Dissenting Radical

The Common Good: A 'Christian-Left' perspective on radical theology, progressive politics, authentic culture and sustainable living.

Month: June, 2018

Democracy: Hold the line or defence in Depth?

How does the concept of ‘defence in depth’ apply to the preservation of liberal-democracy in these perilous times?

Does one fight on the front line and give no quarter, at the risk of being overrun by a sudden assault? Or should we retreat into strongholds which may be more resilient and provide the springboard for a strategic counter-offensive?

The former would mean concentrating efforts and resources on defending liberal-democracy in those countries where it is now under direct, imminent attack.

The latter would mean concentrating instead on deepening, strengthening and consolidating liberal-democracy in those places where it is not currently under heavy attack. The aim would be to ensure that ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people’, although overshadowed in some countries for some time, does not perish from the earth; then, it is hoped, when the moment is opportune, we may advance and reconquer the lands which were lost.

To put it in more concrete, historical terms: do we oppose Hitler in, say, 1933 and Mussolini in 1924, and stake all on putting foul tyrannical demagogues out of power as soon as possible? Or do we put our energies into something like Roosevelt’s New Deal, revitalising and reinvigorating democracy in places where it is strained but alive, so that it can ultimately come to the aid of others in restoring the ‘free world’?


T-shirts: 3 for 10 Euros.

They make Che Guevara t-shirts
In Communist China, for profit
The owners get rich
The workers get exploited
And the people who buy the t-shirts
Have no idea what’s wrong
With their stupid pop-culture icons.

Bob Marley’s name crowns a hemp leaf
As if freeing your mind from mental slavery
Demanded nothing more than a puff of smoke
And barely a idle thought wasted
On those toiling in slave-like conditions
To harvest the cotton or weave it sweatshops
Into fashion statements of lazy radicalism.

Donald Trump’s piggy face, saying
‘Make America Great Again’
They don’t say who it’s gonna be great for
But it probably won’t be you
Unless you own a lot of stock
In the instruments of repression
In which case it’s tremendous.