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  • Writer's pictureJack Martindale

Our Age of Ownership

This year’s definitely been one hell of a curveball. COVID-19 has been nothing short of horrifying in all that it entails; concerns for ourselves, our loved ones and everybody else.

Collaborating our resources in working together to ease the pain and suffering caused by the pandemic in offering out our support must be the most humanitarian way forward. Whereas, ashamedly too often feels like the exact opposite. Fervent competition in the way that our increasingly laissez-faire society has been reduced has enabled a fixation with individualism and aggression.

A vast quantity of media can be consumed with joy and ease and us proletarians can celebrate being able to voice our opinions in a public domain. It is also easily overwhelming that under such a brand obsessed culture. What can feel so real is the seeming need that we all painstakingly feel to exert judgment on everybody and thing. In asserting our superiority over whichever of the increasingly polarized belief system on the way in world should be best managed. It is but one in the milieu of examples of it all too often being that those of us placing ourselves as above the system, being nothing more than a crux of the problem.

Shaming other people for their choices is far less effort than being faced with an accurate reflection of yourself. It’s almost as though we’ve been forced to evolve into some sort of tribalism in being forced to behave like pack animals in propagating a viewpoint or allegiance; unquestionably. Discussion then often feels like a debating tool of the past. The influx of uncompromising stances that different sides align themselves to, it is hardly surprising that we are soon reduced to mud-slinging and name calling. Out of simplification, the multiple dimensions surrounding a controversial issue are all often ashamedly reduced down to a singular component part. It’s a ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ with an absence of any substance in between in this my way or the highway channeling of beliefs.

Listening to the other side and working together to reach the healthiest form of compromise. But this is increasingly difficult, as even to entertain the opinion of your opponents seems to be a contemporary form of blasphemy that will even be regarded as almost sacrilegious.

Thatcher can be seen to have piloted the ruthless vision of ignoring any counter opinion in the quest to exert your own vision. As much as I deplore the late Maggie and her ongoing legacy of licensing greed and selfishness; under the depraved and untenable myth that you’ve got a supposed moral license to put number one before all else. It is seemingly justified to regard your own prosperity as the pinnacle of achievement and openly feel that advertising individual interest is deemed justifiable.

This interest with forming a narrative of egotism now trickles through all facets of society. It is all just so ugly and superficial and almost as though to compensate we have allowed for our outlook to be focused inexcusably upon how YOU feel about something and what do YOU want from it. Through this outlook, I cannot help but feel that even the supposed holistic branches of society have become inadvertently geared towards viewing individual interest. I think that this is inexcusable.

It is far from me to try and claim that I have been unaffected by the trajectory of the past 40 years. I loathe Thatcher and all that she stood for in molding the least equal society than anything we ever witnessed succeeding the post war consensus. Fairness is a quality that I can almost say that I hold dearest and I think that in going with the buzz phrase of the day, you have to recognise your own privilege for this to ever work.

We have become trapped in a world that ever involves us yearning for more rather than to value what we have. What COVID-19 has without a doubt signified in a painstaking lesson, is that when some suffer, we all suffer. I just think that it’s really sad to have taken something so detrimental for us to be forced to acknowledge the perils of an incompetent system in which individual interests are prioritised above the overall collective gain. Here I am, openly praying for a rebirth of some equivalent to Attlee’s 1945 victory in which we can reinstate the cornerstones – NHS, Social Security and meritocratic education – of a new social system that protects us all.

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