Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Radical Politics - What are you scared of?

Radical politics have come in for a lot of criticism recently from all sections of society including both the left and the right from where they see it as being somewhat too grandiose and idea and the very people who think radically are attached with some sort of stigma that follows them for being involved in radical politics. The left seem to believe that we are selling out our sovereignty and the right has come to the conclusion that such right politics are the preserve of loony lefties intent on some sort of anarchy to disrupt society, the centre remains indifferent and will do whatever gets them votes. Republicanism seems to have a chip on its shoulder with radical politics and this comes as surprising seen as the radicalism that has come out of Republicanism with its violent past. Republicanism was radical at one stage and has since run out of fuel .

Radicalism offers a solution to the problems we are facing and by looking at the other philosophies in place we can look at the perhaps the best ideaologies and what applications these may have to providing a radical solution to the future we are faced with.

Communitarianism is a dirty word in the circles of radical politics. Often it is associated with authoritarian regimes however some of the principles it guarantees are basic rights that we should enshrine in good old Bunreacht na H-Eireann such as access to healthcare, education but most importantly the right to work . Jobs have been seen to be a privilege, how often has it been heard by the dog on the street that “You’re lucky to have a job” as if it some reward. Communitarianism is built on the basis that communities should mould the individual which then pushes the common good for all concerned. Ireland at the moment is experiencing something of a crass indivudualisation with a heavy dollop of materialism that is creating no social movement and breathing apathy. The comparison with authoritarianism is idiotic In the extreme as authoritarinsim is accompanied by use of violence to co-erce a people into a way of thinking or subduing them as is being done by the democratically elected government of Greece. Working together as a community ensures that we all benefit and working together casts of the shackles of capitalism to ensure a fair world. This is done through the use of community projects or solidarity as exemplified by the Campaign Against Household Waste or other similar movements that galvinise a community together in the face of financial oppression.

Through Progressivism we can achieve a more democratic orientaited society that is built by the people for the people. Too often we are left with the faceless bureaucrats or politicians lining their own pockets for their own benefits,we need a system which will benefit us , the people to empower ourselves and take back the structures of society back so that we can run things as a collective society. A lot of progressives made great inroads in the inner city deprived areas of Chicago where welfare reforms were set up and social workers and properly trained people were put in place to address the issues that they were faced with. These included back to work programmes, back to education programmes and the creation of a programme where children were guaranteed at least one meal a day . Labour laws which were very anti child were reformed to ensure that those whom were the most vunerable in society were changed so that they got an education and matured so they could benefit importantly themselves and then secondly society as a whole. Following on from this there was more of an empowerment of unions which worked for the people as in complete contrast to now where they are agents of the bourgoise and work for no one but themselves.

Finally the one thing we need to do to effect change is anarcho-pacifism and a revolution. Anrchopacifism is the use of non violent means in order to achieve this as so used by Ghandi to great effect. Mass strikes, boycotts, cyber anarchy , actually anything that disrupts society . This needs to coincide with a revolution in the way we think. We need to revolutionise the the thinking of the proletariat in this country to crack the corridors of power that are in existence. Seems awfully romantic how it is phrased but it’s the truth.

Radicalism is not a dirty word, it’s a way of thinking. Don’t be scared by it, think outside the box….

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Are the Irish lacking Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence deals with our ability to deal with the emotions we experience. In Ireland while we are academically gifted and are well known in the arts world for our creativity do we lack any emotional intelligence? The ability model deals with four types of models in regards to emotional intelligence. Wikipedia explains it all pretty good:


1.Perceiving emotions – the ability to detect and decipher emotions in faces, pictures, voices, and cultural artifacts—including the ability to identify one's own emotions. Perceiving emotions represents a basic aspect of emotional intelligence, as it makes all other processing of emotional information possible.
2.Using emotions – the ability to harness emotions to facilitate various cognitive activities, such as thinking and problem solving. The emotionally intelligent person can capitalize fully upon his or her changing moods in order to best fit the task at hand.
3.Understanding emotions – the ability to comprehend emotion language and to appreciate complicated relationships among emotions. For example, understanding emotions encompasses the ability to be sensitive to slight variations between emotions, and the ability to recognize and describe how emotions evolve over time.
4.Managing emotions – the ability to regulate emotions in both ourselves and in others. Therefore, the emotionally intelligent person can harness emotions, even negative ones, and manage them to achieve intended goals.

Irish society as a whole has failed to really become emotionally mature. In any society we learn from a hierarchy, those whom are in charge as to what becomes the norm in society and these norms dictate how we act. From the top we see a lack of all four models above. The bank bailout illustrates this point perfectly.

Perceiving emotions - Enda Kenny and the govt are out of touch with the effects that the cuts are having on us at the moment. Joan Burtons cuts and the imposition of cuts in terms of hosuehold taxes and water charges bring to the fray that we are more focused on monetary gain than understanding the emotions of the public.

Using emotions - these emotions will control us if we dont control them however we are also to use emotions to help us to problem solve and reach a conclusion. FG have been cold to the touch, they have completely being impartial in dealing with the EU and seeking teh bank bailout. There has been no emotion used in the decision again all financial dealings have lead to this.

Understanding the emotions - this ties in with the first point. At what point do we realise the needs of the people as opposed to the needs of the banks?

