Performance Live’s dramatisation of Paul Mason’s latest book “Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere” was broadcast on BBC2 last night. The link will be live for a month. It is compelling, intelligent stuff, and well done to the unbiased BBC for supporting it. (A good Twitter Storify from Performance Live.)
Of course it’s Paul Mason’s agenda, the recent history of socially-connected uprising from Paris to Trump (and Corbyn) via the Arab spring. And, being his agenda, it’s very much pro-revolution, sticking-it-to-the-elite kinda stuff. Mason’s Post-Capitalist economics is clear enough and now his revolutionary politics is transparently obvious too. Proper physically violent revolution where humans get hurt. Careful what you wish for. Post Capitalism I like, but the questions are all about how to get there, sustainably.
Scarily juvenile, and particularly topical politically in the UK, is Mason’s adoption by current Momentum / Corbynista populism.
More generally however, as well the socially enlightened aspects of post-Capitalism, there is the human social network aspect, with or without technology mediation. Here again, Mason is impaled on both horns of this dilemma. I tweeted twice during the broadcast to note Mason making these contradictory statements:
#KickingOffLive “networked communication kills truth” in fact, as he now admits. Problem really is autistic objectivity.
â€” Ian Glendinning (@psybertron) July 22, 2017
Socially networked communication is good, but unmediated social networks are not necessarily good. What they spread spreads fast, but it’s pure memetics, and Momentum’s strategy is explicitly targeted to spread through social media. The ideas will be catchy, attractive, fitting with prejudice and cognitive resonance of any local network bubble, positive-or-negatively polarised and divorced from any actual truth or quality.
“Fake news” travels faster than any truth. It’s wishfully autistic, like objectively quantifiable economics itself, to believe otherwise.
[Post Note : By way of contrast Ruth Davidson – Scottish Conservative parliamentarian – with intelligent analysis of Capitalism-rebooted. All we need now is a strategic plan – how we get there through multi-partisan-electoral cycles to achieve sustainable outcomes. Hat tip to Ian Wright (ex)-MP.]
[Post Note : And another “cure” for capitalism. Don’t like the rhetoric, but the aim is true. Real “enemy” is extreme forms of so-called neo-liberal capitalism, but I prefer collaborators to enemies anyway. Hat tip to @PaulCharisse.]
[Post Note : And here a review by Dave Evans of earlier live production:
For all that these ‘populists’ have appropriated people’s ill feeling towards a self-serving establishment there is still a huge groundswell of support for progressive, inclusive change that seeks to make the world a better place for everyone and not to divide and conquer, ….
…. a step in the right direction.
For making that step, and for giving us undoubted food for thought, I salute Paul Mason.
Another constructive angle.]