Getting the goldfish to talk about the water

Thinking a lot about one of my obsessions –  social movements and how little innovation goes on, how little reflection on the ways we self-select into comfortable little cliques.  And in the same way I whine… sorry, analyse the difficulty bureaucracies have with being nimble (“teaching an elephant to tapdance”), I am going to start boring my friends (or the people who intermittently tolerate me) with “getting goldfish to talk about the water.”
Problem – the water is totally familiar, invisible, and comfortable. And upportive. Without you would die… except, of course, that if there is too much accumulated shit in the water, and not enough oxygen, you die! And the water needs to be flowing…

Problem 2 – goldfish have no memory, famously. So the “left” (by which I mean those who believe in collective, if not collectivised, solutions to common problems and who don’t believe in scapegoating the weak or celebrating rigid hierarchies of race/class/gender)  keeps learning the same lessons and pretty promptly forgetting them. Bunches of reasons for this, but one is the dizzying turnover of participants. Mean while, the “right” has an institutional memory because their funders have deeper pockets. As the head of MI5 tells Harry Perkins, “centuries, Prime Minister, centuries.”


About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
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