By Frank Hayes

The writ of the Dail administration has been severely compromised by the imposition of Austerity Politics and the dire consequences this has visited on communities everywhere. In working class and increasingly, in middle class estates, members of the 26-county political establishment are regarded as figures of fun, if not as fools.

Very few people believe a single word uttered by the political class, and the blatant lies of the media, state directed and billionaire directed alike, are seen precisely for what they are – a fumbling attempt at Dr Goebbels-like propaganda. If it wasn’t so serious for ordinary people, it would be a joke. Albeit one in poor taste!

The financial scandals of the corporate sector and its psychopathic management elites are now too numerous to list. And the degree to which the political elite has become bribed and corrupted, bought off and compromised is almost unbelievable. But all too obvious.

Each of the establishment political parties in turn, have had their opportunity to dip their snouts in the trough of corporate slurry, and people are now beginning to realise that as long as the corporate owning 1% remain in charge of the world through their political management apparatus, not even the appearances will change.

The health service has been virtually destroyed with charges of over €100 for anyone having to attend Accident and Emergency. Sick people avoid attending the GP because they cannot afford the €50 or €60 fee now necessary to keep clinics open as the ‘government’ cuts and diverts resources to feed the TROIKA bankster’s insatiable appetite.

Education is starved of necessary funding, teachers press for resources, special needs children’s needs are dismissed with a sneering wave of the ministerial hand.
Infrastructure, like water pipes which have been criminally neglected for over half a century, to the point where in some cases, 61% of reservoir water seeps through ancient Victorian pipework. The political establishment’s response? Take the opportunity to hand over public funds to one of their 1% business friends with a licence to cheat and bully people, and make them pay three times for the service. And if the people complain, turn the Gardaí on them!
If you made this up, no one would believe it.

It is no wonder people are seeking alternatives to all this duplicity and obvious systemic failure.

And it is clear that the old political establishment has no control over any aspect of their own economic function. The market state – with which they have replaced the welfare state – is a walking disaster. The Dail conspirators are the willing plaything of the TROIKA – bought with huge bribes/salaries.

Any solution must come from outside that polluted clique.

Communities all across the country are now exploring the real possibilities of managing the affairs of our society in new and effective ways. There is an outbreak of real democracy, with people discussing the problems typified by the water scams, with a view to changing the way the world works. They want a system which puts the real needs of real people centre stage. And they want no more lies and manipulation, no more secret deals and brown envelops.

The recent police violence – which, despite the lying denials of Kenny and Burton, is politically directed – has, in reality, opened up a new level of criminal behaviour by the ruling class. They are attempting to criminalise the legitimate protests of ordinary people. But it is the Dail clique who are the criminals and who are destroying our society and punishing our citizens.

And this is why the people are not just protesting at the disgrace of it all! They are also exploring how they can bring about innovative social and political change. They are sick of the old politics.

For those of us who have spent a lifetime advocating progressive change, this poses challenges also. This new wave of protest seeking social change is unlike ANY previous social movements. Contained within it is a process which as yet, has not fully formed; as yet has not developed to a point where it reveals clearly, it’s new and future features. But there are some clear indications of the structures which might be evolving to facilitate the transition to the next phase of human social history.

Principle among these is the changing emerging democratic equality, everywhere discernible in the best of the new community forums, where respect is shown, and adequate time is given to allow the always respectful argument of many different and various possibilities to occur, leading on to analysis, and then to collective thoughtful consideration, and ultimately leading to a sensible decision agreed by the vast majority.

In this process, each individual offers their own unique individual perception of the problem and solution. There is no cabalistic imposition of a dogmatic pre-conception, rather the collective exploration, comparison, and evaluation of the many partial viewpoints and contemplations. This leads on to ultimately distilling all these individual perceptions and producing an inclusive synthesised negation of them all into a new collective cognition of this new moment of living progress.

And now, these individual communities are reaching out to each other to construct new networks between them – enabled by social technology and unlike anything seen in human history before. Some are even discussing the eventual need for these regional networks to repeat this whole process at a higher level giving rise to an immediate democratic structure capable of managing social and political and economic affairs in ways that could resolve the impasse resulting from the failed bourgeois financial system.

Behind the appearance of the present dictatorial and autocratic administration lies the nightmare scenario of a convulsed financial chaos, where everything the TROIKA, IMF, and other 1% agencies try, quickly fails, and usually makes things even worse.

In previous posts I have described how the global financial crash of 2007/8, now being described by some economists as The Great Recession, is still deepening with no evidence of any re stabilisation after seven years (previous post-Bretton Woods boom/bust patterns had typically achieved new stabilities over a two year cycle).
The bitter pill which Michael Noonan, as much as Christine Lagarde, must now swallow, is that their system has failed catastrophically. There is no recovery globally, and there will be no return to real material growth (of the surplus value needed for capitalism to function).

In this context, communities around Ireland (and around the world also) must explore new NOT-FOR-PROFIT approaches to the production and reproduction of our social and material needs.

And in Ireland, some of our communities are already on that pathway.
We, the people, have a right to share a happy and fulfilling life – but there is no way capitalism and its broken Dail state can ever provide that. This places huge responsibilities on those of us engaging in the creation of local community forums, assemblies, the new structures of an embryonic new democracy.

There can be no place here for the self-seeker, for the self-server, for the ambitious opportunist. The most repeated expression to be heard is a huge frustration with political parties of all stripes, with politics itself, and these new forums are often seen as existing outside that old politics.

Perhaps we need to find some new words to describe these new things, but the truth is, the old ways are finished, and the old politics will soon be finished with by the people now entering struggle.

This reality demands a new approach from people like myself, grounded in the ways of the old twentieth century political struggles. These have been negated by historical developments in this new century. And we must be willing to open our minds to the new democracy and its fresh and respectful functional needs.
There is much we have learned which might light the path on the road ahead, but there is even more which we must discard as we embrace a new networked social reality enabled by instantaneous digital communications and a new generation which actually thinks and contemplates in a new and relative way.

My generation may help to act as guides towards the creation of a safe model of respectful democratic practice, but it is only with the total inclusion of a new generation (which will have to live it for the next half-century) that a new society can be fully envisioned and built. And although my generation has an equal right to contribute to its construction, the brilliant imaginations of this new and inclusive thinking will expect our respectful co-operation with them in an equal and fair fashion, as we work collectively to overturn the failed methods and chaotic mess of a dead system.

And as we step forward towards a networked humanity, constructing a society based on human values and respect for self and other, I am confident that together, we will find the new resources to collectively meet every challenge along the road to constructing a future where the human rights of every individual can be inclusively synthesised into a collectively conscious and responsible society .

Now, let us build assemblies in every district, village and town, grounded on inclusiveness and mutual respect, on fairness and equality in participation. Let us tell the political truth to each other, explore solutions to our social challenges, and imagine what a true economic democracy might be like. And let us construct an inclusive network with neighbouring assemblies, so we can support and learn from each other.

The future is ours, all we must do, is reach out together and take it into our own hands.
fh 14/02/2015