Demand the impossible – sounds like the least we can do

‘We’ve created some feminists!’ … A study group on the Demand the Impossible course at Goldsmith’s. Photograph: Frank Baron for the Guardian

I’ve just come across this Guardian report about a free, five-day course at Goldsmith’s College in London on activism and radical politics.

I commented on the piece, criticisng the piss-taking style in which it was written while also including an offer to help out with future courses or with spreading the idea elsewhere.

Just in case such shameless self-promotion gets stripped off the comments section by the moderators, I’m pasting it here

Sounds great – shame the author had to pepper his article with leftie this, leftie that cheeky, chappy stuff.

This sort of teaching shouldn’t be classed as radical at all but part of a balanced, thoughtful education that teaches people to think for themselves rather than turning them into consumer automatons. Our existing system is all capitalist-, profit- and economic-growth driven.

You don’t get accompanying “rightie” this, “rightie” that when it comes to articles about Alan Sugar or Dragon’s Den as they vaunt the benefits of loadsamoney lifestyles that ignore what a complete mess we’re all in as a result.

That would be too “radical” for prime-time entertainment – too many people might get “the wrong ideas”. You’re not allowed to add together one + one to see the result of such thinking as consumer craziness and excess, tottering debt mountains, poverty, inequality, climate change, loss of green spaces, war etc. all that fun stuff which would make crap reality TV, piss off the professional politicians and frighten the business advertisers away. Oh no.

I would love to help out with this course – giving some insight from my own career as a Reuters reporter to talk about how our governance systems fail us and how conventional journalism is generally blinkered to those failures. On the upside, the good news. There are genuine, grassroots alternatives sprouting up around the world that could address both of these problems. There are some Creative Commons materials on my website you can take for free, if you want. I haven’t posted the address for fear of comment removal but I’m sure you can work out how to find it.

What would be interesting is to think about how to seed the ideas of Demand the Impossible to make it deliverable all over the place, not just in the UK.

Creative Commons How to manuals and accompanying video journalism reports made by participants and uploaded online would be good places to start.

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Filed under democracy, journalism, publishing, video activism

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