A final word …

wellsharp has covered a lot of ground since November 2007, summarising and reflecting upon the work of many insightful people. We’ve learned a lot from writing wellsharp; hopefully it provides some interesting food for thought for you too.

But it’s time for a break. We’d like to bring things to a close* in a suitable manner with a few appropriate words:

Ask the powerful five questions:

  1. What power have you got?
  2. Where did you get it from?
  3. In whose interests do you exercise it?
  4. To whom are you accountable?
  5. How can we get rid of you?

Only democracy gives us that right. That is why no-one with power likes democracy. And that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it – including you and me, here and now.

Tony Benn (2005) quoted at http://www.bennites.com/

we find that the prime human obligation is to act fearlessly and publicly in accordance with one’s beliefs; that one should withdraw cooperation from destructive institutions; that this should be done without violence …; that means are more important than ends; that crimes shouldn’t be committed today for the sake of a better world tomorrow; that violence brutalizes the user as well as his victim; that the value of action lies in the direct benefit it brings society; that action is usually best aimed first at one’s immediate surroundings, and only later at more distant goals; that winning state power, if necessary at all, is a secondary goal; that freedom “begins with myself” … is oriented to love of truth, and only then discovers what it hates and must oppose; and that state power not only should but actually does depend on the consent of the governed.

Jonathan Schell (2003)The unconquerable world: Power, non-violence and the will of the people. New York: Metropolitan Books. p.201.

* Never say never, of course – if we have something burning to say, or if circumstances change, we may post again, but it isn’t in our plans for the foreseeable future.

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