Working harder than before

Although we now only work “officially” for 2 days a week, I feel that I’m doing more than I ever did before. How did I manage to get anything done when I was working 35 hours a week plus commuting?

I suppose the answer to that is the more time you give yourself the more exposure you get to interesting opportunities that come your way. Working in an office environment was generally soul destroying and most of the day would be spent thinking of what to do when I wasn’t there! Now I’m not there so I can do all these things.

But it also requires a bit of self-discipline. It’s all too easy to lounge around on the sofa all day surfing the net when there is a world outside waiting to be explored. I blame the winter weather, we have been hibernating and going to bed before 10pm every night. Slowly but surely thoughts of planting things (gotta get on with the seed potatoes) and digging and building compost bins are popping into my head. Come April and there won’t be time for the internet!

In between my bread baking sessions and Internet surfing, I’ve been reading The Value of Nothing by Raj Patel, a good book but it left me feeling a little confused so I’m going to have to read it again. In it he shows the fallacies of the current capitalist market driven system and how it has failed to solve societal and environmental problems – in fact by it’s very nature it is destroying them. He suggests we need to radically change the system to something more akin to a Buddhist Marxist ideology (and I won’t pretend that I completely understand the meaning of that either!). I think he is saying that we need a more communal society where needs are based on the well-being of people rather than just profit. I hope that’s what he means anyway as it sounds like something I’d sign up to.

He goes on talk about the Via Campesina, a network of “peasant” (not used in the Western derogatory way) groups who have campaigned and protested to change the way they are treated by the state. They are fighting for food sovereignty, if you have control of how and what food you produce, you have the power to change other things. He also looks at the group structure of the Zapatistas in Mexico. They have a much more democratic structure than our supposed democracies where we vote for men (and occasionally women) in suits every few years….

We need to embrace our political structures in the UK and give them a jolt. The current system is not working and we need a more democratic way of making decisions, more collectively and less individualistically. Not just by ticking a box every once in a while for someone who rarely cares about what you think, do or say.