Q. For social change to happen we need to empower different groups of people – just doing the usual shit is adding to the mess. The last 10 years has been completely wasted in the tech space.
A. This is a “what is to be done?” kind of question, so it’s difficult to answer. The world moves in mysterious ways, and sometimes change can come from the least likely places.
Right now I’d say the people who need empowerment are the people attending food banks, the asylum seekers, trans people, poor people in tower blocks like Grenfell, Roma/travellers and “essential workers” on the front line of the economy. In the UK at present, these people either have no voice in the mainstream or are extensively vilified by politicians.
Q. That would be a good piece of social work, but social change is a more focused than social work. Who has the power to challenge the issues that create the liberal social work problems our society create and will keep creating? First AID is a step, who do we empower to create the change, so we don’t keep creating these same issues?
A. In UK society there are a few pressure points by which power gets reproduced. Private schools. Sometimes misleadingly called “public schools” for reasons which are historical and no longer apply. The large majority of the ruling class are privately educated, and this is how they do social networking among themselves. So anything which challenges the validity or viability of private schools would send a shock wave through the establishment. If there were a successful campaign to ban private schools, or to abolish their opaque admissions criteria then this could have beneficial effects.
Abolishing private schools would bring the elite into direct contact with what life is like for the rest of the population. It would become more difficult for them to remain detached and ignorant. Issues previously deemed unimportant would suddenly become more so.
The housing circus. Access to housing ought to be a right, but in the UK housing and “getting on the ladder” is a sort of middle class religion. Politicians “flip” houses to enrich themselves, and a lot of housing “units” remain persistently empty and are traded as gambling chips on the international stock market.
Anything which decomodifies housing could bring improvements. Maybe a campaign for “the right to a home”. It would be against homelessness, but framed in the opposite way.
Maybe having a rule where any house which stands empty for a year automatically becomes public property.
Q. “Maybe a campaign” yes who do we empower to campaign – how do campaigns manifest. People make campaigns, they make them with social “traditions” built and maintained by social tools.
“For social change to happen we need to empower different groups of people – just doing the usual shit is adding to the mess. The last 10 years has been completely wasted in the tech space.”