Monday, October 28, 2013

Joining the Brandwagon

An interesting observation from here

“Paxman, defender of the status quo, engages in an argumentative strategy that many other defenders of the status quo like to employ. Namely, they claim a monopoly on realism about politics, political systems, and political solutions – it is either their way, or an anti-democratic utopian vision that is likely to end in destruction and violence. This plain false dichotomy is what keeps many people who understand there is a problem rationalizing their inaction by viewing their apathy or belief in the status quo as a settlement for the ‘lesser evil’. In other words, the logic goes as follows: yes, I understand that there is a fundamental problem in the current constitution of society, but those radical lefties are too naïve, and their ideas will never work.

But it is precisely that logic that should be conceptualized as utopian. Demanding a change because our current system for distributing burdens, benefits, and resources is not working and will lead us into economic and ecological disaster is not a utopian position. My view is that this prospect for disaster is not a ‘fixable’ outgrowth, but a structural problem necessitated by our current political and economic system. It is this view that underpins the call for radical change, the urgency of this radical call, and the refusal to ‘compromise’ within our current paradigm. If that is revolutionary, so be it. But it is not utopian.

It’s a shame that Brand plays into this by at one point calling his vision ‘a global utopian system’. Actually, what the radical left is calling for is not the unachievable, but a solution that will satisfactorily deal with the impending crises in accordance with principles of fairness and justice. What we want is the recognition of the idea that another way is possible and desirable, and we need to figure it out together. That is not too much to ask”

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