Mad though it be, vain though it be, we must fight, for we are men……..and Women!


I read these two quotes within a few hours of each other this week and they seemed to connect together.

“But we are no Utopians. We know that in order to change the situation we need to be both idealists and visionaries, but at the same time also brutal pragmatists. Our pragmatism, however, is subject to our vision for radical change. It is not a step back but a necessary precaution. Because we know that to be successful we must trust in the power of the people, in the productive power of democracy and participation.”

Alex Tsipras, leader of Syriza. Speech at friends House London on 15th March. Published in Searchlight, April 2013.

And this from a German play written over 90 years ago about events in rural England 120 years before that.

“NED LUDD: Mad though it be, vain though it be, we must fight, for we are men! If we endure the yoke we are no more than brutes.”

The Machine Wreckers  (1922) – Ernst Toller

They both illustrate that fighting for a fairer world against the entrenched interests of global capital has never been easy and often appears to most as deluded and doomed to failure. And yet by fighting and losing and fighting again progressives have, against all the odds, transformed the Western world in ways which were inconceivable 200 years ago when Ned Ludd and his Luddites tried to defend their status as skilled autonomous artisans against the tidal wave of  industrialisation that would eventually reduce them all to wage slaves.

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About I Am Not A Number

I Am Not A Number is written by Chris Jury. For 30 years Chris Jury was a TV actor, director and writer best known for playing Eric Catchpole in over 60 episodes of the BBC’s antique classic, Lovejoy, and for directing over 50 episodes of Eastenders. In 2008 he was appointed as the Senior Lecturer in Recorded Media in the School Of Music & Performing Arts at Bath Spa University. He currently presents, Agitpop, a pop & politics radio discussion programme on North Cotswold Community Radio http://www.agitpopradio.org.uk He is currently the Communications Officer for UCU at Bath Spa University and a UCU SW Regional Rep at SWTUC.
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