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Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

Middle-class reproach

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Constructive political engagement is a goal every progressive activist should aim for, especially in the context of the current social/economic/political climate. Richard Hil’s middle-class reproach to my letter (October 17) adduces from his past political history and legacy a misconception of left politics.

Agreed is the dire need to shift people’s opinions and values from the vacuous ideas and promises of believing the neo-liberal capitalist order. Challenging these bereft ideas and values requires understanding the insidious power and influence capitalism has in shaping our ideas and values.

So how does Richard propose to do this, besides having ‘conversations’, ‘lived experiences’ and ‘utopian dreams’ that will deliver us from the clutches of capitalism writ large?

Political education and activity remain vital to changing the system. To argue political class struggle is ‘old-fashioned’, ‘out dated’, ‘straitjacket ideology’ and ‘dogmatic’ is wrong. Profits are up, wages are falling, with increasing inequality for a growing number.

A new defined democratic political paradigm is needed, but the fundamental causes of the capitalist system remain the same.

Clearly, Richard sees another ‘political alternative’, so what democratic model does he believe can be achieved realistically in a political way?

As the international political scene is becoming more fraught with the rise of populist far-right political movements, the desire to have a ‘conversation’ with a fascist or any other xenophobe, particularly when they are making political headway in the mainstream, is to legitimise these people and anathema to any progressive-minded person.

For this reason it is incumbent on all progressive-thinking people to politically engage, by acting strategically, to prevent this descent into political darkness and unabated environmental destruction.

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