An observational grumble that found itself in hell

 

I am looking from the bus window with sadness at another building being put up into what seem to be tighter and tighter spaces. All these new houses, nearly always flats, which are still springing up (in spite of these harsher times) in every crevice previously left unchecked by urban expansion (the last glimpses of the sky being sealed up) are cramming the entire population except the elite into spaces which from the outside look like a regression to Victorian times. Maybe this is where we are heading? Perhaps we’re being booted even further back, to a new densely populated state of feudalism? However, few are currently of us kicking up a fuss about these particular worries, because these flats can currently be insulated by the constantly advancing electronic gadgets offering the illusion of a perpetual virtual world, and an ornamental veneer which lasts only a short time before needing to be replaced, but replaced it can be – can’t it?. But what the hell will these places be like if the state can no longer sedate us by consumerism, and not if, but when we have power shortages? Take a look outside your windows, no amenities, no parks, nothing but house after house are being built. For what kind of future? This world of apartments is geared towards an anti-community, car-dependent and consumer-dependent world, the exact type of world which is becoming ever-more difficult to sustain, due to resource depletion, climate change and other world powers contesting the western hegemony which has kept us sleepy and cosy for a good 50 years now. It’s a design for life that want us to keep quite, consume, conform, and for us to never stop fuelling economic growth. This is the world of neoliberal capitalism we have been coaxed into by false dreams. But we do really know what exactly neoliberalism means? Hopefully, as long as we a good little boys and girls, it can still and will give us all the good, shiny/happy life. Surely we won’t be let down? Well, the political philosophers Alain Badiou and David Harvey located the idea of neoliberalism as precisely the antithesis of the NEW, and as a way returning complete power and wealth back to the elite, back in the hands of very few just like it was in those lovely medieval days. It’s arguable that we are already back to a stage of serfdom, except that we have no ruler we can recognise and our living conditions are massively different, with our material needs always on hand, which allows us be ruled with the use of brutal repression. But all this could change. The material comforts the working peoples of the west have gained and gained over the last century could really be put in jeopardy by the unfolding of events in the 21st century (e.g uprisings against western-placed dictatorships in the oil-producing nations could put oil out of the price range of most of us, and who could blame these people for rising up? After all, why should we in the west have something which nobody else can?). Over the past 30 years (regardless of governments) there has been a slow erosion of our democracies in the west. Once the great pacifier consumerism starts to be taken from us, something a little harsher may need to be there to control us, and that appears to be exactly what we are being prepared for. When I observe how they are cramming us all into tighter and tighter spaces, without local amenities, seems to suggest that this is indeed part of the making of the pathway towards this.

About John Ledger

A visual Artist, eternal meanderer and obsessive self-reflector by nature, who can’t help but try to interpret everything from within the tide of society. His works predominantly take the form of large scale ballpoint pen landscape drawings and map-making as social/psychological note-making. They are slowly-accumulating responses to crises inflicted upon the self in the perplexing, fearful, empty, and often personality-erasing human world.

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