In a month when the ‘super’ (and not so super) powers are facing up to each other and we wait for Latin America in to become the collateral damage – it’s hard not to focus on the present instead of looking to the past. The past may point the way to where we are, but can it change anything? It reminds me of the old joke ‘how many psychologists does it take to change a light-bulb? - none, the light-bulb has to want to change!
But here at Gateway we have a belief that while knowledge isn’t exactly a nuclear power, it is good to look beyond our own back yard/social media feed to gain a greater understanding of the world. The past is indeed a different country, but we are all, when it comes down to it ‘Jock Tamson’s Bairns.’ Aren’t We? So the questions brought up in this month’s Gateway all have a relevance not just to each other but to each of us, past, present and probably future.
We may be niche rather than legion and but we are inclusive and outward looking and, understand, as Leatham says this month that ‘limited editions are for the millionaire rather than the million.’ We are for the million rather than the millionaire.
In his cultural ‘extra’ Leatham considers: Can the world go back to simpler ways of life?
It’s a long piece and it’s not the utopia you might wish it to be, but it’s well worth a read for anyone interested in the subtle (and not so subtle) interplay between land, labour and capital and forms of ownership.
The conclusion: which may be a ‘wake up and smell the coffee moment’ as much as a statement of ideology is as follows:
A Commonwealth is not a mere collection of individuals, any more than a great cathedral is a mere collection of stones and timber and glass. It is a corporate entity, and its management as a living, growing, changing organism requires constant vigilance, co-operation, or opposition from those who are to be regarded as citizens at all. This means endless politics.
This piece in interesting in comparison with the final part of Mind Your Own Business which reminds us that: Individualism is a failure, gross and palpable. But the Collectivism which can alone take its place hangs fire. The Capitalist digs his own grave; but society does not bury him, for even in his moribund state the community cannot do without him. The waste of a million barrels of oil a-day, not even in wasteful use, but in waste absolute, is typical of the chaos of private production.
As we come to the close of Mind Your Own (do re-read the earlier parts if you’ve lost the thread) Leatham gives us a thought provoking description of ‘Robots’
Now that we’re finally free from the French Revolution, we go to another great moment of history The Peasants Revolt. Remember Wat Tyler and the Poll Tax riots… revisit them in the company of James Leatham.
Even the Orraman is delving into the Leatham archive this month to help him out of what is less an existential crisis and more a dirty big hole. A great wee comment on Emotionalism is followed by an excuse laden ramble which dresses itself up as a stage on a journey. Orraman’s cultural quest is becoming more elusive than the Higgs Boson. I suppose we should not be surprised that the difficult questions do not have easy answers and the road less taken has more pot-holes in the path than the primrose one. Watch a man squirm if you like, or take pity on him and pack your bags for the rest of the journey. Hold onto your seats, it’s a bumpy ride.
Either way round, there’s plenty to read this month and I hope plenty of food for thought. Food for thought is the best dietary supplement I know! Enjoy.
To find past articles please use monthly archives.