are we?

are we inherently mean and selfish?

I don’t believe we are. Its an age old argument reflected in the views of Hobbes and Rousseau.

it goes something like this…

Left to our own devices:

A – humans will be in conflict, a sort of dog-eat-dog approach to life and fight for themselves or me and mine, OR;

B -they will care, show compassion and work cooperatively.

It’s simplified but bear with me … Which do you think is most accurate?

I’m reading humankind – a hopeful history, he challenges the theories that suggest we are individualistic when pushed into a corner and argues that we’re more likely to work together and help each other.

Sound Utopian?

He debunks the dominant stories, the research, established theories and especially what we hear through the media, reinforced through word of mouth that we default to ‘I’. His view is that we default to ‘we.’ ie we care rather than fight.

We follow what we’re told and learned to accept, rather than think for ourselves.

Here’s one example:

William Golding wrote a fictitious story : “Lord of the Flies’ about young boys shipwrecked on a deserted island and how they behaved. What happened? As you might expect, they fought for themselves ganging up against each other. The result was mayhem leading to death.

This has profound implications.

By contrast, Bregman discovered a true story of shipwrecked boys. The result, was the opposite, as they co-operated and worked together to be able to survive.

Which story had you heard?

Most of my day to day experiences in life demonstrate people think about me and mine rather than showing care for another but it doesn’t have to be that way. Manjula (OK, I’m biased) was an exceptional example who throughout her life was faced with tricky uncaring people being selfish and antagonistic but she never let it stop her caring for and loving others. She was inherently kind.

I think much of our problems in society and the damage we do to each other and the planet is because of this mistaken belief and because our systems reinforce particular ways. These allow the powerful to dominate and keep their unfair share. So this way of thinking benefits some people more than others and that’s why it continues. It’s like ‘Lord of the Flies’ and this is maybe why we’re in the mess we’re in.

I believe it was Malcom X that raised the question: What’s the difference between Illness and Wellness?

It’s I and We.

Cool eh?

It’s actually our choice

Important Announcement

It has come to the management’s attention that some visitors to our site actually believe that the Phoenix Coup is currently taking place around the world and in Australia all debt has been cancelled. Well it isn’t and it hasn’t.

We cannot absolutely guarantee anything as in India anything can happen and it is without a doubt ‘consistently inconsistent.’ It is however great to hear that our factly fiction is getting a following and it’s believable.

Please do read on

The Phoenix Coup in three parts, with more to follow can be found here.

austerity rules!

I know it’s not fashionable but loved working for local government in the UK from 1986 for twelve years. It was a real challenge, government always is,  but felt we made some radical changes and I made a significant contribution whether it was funding innovative not-for profits, getting to grasp with environmental impact through agenda 21, consulting local people and dramatically changing services for minority communities and especially disabled people. That was then, now it’s in a dismal state.

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It’s often useful to see how others see us. Check this article.

“The disaster in Northamptonshire did not arise from nowhere. Since 2010, when David Cameron became Prime Minister, Britain’s Conservative-led governments have responded to the impacts of the global financial crisis with a program of austerity. In line with other European countries (but unlike the U.S. and China, which passed stimulus packages), the U.K has sought to manage its debts and repair its economy with a relentless trimming of public spending. For the past eight years, these cuts have presented a complicated picture. In some areas, like education and health, budgets haven’t actually gone down; they have just failed to keep up with the needs of a diverse, growing population. But central funding for the nation’s four hundred and eighteen local authorities—Britain’s busy quilt of local government—has fallen by fifty per cent.”

YES, we struggled to meet the changing and growing needs over twenty years ago and now there is far less money available. It’s a scandal.

here is the full article

The Stars dim over Europe.

Don’t panic! Don’t panic!

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are the stars dimming over Europe?

let’s not panic. It’s not a crisis!

It’s a joke combined with a bad dream.

Unfortunately its not and a majority of people in the UK have voted to leave the EU.

The consequences are of course, completely unknown but in my darker thoughts I worry that:

  • the austerity focussed Tories will use this opportunity to shift the whole country even more into the nether regions of neo-liberalism
  • this will lead to the end of the United Kingdom
  • the EU itself may unravel and halt its progress in helping create a peaceful Europe since the last world war.

But I’m naturally an optimist and usually see the beer glass half full. In that case this might be a wonderful opportunity resulting in a new election, different leaders and a rejigging of the political map on the lines of the political movements we’re seeing in Southern Europe in Spain, Italy and Greece.

I see brighter stars… Participative democracy, people’s increased engagement, new inspirational leaders and the sack for the elitist gits who are our current political representatives who have the riches to surf through this turmoil and probably just see it as one big joke!