Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Welcome to 2013

Welcome to 2013!  I have to say that, so far, it looks a lot like 2012.  A little less rainy, perhaps.  Of course, this is the point where I should be speculating what the next twelve months could have in store for us, like every other media outlet and blogger is doing.  However, I don't see the point, all we ever achieve by doing this is the building up of unrealistic expectations.  Unless all your predictions are pessimistic, obviously.  In which case all you will achieve is depressing yourself before the year has even got underway.  Alternatively, I could come up with a load of 'top ten' lists about the year gone by.  Again, I don't really see the point.  What's the point of recapping things we've already experienced, reducing them to a series of meaningless bullet points?  Can we really reduce everything to a list of just ten?  And what do we include -top ten gun massacres, top ten war atrocities or top ten horrendous industrial accidents, perhaps?

Cynicism aside, there were some things about 2012 which I found very positive and which gave me reason to hope that 2013 will be a good year.  I speak, of course, about the increasing number of people, all around the world, who took to the streets to challenge the prevailing economic and political orthodoxies.  It is all too easy to write off the 'Occupy' movement as a bunch of middle class poseurs, but the reality is that large numbers of people, apparently quite spontaneously, were prepared to set up their tents and challenge the capitalist establishment.  Whilst the encampments might have largely vanished (or been broken up by police and/or corporate thugs), the open questioning of the very basis of modern multi-national capitalism continues. Just look at the way Starbucks was shamed into paying some of the taxes they owe through a consumer boycott.  This is the way ahead, folks.  For far too long people have simply accepted the relentless propaganda which tells us that corporate capitalism is the only viable economic model - at last that is being questioned.   One of my big hopes for 2013 is that the left, most specifically the Labour Party, might stop trying to appease capitalism and have the balls to recall that it used to espouse alternative economic models.  A man can dream, eh?  Even if this doesn't happen, I'm hopeful that, at the very least, the populist anti-capitalism movement will strengthen and bring more corporate behemoths like Amazon and Google to heel, as it did Starbucks in 2012.  Maybe 2013 will be a good year.



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