Tag Archives: nowtopia

In Defence Of Lifestyle Politics

Everybody has a lifestyle of some sort or other. Some lifestyles are quite common, those of working people with kids for example. Others are less common, not many have lifestyles like the royal family, or the Tory/LibDem cabinet, or the Pope. But in anarchist & radical circles, ‘lifestylism’ or ‘lifestyle politics’, are often terms used in a derogatory way – people think dismissively perhaps of wealthy drop outs who dont need to work and can afford all the expensive ‘green’ foods & goods, or at the other end of the scale there’s the scruffy cider punks with a dog on a string living in a shitty squat – however incorrect such assumptions may actually be.

The article below appeared in issue 14 of the now defunct Shift magazine, in response to an earlier article ‘Give up Lifestylism‘ in issue 13. We reprint it here, with Matt’s permission, as its well written and we think relevant to many in Bristol. It’s a topic that may well come up at the Bristol bookfair in April.(note – images have been added by us.)

In Defence of Lifestyle Politics
by Matt Wilson

In the last edition of Shift Magazine, Josie Hooker and Lauren Wroe wrote an article suggesting we ought to abandon the idea of lifestyle politics. Here, I respond to their concerns and go on to argue that lifestyle is a fundamental part of social change. Continue reading In Defence Of Lifestyle Politics

The root cause of our problems. Money.

The new financial year is kicking in, and with it all the new budget cuts and austerity measures forced upon us by the political class and their corporate masters. If you’ve already had your payslip for March, you’ll have seen your NI payments went up. As our wages/incomes devalue, down to 2005 levels already, things are going to get worse. Meanwhile inflation rises along with unemployment, whilst benefits and services are cut. Yet banks and other corporations hand out big fat bonuses and salary increases, and there’s plenty of spare cash for another war or two. So plenty of money and wealth around, its just not shared out equally. Those who hold it control power, and they won’t be giving it away, unless we take it. But what if there was no money, or we created a new world outside the capitalist system?

In a rare radical moment, last Saturday’s Guardian newspaper (run on capitalist lines of course), on the morning of the great protests in London, printed the following article by John Holloway. The author of ‘Crack Capitalism’ and a host of other books worth checking out, lobbed a serious challenge into the cuts debate:

Cracks in the rule of money

How do we escape a system that’s tearing up the world? We say ‘no’, and do things differently.

These are days of rage. Rage in the Arab world, of course, but also on the streets of Athens, Dublin, Rome, Paris, Madrid, and now a loud clamourous rage on the streets of London.

An age of crisis is an age of frustrated hopes, frustrated life. We want to go to university but it is too expensive. We need good healthcare, but we cannot pay for it. We need homes, and we can see homes standing empty, but they are not for us. Or, for the millions of people who are starving: we want to eat, we can see that there is plenty of food for everyone, but something stands between us and the food – money, or the lack of it. Continue reading The root cause of our problems. Money.