power and politics

I’m an idealist. One of those ridiculous people like Anne Frank who believed that despite it all people were really good at heart, and was then incarcerated and murdered in a Nazi concentration camp.

Today my idealism and goodwill were sorely tested by an impenetrable wall of irony. It made me think: oh yes, talk the talk. We call for change, but do we really want it? Do we not want just enough of it on show to make ourselves feel good, to flatter ourselves that we’ve made a difference in the world?

All this fantastic civic involvement stirred up by the referendum campaign, all the grassroots activism and the leftwing progressive visions with those siren songs of social justice and a better future? Where will this go after the campaign? Do people really want this? Do we want it enough to change ourselves and our own expectations, our own parameters and assumptions and habits?

Today I’m feeling raw cynicism – weary with banging up against invisible barriers, guarded by gatekeepers entrenched in the business-as-usual and the neverending quest for kudos. The life lived for power and politics, it’s just a thick layer of paint covering up the fine grain of wood. Such a waste.

I’m imagining the future: my idealism bubbles up and rinses away my day. My world belongs to me, and I refuse to be turned away from the truth: “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” They just don’t realise it.

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