I just had one of those moments when I was not thinking about anything and an idea popped into my head. The arrival of an idea cannot ever be controlled. Not to give away too huge a brilliant idea, but last night I was talking to friends about those moments, which one friend suggested were “Three Minutes of Hedonism” and I thought were ‘3 Mindless Minutes” in which ideas arrive and the brain reboots itself, free of the things that had been bogging it down, such as trying to force a bit of writing out, work or remembering where you put something. These 3 minutes are the ones that smokers enjoy and miss after the effects of nicotine have left their body (and why I have zero interest in e-cigs), when they step out of the office for a cigarette, or those moments we go to do a number 1.
Anyway, conservatism. Sorry, with a big C. Conservatism.
The idea of this blog is to be a gentle suggestion to someone that there is a broader, less constrained way of thinking that is better for the world than ‘Conservatism”. This blog will also encompass the dangers of heading to its extreme, which I believe, dare I say it, is “fascism”.
Partial, biased, or restricted thinking of any sort will deny the thinker of the possibility of anything miraculous. Whatever your views on what a “miracle” might be, I am going to use mine: When something happens that was not planned, or even considered or wanted, that is a better outcome than one could ever hope for. This has happened to me in three major ways recently: In getting my work experience after college, in buying my home and in getting work once living in Cornwall.
I will also cover “the vested interest” and the way of working in business, which is as bad for the world as, what I think of as, “Conservatism”.
Recently, I saw a very inspiring film about the work of investigative journalism campaigns called Attacking the Devil. In it there is a very good quote that sums up why I think people can be successful with creative and human thinking and that ‘conservative’ or ‘monetary’ thinking is not only not the only way but not the right way. .
Here is a quote from Sir Harold Evans in the Press Gazette that sums up what this blog is about:
A newspaper that is broke or going broke is otherwise not well placed to be the ‘prime element of civilization’. It may well be sustained by ownership, as The Times was in the family control of Astor and Thomson and has been under Mr. Murdoch, until now at least, and The Guardian and Observer, too, under the Scott Trust.
Having edited a profitable daily and a profitable Sunday in Britain, directed a profitable news magazine in the United States, founded and edited a monthly glossy, and run a profitable publishing house, I am acutely aware of the buoyancy provided by a good balance sheet – but in none of those enterprises was making money the primary objective.
– Harry Evans
As Harry Evans says above: “making money is not the primary objective”. Exactly. Having the making of money as your primary objective rarely works, although many a corporation, government and loads of people have tried to force it to work. The main means of force is rooted in keeping people in the dark to ensure that shareholders, consumers, governments and everyone else don’t know what is going on, to hoodwink them into not .
Therefore a Conservative attitude, monetarism or a vested interest can be recognised by the manipulative or lack of communication going on around it. Is there denial? Is there domination or steam rolling? Is there silence? Yup, there you have this stinky human, not so human, attitude at work.
Conservatism is right wing, but whatever wing, it is still a bias.
The main frame of Conservatism I have experienced is the bias towards business and money making and away from creativity, artistry and anything that involves a risk or unpredictable economic outcome.
Let me remind you of the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics. Even a couple of the artists performing or represented have died since then (David Bowie and George Michael).
Who will we have to wheel out next time the Olympics comes to the UK? Some Voice contestants? Britain’s Got Talent? X Factor? oh please!
The environment in which the many talented artists up to Margaret Thatcher’s Britain started demoralising them, had some special ingredients that right wing or Conservative Governments have removed from “Great Britain” since 1. Belief in the value of effort. 2. A basic sustenance, allowing the artist to be productive and not sitting around at home worrying about where their next meal was coming from or if they would become homeless if they just spent the next 3 days finishing their painting or piece of music and 3. The recognition of creativity as of equal value to the other side. Whatever that is.
I recently read my grandmother’s letters in which she was trying to get my creative father an interview in the business side of TV. This is something that never happened and what stands out is, why does my father want to be on the boring, suits and business side of TV when he is creative. He could be a writer, comedian, artist, musician or, as he wanted to be, a director. Why was he forced into something where he would not be accepted, stick out, be different, be out of place and always expected to conform.
That’s it. Conservatism demands conformity. It has a huge ego and demands others to be like it. Opposition or challenge are squashed or just rejected out of hand. This could give rise to homogeneity, bigotry, prejudice, racism, denial and over all, less human accomplishment.
We as a nation, with the free market, capitalism and everything else, have ended up with an overall Conservative mentality. It has so effectively seeped in to everyone’s thinking that it is hard to spot.
To help us identify it: look at your attitudes to creativity. Do you believe that right brained, creative, artistic people exist? Do you think these people should have to “get a proper job like everyone else” or do you think the world would be better off allowing them to get on and produce something creatively that has no set or predictable economic outcome?
I find Conservatism also works as a smoke screen for vested interests. You know that annoying, sorry, thoroughly annoying person who always appears in a film to block the protagonist? That person. Yes, that person is working entirely from a monetary vested interest and there is no humanity in their thinking. I don’t know how someone can so effectively switch off the human being inside themselves to think entirely from the left brain, see things devoid of any objective reason, why they are so intent on putting forward a (sadly understandable) point of view that entirely represents economic value and nothing else.
So Conservatism, vested interests, ego, conformism, forcing people to be something they are not and can never be, denying and devaluing a whole chunk of what makes us human and what probably was the entire way of thinking that allowed our species to survive (problem solving) is a kind of plague.
We need to get back to a place of acceptance and celebration of difference, as, after all, artists made the “Renaissance”, who do property developers ALWAYS follow when choosing the next trendy place to buy up, develop and ruin? Artists. Think of Kreuzberg, Chelsea or Crouch End? 1. Full of artists 2. Focus on area and developers buy up property 3. Locals move out as they can’t afford to live there. 4. Richer people move in and participate less in the community. 4. the soul of the place dies. 4. cheaper places disappear, replaced with either charity shops, chain stores or boutique places. 5. prices go up and only newcomers and visitors are seen walking around. Killed. Dead. End of. Thanks Conservatives. Well done. Not.