Changing Socialism

I’ve been trying to get my head around politics, hierarchy and evolution.
I don’t believe in “growth” and since growth is the  fuel of Capitalism I can’t believe in market capitalism, or in the establishment hierarchy which supports it but I can see markets with my own eyes. They are real, so I have to believe in them.

I’ve also seen that neither the USSR or China were able to make their versions of Socialism work, and closer to home, I found Arthur Scargill at least as terrifying as Maggie Thatcher.

We have talked of “The Collider”. Perhaps it could help? An early, Leanly Manufactured prototype has been built and I have installed it, with my bed as the focus point, so I can start my research every morning before The Street is thoroughly aired.

The information feeds at this point are:

  • BBC Radio 4 – delivered by the medium of DAB alarm-clock radio. I like to think that the delay softens the impact. I listen for an hour through the filter of semi-conciousness that precedes my first coffee. The  filter throws the idea-stream into soft-focus, which I hope will model biological mutation.

Caffeine consumption is best achieved in an at least semi-upright posture which then enables my Internet feeds. They normally consist of

  • Facebook – but it is rarely fun in the morning. I seem to befriend more owls than worms, so my first call is often
  • LinkedIn – but I’d already thrown some bait out there yesterday. I’d posted a quotation I found, about ‘The Lean Mindset’ at
    “Great companies are not in business to make money, they make money to stay in business and accomplish an important purpose.”
    I also responded to a link to an article about hierarchy on, called:
    ‘No Managers? No Hierarchy? No Way!’
    It had 5 ‘thumbs up’ and one comment in agreement when I arrived (well “kind of”. He may have been disagreeing politely). I said, “I disagree that nature is inherently hierarchical…” then everything went quiet. Top-level LinkedIn appears to be frequented by few people willing to take the chance of being on the Wrong side of an argument. I asked questions but had received no reply. I must assume that the author took them to be rhetorical or wished me to go away.

This seems to be what hierarchies do to protect themselves. (The next stages are social exclusion of the critic and finally expulsion, should anyone wish to plot their own position on a handy graph.) It was too early for fighting or having a perfectly sound argument ignored, so on to

  • Twitter -A few days ago, I realised most of my favourite tweeters are young, female, introverted, hopeful misanthropes who are interested in EVERYTHING but, like me, take an outsider’s view on Real Life. This probably says something about me but who cares what anyone else thinks, right?

I find Nat Guest, @unfortunatalie particularly good to wake up to.

  1. She gets up at a sensible time. There won’t be a backlog to catch up on. Let’s face it, Twitter, I’m only ever going to see a sunrise if I stay up particularly late.
  2. With Nat, there is rarely any need for further randomisation in pre-processing. She comes ready-muxed.
  3. I totally relate to her pseudo-parallel, chaotic changes in thought direction, constant “over” analysis and bemused observation of life’s absurdities.

This morning, in between her dislike of Calvin & Hobbes, increased bean varieties, the modern face of racism and a brief adventure into self-parody she told a sad story of Socialism failing. Failing again. “My favourite socialist-run stationery shop is closing. He has suffragette printing presses in his basement. Another woman & I are staring in through the window & commiserating”, she tweeted.
This place has history. It seems the sort of place London Communists might have gathered before marching to protect the Jewish commuity from the Blackshirts, when the police weren’t going to – one of England’s finest moments.
But look at that window display. It could be Soviet Russia. It’s main competitor is probably Amazon. How ironic.

There was a newsagent opposite my house that had remained unchanged since at least the mid-nineteen-sixties. It closed a few years ago, when the matriarch of the family, back minding the shop, was threatened with a gun. As far as I know, it was run along market-capitalist lines, as a family business. It just wasn’t making enough to be worth fighting for any more. Two car parking spaces were plenty. The environment had changed. I only ever went in there a few times, as a child and with my children. They didn’t sell much I wanted. I liked knowing it was there though and I miss it. It was a sign that things didn’t always have to change.

If you’re worried about the old lady, she told the robber, “bugger off, you’ll have to shoot me first” and he ran away. I wonder if that’s worth trying with Tower Hamlets Council. She didn’t live much longer though. I guess the shop was her life.

Maybe evolution has pre-disposed us to be selfish and grow because it is too dangerous to stay still, and contraction also causes resource depletion. We should find bigger purposes that we can all believe in.

If you’d like to know more about the Spitalfields shop, @unfortunatelie sent me this > 2010 > 02 > 03 > Gary-arber-printer <>  I was wrong about Communist Russia.
Natalie Guest owns the Copyleft to the photographs but has given permission to use them under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial Licence


5 thoughts on “Changing Socialism

  1. I would love to actually participate in a discussion. I try to join in on the Internet, but I do not get along with it most of the time. Interest groups tend to protect their hierarchy. I have enjoyed the BCS over the years, but I have been disappointed with their absence on important social issues recently. The BCS has no position on Internet filters, NHS data sharing or the security implications of HMRS information selling. It’s all enterprise models and IT (in an odd, fuzzy way). I found your blog post that touched on methodologies food for thought. I like computing, and software development. I do not find much company in the BCS forums. I like your blog, it provides me with interesting issues to read and think about. I wish I was faster at producing a response, so that I may join in on a timely fashion.

    At a time where the Internet seems split between design/UX types, high on empathy, and sociopathic RTFM types. I fall somewhere in between and often get on with neither. I am an introvert, moral sociopath. I don’t identify with other people’s struggles, but I thinking helping other makes practical sense. I rarely get to join in on conversations without making people upset, usually just by trying to understand the context and nature of the contribution.

    I may have missed the point of this post, but it got me thinking about the forums I spend time in, usually lurking. I’m going to try and share something and, taking a line from your blog, ‘dare to be wrong’ – even on the subjective issues.

  2. It’s good to get comments. That’s kind of the point of this blog. I’m trying out ideas and different ‘voices’ that may be destined for somewhere else. I’m not properly awake yet so I may reply again when I am but I’m worried that people in or close to power don’t feel they can say what they think. If 80% of what I say makes sense, I think I have a right to talk rubbish the rest of the time and maybe people will help me sort out the rest. I’m trying to think about ideas in an Agile way. The words are just code that can be fixed up later by anyone in the team?

  3. I’ll go a bit further: I’m experimenting with the ‘idea’ that ’ideas’ branch, merge and mutate and the ‘writing’ is only the presentation layer. I hope this explains the observation by a number of people that I seen to be going insane. Oh, the other thing: no scope, no ‘plan’. I’m sick of them and the people who think they are real.

  4. … and whenever I see myself getting too serious and intense, I tend to slip in a joke, often without giving a hand-signal, so people have to think about whether THEY think I’m making sense. I know a lot of people don’t get that and I should probably change but if you can’t have a bit of fun in life then what’s the point?

  5. Trevor, I warned you that I might come back when/if I woke up. You kindly suggested I might be making a point. I think Market Captitalism and conventional Socialism and Communism are broken. I’m trying to find something that might replace them but I’ve decided not to constrain scope or to feel I need to do it on my own. If I could earn a living at the same time, that would be good too. I guess I’m grasping in the dark for something to fight for, rather than against. I never see the point of ‘smashing the system’ until you know what it will be replaced by. I don’t have unquestioning faith in Change, because I’ve seen that it has a Dark Side.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s