Sunday, 30 March 2008

Part the Second

Optimism remains high that I shall maintain this novel effort. Two points to note, and a trailer.

First point - Brook Lyndhurst (the company I run - see the link to the right) - is not a 'think tank', it's a 'think river'. Tanks are too static, foetid almost, isolated and compressed. The best stuff comes when you move - as the Sundance Kid pointed out. This blog appears to be a tributary; but, a bit like the Amazon, it's difficult to tell precisely which is the main channel.

Second, an 'economy of enough' is something to do with becoming more grown up. When societies are young, they naturally focus on food and shelter and security; as they mature, they become concerned with art and literature. Western societies - or, more precisely, contemporary capitalism - is still predicated on a notion of 'more' that is essentially infantile, almost orally fixated. Isn't time we grew up, acknowledge that we have enough and turn our minds to finer things?

(I'm interested in whether this is the same kind of 'growing up' suggested by Richard Dawkins in "The God Delusion". I'll come back to this later.)

And the trailer? Well, the first thing to which I wish to attend in any depth is the recent epistle from the Strategy Unit at 10 Downing Street, enticingly entitled "Realising Britain's Potential: Future Strategic Challenges for Britain". It came out in February. I've no idea how many people read this kind of thing, but it strikes me that it's precisely the kind of forward-looking, thought-provoking material that the Prime Minister's own personal think-tank should be doing.

But is it any good? And what does it tell us about the state of things?

If you have the strength, check it out at: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/strategy/work_areas/strategic_challenges0208.aspx

You'll see that they are inviting 'comments'. I shall be preparing comments over the next few days, and posting them here at the same time I send them to Number 10.

Enough for now.



Friday, 28 March 2008

Opening Salvo

This is a first, Rumsfeldian step into the unknown unknown. Unlike Robinson Crusoe, these footprints may not be washed away. Amidst the trillions of words, our digital scratchings, these binary prints, I am not so narcissistic as to believe that this particular paragraph is of any particular significance. But the journey I have in mind is, I hope, a journey worth making; and, if I make it, then others may one day come this way. I hope, should you find yourself on this path - and, indeed, when I myself pass this way again - that this first step seems reassuring rather than ridiculous.

So. Where am I heading? Towards a thing I have for the past few years been calling 'an economy of enough'. It's a long journey, and a long story, and I have no intention of attempting to explain it all in one go. Instead I'm hoping, through the medium of these posts, to unpack and explain 'enoughness' by noting and commenting on economic and social and environmental affairs over the coming weeks and months, simultaneously throwing new light on those affairs and articulating what 'enoughness' is all about.

That's nearly enough intro, but two further pieces of preamble are warranted. Firstly, there's a thread in hyperspace around 'enoughness' that is conspicuously Christian in its orientation. This blog, and my interpretation of enoughness, is categorically secular: not reductionist, not mechanistic, but definitely not mystical.

Second, there is also an ecological or environmental angle on enoughness, some of which postulates simpler living at the individual level, some of which campaigns on an anti-consumerist platform, with which this blog is more closely aligned, but I am hoping that I can adopt a rather broader perspective on the problem and, in so doing, get closer to its hub. We shall see.

Enough already, methinks, for a first post.

I'm quietly thrilled. This might be good.