Thursday, April 23, 1981
I woke up to snow on ground and made stuttering attempts at History revision all day. . . . In the evening, as I ploughed through Lenin and the Bolsheviks, I was yet again seized by enthusiasm for history and politics, an enthusiasm which makes me want to read everything in sight, but doesn’t seem to last very long.
During Question Time we all got involved in a big debate that swung from N. Ireland to W. Indians to education and lack of parental guidance in general and ended up with a discussion about government. I argued that everyone should participate as citizens like they did (relatively speaking) in the city-states of Greece in the 5th century B.C. Dad said that, “You’ve got to have governments! Its physically impossible for everyone to get involved!” I launched into a spiel about how governments act like they're autonomous, unrepresentative bodies, and do things for their own interests. Power should flow up, not down. If things were more devolved and decentralised, people would be enthusiastic and could then be shown that politics is about everyday life, not some depersonalised decision made in some remote, unrelated place. Look how fervent people get about local council decisions like rates, pensions, and roads! If that body directly governed them, was more answerable to them and was them, in effect, with everyone taking a hand, there's be more personal freedom and local problems could be solved more quickly. Instead, political decisions fail to take into account unique local circumstances.
I suppose Andrew’s right when he calls me naïve. But what other way is there? By this time I was trembling violently and restlessly moving about, all with excitement I suppose. I hate apathy. "One should understand the reasons for inequality. And in order to understand, one must above all read and read" (Lenin).
Tomorrow I'm going with Grant Riley and his mate to see Crass and Poison Girls at the Lesser Trade Hall in Easterby.