amccoll.com is only a few months old and I’m already writing an apology for not posting updates. But this is not to give excuses or ‘manage expectations’. Writing a blog is doing everything I hoped it would. It’s made me more thoughtful and reflective, given me a creative outlet, improved my typing and web design, been a space to focus on myself and my place in the world and given me a sense of concrete achievement. I have no intention to stop now. It is simply that in the past month I’ve only found the time to escape other duties, sit down and put in several hours writing on a couple of occasions.
There have been two news stories in the past fortnight on the same subject, house prices, but it’s been framed in two different ways, for two different political ends. In this post I want to address the substance of both announcements, consider their utility, and address the white elephant they both show a determined effort to ignore.
China is a communist country. The Communist Manifesto calls for“Abolition of property in land” and the Chinese constitution states that“Socialist public property is sacred and inviolable”.
Home ownership is a core cultural norm. Husbands are, by and large, expected to at least have a deposit down on an apartment before asking a girl’s hand in marriage. Preferably the property is already owned outright. I only know one person over the age of 28 who is renting, and that’s because she was recently divorced.
Clearly there is a serious tension between these two principles.
Rail against corporate interests and structural disadvantage – as in most of his campaign for the White House in 2008;
Support the very worst of American foreign policy – big business first asymmetric trade deals like ACTA, TPP, TTIP, and clandestine drone and assassination operations.
And so, just as I was beginning again to warm to this reflective, increasingly outspoken Obama in his last year in power I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised to find myself confronted by his other side. His remarks about the British European Union referendum in June are completely inappropriate.
I am, for the vast majority of the time, a quiet person. As I’ve written before I’m vexed by internal doubt and so very slow to make up my mind, and slow to judge others. Privately I often rail and seethe, but take small pride in my insistence to let people and ideas have their say.
I am a great believer in Voltaire’s proclamation that “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one.” Most all of my thoughts and beliefs are subject not only to the continual external criticism and scepticism life throws at us all but also internally, from myself. It is, I think, all part of a continual project of self-improvement or perhaps more accurately, self-actualisation.