Monday, November 10, 2008

Guest Post from Mod : Unfulfilled relationships.

Below is a guest post from Mod. If anyone else fancies doing one then get in touch.

Unfulfilled Relationships

Don't you hate it when a relationship doesn't work? Or you have a string of unfulfilled encounters? Doesn't it leave you thinking about your own habits? What you do wrong? and how your interaction with your partner(s) doesn't always work?

Remember the heady days when you first met, that trip to the pub, how you walked hand-in-hand, and eventually consummated your relationship, only to have it fail soon after?

Sound familiar?

I was reading an article at Dave's and it struck me how some Public-school lefties have a problem understanding the significance of Obama's win to African-Americans and the working classes. And how such a problem might have deeper roots.

On one level, there is a small degree of abstract understanding to Obama's win, but deep down there is no genuine connection with the history of African-Americans' experiences in the United States, their aspirations to be treated as more than just chattel, their desire to have a say, to be listened to.

Of course, on one level it would be very easy to be critical of Obama's election, as the candidate of big business, etc, but that completely misses the very real connection between Obama and his constituents, and why they celebrated.

And connections are what relationships are about, if you can't connect deep down to your partner, and empathise with their problems, support them when they need it then they are very unlikely to ever reciprocate, it becomes a cold mechanical relationship.

Still worse, if you ignore their feelings, their aspirations and seek to lecture them, then in all probability they will leave you, and you'll be stuck on your own until you can find someone who likes being dominated, but that's not a real relationship of equals.

A fulfilling relationship is where both parties learn from each other and enrich each other's lives.

All fairly obvious? But what does this have to do with politics?

Well, if you sit back and ponder the matter, that could be very similar to the working classes' experience with the British Left over the past 40 years, an unsatisfactory relationship.

We've been hectored, told we must do this or that, rarely listened to, and eventually we've mostly switched off.

True enough, some of the working class does belong to the Left, but a very small part, probably counted in tens of thousands, not millions as it should be.

And if you are really concerned about the situation you have to ask why?

It struck me that Punchie's attitude at Dave's, although very stark, isn't terribly removed from a lot of the British Left's leader's attitudes.

Granted not all of them are Public-school wombats but their detachment from reality, from the working classes, seems to stem from some dominant middle-class traits, where their views are important and the working classes are only fit as fodder for demonstrations or to storm the barricades, but rarely ever treated as equal partners.

I wonder if you could analyse the background to the leadership of the Left over the past 40 years, would you find predominantly Public-school/grammar school, University educated white middle-class types or something else?

It shouldn't really matter, but I think being educated at Public-school can often traumatize individuals at a deep level, and they bring that trauma with them into work, relationships and political attitudes.

After all WHY did the British ruling classes create and develop the British Public school system?

To create leaders, subalterns and administrators for the Empire

So being soft, cuddly and empathic to the feeling's of the poor, disenfranchised, etc are not high on the list of required attributes.

Instead an aloof, detachment is required to implement the policies of the Empire, to do what you are told and do it well.

So I'll bet that required coldness, inculcated at an early age and reinforced at Public school, is hard to shake off.

It doesn't help when you wish to relate to real people's existences, and if you don't try to relate and connect, then no one will want to connect to you.

There's probably a lot more to it, but those are a few of my entirely subjective thoughts on the matter.

Finally, I am NOT saying this happens 100% of the time, and I don't think that it is all of the story, but if you can't relate to people in one area then that will often limit your effectiveness in another.

I suspect that this is just one of many factors, and I am still left wondering why the British Left are so unsuccessful when across in Europe things seem a bit better? What is it about the British Left that makes it so?

could it be a "Wham Bam Thank You Mam" attitude?

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