Post and Outposts

December 1, 2020 10:20 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Article by Beth Porter

I’m not the only journo who’s been trying to make sense of the cultural whirlwind blowing through humanity against the background of a pandemic.

Covid-19 isn’t the cause; the origins go far deeper. But the virus has become the measure by which our frustrations and confusions slip from our control.

The history is there for all to see and read about. Newspapers. Archives. PhD theses. Blogs and social media posts and tweets. We’re still in the throes of the once-powerful nations which conquered and stole lands and territories, then established rules and rulers to keep those outposts in check.

We are the ragged remnants of such subjugated rabble.

It’s clear from the political mish-mash of systems of control that govern our day-to-day, that the bedrock of so-called civilisation has been cracking.

Having believed the rhetoric, promising to ease inequality, guarantee happiness, and improve all our lives, the pandemic is calling out the contradictions. We’re shuffling into a future governed by state violence, corruption, greed, prejudice, and vengeance from the very people meant to be our protectors.

As we bleat about taking back sovereignty, we miss the irony of ceding control to Tyranny-Central.

The key word here is control. It’s not the first time in the history of humankind that disease and natural disasters have dictated our terms of survival. But never before has such a potent event encircled the globe with such alacrity, nor with such deadly consequences.

This pandemic pits region against region; truths are shot down, madly flapping in the mud like broken birds struggling to fly again. With a lethal virus in control, able to mutate, to jump the species barrier, to change its course without recourse to a mind, we have all become vectors, all outposts.

No wonder we’re fed images of elected or appointed figures of authority, pronouncing policies that alter from day to day, on the misguided and blatantly false justification that Science is their guide. In such a world of competition, those voices of authority rely on simplistic tag-lines, on graphs and stats. Even some scientists fail to confirm that Science itself is a work-in-progress, a never-ending process.

And yet, this tangled ball of political idiocy, thrown back and forth between allies and enemies, has inadvertently landed into a field of opportunity.

Lock-downs and other restrictions on the free movement of subjects and citizens have also had a significant unintended consequence. Namely, putting some brakes on the climate change chariot hurtling toward the irreparable damage of our shared world.

While voices from the vested interest corporate world bemoan the death of the High Street, spouting libertarian nonsense about freedom of choice and common sense, the relative reduction of energy use and resisting bargains as a tenet of retail therapy, has put capitalist consumerism in brighter perspective.

I don’t often hone in on statistics, but I was shocked to learn that 11 million clothing items are thrown away every week in the UK. And the idea of a gender-based sisterhood, regardless of class and social status, doesn’t recruit me as an ally when I watch some ‘ladies of leisure’ gift a pet pooch… obtained from a profit-driven, often illegal puppy farm… with a diamond encrusted dog collar.

I wish there were more media examination of systemic reform of all aspects of our lives, without starting from an assumption of capitalism, in whatever form. We cannot keep allowing our so-called leaders to redefine politics and economics, especially when it’s they who reap the benefit of the confusion.

It’s only by an international exchange of ideas from the platform of a level playing field that we can all re-discover true freedom of choice.

Here’s our chance to resurrect our fallen out-posts, wherever we are. We have so much to gain. What are we afraid to lose?

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