Treated day in and night out as the consumers we’ve become, we’re all used to deciding what kind of products and experiences we’d like.
That should be good practise for a little exercise I want you to do.
I think we should all – as citizens – think about the kind of society we’d like.
So, I’d like you to make a list of all the things that are most important to you. Maybe a decent living wage is your priority, or maybe you think honorable care of the elderly should be at the top of the agenda… Whatever it is, write it down. Make a list of aspects or characteristics of society that are most important to you, personally.
The UK government seems to prioritise economic growth above all social, humanitarian and environmental aims. But in a true democracy, the priorities of the government would mirror the priorities of the people. They’d be public priorities.
I think it’s important to think about what kind of world/country/society you actually desire, because so many people are really all too accepting of a status quo they hate. I’ve heard people come out with things like ”oh this country’s gone to shit, but there’s nothing we can do about it” or ”yeah, life’s a bitch – but that’s just the way things are’.
Um, no. I firmly believe we can create a society that works for the people and the rest of nature, and the first step is deciding what you’re working towards.
So what’s most important to you?
Here are my ‘public priorities’, in no particular order.
- High quality and free education
- True democracy
- Lots of good jobs and low unemployment
- Low crime levels
- Welfare state (incapacity benefits, childcare and eldercare)
- Localised food system
- Resilient local economies
- Renewable energy system
- Good public transport
- Strict and scientifically informed environmental laws
- Diversity and acceptance of difference
- High involvement in politics and the Arts
- High quality and free healthcare
- Independent media
- Strict animal welfare laws
- High recycling rate
That sounds like a nice place to live, I could handle this!