Thursday, December 01, 2016

The Promise of Hiroshima

It was all so beautiful.
Mathematics could dissect reality itself,
Complex, and finely balanced,
A logan rock that moves with just a touch,
and through these mysteries
we came to understand
the energy constrained within a grain of sand.

Infinitesimal becomes
unbounded power.
One plane, one flash
One whole town gone to dust.
Nothing except a few skeletal lines
Some shadow where a man had been.
Silence, apart from screams.

For some, that was success.
And this is how it stays. We live
under the sword of Damocles
death dangling by a hair,
our fallibility denied.
We live beneath the constant threat,
our wilful ignorance of hell.

As if the sheer perfection of the science
could purge the politicians' faults.
As if the discipline
that led them to unlock the door
could somehow spread itself
into the corrupted soul and mind
of those whose stock in trade is lies.

  1. Richard Lawson
Just reviewing my poems, weeding out the sickly ones. Found this. Thought the last line chimes in with the present world situation.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Trump thrived on unemployment. Therefore we must create employment

It was a bit of a surprise to me, if no-one else, when Trump declared that he is going to cancel US involvement in TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. If he carries through with it, it will be the death of the TPP (which is not to be confused with TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which would involve us, and  which is itself in deep difficulties).

Greens oppose these big multilateral trade deals because they always end up putting the interests of multinational corporations before environmental and employment protection. So there is one tiny bit of silver lining on the Trump thunderhead.

It is strange to suddenly be informed by the media that the Trump vote was a vote against globalisation. Even while he was ranting against the collapse of US manufacturing, Trump's goods (see above) are being made in China. Which is of course, China's fault.

China's cheap goods do undermine jobs here in the West. So unemployment is an issue for voters, and is one of the factors that has produced the horrendous position that the world finds itself in today. Which is why we need to create jobs. Where can jobs be created? In the Green sector of the economy,  where there is a huge amount of work to be done in healing and protecting society and environment.

How can that work be done? With Green Wage Subsidy, which converts unemployment benefits into a subsidy for the green sector, and acts as a precursor for full on Basic Income. This can be done on a local basis, gradually, and can start in as many weeks or months as it takes to get the licensing paperwork sorted. All it needs is permission from the DWP for local authorities to go ahead and allow people on benefits to work in the green sector.

So, if we want to stop and reverse the dangerous drift to the right, we must cure the social and economic disease that is unemployment, and GWS is an effective means to this end.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Looking for a silver lining in the thundercloud that is Trumpism

It is hard to see any silver lining in the political cu-nim that is gathering over the world, and easy to slip into depression or at least political disengagement.

Every positive thought about the situation seems to come with a "but".

Positive thought: Trump may well get bored and resign. He didn't mean to win, he meant just to get some publicity. He is an extravert, easily bored, and could soon get frustrated with the complexities of political systematics.  The pay is not that good. He prefers his glittering Tower to the White House. His apprentices will soon be bitching at each other, big time. He may resign after a few months.

But. He has installed a bunch of extreme alt-right cronies in his Administration, and Pence will be happy to step into his shoes, so Trump or no Trump, the degeneration of US politics will continue.

Positive thought: if things go badly wrong, the Right will in reality have no-one to blame but themselves. But, the Right will continue to blame "Liberals" for what goes wrong, because blaming others (projection) is an important part of their make up. If things get bad enough, to the point when journalists are unable to cover for him any more, they will have to accept responsibility for events.

Positive thought: Trump may crash the economy, and alienate the majority of his supporters. But in crashing the economy, he will cause huge misery to people who lose their jobs, not just in the US, but in countries who are engaged with the US economically, because everything is interconnected. And if we have a big recession as a result of Trumponomics, that will drive people further towards fascism.

Positive thought: Trump may somehow not get to use his nuclear weapons. We'll just leave it there, shall we?

Positive thought: The political pendulum swings. It has swung as far as it can to the Right, short of actually building death camps, and therefore it will swing back towards the Left sometime soon. But if it swings back towards the old Left with its dogmatism and backwards looking conservatism, we will achieve nothing. If on the other hand, we can jump onto the pendulum as it begins to move, and steer it towards ecological reality instead of dialectical idealism, we can steer the world towards a more equal, more sustainable more purposeful existence. is more easy to slip into depression and political disengagement.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Trump. Why??

Trump vs Mussolini - who did it better?

Trump won. Across the whole world of thinking, sentient human beings there passes a moan of dismay and despair.

How did this happen? The New York Times opens an excellent window on the mind of the US voters, having taken an exit poll of nearly 25,000 voters.

It shows that Trump supporters tend to be male, white, 45+, under-educated, middle income (not, repeat not, lower income), rural, military, and evangelical, church-going Christians.

Their beliefs are that the economy is bad, that they are worse off today than they were, that this trend will continue, and that trade with other countries takes away US jobs. They believe that immigration and terrorism are the main problems, that illegal immigrants should be deported, and the Wall should be built. The direction of US policy is "off-track", and they are angry with the federal government. Above all, they believe that Trump will bring change.

In short, Trumpists are angry about immigration, terrorism and Government.

In very short, they are angry with everything.

What change will Trump bring? We shall see. The details will emerge as his administration begins, but there are two major points to be made.

He may or may not start World War Three. Global nuclear war is a risk, given his temperament and beliefs about the usefulness of nukes, but it shows the general danger of nuclear deterrence, and the emptiness of the mantra "no rational man would start a nuclear war". The world's biggest arsenal of nuclear weapons is now in the hands of a man with narcissistic personality disorder, and one of his first acts will probably be to review the comfort levels, decor and jacuzzi provision within the Presidential Bunkers.

The other, more certain outcome is that the US will pull back from implementation of the Paris Accord on decarbonising the world economy. My immediate feeling is that the rest of the world should just go ahead with decarbonising as fast as we can, maybe putting tariffs on US goods with higher intrinsic carbon in order to deny Trump's economy from getting any advantage from its use of fossil fuels.

It will be interesting. Trump will almost certainly fail to create the change that his supporters want. He may fail big time, and the failure of his post-truth irrationality may result in a new interest in the economics and politics of reality.

We live in hope.