I have a utopian ideal. I am pretty certain I am not alone in this. Mine is couched, sometimes overridden, sometimes decimated, by my cynicism. I have been referred to as both cynical and jaded. I sometimes describe myself as an optimist with a health dose of cynicism. I wish there was reason to be otherwise — perhaps this is the basis for my utopianism. More times that I would like to recount in recent weeks, any utopian outlooks I have have been quashed.
The current politicking about refugees is beyond description. I literally fled from Australian in the wake of the Tampa situation in 2001. The wikipedia entry on the events surrounding the Tampa describe it as
a diplomatic dispute brewed between Australia, Norway, and Indonesia after Tampa had rescued 438 Afghans from a distressed fishing vessel in international waters.
The Conservative government successfully engaged in and mobilised wedge politics creating a divisive political social and political climate. Australia was a very different place following this issue — a place I no longer wanted to live.
Politicking about refugees has resurfaced and is again. Whilst the approach of the current government differs from that of the previous, it is still rather horrifying and based on many of the same ideological rationalisations (othering, exceptionlaism, racism, xenophobia). Australia (still or once again?) has an air about being somewhere I would rather not be.
Approaches to the climate change ‘debate’ is another issue that has countered my utopianism. Granted a equitable, socially just vegan society is not even close (or fathomable). Not to mention that scientific controversies like climate change often fail to come close to closure irrespective of the amount of evidence (including new evidence). For the second time in as many days (the first explicitly, the second not using these words) I have heard to climate change as being a left-wing conspiracy… Both times it was beyond hypocritical — the holes were large enough for a white elephant to walk through!
I am all for diverse opinions, lively discussion and debate. Is it possible to have some optimism where politicking is what it is? I guess it’s back to the small things, yet how much reflection on whether this is effective enough is too much? How much can the proverbial bubble take?