Chris’s ten commandments

I thought it would be a fun/stupid exercise in the spirit of Russell Brand to set out my naïve and undoubtedly ignorant views on political and social reform. I realise I am making myself a prime target for ridicule but I really don’t care. I thoroughly recommend getting cancer if only for the freedom it gives you to say and do things that the healthy have to think twice about. I have spent my whole life pondering the big questions (no I haven’t but anyway) but never had to set out anything in writing. I really have no right to do this because I am fundamentally ignorant of political theory, economics, geopolitics, the environment, capital cities, species of butterflies and dates (who cares) but Russell Brand has inspired me to believe that the voice of the pig ignorant is at the very least more interesting than the well informed. To avoid boring people I thought 10 commandments might be a good format as it has some solid mythical precedents and has brevity on its side. Maybe the likes of my nephews and nieces, some of whom I know to be much more politically in touch than I am can set me straight and come back with alternative commandments. Perhaps we will evolve into a think-tank for the thoughtless.

This emotional need has been stimulated by today’s terrible news that there is another UKIP MP to celebrate (I despair) and the sudden and slightly OTT resignation of a labour front bencher for sending a snobby (anti-white-van-man) tweet. Shame he was merely a football fan and not a member of the BNP as she presumably assumed tut tut – how silly.

1. I find it hard to imagine any long term reform to global political systems until there is an acceptance that reform can only come about once the human propensity for tolerance has been allowed full reign: thus liberal education is the cornerstone to reform.
2. Encouraging tolerance in people should be the key focus of an educational systems. Reward systems based on divisiveness must be eliminated, ie. to do well at something is good but to share the benefits of doing well is better.
3. The notion of material gain at the expense of others, or material gain without sharing must come to be perceived like ‘drink driving’, as a deeply irresponsible and selfish act.
4. All members of society should be given equal rights and opportunities particularly those who for whatever reason have to be looked after. This section of society is the most deserving of support and afforded the highest priority and status by the rest of society.
5. Social strata should be eliminated. All women and men are equal and there are no special privileges to be earned or inherited. As a result stratifying educational systems will no longer exist. All girls and boys will be offered the same educational opportunities.
6. The primary purpose of commerce will be to encourage equality and to improve the quality of life for citizens. Ethically focused societal profit will replace the notion of profit for personal/material gain.
7. Financial rewards will be capped at low levels. In time the ethos of redistribution will be so strong that wealth disparities will flatten out eventually to disappear.
8. There will be a progressive rebalancing of attitudes toward occupational status. Current low status occupations will be afforded greater respect, promoting the notion that all occupations that contribute to societal improvement are equal and are to be rewarded equally.
9. The purpose of be bureaucracy will be to facilitate change when required. The notion of control and monitoring will be sublimated to this primary goal.
10. The presiding legal principle will be tolerance for all. Individual freedoms that may undermine this principle will be deemed illegal. The purpose of the machinery of the state will be to safeguard this principle at the expense of all others.

2 Responses

  1. cfarrowsmith November 22, 2014 / 5:03 pm

    I decided a few years ago to do something similar and came up with three rules for living. Basically, in seed form, what you’ve rather more eloquently laid out above:

    1. Don’t be a King Cnut.
    2. It is what it is.
    3. You can’t take it with you.

    #1 is the golden rule, as it covers all bases.

    I’m sorry to say I can’t agree with you on Russell Brand – I think he represents a terrible threat to sensible, progressive, leftist thinking. Too much white noise, too much failing to engage with how his objectives might practically be achieved. Though I suppose if his species of illogical, muddy philosophy brings others out of the proverbial purely in opposition, that mightn’t be a bad thing…

  2. Chris Newell November 25, 2014 / 1:27 pm

    I think these commandments sum up my waffle beautifully. I plan to adopt them henceforth. On a related subject – I get very wound up in recursive arguments about bureaucracy. In order to operate any system you need an operating system and historically that has always led to horribly inflated bureaucracies and corruption. Don’t know how to get around that one. I end up identifying myself as an anarchist communist libertarian and I don’t think those affiliations hang together too well. Yes Russell Brand is everything you say, I think that is why I like him. It’s his unsuitability as a serious political spokesperson that gives him an edge. I am so bored with worthy, dull humourless debates around left wing politics they are almost as annoying as politicians whose qualification to pontificate is PPE at Cambridge, the bar, the City etc (eg the latest UKIP tosser) An ex drug addict, sex addict, actor and show-off, who to be frank I don’t much like floats my boat, at least for now.

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