As previously notified, at the end of June I retire from Senscot and my weekly column; 1034 bulletins over 20 years – not bad eh? Along with Social Firms Scotland, Senscot is forming an exciting new entity, called SE Connect, which will continue to circulate its weekly bulletins about frontline social and community enterprise in Scotland and beyond; you will continue to receive these normally. Personally, I don’t feel ‘done’ with writing, so I’ve set up my own wee independent blog site – which requires separate subscription. It’s called Larry’s Lunchette – a name recycled from my first venture, sixty years ago – so a bit of nostalgia; it’s a pleasingly modest name, personal, convivial, no ongoing significance. I love Steven Camley’s cartoon. So continued access to my weekly slaverings, requires that you subscribe
Before this week, I’d never heard of the 74 year old biologist turned Buddhist, Matthieu Ricard, but I can’t exaggerate the pleasure I got from reading
this interview with him; I’m in almost total harmony with the philosophy he espouses: “I don’t have huge plans – I don’t want to die on an aeroplane – it’s time to go back to the hermitage – a few years of peaceful life; It’s my time to rejoice and prepare for death in peace and joy’. Reading about people like Ricard steadies me; from a lifetime of practice they can quieten their minds – till it’s only kindness that makes sense anymore. T.S.Eliot’s insight: ‘a condition of complete simplicity, costing not less than everything’
After the Black Death – in the second half of the fourteenth century – the peasants demanded and achieved significant social advances (
good article). Much journalism during our pandemic is weighing the likelihood of another such peasants revolt. The FTs Simon Kuper looks this week at the realistic prospects of progressive change: “Most govts still deny that they can print money with impunity, as advocated by modern monetary theory, but what matters is that they are doing it”. He says radical reform in the US has never seemed less improbable. What an irony, if in both the UK and US, the biggest fiscal stimulus is modern times is delivered by right wing, populist administrations
Nigerian poet and writer Ben Okri has posted an
inspiring article about the killing of George Floyd – how, ‘I can’t breathe’ is now the powerful mantra of oppression around the world: “This is a great moment in the life of humanity – rich with the possibilities for change.”
Enough Scotland published an
excellent report this week – ‘A Call from Scotland to Embrace Degrowth Thinking’. I particularly like their reiteration of the five international principles for creating a just society; I’d subscribe to all five. Scotland has many groups whose work connects to degrowth thinking – but we Scots are slow to share collaborative networks. Subscribe to ENOUGH newsletter.
In Australia, despite the deaths of 432 Aboriginals in custody since 1991 – no one has ever been convicted; racist silence and complicity are to blame.
This article says, that whilst there is much in their legal structure to inhibit prosecution – the basis of the silence itself is colonisation and white supremacy.
In Saturday’s Irish Times,
Fintan O’Toole wrote: “The violence of racism is deeply embedded in American society; in 2016, white American’s elected a racist president. That privilege comes at a cost.” The price, of course, is a society founded on a fundamental hypocrisy – that we are not all created equal.
Quote from Arundhati Roy – from this FT article:
The Pandemic is a Portal.
“Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”