I’ve started to read some of Vaclav Havel’s essays, and this immediately jumped out at me…
“Seldom in recent times, it seems, has a social system offered scope so openly and so brazenly to people willing to support anything at any time, as long as it brings them some advantage to unprincipled and spineless men, prepared to do anything in their craving for power and personal gain; to born lackeys, ready for any humiliation and willing at all times to sacrifice their neighbours’ and their own honour for a chance to ingratiate themselves with those in power”.
“The overall question, is this: What profound intellectual and moral impotence will the nation suffer tomorrow, following the castration of its culture today? I fear that the baneful effects on society will outlast by many years the particular political interest that gave rise to them. So much the more guilty, in the eyes of history, are those who have sacrificed the country’s spiritual future for the sake of their power interests today” Vaclav Havel.
All in it together?
As the frenzy surrounding the Jubilee celebrations dies down, and the inevitable hype of the European Cup has evaporated, we are only left with the Olympics to console us as a national distraction from our economic woes. Not that the Olympics will distract us for long mind, as the enforced and coerced straightjacket of global-corporate branding will give island Britain very little opportunity to express the wide and diverse range of its authentic voices. The Olympic message is pre-packaged, pre-heated and, quite frankly, nothing but naked totalitarianism.
Under the ideology of brand-management, the individual freedom of British communities to express themselves has been squashed. The Olympic Torch passes through Melton Mowbray on 3rd July, but what difference can a small market town like Melton make when the story is tightly controlled and managed by LOCOG? The organisers of the London Olympics wont dare let anyone deflect these local events away from the centrally defined message. This is a chance for London to share in the power of global super-brands alongside global corporate organisations. These organisations claim to be on our side, but don’t play any meaningful role in our communities. Coca Cola and MacDonald’s bring us better lives, they say, but once the torch has moved on, so will the super-brands. Continue reading