i also realise in retracing my steps and exploring new forms and loci of activity-how and what i get involved in now-that over too many years i have lost my familiarity with a political and intellectual milieu in which i had at least more than a passing familiarity with a wide range of issues.i am very aware that organising alongside others in some types of organisation enables us individually and collectively to establish and act like a memory( i don't mean individual rememberances but the act of memory and organising and analysing it).It also enables us to learn from each others experiences-meaning both specific life experiences and outlooks,but also from others role and position in society.BY this i mean,as an exammple that i don't need a full understanding of your industry or life but can learn from you in order to develop a full(er) understanding.where the capitalist system divides,individuates,isolates us,organisinng against it together can assistt us to overcome that system and he chaos it makes in its wake.in this context,the largely individuated intellectuals who reflect in various ways on the society of which they are a part,are themselves largely highly individuated within ever decreasing and specialised intellectual spaces.self consciously self organised forces of opposition,resistance and change should equip us to act and think in the opposite direction to create a wider,better,deeper picture of our social environment and how to change it.
if weare to have significance,we need to stand on the shoulders of giantour intellectual predeccessors who have equipped us with a series of insights and theories which enable us to sharply understand and progress to change to the better,more humane society we have to win.
a priciple tool in the box is dialectics.for one of the insight dialectics offers is how to apply a model and working out how far the particular object in friont of us both confirms or conforms with the mmodel,and how far it differs from the model.i want to come back to that point later.
one of the few things i am able to do at present better than usual,is to spend more time exploring the internet,reading material aand watching the media for reporting of current events.
the multiplicity of media over recent years,alongside the increasing pace and compexity of both them and of life as lived in general has a number of effects.
it compunds the speed,pace and supra-complexity of our environment which contributes in turn to increasing specialisation,in under standing that world which increses our alienation from it as we each have increasingly little chance of understanding it as a whole.
despite personally dteremined efforts to read and to keep informed its at several levels a losing battle,that is one of the influences on me to go back(and indeed forwards) and seek to organise with others.
at one level,organising with others,any others to rediscover,explore,learn from and apply the achievements of the left/revolutionaries/giants.at another it is important to learn from and work with others with whome i/we have enough agreement to move forward and in order to contribute to actually change the world.i will want to come back to ideas about the greater detail of organising on another occassion.
a collective approach can alos be important in developing acritical approach to news,and in reading literally and meterphorically between the lines.i will make just 3 observations here.Firstly,that whatever the qualities of the individual journalist/reporter/observer of the news,its very pace in the context of 24 hour news and production values now virtually similar to constructing/producing any other product,is that quality and quantity become increasingly intertwined so that journalists are less able to explore let alone understand at any depth.Secondly,another writer not particulary sympathetic or of the left has observed on a website blog(the reference to which i have mislaid)that in describing recent events in north africa,it is easy for journalts to see thevents on the streets and interview participants but that it is much harder to identify the actvities in workplaces and the wider community,or to understand the relationships and less observable behaviour.i would conclude that this contributes to a reported impression that when the demonstrations fade or change only a vacuum is left.our own commonsense understanding ought to tell us that life is very different to that and much mor complex.Thirdly,there are plenty of probolems with the language,which i illustrate with simply a couple of examples.WE need to listen with care;why is the developing dissent and resistance in north africa described as a contagion?why not something more constructive like a fire?The BBC/british broadcasting company is so obssessed with even handedness thaqt it reports general statements about violence,when reporting 1 injured by the demonstrators set against the greater number assaulted by the forces of the regime.then ther is the empty tired hypocrisy of the politicians,including our own in britain who say they would like to see democracy as oppossed to authoritarianism,despite having sold arms to those regimes throughout including weapons whose only purpose can be the oppression of their own people.
not everything is what it appears to be.whilst i do not claim that one or two insights constitut5e a theory,to quote the late mike kidron,british mqrxist economist,in refrence to the theory of permanent arms economy,but that is not to deny the value of the insights which can still show up what is observed in sharp contrast.in this context i observe the north african working class,students,intellectuals and others throwing off some of their chains from authoritarian regimes.contemporaneously,whilst the british government might not apply such naked,blatant or such frequent force nor be so "obviously" authoritarian,at least 2 innocent civilians have been "murdered"with some involvement of the forces of law and order over recent years.and we have a government based on a coalition that no-one wnated or voted for,and where some of its policies are not contained in any election statement.this lends truth to the anarchist slogans like,"whatever way you vote,the government gets in".does it not also make it an elected dictatorship?so what actually is ths difference?