Idealism lifts us above the ordinary and propels to the extraordinary, though we may not achieve our goals – and I cannot of any idealists who
managed this – but we can achieve so much by striving to get to that state, far more than being mundane.
The recent events in Europe illustrate the idealism, and I think its something the British lack, and whilst we can stereotypically point to the Germans and being practical, at the moment Chancellor Merkel of Germany is stretching in this crisis for her ideal, the idea of Europe, yesterday she said that “Europe faces its greatest challenge since World War Two, and we should aim to come out of this crisis stronger’ and invoking the dream – clearly stated in the Treaty of Rome ‘ … of ever greater union’.
Europe is an idea still under construction, it’s still in its infancy, still struggling, at the moment it full of tension and doubt with countries trying to please its electorate and strive towards the ideal of European Union. It is the idealism which I find attractive, it is the idealism of Occupy LSX I admire, it is the aspirations, ideals that will not be met – but with a little bit of luck it will create the debate, it will cause people to question, inspire the next change.
We live in dark times, the economic crisis affecting everyone, what we need is a vision of what is going to come out of it, is it not the role of our Leaders to lead and inspire, or just to lead and intimidate?
Proverbs 29:18 states ‘without a vision the people perish’ – does that not describe us
today, we have no dream, and we have no security.
Watching the new of Occupy Portland and wondering where the land of the ‘American Dream’ has gone now the money has disappeared, where is the rhetoric of Dr Martin Luther King Jnr, where is the dream today? The dream of a free society has been severely damaged, protest is acceptable as long as it doesn’t cost, as long as it is acceptable, as long as it does not damage capital – freedom has become the servant of capital – the means to an end is now an end to a means.
The preamble to the American Constitution reads:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, stablish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The dream says ‘the people’ not ‘corporateAmerica’ to obtain, to work, to strive by their own volition – and if the people want to protest isn’t that a basic right. If Capitalism, and as far as I can see it still the only viable option, has done the greatest harm it is in extinguishing the idealism of the human sprit, we cannot have a democracy that challenges the corporate.
I am a Socialist and sometime Christian, both inform the other; my secular vision was the famous, and beautifully worded ‘Clause 4 of Labour Party Manifesto, written in 1917 amidst the bloodiest war the world had seen by Sidney Webb:
To secure for the workers by hand or brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control control of each industry or service.
Isn’t this inspiring, isn’t this achievable, isn’t this all inclusive and what we want now, is ti something we can go back to? The Labour Party rescinded Clause 4 to court the Bankers, the Stock Market, the soul had been silenced, the dream sold for thirty pieces of silver ….
There is no dream today, there is little hope, and we search Amazon and the High Street to feed our souls; but there is hope amidst adversity; perhaps the human spirit in indomitable?
One of the survivors from Utoeya going to the trial of Anders Breivik on being asked on why he was there replied “I want to try and learn why he did it” Not going on about Utoeya, only to say I was in tears at both the horror and the also the response of the Norwegian Prime Minster
We will fight this with more democracy; his words were inspiring and Heartfelt, a few months later we had the words of retribution from Cameron on the UK Riots.
If we are to survive the storm, then we need hope, a vision of a brighter future.