If you like this, you can get me at @soundmigration on the Twitter machine. I also exist in real life, drop me a line or add comments. I wont censor perspectives, but will remove stuff thats racist, sexist etc. I’ll try as much as possible to response in reasonable time.
Im using this as place to try and tease out some of the questions and ideas about irish society and the wider world that kick around in my head a lot. I’ve no real set plan at all, except bringing conversations I have lots of different folks out of pubs, meetings, gigs, over dinners and various workplaces. Ive no claim to being original/unique and most come from conversations with friends some political some not. Personally I’m coming from a place of radical doubt and militant hope, two of the most useful co-ordinates a life worth living, and one that questions the underlying assumptions which underpin systemic injustice and inequality
I doubt that the way society is currently organised can deal with the real issues of inequality and social and environmental injustices. Not surprising considering that the way our societies are currently organised is – if not thee – then certainly a major source of the problem. The actual nature of the problems facing us are hard to fathom, as they are simulaneously visible yet impenetrable as we look around us yet hard to crack into. Our common day to day vocabularly has yet to catch up with our experiences in ways that makes sense of what we see around us.
I also doubt that many of the ‘traditional’ and historical forces of the left, that have shaped the trajectory of emanicipation and the resisting of explotation and injustices are up to the task of either explaining or overcoming. Why? If they were we wouldn’t be here. Continuing to do what was done in the past on the basis of dogma and blind faith is not enough. There is no theory or blueprints for the ways forward, our crisis’ are new and global. Thats is not to say we have not lots to learn from, for we do. Nor is it a retreat into the idea that we cannot know anything. Critical marxism, anarchism, feminism, queer politics, critical ecology can and do provide philosophical underpinnings for lots of what I think. Care, empathy and solidarity are key. Its the practice of working with others, on the basis of equality and without heirachy is what give these ideas life. Its the inspiring actions, thoughts and reflections of people both long dead and very alive, of people I know and people I’ll never meet, that affords me militant hope. Its knowing that there is a movement of people out there, that has yet to define itself, to find its voice.
The willingness of people to refuse to become complicit, or pretend to be stupid is what sustains social movements for change. Intellectual dishonesty is the plastic coating that protects ritualised “common sense” from the erosion of the critical activity, words, thought and deeds. Our stuggles are never academic. Or indeed are our wins ever permanent, or our losses ever total. We we see, walk and talk with each other as equals, with dignity, passion, anger, and love we can do amazing things together. I know this not just because its the history of ordinary people, but it is the only way that we recognise ourselves in each other.
So where does that leave us. Perhaps its brings us to a question that is both intensely personal and ultimately collective. What are we to do with our lives?