September 27, 2018

Project Fear – Understanding it’s Origin in Existentialist terms

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:44 am by aleksan

From an Existentialist viewpoint we all have two opposing fears deep within us – the Fear of Engulfment, of losing our individuality and being overwhelmed by others, and the Fear of Abandonment, feeling alone and losing our connection to others.

Brexit fears reflect these opposing dimensions: Leaving the EU could in some induce a fear of abandonment, of loss, of being alone. Remaining in the EU for others might lead to a fear of engulfment, of losing our individual identity and independence.

So both sides can play on these fears to get support, and we are swayed emotionally depending on whether we most fear losing our independence, or most fear not belonging and connecting. Project Fear from both sides will always be with us, even determining whether we favour the Right (Need for individuality) or the Left (Need to belong)

September 25, 2018

Survival of the fittest or protection of the weak? Political priorities

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:18 pm by aleksan

Are we all equal or are some “more equal than others” to quote George Orwell in Animal Farm? When you get old and are disabled you feel unequal in lots of ways – less energy, less strength, less balance and many as a consequence have less status and ability to earn money. For different reasons children and teenagers often lack equality. So are healthy young adults the only ones that are equal? By no means – adults vary in intelligence, skills, strength and in wealth. Can we all have equal opportunities? No, because some have more skills, abilities and know-how than others.

So perhaps this is what politics is really about – recognising the unfair realities of nature and culture and devising a system that minimises or eliminates unfairness and compensates for these inequalities through the best education, health service and social services that can be provided and paid for. And this is the rub – people all have different ideas how this can be done, and may have vested interest in the status quo, and no change, if they are sitting pretty.

So we have political parties and democracy to aid the process – but does this system work? Only if people put the country and the disadvantaged first, before their own interests. Instead we have political tribes entrenched in self interested positions ruled by either fear, anger or greed. No wonder it all seems so chaotic and alienating to people of goodwill cynical of the party political process and wanting a better world for us all.

I guess it’s an evolutionary process but hopefully not one geared to Darwin’s “Survival of the Fittest” but to the revival and benefit of all existences, animal and human, the able and the less able.

September 10, 2018

Grey haired Thistles…

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:54 pm by aleksan

Old grey haired thistles in fading clothes, lives spent, nodding to each other in the meadows, in the coffee shop of Mother Nature, thinking of tea and bed.

Apes with shoes, nearer the animals than the Angels…

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:44 pm by aleksan

Reading through Facebook posts my heart sinks at the emotional over reactions, the scapegoating, the polarised arguments, plain ignorance and scientific illiteracy. Humankind may be halfway between the Animals and the Angels but who was measuring? When things go well it is easy to be kind, loving and generous but not so easy when we feel threatened or under attack. Which comes first – Law-and-order or Equality and Freedom? When we don’t feel safe we may push for more Police and Soldiers, but when we are comfortable we support Freedom and Fair Deals for all.

At the moment people are not feeling safe or comfortable and we are hearing more and more extremist views as knee jerk populism comes to the fore, with fear and hatred of those different, simple solutions for complex issues. Without wishing to be too negative I am pessimistic about politics in general, especially yah boo politics and the demonisation of people because of their opinions. Humans are still nearer to the animals than the Angels and when you strip the paint off you will find apes wearing shoes. I yearn for a time when we can accept differences without condemning the strange, when we can come together for the common good – not just for our species, but for the sake of the world and all species. Am I a expecting too much?