Manage emotions - indifference itself is an emotion IMO. How do we handle it ?We dont we seem to be too laid back any lack any fire. There is a lot of this passive aggressive bullshit floating about how do we direct our energies and bring about the revolution?

For too long from the RCC all the way up to lack of compassion from the banks and government we have become too lacking in emotional intelligence, its going to contribute to our downfall...

A New Party for Ireland

We set up a new party, what do we do that is practical?

-Burn the bondholders
-Prosecute those for financial treason
-Ensure banks are run to a new standard
-Increase tax on those earning over €100k a year
-New centralised democracy
-Voting age lowered to 16
-Encourage mutual co-ops
-Grants to start new businesses
-Look at renewable energy
-Improve rights for minorities in Ireland
-Health system that is free or low cost
-Subsidised child care
-Rehabilitation programmes for those with criminal records, the lock them up and throw away the key approach does not work
-Ensure multinationals here sign a document ensuring that they engage in ethically sound practices around the world
-More links between the people of Europe
-Discussion on the NI Question,can we come to a solution?
-Specific secondary schools that teach only foreign languages, Irish,Maths and English
-To boost our universities into the top 10 in the world
-Invest money into research and design - especially science and technology
-Build links with the working class movement in Britian
-Secularise the constitution
-Entrust patronage of ALL schools to a Board of Management
-System to take civil action against orders vicariously acted in child abuse
-Ensure the Vatican plays a role in the above]
-Removal of religion from all schools
-Bring in the right to die
-Legalise abortion
-Ensure those on social welfare have a net to secure them when they lose jobs - perhaps subsidise their wage in their job till new job can be found?
-Proper training courses for the unemployed but give them a wide choice of what they want to do.
-Abandoning the jobsbridge scheme (slave labour)
-Build a stronger Galetacht linked to language learning
-Encourage Protestants to move down from the North
-Give the right to vote to our emmigrants
-Stronger agricultural base to diversify food production
-A series of local projects to grow foods such as bananas, grapes etc.
-Start up a burgeoning wine industry?
-Lower tax threshold for artists.

Thats just a start....

Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Gay Communities Failure to Politically Engage

There have been a number of times that the gay community have urged for better rights and only two weeks ago a woman got up on stage and spoke about how she identifies as being a queer woman and the pro choice groups should work with them. It was ironic in a way as there has been little or no political engagement from the gay community when it comes to politics with the gay community (of which Im a member) failing to engage with the parties in Ireland to encourage a change and promote closer ties with the political parties.Gay pride acts as an outlet for the gay community to have a party and to engage with the political establishment but they seem more intent on doing the former than doing the latter. Labour, Sinn Fein and the ULA al have a strong presence with gay groups marching and always advocating better rights and the right in Ireland do not appear to be interested as much and are more intent on either blocking gay friendly legislation like gay marriage or ignoring it completely.

How is the issue solved? People whom are seen as lights on the gay scene and seen as being leaders of the gay civil rights movement in Ireland have been utter failures so far to engage and need to promote the idea of better rights through political engagement. If we joined parties such as the ULA, propose laws and fight fire with fire with people on the far right who keep their foot on our throats we may be successful . No amount of marching with pink whistles or blaring Kylie is going to help.

Is Latin American Socialism a Success?

Chavez's recent election as president of Venezuela further underlined that the people in Caracas see socialism as the answer to some of their woes and not all but over all is it a success?

Socialism in South America could be considered to have started with Simon Bolivar, the revolutionary who drove the Spanish out of South America and established Gran Colombia in what is now modern day Colombia and Venezuela. Bolivar was influenced by the French Revolution and by the American Independence movement which he greatly admired and thought to have been one of the greatest political movements. From these admirations he established a number of ideas which formed the basis for modern Latin America and which would go on to influence Che Guevara and others rights up to Chavez. Bolivars legacy however while one of liberation was also one of a dictatorship. Bolivar himself feared being ruled by those of a mixed race which may have lead to him assuming a dictatorship. Aside from all this though, one of Bolivars most enduring ideas is that of a pan American federation of South American states to fight against imperialism and establish a system with good education, health system and legal system.

Fast foward sixty odd years and Che Guevara enters the frame. The idea of a pan American united front appealed to Che so much so that he was considered the ultimate revolutonary. Through his activities in Bolivia and Venezuela and not withstanding Cuba , his visions are seen to have been crucial in socialism in Latin America. Che can be single handedly attributed with bolstering the health system in Cuba and improving literacy with most Cubans now having a degree of some sorts.

After Che though Socialism seems to have fallen apart some what in Latin America. Numerous dictatorships posted up with various puppet governments and most notably now with Chavez who is an abject failure. There is a huge poverty in Venezuela with no job creation and people are only getting by through subsidised food. A glaring gaping hole in the national finances is being plugged by oil money ! Is this socialism proper? Are the workers being united through struggle?

Brazil, long disassociated from the Pan American idea as they are Portugese speaking and see such ideas as foreign have sold themselves out. Dima Roussef is a politician who is centre left however a lot of her policies have seen her move somewhat to the right. A dam construction project in the Amazon has been beset by workers rights issues and long hours for very little pay (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/wo...est.html?_r=2&) . Her environmental policies and rights on LGBT are leaving a lot to be desired.

Would Che be spinning in his grave?...