I keep a healthy distance from Beddington Farmlands (also known as the crack as its where all London's sewage and waste ends up so is literally the arsehole of London) nowadays but keep what I've learnt from there very close to heart. Here's the latest from My London HERE
where the situation is predictably lining up for further deterioration and exploitation.
Here's a log of the biggest waste of time in my life HERE
(but the most important lesson learnt so also the most valuable use of my time) which ended up me getting kicked out the bird group and every local committee despite the fact that I had devoted most of my life at that time to make this community project a success.
The lesson is clear and a gentle warning to everyone else. Democracy is a farce and society does not 'work'. Private ownership and dominance hierarchies is where primary power lies and anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to limit your power. There is secondary power in democratic fantasies and many high level democracy priests do very well out of disempowering others for payouts from primary power (people like George Monbiot and other prominent 'hard leftists' who get paid well for preaching this bollocks and people working for NGOs funded by Polluters and Ecocidal organisations and do things like name Common Cranes Viridor HERE
.) The more people that primary power (via their priests) can convince to sit out of the game, rent and watch others play the more dominance and power they can acquire. From what i can see on environmental social media, a lot of content is propaganda to convince people to do the right thing by owning nothing, not competing and serving the 'greater good', a familiar 'religious' oppressive strategy that nowadays has replaced Jesus with e.g. Carbon.
In theory democracy should work as it's rational- everyone working together should yield greater results (the greater good) but that theory does not take into account human psychology which is a biological algorithm that is wired individualistically, hierarchical and generally short term. Even when this is understood and one individual carries most of the burden of pulling everything together and taking all the risk (like I did) it still doesn't work. The Sutton Biodiversity Officer, Dave Warburton still kicked me off the Science Committee (for things I said about the power hierarchy in a private conversation) even though there was no risk to himself but rather aimed to win favour in the dominance hierarchy and the same for Marcus Kohler, the site ecologist who campaigned hard to discredit me behind the scenes- again to win favour in the exploitative hierarchy. Even though they could have just permitted my presence they felt they could move up the ladder and score points with superiors by removing me from the equation as I was overall challenging the value extraction agenda but was also suggesting an alternative where value creation was created by the community and NGOs at little cost (maybe a little extra) to the corporation. It was basically in my mind a flawless plan as everyone was a winner and kept their own individual value systems. It was just pulling it together that I was trying to do. However that requires shared inspired belief which is less powerful than fear based belief- which is why the world, in areas, gravitates to inequality, exploitation and decline .
Even Derek Coleman the London Wildlife Trust rep, voted me off the CSG as he didn't want to compromise his position and recently all members of the bird group kept me out of the group following a reshuffle. In short, I as the most prominent and devoted and dedicated Champion of the reserve was outed by the community I was serving and instead they all sided with the Dominance hierarchy- Henry Kravis and his cousin billionaire, KKR, Viridor and Valencia. In this case that dominance hierarchy was an exploitative one to nature as the hierarchy was a fundamental Capitalist ideology. I do think that all the people who kicked me out will eventually become victim to them too- who needs a council biodiversity officer where government continues to shrink and be starved of resources, who needs a site ecologist when regulation is being thrown on the bon fire, who needs a conservation NGO when nature conservation is moving into the private sector, who needs a bird group in an area there are no birds left. There will be a justice there as they all rejected a solution so it will be fair result.
So for me this is the biggest and most important lesson from all this. Landless socio-environmentalists operating within a democratic system have a weak value system which is easily compromised and very quickly betray each other when faced with low odds . They are very noisy (basically screaming to death and in despair) and tend to dominate social media platforms and attract attention from other people who are also 'screaming to death' so they appear to be 'dominant' and attract large followings but in reality this is just hoards of lemmings following each other off the cliff. They are basically attempting to impose their values on people higher up the hierarchy, a hierarchy that is also the hand that feeds. They are fighting up hill and attacking an extremely well defended fort which also throws them their survival rations. It's a hopeless strategy. Not only is it a hopeless strategy but it is annoying for primary power (its just unwanted noise that makes no difference to anything) and primary power is now instead of creating the farce of democracy are happy to sacrifice that and get people to accept authoritarianism by seeking to hack vulnerable humans by using big data systems and social media HERE
. Campaigners/activists/socio-environmentalists are increasingly being used to strengthen primary power e.g. Just Stop Oil blocking the M25 etc create a growing hatred for environmentalism. The more extreme and radical that social media drives people to behave in the name of people and planet- the more power to the Fundamental Capitalists and the more they can parade openly as the Authoritarians they are.
So what is the answer? Well the answer is copying everything above that Fundamental Capitalists do because it's the only thing that works- hacking people, driving inequality, flying the flag of democracy over authoritarian systems, creating fantasies, creating mass delusions but instead of doing it just for money, doing it to create natural and social capital too. Ethically speaking what is wrong with manipulating people into being healthier and happier, what is wrong with inequality when it is responsibility weighted, what is wrong with a fantasy which makes people cope, what is wrong with a delusion that simplifies the world into that something they can be understood. There is a formula to Power and it's the same formula whether it is put to good or not so good outcomes.
Beddington Farmlands is a largely a lost cause- it's something that will be used for a bit of green wash for an organisation where nature conservation is not part of it's value system (apart from providing a bit of turd polish). Beddington Farmlands is a monument and testament to why democracy/ stakeholder groups do not work , members in these community groups are usually weak and are seeking safety in numbers but when the key stakeholder is predatory that safety is delusional. Private ownership rules the world and whoever wants to make a difference in this world should primarily seek private ownership and land and manage it according to their values and indeed even bring other stakeholders on board at that stage. The world in part (mostly maybe) will often gravitate towards exploitation and decline (especially ecological) and the largest structures on the planet will often generate that. Unfortunately a lot of human life is wasted and used to empower the few but to some kind of degree people choose that so what's wrong with that? I don't know why its just like that- maybe most people are naive and that has enabled societal evolution?.
There are two main types of potential winners in this game from what I can see - those billionaires and one percenters who own those oppressive structures and create personal paradises from the wider destruction and cost to human wellbeing and the environment and then the other type of winner is those who do the same thing but create personal paradises from their gardens, small farms, small businesses and small passionate endeavours. For the majority of people the best odds are to become winners by being private owners and being the change they want to see and if enough people do that it can make a difference at scale. With enough bullshit (over simplified narratives and noble lies and imagined power hierarchies) too some of those small enterprises can grow into large organisations. People want to feel important because they are not- and key to making a success of anything is understanding that. That can be done in a way that helps people or hurts them. Even though its a long hard road (and lacks the delusional seduction that change can be achieved top down simply) more people need to take power, own land , create jobs, own environmental businesses and project their values on the world through things they control individually and that.................... is the message from the crack.