Some Questions

Again, my apologies to readers for the lack of posts.  As many know, I am currently completing a PhD overseas, although I do try and return home and canvass or otherwise stay involved in local issues.  However, the PhD does have to take precedence, and at times the blog does suffer accordingly.

This post isn’t so much an article as just a series of questions or ‘wonderings’.

Not to be taken necessarily as an endorsement of Leninism, but it does ask the right question...

Not to be taken necessarily as an endorsement of Leninism, but it does ask the right question…

Bermuda

In local politics, we’re seeing the racial tribalism of the two-party system continue, this time quite graphically by a recent Bermuda Sun article.  I don’t think this is news to many outside a section of the population who may have convinced themselves that we’re ‘post-racial’.

So, how do we move beyond this and break the racial tribalism of the two-party system?

There’s been talk of a Third Party, with Independent MP Terry Lister rumored to be at its epicenter.  While there’s no shortage of people who complain about the inadequacies of the dominant two-party system, there does seem to be a shortage of people who are willing to take steps to change it.

Of course, a big question is how do we change it?  Encourage, support and vote Independents or Third Parties?  Organise an activist campaign for constitutional reform, perhaps to something like we see in Scotland, a mix of first-past-the-post and proportional representation?  And if that, how do we organise that successfully?  Who sticks their neck out and takes the risk?  What are the limitations we can do while still a colony and dependent on UK approval for constitutional change?

And if we are to have a third party, what kind of party would it be, or should it be?  Another centrist party?  A socialist party?  A green party?  A libertarian party?  How should it be structured?  Who should organise it and how?

Both parties betray a collectivist mindset, of democratic centralism or ‘toeing the party line’, which leads to defending the indefensible and a stagnation of policy innovation – and a stunted ability for critical thinking and activism.  But how do we break that?  What’s the collateral damage for those who stand up?  How do we guard against blacklisting?

International

Internationally we’re seeing geopolitical crises in Syria and Ukraine, where proxy wars between regional and global powers are interfering, supporting and perpetuating strife.  The West is implicated in their support for rebels in Syria and for aiding, abetting and supporting a coup in Ukraine.  Russia is implicated in supporting Assad and for taking defensive actions in the south and east of Ukraine.  Who’s right?  And if no-one’s right, what do we do?  And what about the whole Sunni-Shi’a schism being played out in the Levant right now, tied directly to East-West geopolitical games and Israeli apartheid state terrorism?

And then we see the demonstrations in Venezeula, and I for one have a hard time believing the US isn’t involved, to some degree, in perpetuating them, especially after their direct involvement in the aborted coup against Chavez and revelations of ongoing US attempts to destablise Cuba.  What implications does all this have globally?

In Egypt we see the military junta consolidating their control, crushing dissent and committing atrocities.  We now know that the coup was well planned, with the Tamarod movement – however organic it may have been initially – having been infiltrated and used by the junta to engineer the coup.  Bermuda still plays host to Egyptian military hardware flying to and from the US – it’s not unusual to see Egyptian air force jets and planes at our airport.  Do we have a responsibility to end this?  If not why?  If so, how?

Environmentally speaking, we see a continued failure to address the catastrophe of climate change and a continued destruction of ecologies on a global scale.  What needs to happen to change this?

Any ideas?

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3 thoughts on “Some Questions

  1. As a “socialist” (in your bio) you do support Lennon’s ideal. So the picture caption is deceptive btw.

  2. On the contrary, socialism (and Marxist thought more generally) is not monolithic. In fact it’s rather infamously sectarian.

    There’s likely as many, if not more, strands of socialist thought as there are capitalist (Keynesian and Neo-Liberalism only being the two most well known strands of capitalist thought).

    Leninism is a strand of socialist theory not necessarily supported or endorsed by all socialists. Same as Stalinism (which I abhor), Trotskyism, Luxemburgism, Gramscian, etc. Of those strands I’m closest to Luxemburgism.

    That doesn’t mean Lenin was ‘all wrong’, it just means I don’t identify with or necessarily endorse the strand of socialist thought generally known as Marxist-Leninist.

    Having said that, I do think John Lennon (as opposed to Vladimir Lenin) was indeed socialist-ic, and I generally identify more with his socialism than Leninism itself (especially the classical formulation of a vanguard party and ‘the ends justify the means’).

  3. Your question (essentially) “what needs to be done to change our continuing failure to tackle issues of climate change” suggests that your starting point is shared by some – but not all, i.e. that you accept that what man does, affects our climate.

    Not all share that view and for a number of reasons, whether real or perceived.

    (1) There is a lack of consensus within the science community as to whether that is the case (2) we have seen lies and deliberate attempts by sections of the scientific community to influence the debate with presenting distorted and false data
    (3) politically, I would suggest that there is a widespread apathy to the idea of doing something today – about an issue that will have limited impact on the lives of those who are alive today (i.e. not caring about tomorrow)
    (4) the usual wealthy v poor disdain and contempt, i.e. if the poor suffer – so be it
    (5) the regions of the world that arguably are the most vulnerable, i.e. that central band starting with the Philippines to India to Africa contain poor people
    (6) the classic “why are my taxes being used to support poor people” argument
    (7) that the changes we are currently witnessing are “normal” and to be expected as our climate evolves over time – and are certainly not man-made or influenced by man

    Is it surprising that that we continue to fail to tackle the issues?

    I think not.

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