‘Stand up, all victims of oppression
For the tyrants fear your might
Don’t cling so hard to your possessions
For you have nothing, if you have no rights .’
The BBC’s man of the people
The journalist Paul Mason is dead chuffed by a nice review of his book Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere, a study of the Occupy movements, by the American historian Paul Le Blanc.
“This challenging ‘must-read’ volume is a journalistic account with a difference, informed as it is by radical and revolutionary social theory (most obviously, through not exclusively, Karl Marx),” writes Le Blanc.
Paul Mason has only ever said one thing that has the ring of truth to it…
Dictatorships rely not just on the suppression of news but on the suppression of narratives and truth. More or less everything you need to know to make sense of the world is available as freely downloadable content on the internet: and it’s not pre-digested for you by your teachers, parents, priests, imams.
He might of course have added to the list of information suppressors the BBC….but why would he when having escaped the hierarchical confines of their oppressive, conformist neo-liberal clutches he like the prodigal son returns home to mum and dad for the bread and butter, the handouts, knowing that rebellion is all very well but it doesn’t fill your belly nor pay the pension….as the Guardian finds out as it puts the begging bowl out as Capitalism is put to the sword…
Since you’re here …
… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.
So Mason is back at the BBC preaching anarchistic rebellion on the State Broadcaster funded by tax-with-menaces…is he fighting the System from within?..Or topping up his pension?….LOL….
Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere is about different kinds of popular protest. Written and performed by Paul Mason, former economics editor of Channel 4 News and BBC’s Newsnight, the play is a personal account of how we got from the optimism of the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement to the election of Donald Trump. Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere is directed by David Lan and performed by Paul Mason, Khalid Abdalla, Sirine Saba and Lara Sawalha.
Kirsty Wark introduced the programme by saying that Art holds up a mirror to the world…in this case we get a mirror as cracked as Paul Mason’s ideas which are the usual childish revolutionary ones of everyone must have prizes in essence. The basic point of the play is that the people must rise up, take power and live in a society without a hierarchy…no-one is in charge…we all make the decisions but no-one decides. That’ll work.
What we get is drama and sensation over content and substance, ‘art’ instead of truth, performance and presentation over genuine understanding. It was a mess masquerading as a narrative, the showy, dramatic flourishes actually distracting from the story and of course is highly stylised and censored…only one line of opinion was allowed…hmmm…so hierarchical.
What was the opinon? Capitalism is dead, neo-liberalism is dead, hierachy is dead, the People must not rely on government to help them…they must save themselves.
Even his pro-Corbyn side-kick Seumas Milne acknowledges the flaw in thinking like Mason’s.…’A Financial Times-Harris poll conducted across the advanced capitalist world this month found large majorities believe the financial crisis has been caused by “abuses of capitalism”, rather than the “failure of capitalism itself”‘
The people don’t want to govern themselves directly hands-on, they don’t want to run things personally, they want government to do that for them but to do it in a way that represents their wishes….hence we get Brexit which Mason actually supports in theory whilst at the same time hating Trump.
Mason on Brexit…
The leftwing case for Brexit is strategic and clear. The EU is not – and cannot become – a democracy. Instead, it provides the most hospitable ecosystem in the developed world for rentier monopoly corporations, tax-dodging elites and organised crime. It has an executive so powerful it could crush the leftwing government of Greece; a legislature so weak that it cannot effectively determine laws or control its own civil service. A judiciary that, in the Laval and Viking judgments, subordinated workers’ right to strike to an employer’s right do business freely.
Its central bank is committed, by treaty, to favour deflation and stagnation over growth. State aid to stricken industries is prohibited. The austerity we deride in Britain as a political choice is, in fact, written into the EU treaty as a non-negotiable obligation. So are the economic principles of the Thatcher era. A Corbyn-led Labour government would have to implement its manifesto in defiance of EU law. And the situation is getting worse.
[But] In Britain I can replace the government, whereas in the EU, I cannot.
That’s the principled leftwing case for Brexit.
Now here’s the practical reason to ignore it. In two words: Boris Johnson. The conservative right could have conducted the leave campaign on the issues of democracy, rule of law and UK sovereignty, leaving the economics to the outcome of a subsequent election. Instead, Johnson and the Tory right are seeking a mandate via the referendum for a return to full-blown Thatcherism: less employment regulation, lower wages, fewer constraints on business. If Britain votes Brexit, then Johnson and Gove stand ready to seize control of the Tory party and turn Britain into a neoliberal fantasy island.
And of course hierarchies are so yesterday that’s why Mason’s play was randomly put together using comment and performance from anyone who wanted to contribute…or was it?
||The Young Vic
||Totally Theatre Productions
||Tim Van Someren
||Battersea Arts Centre