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Calling All Pamphleteers! What’s the Big Idea? – Episode 81

In this episode Dara has a flea in his ear about what he sees as the shortage of social and political ideas to cater for a world that is outrunning itself.

Before getting into that he takes a moment to breathe with you, the listener. He follows that with an apology of sorts for last week’s half-baked episode. He also shares the reaction of his wife and daughter to meeting the new addition to Hashtag Blessed – Pepper the dog.

The main course though is the worrying absence of a social and political revolution inspired by a sufficiently complex vision for an improved world for all. Where are the equivalents of The Communist Manifesto or Paine’s Rights of Man or Hobbes’s Social Contract? Where are the visionary ideas and templates that lay out workable methodologies of social transformation? Where is the contagious desire for change that informed the best of the 60s counter-cultural movements?

Has the advent and acceleration of the tech age morphed the world and its inhabitants into something post-political, post-social? Are we stuck with egomaniacal blowhards masquerading as thought leaders? Are they not simply opinionated flotsam borne aloft by the swirling waters of malcontent? Have we lost our ability to listen to reason? Have we lost our ability to even be interested in it?

Underneath all the white noise and distraction of the boons of technology, Dara argues that basic human needs remain the same. If we lose sight of that, we haven’t a prayer.

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