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Mahatma Gandhi once said:

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Social Capital Deficit

Dear Ivor

Phew! Your previous post was enlightening to say the least, however knowing you as I do, the most extreme action you will probably take is to shackle yourself to your armchair in the company of some home brew!

You have however given me a veritable banquet of food for thought. Firstly I would like to confirm that you are undoubtedly classified as DOB (Daft Old Bugger) on the domestic extremist database with a secondary categorisation of OLM (Occasional Lucid Moments).

I have carefully waded through and given due consideration to all your links, which were not inconsiderable and did require a certain degree of concentration. I have concluded that if extremism is holding strong beliefs which others disagree with, then we must all be entered on the database for domestic extremists (unfortunately this provokes an image of Anthea Turner wafting around with a feather duster)

Perhaps the need for this database is not new and there has always been a certain amount of paranoia in governments, seeing nihilism where actually there is only debate.

Personally I am more on the side of sandals, and Satyagraha than steel toe caps and revolution.

Not sure that Gandhi had blogging in mind when he advocated non-violent resistance however it does fit with some of the principles and I am definitely for the pursuit of truth, although aligning my chakras may prove more tricky!

Politicians could argue that blogging, especially under a pseudonym, is politics without accountability. I would like to take them back a step or two. What draws a society to feel the need to express their views in the form of a blog when democracy provides representation in the form of an MP, through which views can be expressed and promoted?

Perhaps it is when we can no longer identify with these representatives or feel confident that our interests will be protected in preference to the blind towing of the party line. There appears to be a hole in our society through which social capital , which “represents the active connections between people; including trust, mutual understanding, shared values, and behaviours that bind together the members of groups, networks, and communities and make cooperation possible” has most definitely fallen. Benjamin Barber’s observations are far more succinct than my own.

Personally I would like nothing more than to restore trust in our political system, however whilst I observe politicians more interested in point scoring against their opponents than discussion and cooperation, displaying egoism as opposed to altruism and mistaking government for power, we will have no alternative but to blog on regardless, because regrettably at the moment it feels like the only constructive thing we can do.

Poll xx