I’m back in Londres after a week in the south of the continent. The end of summer is in sight, but what a summer it has been. The weather in Londres has been as good as any summer I have ever seen. I have been on two excellent journeys, one north and one south, and finally got to a festival just before this trip. As for the journey south to the City of Arcades, it was a pleasure to be in a warm climate in a different culture, meeting people from around the continent and beyond. Like Londres, the City has its problems, is part of a culture declining into fear and paralysis. But there were bright lights too: a huge reclaimed space in the very centre of the City, complete with its own arcades.
I was in the City of Arcades with the Red Flash, Killer Kiss and a few others. It was good to spend time with them, but also to meet a large group of people more conservative than ourselves. It’s easy to spend time only with people who share your views, and easy to forget that more conservative views are in the majority. I like to think we all honed our arguing skills over the course of this week.
An interesting conversation that arose was whether it is possible to effect wider, systemic change through small, localised actions. It is a question I’ve thought about tangentially from all sorts of directions but have never formulated a one-line response to. The answer, I suspect, is that it depends on what else is going on in the world. If you are acting with a current that is growing in force everywhere, then becoming part of that increases your power. If you are truly a lone voice then the chances of effecting wider change are very low, though never quite zero. Whether or not you are pushing for changes along with a current – or perhaps undercurrent – that goes beyond yourself may just be a matter of luck. You happen to be interested in something that a million others are interested in at the same time.
But does it have to be just luck? Is it possible to read the currents, to try to work out how others are moving? Is it possible to pick the right moment and add yourself to a bigger stream, and so achieve greater influence, achieve good things? Perhaps. Of course this only works if there are points of connection between yourself and the currents springing up around you. And then there’s a question of which currents are going to come out on top; only time reveals the winners. So to some extent luck will always be needed. But if there were a network of secret cells dedicated to taking over the failing world, creating its own currents below the surface, empowering the many over the few, that might also make a difference. No reason I bring it up.