making a series of notes, arguments and rants about politics. I feel like I’m done with that now. It’s not that I’ve solved the world’s problems nor have I fully mapped out everything about our predicament. There will be future posts – books reviews and analysis. But for now I am spent. I feel the satisfaction of a man who has completed a particularly rigorous bowel movement.
I am conscious that my posts can be read as fatalistic. I tend to focus on economic and social forces that act over decades as a contrast to the surface noise of personality politics. I mostly end with an injunction somewhere between Cassandra and Private Frazer. So it’s worth saying that I don’t think we are helpless. These social and economic trends consist of a myriad of individual choices and actions by people. We make our own worlds through action or inaction. This is not absolute. We have limited power over others. We have less power over ourselves than we proclaim.
Interesting times offer opportunities. the unthinkable becomes commonplace. The Overton Window fractures into a swarm of glass and steel shards. Never let a good crisis go to waste. I see a fecund vision of future fuck-ups some of which might actually work. Some of these will be big. And some will be small.
Some things I think are worth paying attention to:
- The Parkland students in the US may or not change gun laws in the US but I am immensely heartened by their actions.
- The work of the Open Australia Foundation.
- The #MeToo movement.
I’m more interested in experiments now. And these experiments will be local – because all politics is local. I may blog about them.