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Anti-heroes and progress



The chaos is experienced intensely; it hangs over the country like a pregnant cloud. The men look up and make their preparations. Real alternatives to the current systems of power, such as the formation of non-messianic, weak parties do not exist. Their possibility dies in the fathomless and airless cynicism encouraged by the idea of progress, even when they survive the self-certainty of manliness. If behaviour really were to become anti-heroic, anti-charismatic and honest, it would be perceived as naïve and idealistic: doomed to failure. Only a handful of idealistic and supposedly naïve intellectuals would be found to support the necessarily weak structure that democracy is when it is not a mere dictatorship of the majority, when democracy is allowed to have an open ending, unfettered by the violent and corrupt technology that manufactures consent. Hopelessness and immobilised despair in the face of  a chaos that comes from being extra certain to overcome uncertainty and extra strong and manly to overcome the fear of weakness, is not unique to Jamaica. Chaos only ever threatens from a particular perspective. That perspective sees a society with a specified higher purpose. This higher purpose is, unfortunately, not the manufacture of a place in which everyone is given a place worthy of them. The higher purpose is imprisoned in strange and elusive words such as "development" and "technological progress" which supposedly stand for values which we hold high: order and measurement, geometrical simplicity, "doing" as a moral good rather than "being" without really understanding either very well: after all both are aspects of using. Such words demand collective discipline in the destruction of our environment, riches and power as the highest reward, doing more in less time, and doing without questioning that doing. These are values that can withstand cynicism. The wish for technological improvement, can, unless you look at the issue carefully, force an ethical and moral perfectibility. That is rubbish. Technological progress is more agile and interesting in its moral implications. Movement requires symmetry. If we acknowledge that technological progress always concerns the way a game is played. The moral progress would need to address the game itself. So far games are only every seen, rather primitively, as a fight, delivering a winner and a loser. Are other games possible?



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