Brexit… the return of One Nation to parliament in Australia… Trump becoming US President… the trend being shown in the politics of a number of European countries…
What we are seeing is the blow back from a period of unprecedented technological and economic advancements, from a group of people that have been left behind socially, economically, politically. True, some have been left behind due to laziness and an unwillingness to accept that change is inevitable. But many others have been left behind due to governments and communities not providing the support necessary to help them keep up, and to help them feel a part of our modern society.
Though what’s striking about the latter is that the political parties that are most benefiting from this current blow back are as much a part of the problem as the so called “elitists” of the left – the right wing parties (and their supporters) that view anyone on welfare as “bums”, and to whom the provision of free or subsidised education or healthcare they regard as socialism gone mad. News for you: Trickle down economics has failed.
The truth is, we’re all to blame. Those on the “left” that have forgotten that not everyone lives in the big cities and sips lattes. The “right” who believe that it’s possible for anyone to rise above their situation and achieve anything they desire, no matter what their family or economic situation may be, when by any measure that clearly is not the case. And those of us in the middle who thought, you know, it will all work out okay.
We are all wrong. To deny that is to deny what every recent act is telling us.
So how do we move forward?
We need to accept that we have become a new type of society, both locally and globally. The fact is that we cannot turn back the clock to some bygone era when everything was supposedly “better”, not least of all because that “better” was for the most part only for the white communities.
We need to realise that due to technological & scientific advancements, the era of everyone being able to find a job easily is over, and so we need to cater for that within our social and economic policies.
We need to stop regarding the unemployed as lower class, we need to provide funding for a group of people that will never hold a fulltime job in their life, but have the same right as the rest of us to a life of value and joy.
Artists & musicians should be encouraged, not hounded to “get a real job”. Why isn’t bringing more creativity and colour into our world regarded as a “real job”?
Education and expanding your mind should be seen as worthy of financial support, as an element of our society that will benefit the lives of all of us in the long term, not just those that choose to study. In smaller communities where jobs are at a premium it can provide something of value for many to aim for, to give fullfilment and a sense of achievement to their lives.
Basically we need a fundamental change in the mindset of how we see others that are not the same as us, and to support those who need it in order to live a fulfilling life. This is true whether you’re rich, poor, employed or unemployed, white, black, college educated, blue collar, a millennial, a baby boomer, or anyone else.
We need to realise that we are in this together, that this planet is for all of us to live on, and for all of us to nurture and share. Together.
This is not hippy shit, this is our new reality.