Monday, 26 September 2016
Demand the Impossible! – London, October 3rd
Here's a few questions for American Thinker readers:
“Do you take an interest in the way society functions?
“Are you angry or upset about injustice, exploitation and oppression?
“Are you interested in political ideas and theories, even if you don’t yet know much about them?
“Do you want to get involved in contributing to positive social change, if only in small ways at first?
“Lastly, no experience of activism is necessary to attend Demand the Impossible, but some experience should not prevent you applying.”
Does all that sound appealing? Then Demand the Impossible is for you.
So just in case you thought that schools and universities weren't already left-wing enough, here's a school explicitly for radicals. It's called Demand the Impossible and it will take part in London on October the 3rd.
The school is the brainchild of Global Justice Now. Global Justice Now
“is a democratic social justice organisation working as part of a global movement to challenge the powerful and create a more just and equal world... We need to make really big changes in the world. But this won’t happen overnight because power is rarely relinquished easily by those who possess it....”
This is how the school sells itself:
“Demand the Impossible is an evening course for young people about political ideas and activism, starting October 2016. Organised by Global Justice Now and the Critical Education Project.”
And here's a list of some of the goodies on offer at this school for radicals: “Brexit Britain, London's housing crisis, migration and its causes, capitalism and alternative systems, mental health, Trump vs Clinton and more.”
The agitation/propaganda (agitprop) itself will take the form of “interactive role-plays, talks from activists, film screenings and performance, as well as special excursions, talks, exhibitions and walks in London and elsewhere”.
Finally, do you also want to earn money from your radicalism; as well as forge a career? Of course you do! Thus this school for radicals offers you the “possibility of an additional four-week activism placement with a campaigning organisation such as Global Justice Now, Take Back the City or Momentum”. (Momentum, incidentally, is the far-left group right at the heart of Jeremy Corbyn's attempt to turn the UK into a dreary and depressing socialist utopia.)
And like any business (this is in the business of “radical change”) which advertises itself on the Internet, this school for radicals quotes the words of various previously satisfied customers. Take this example:
“I feel more developed socially and mentally. I have gained new friends, insights and perspectives and I feel like a person ready to take on the world.”
This school also tells us that it has “heard from speakers like the radical academics Doreen Massey, Jeremy Gilbert and Danny Dorling”. (Interestingly enough, yet another left-wing professor - as well as an ex-terrorist and now simply a supporter of terrorism - Bill Ayers, wrote a book called Demand the Impossible!)
Demand the Impossible!
What do the words “demand the impossible” actually mean? Well, that phrase became a well-known piece of graffiti written on various walls during the French “student uprisings” of 1968. The full quote is: “Be realistic, demand the impossible!”
Basically, Leftists demands the impossible – from the state/government – knowing full well that it can't deliver. Thus it's not the demands that these “radicals” really want. For example, if the UK minimum wage were to be increased to £100 an hour, such people would still demand more. Similarly, if an extra 10 billion each year were to be spent on overseas aid, then, yes, you guessed it, Social Justice Warriors would still be up in arms.
The thing is that by demanding the impossible you create a “revolutionary situation” in which the state/government can't deliver. Then, it's hoped, “the people” will rebel or revolt. So, again, if the British government allowed an extra million immigrants a year into the UK, there would still be middle-class revolutionary unrest.
Don't take my word for all this, take to the words of “the greatest philosopher in the world today”, Slavoj Žižek! In a section of Contingency, Hegemony, Universality, entitled Soyons Réalistes, Demandons L’Impossible!, he writes:
“The only 'realistic' prospect is to ground a new political universality by opting for the impossible, fully assuming the place of the exception, with no taboos, no a priori norms ('human rights', 'democracy'), respect for which would prevent us also from 're-signifying' terror, the ruthless exercise of power...” (326)
Why do we need another school for radicals when almost every university in the UK and US (more so in the US) is already a school for radicals? (That's if you choose the right departments.)
Well, the “world is in crisis” - that's why. The world has been in crisis since the mid-to-late 19th century, according to Marxists. In addition, each year, from the 1960s onwards, the UK Socialist Workers Party has proclaimed a “capitalist crisis”. (Sometimes “the final crisis”!) Capitalism, of course, has survived these make-believe crises primarily because it's not a rigid body of theory, as Marxism is.
Firstly we get the oh-so-classic Marxist theory of racism. Or, in the words of this school for radicals, “division and instability are boosting racists and fanatics from the Middle East to the US and Europe”. Yes, “divisions and instability” which are almost exclusively the fault of the Left and of Liberals.
Demand the Impossible (DI) also has a predictable go at the evil rich. Apparently, the “rich, the white and the middle-aged have used the financial crisis of 2008 to strengthen their power at the expense of the powerless and the planet itself”.
Then even Brexit gets a mention. Apparently, “[a]fter Brexit” it's the case that “Britain risks being taken over by the most conservative forces in society”. That's strange because DI appears to be having a go at the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKip). In many ways UKip is far from being “conservative”. The status quo before Brexit included our membership of the European Union. UKip helped us get out of that bureaucratic and anti-democratic setup. UKip is also radical in its various attempts to replace the politically-correct hegemony which rules the roost in the UK today. UKip wants to take power away from the universities and the law and give it to the people; such as the seventeen-and-a-half million who voted for Brexit.
Leftism is now conservative (with a small 'c'). It's a solid block of political correctness and conformity which stretches from the BBC to the schools to the law and to the universities – and it has done, to greater or lesser degree, since the 1960s. However, this PC/Leftist onslaught got really heavy in the 1980s when a chasm developed between the Conservative government of the time and various Leftist institutions.
Make no mistake, this school is a revolutionary outfit which wants to destroy capitalist democracy. Or, as the school itself puts it, DI wants to destroy the “old order of cut-throat capitalism, inherited privilege, sexism and racism”; which, in any case, “is crumbling”. As I said earlier, saying that “capitalism is crumbling” is designed to be some kind of self-fulfilling prophesy. Yet even though capitalism is far from crumbing (or in crisis), if members of the middle-class Left say that it is often enough, the hope is that this “revolutionary crisis” may well come about.
*) This article was also published by American Thinker (see here). See article for people's comments.