Friday Thread: Does ‘choice’ equal or cancel ‘social change’?

Thought provoking perspective from human psychology from Professor Renata Salecl in the marvellous RSA Animate series…

  • perseus

    Great piece, the micro and the macro..
    could start the ball rolling by observing that in stable, democracies the prospects of social change do indeed appear gloomy. In part that’s because “we are all individuals now”; we have so many choices about religion, life-style and so on;, additionally we feel squeezed by the pressures of the recession.

    Our politics has vecome so middle-of-the-road we can’t tackle say for example the recent report on the need to de-criminalise drugs recommended by a serious study; and bring about the social changes which would lessen prison populations, , treat addicts, halve the police bill, and stop the thousands of needless deaths in mexico.

    The arab uprising points to technology like facebook assisting in social change; I can’t help but wish in the future we could all have remote red buttons in our homes where we as the people cast our votes for gov’t policy once a month or so, like we do for x-factor.
    Gov’ts would be compelled to listen to our choices.

    here’s a distant thought, maybe we the people could decide sentencing , by chooing a) 1yr B) 5yrs c) 10 yrs and then taking the average of the votes cast for length of detention for serious crimes.

    as to answering the thread question directly, I’m afraid the anxiety of choosing one way or another is far too overwhelming .

  • wee buns

    I love these animations. Makes perfect sense as to our (infuriating) complacency while being screwed financially by bondholders (or whoever else).Having lost prosperity we are so much more afraid to lose the little we have left (Don’t upset the markets! Our ATMs will be empty!) But even that frayed rope has got an end.

    As a friend who recently returned from abroad remarked: ‘you have to go away to notice it, but when you come back it’s obvious. We are depressed here.’

    Pacification grows thinner as choices narrow & the dummy will eventually be spat out.

  • tuatha

    Now that Merkel has given in to Sarkozy’s pressure to STFU about banks/bondholders having to take some loss in order to help Greece it is interesting to realise that all she was proposing was an extension of the maturity dates, not repudiation.
    But that would have been fatal for the most exposed banks and governments involved in the Ponzi scheme that is the euro because such scams require at least some repayment of interest/installments to obviate the reality that it’s all gorrnnnnn down the gurgler.
    And which country & which banks have most in the financial black hole that is Greece? FRANCE.
    Of the ‘nominal’ 340B owed, these are the main exposures, and in brackets private/gov respectively –
    France 56B (42/14)
    Germany 34B (12/22)
    UK 15B (11/4)
    USA 7B (6/1)
    Any apologies yet to we cynical cynics who’ve always said the real busted behemoth in the counting parlour is France?

  • wee buns

    Nobody is really talking about France; our lonely obsession?
    The largess of French debt was mentioned briefly on Vincent Browne the other night, in a rather sullen question: why should we have greater austerity then they? Go figure.
    As for the empty ATMs we may never get a chance to find out if it’s a concomitant to default, but evidently not sufficient nihilism has occurred yet… not even when people talk about privatizing the Parthenon. You’d think we would throw in the towel while we still got bog & forest to call ‘our own’.