Blimey, George Monbiot is turning Conservative!

Looks like genetics will out:

There are hundreds of examples of how this might begin, such as community shops, development trusts, food assemblies (communities buying fresh food directly from local producers), community choirs and free universities (in which people exchange knowledge and skills in social spaces). Also time banking (where neighbours give their time to give practical help and support to others), transition towns (where residents try to create more sustainable economies), potluck lunch clubs (in which everyone brings a homemade dish to share), local currencies, Men’s Sheds (in which older men swap skills and escape from loneliness), turning streets into temporary playgrounds (like the Playing Out project), secular services (such as Sunday Assembly), lantern festivals, fun palaces and technology hubs.

Turning such initiatives into a wider social revival means creating what practitioners call “thick networks”: projects that proliferate, spawning further ventures and ideas that weren’t envisaged when they started. They then begin to develop a dense, participatory culture that becomes attractive and relevant to everyone rather than mostly to socially active people with time on their hands.

Aka Edmund Burke’s little platoons.

Tears in heaven over sinner that repenteth and all that.

21 comments on “Blimey, George Monbiot is turning Conservative!

  1. Confused Old Misfit
    February 8, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Indeed.

    Sounds like hell to me. Imagine if you went into a Men’s Shed and found G Monbiot & friends already there?

  2. “…develop a dense, participatory culture that becomes attractive and relevant to everyone rather than mostly to socially active people with time on their hands.”

    But it’s only these people that have the time for this stuff…

  3. And all of the shite would really be used to spread socialist propaganda anyway.

    The benign face is a mask that is as standard among the left as the Guy Fawkes masks you see so much nowadays.

  4. He is not that conservative. Look at what he is missing out. After all, a lot of people still engage with their neighbours on a regular basis. Every week even.

    Participatory culture stimulates participatory politics. In fact, it is participatory politics. It creates social solidarity while proposing and implementing a vision of a better world. It generates hope where hope seemed absent. It allows people to take back control. Most importantly, it can appeal to anyone, whatever their prior affiliations might be. It begins to generate a kinder public life, built on intrinsic values. By rebuilding society from the bottom up, it will eventually force parties and governments to fall into line with what people want. We can do this. And we don’t need anyone’s permission to begin.

    Not a single mention of Church going. Now read this passage again keeping attending a Sunday service in mind.

    But perhaps that is a bridge too far for poor old George.

  5. “By rebuilding society from the bottom up, it will eventually force parties and governments to fall into line with what people want. ”

    Like Brexit you mean?

  6. The article’s cover photo shows two women carrying vegetables in wicker baskets like it’s the 14th century. That’s the Monbiot ideal.

    Then there’s this:

    A study commissioned by the London borough of Lambeth sought to identify how these thick networks are most likely to develop.

    Perhaps it would be more instructive to find out why those networks disappeared in the first place. Here’s Robert D. Putnam:

    In the short run, however, immigration and ethnic diversity tend to reduce social solidarity and social capital. New evidence from the US suggests that in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods residents of all races tend to ‘hunker down’. Trust (even of one’s own race) is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer.

    I don’t hold out much hope for Lambeth.

  7. The thick social network is all going swimmingly but then Polly overhears old Ted in the Men’s Shed saying:

    “That Mrs Smith at No. 43 is a bit of all right.”

    Police are currently investgating two hundred and forty three alleged hate crimes in the network.

    Oh… And two murders and six GBHs.

  8. Clicking the Rotterdam link in the article and then getting to http://www.participatorycity.org/, and seeing who is involved, it’s a sea of foundation or public sector funded types promoting green and sustainable stuff. What a surprise.

    Little platoons with the ‘right people’ leading them. It’s a fake society not a big one.

  9. Our village has recently started using Nextdoor.co.uk, in which anyone can post anything relevant to the village.

    Fortunately as it is a small English village and the framework is not created or dominated by anyone in particular, it’s full of the usual small English village stuff; Neighbourhood Watch, recommend me a plasterer, litter, church jubilee.

    Ne’er a socialist in sight, and if there were they, and their big city ways, would not be welcome.

    Monbiot would hate it.

  10. I had a quick look at nextdoor, it wants my blood group and inside leg measurement before it will even let me see what’s on the site. No thanks.

  11. Has Murphy seen and commented on this – if not, may I hazard a guess at what he might say?

    At first sight this looks like people selling goods by barter or exchanging supplies of services in circumstances where no tax is paid and no source records are maintained that could be vouched by tax inspectors, at huge detriment to public finance and services. Candidly, it looks like a proposal for massive tax avoidance.

  12. jgh, You answer your own problem (that you have to share some personal info, name and address) in the same sentence (you can’t see what’s on the site).

    Your neighbours can see your name and which street you live on and nothing else if you don’t want to share it.

    Every one of hundreds of online shops I have purchased from has more info about me.

  13. jgh

    it wants my blood group and inside leg measurement

    Nothing to stop you making stuff up? (And access it via any free proxy if you’re worried about the IP address.)

  14. “A dense participatory culture” sounds a little threatening: ‘Comrade, your network is rather thin – you must do more for the community! Now, comrade, I’m allocating you to the group that keeps the communal solar panels free of ice…’.

    I’ll stick with my church and local pub, thank you, George. Apart from that, just leave me alone (and even better if you would simply shut up, George).

    Also, Andrew M is spot on to mention Putnam. Diversity reduces social cohesion. Diversity is not our strength: it’s a cost. It erodes social capital, which Moonbat wants to re-create artificially to support his ideological preferences as to how we should live.

  15. Mongbat doesn’t mind the little platoons as long as he gets to ponce about waving his swagger stick and telling them what to do.

  16. @Mr Ecks, February 8, 2017 at 9:46 am
    “And all of the shite would really be used to spread socialist propaganda anyway.
    The benign face is a mask that is as standard among the left as the Guy Fawkes masks you see so much nowadays.”

    +1

    Like the “turning streets into temporary playgrounds (like the Playing Out project)”

    Moonbat and his socialist friends will be demanding form-filling, regulation, registers, checks, a Playing Out Quality & Inspection Commission etc

  17. It’s just taking random volunteering, making it mandatory, and directing it to more valuable causes.

    I don’t see what the problem is.

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