Seasinal Message: The Eighth
Following on from last year, the all too real economic class war being waged by our leaders and their allies in the media has meant that the phoney cultural war has been put on the backburner. There has been little talk this year of any supposed "War on Christmas".
The British Freedom Party (a rather unimpressive splinter from the BNP now linked up with the English Defence League in an unpopular move engineered by Tommy Robinson/Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) did try and motivate the assembled Christian soldiers by recycling a story about the Red Cross from 2002. Unfortunately, the claim that they had "banned overt reference to Christmas from its 430 fundraising shops" was demolished almost immediately (having been nonsense when it was current 9 years ago) and the BFP are now pretending it didn't happen (like the Holocaust, presumably).
In place of opening a new front in the War on Christmas, it is perhaps a good opportunity to look back on what has been a truly monumental year in which we've witnessed the Middle Eastern revolutions, the Libyan war, the Eurozone crisis, the August Riots, the indignados and Occupy movements, mass public sector strikes, the phone hacking scandal and more.
I don't want to overstate the connections between any or all of these events, but I do believe they speak to a fairly serious crisis in our soi-disant leader's ability to control their populations. After the demise of the Soviet Union, capitalism reveled in its victory, never again would anything challenge the "free" market in its domination of the world.
Since then capitalism has produced a vast quantity of stuff, but it has singularly failed to buy people's loyalty. Things might have been OK when the economy was booming, but with unemployment on the rise and "austerity" likely to last for at least a decade, people are becoming increasingly disillusioned in capitalist democracy.
This isn't necessarily a positive development. There are obvious parallels with the 1930s which fueled the rise of Fascism and ultimately led to World War 2. Nevertheless, there are very real opportunities for those of us interested in serious, progressive change. What we make of those opportunities over the coming year could be hugely important.
Happy Christmas, Chrismukkah, Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, Duckmass, Festivus, Hannukah, Hogmany, Holiday, HumanLight, Koruchun, Kwanza, New Year, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Winterval, Xmas, Yalda and/or Yule! (Other holidays are available. Probably.)
Previous years: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004