The Road Ahead
It must start with a clear head, and a very honest appraisal of the task ahead. Those who wish to fight for human progress must recognise that every cause cannot be fought in the first instance. As stated previously, the number of charities is an indication of the scale of the task. Therefore the starting point is the first rung.
To make demands which prove unrealistic is to give the opposition a propaganda boost. Ordinary people are often treated like muck but they do think and have a greater understanding than many give them credit for. They too will recognise what is achievable and what is fanciable. It will be a hard lesson for many on the ‘left’ to learn, such is their commitment to their cause.
Finding a unity of purpose and an agenda that can bridge the meandering streams of thought will prove incredibly difficult. Without a unity of purpose all causes will flounder. It can be agreed that each group can continue to support their cause but their first allegiance must be to the general good.
To this end a ten (10) point plan, should be drawn up and promoted by all. My personal agenda would include:
- No business to be allowed to give financial support to any political party.
- Politicians should have one job. None outside their political duties.
- No lobbying!
- A Clean Air Act.
I think these suggestions would be fine and resonate with the wider public under a campaign banner of greater democracy. Of course I could be wrong.
Democracy might not be everyone’s idea of a platform for achieving human progress. However, there is no alternative and democracy is more powerful than many think. There is little point in hankering after a mystic goal that will not take the people with you. Work with the people. Don’t demand they follow you!
In compiling an agenda there will be much argument. I can almost hear the furious ruckus as individuals and groups clamber over one another for a seat at the top table. The noise is over ridden by the screech of others demanding their key points be included in the plan.
‘Top table’ it creates a problem. It really needs people who are self-assured and with nothing to prove. If one has a separate agenda then the mind is out of focus.
Getting agreement may seem like an impossible task. Nonetheless, where there is intellect there is hope. The challenge is not to see the cause as a belief system but rather as a means to an end. Above all it should embrace the peoples will not that of any organisation.
The possibility exists that the compromisers will endeavour to include a plank of everyone’s policy stance. This is the weak link and will prove to be the death knell of any attempt at unity and progress.
On reading Charles Handy, The Empty Raincoat I was heartened by his change in outlook. He talks about his American business school in the 1960s where in every room the blazon charge, “maximize the medium-term earnings per share”. (p135) That was the focus that every tutor instilled in their students. Many years later his outlook was adapted to a greater understanding and purpose:
“My business school in America was wrong, I am now convinced. The principal purpose of a company is not to make profit, full stop. It is to make profit in order to do things and make things, and to do so ever better and more abundantly”. (p136)
This is not just a change of heart by Handy but a clear shift in understanding. It is recognition that the world is more than a selfish consumer or a buccaneer entrepreneur. Such a change in stance should act as precursor for the left in politics. Never examining a belief or cause is to diminish your understanding and thereby the view of the future. It holds all other views in contempt. The greater good is the one area that permits all of us to attain personal development.
The world cannot grow until men learn how to.