I've been thinking back to the early days of this project - before we called it Bank Job - and I wrote this prose poem as it sort of summed up how I was feeling at the time:
"It feels like our generation
Has lost the right to dream of changing the world
And to stand for what is right..
But balancing here on the roof of my house,
Weighed down by mortgages and household bills,
I wanted to find the courage to dream again
Of changing the world.."
The poem was set to epic music and I had a cape on - and at the end of it I took off, flying like a superhero to fight against the injustices of our debt based economy.. In reality though I couldn't really fly, I was struggling to save myself let alone really look after my young family or anyone else and the trope of the superhero was really the last thing we all needed in order to correct the problems we all face as a result of 10 years of austerity and the continuing shock waves of the financial crisis.
However, I do think the conundrum above sums up the issues many of us face, we're so busy keeping ourselves afloat that we lose sight of who we really want to be and what we truly want to do. This doesn't have to be confined to the field of political, economic or cultural action, it could be as simple and important as looking after our friendships and family relations. We often forget about the invisible power finance plays in our lives, and instead just blame ourselves for not having enough time, enough focus, enough commitment etc.
The thing is that anything worthwhile takes lots of time, and time is something that the establishment would prefer we don't have.. time allows people to think for themselves, to get educated, and to get organised. The above couple of paragraphs remind me of the story about the Trilateral Commission which was founded in America in the 1970's in order to investigate what the American elites described as "an excess of democracy" witnessed in the late 60's on the campuses of the American universities and in educational establishments across the country. With access to free education - and free of financial pressure, American students were free to start thinking about the sort of society that they would actually like to live in - and also free to express their dismay about the sort of hash that they felt contemporary politicians were making of governing the country. One of the remedies the authors of the report suggested was a reintroduction of fees at the universities. Like mortgages, the necessity of paying - or even better - of going into debt - would mean that students would have less time to think about politics and inequality. There's an interesting video here where Chomsky talks about the report.