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Tales of Hope and Despair, Part 1: Hope

May 17, 2007

I like good news.

I mentioned in a previous post that I am an information addict. When I’ve got time, I watch TV news, read newspapers and periodicals, and spend hours tracking my feed reader for stories.

This is not some idle pass time, a procrastination, something I do to avoid getting more important things done.

No: I am looking for something specific – signs that this nightmare we live in might be changing, signs that we’re going to chant down Babylon, that the Eschaton is about to be immanentized.

Mostly I get depressing confirmations that we are speeding towards hell at ever increasing speeds – more on that here.

Occasionally, though, there’s good news, and often enough it comes from the New Statesman, which is my favourite read, apart from Class War.

This article tells how a new breed of entrepreneurs is using the growth in the organic and fair trade markets to support environmentally and socially sustainable projects. The fact that even mainstream consumers are pretty disgusted with what big companies are up to means that what was once a fringe concern is becoming big business.

I don’t believe that there is a market solution to the world’s problems: I am an anti-capitalist. But if I have to live under capitalism, I prefer markets in organic goods to arms, oil and pharmaceuticals.

Also in the New Statesman, this article argues that the neoliberal nightmare is on its way out.

Ever since the Thatcher-Reagan axis of evil, this philosophy has been on the warpath around the world, decimating communities in the developing world, and destroying jobs and working class organisations like trade unions. It is now the dominant political idea.

The working class has suffered badly, now the effects of neoliberal globalisation are reaching the middle classes: the jobs of teachers, lawyers and architects are starting to be offshored, and a backlash is starting even in the conservative press.

We’ll see.

UPDATE: Here’s some more good news that I missed: Jerry Falwell, the nasty, right wing, homophobic Christian Zionist has died. I have been criticised on this blog before for celebrating when evil old monsters die – Botha and Pinochet – but I am unapologetic. I think the world becomes a slightly lighter, happier place when a nasty ball of bigotry passes over – especially one who has made much of his close relationship with God.

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