Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Inventing the Future Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams

This book offers the framework of building a campaign strategy around the demand for full automation and a basic income for all. This is not a short term demand but a vision of what can be achieved if labour groups come together with academics and supporters to design the future. 

Personally I believe they have drawn the supporting network too narrowly. But that only makes the case for this campaign even more strongly. I wrote some time ago:

BIG (basic income guaranteed) may be revolutionary, but it does not need the economic system to change drastically in order to be introduced. In that sense it is reformist, although the effects are revolutionary.
The big advantages are that
1. it can be introduced without massive changes to the economic system.
2. It is a very simple idea which can be appreciated by people without much knowledge of the economy.
3. It has been tried in pilot experiments, and found to be successful in stimulating economic activity. (Brazil)
4. Many economists agree (James Robertson, Jeremy Rifkin, Edward Snowden, Richard Swift) that with technology replacing many jobs that previously required human labour, BIG of some sort is necessary.
5. Naomi Klein highlights it in her latest book This Changes Everything, as one of the game changing battles that 'don't merely aim to change laws, but changes patterns of thought.'(p 641)

The authors are coming to Leeds for an open discussion on Saturday Nov 14th, organised by PlanC.

I believe that this campaign could appeal widely across all political spectrums. Hope to see you there.

The book costs at the moment £9.09 for hard copy with e-book thrown in for good measure (30% off)


Monday, 12 October 2015

BBC drama Dr Foster

Dr Foster drama on BBC tv a brilliant portrayal of the modern dilemma facing women. Gemma stands for the best in women who actually have the wisdom and the courage to save life, save humanity from the devastation being wreaked upon it by the generations of men, blinded by greed and without the courage to face the truth about themselves, who are selling out and bankrupting our human species and the future generations. The pain caused to her by having to face the truth about this man, her husband, who did not understand what he was doing to destroy the beauty they had created together. She alone stood against the conventions of not upsetting people at a dinner table, in heart stopping audacity, in order to bring home the truth of what was happening. Her medical assistant pleaded she just didn't want to hurt anybody. But Gemma was a wolf, ferocious in her defence of the next generation, determined in her maternal role, while totally supporting her family herself, to the point of alienating her son, who just wanted a mother like other boys have. As women activists maybe we can't fulfill that picture book sort of mothering at this time when the world is burning, our priority as Gemma's, is truth and justgice.

It's interesting that one of the most frequent criticisms has been that Gemma wasn't "likeable". And that she was irrational! That's why people didn't like her, cos she didn't play by the rules. She was unpredictable. She didn't even obey the law! To obey something above the law, like truth or  life, is really challenging. And I guess it usually only happens in a crisis. Are we in a crisis??