Updated: Oct 9
Let’s get philosophical:
It’s easy to see life, history, society as a never-ending cycle, we keep coming back to where we’ve been before – another crisis, another call for change, another promise broken – ‘it’s always the same’. But this is only to look at the helix from end – round and round. If we look at it from the side, we see that there are points of reoccurrence, as the loop comes round again, but that it is always moving forward, changing over time. There may be great similarity with previous events, but there is also great difference. Wisdom lies in seeing the difference, not just the ‘sameness’.
I’ve experienced one of these reoccurrences in my personal life over the last year. And here I need to be absolutely candid with you about my past. I spent 17 years as a leading member of a revolutionary party, The Marxist Party - from 1987 to 2004. As well as campaigning and working within different communities, we spent many hours studying the economics, history and philosophy of Marxism. When the party fell apart, I was disillusioned and gradually turned my attention to other aims, while holding on, deep down, to the political principles, if not the practice.
In my work as an educator in schools, prisons and eventually as an Inclusion trainer in organisations and businesses, I always kept this history and these beliefs well in the background. I feared that people would write me off as an ideologically driven ‘looney lefty’. But now is the time to be courageous and to come out! I have returned to Marxism – not in a circular way but helically, nearly 20 years later, with all my experiences and (I hope) wisdom. I had to come to it again, to try and make sense of the world my 5 children are inheriting and to understand the rapidly changing field of discrimination, inclusion and identity that is my workplace.
I have not joined a party; I have no intention of becoming another echo-chamber big-mouth. Instead, I want to use this blog to open up a discussion. I will contribute my experiences, my philosophical / political outlook and how it relates to our lives, workplace cultures and communities. I hope that you will contribute with yours. I have no set agenda, I want to see where the discussion takes us.
Having said that, I will kick off the discussion with some questions and reflections.
Look out for Episode 1: Social Justice – why does it seem like nothing changes?
Another scandal, the exposing of another racist, misogynistic, homophobic culture, the inquiry, the pledges for change, the silence, the fading from consciousness – REPEAT.