Showing posts with label The Big Dream. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Big Dream. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Big Dream

The Herald carries the story of Glasgow in 2020 with seven possible future scenarios envisaged by Demos, the think-tank, after spending 18 months speaking to 5000 Glaswegians , at a cost of £200000 . If a true reflection of peoples thoughts of the the future , it is grim reading but perhaps also incorporating a glimmer of hope .

The seven speculated future scenarios are :-

The Two Speed City

By 2020 economic and social divisions have become so entrenched that Glasgow is virtually two cities living side by side in blissful ignorance of each other. One half believes that ‘everyone is middle class now’, that talent and skill automatically rises to the top and that anyone who does not believe this is choosing to leave themselves behind. They use special toll roads, air conditioned walkways and luxury water-taxis carrying people about quickly and cocooned from the rest of the city.
The other half thinks that living in social housing estates and existing in temporary jobs or on state benefits are the way of life of the majority. The excluded have by and large opted out of voting, politics and notions of citizenship and have plenty of time to do nothing or stay at home wasting away their lives.

The Lonely City

The modernist city lives on in an atomised, individualised, hi-tech future. People are free to create their own lives on their own terms. They work, play and socialise through their computers not needing to interact with anyone who isn’t just like themselves. This is a city where people seek meaning, satisfaction and freedom through technology and consumption . Interactions with neighbours, people on the street and in shops have become an optional extra.

The Hard City

Trust and any sense of community have long since disappeared from the city. Government intervention extends into citizen’s lives as never before, enforcing curfews on entire families, banning smoking in the home, outlawing the use of petrol driven cars. Children who break rules at schools are interned in boot-camps outside the city, known as Ned-Camps. Teenagers are temporarily sterilised to prevent teenage pregnancy and ASBO kids are named and shamed during prime-time TV ad-breaks. Neighbourhoods can take part in street-by-street competitions text-voting out their favourite nuisance neighbour, who is then deprived of any rights to benefits or housing .Bigger and bigger sticks are needed to get people to respond and behave in the way government wants them to. Bigger and bigger sticks are needed to get people to respond and behave in the way government wants them to.

But the possibilities imagined were not all negative . People do want a better world for themselves and their children .

The Soft City

By 2020, the city’s problems of drug addiction, violence and anti-social behaviour had continued to grow unchecked but instead of masculine attitudes, behaviour and values -toxic masculinity - women campaigners and men prepared to align with the excluded and change. Women in 2020 form the vanguard of the new cultural epoch: setting the scene working in different, more co-operative ways, but many men enthusiastically sign up too, liberated from the pressures of machismo and competition.Football is no longer so important, but merely one sport amongst many.

The Dear Green City

Glasgow’s green revolution sees exercise bikes hooked up to generators in schools, offices and homes, while windmills and solar panels top most buildings. The city leads the promotion of clean energy and sustainable living: exporting eco-friendly energy to the rest of Scotland and the world.

The Slow City

By the early years of the 21st century, more Glasgow voices increasingly question the city’s preoccupation with shopping begin to suffer consumption fatigue, and slowly renounce the addiction and thrill of compulsive shopping. By 2020 many have abandoned preoccupations with wealth, conspicuous consumption and rewarding talent with money. Instead there is a widespread sense that there are more profound issues at stake: finding some deeper meaning to life, investing time and love in bringing up children, caring for neighbours, the vulnerable and the old.

Kaleidoscope City

Glasgow has exploded into a kaleidoscope of diversity and visible vibrancy. The city is known for its open doors policy to newcomers and its tolerant cosmopolitan atmosphere. Waves of newcomers have arrived and been absorbed: the Poles, the Bulgarians, the Romanians, the Somalis, the Iraqis, the Lebanese. Old divisions and identities are barely remembered by the younger generations and new Glaswegians .

We of the Socialist Party will add our own option for the people of Glasgow to choose

Socialist City

Men and women of Glasgow , in co-operation with the peoples of the rest of the world , taking charge and taking responsibilty for their daily lives through a net-work of inter-linked decentralised democratically-controlled committees , based on local neighbourhoods and places of work , rising to regional and then world-wide administrations , which will decide production and distribution requirements of society , based not on the ability to pay -but upon need . The abolition of money . The abolition of prices and wages . The abolition of private and State property. A Glasgow of free access .

Abundance instead of Scarcity .