All tagged politics

In his final novel, Island, Aldous Huxley created a vision of utopia where the Pacific island of Pala is an “oasis of happiness and freedom,” free from the trappings of capitalism, consumerism, and technology. Some say that the Island is an example of humanity at its sanest and most admirable. Yet it ends, predictably, in sorrow, “the work of a hundred years destroyed in a single night.” So, what was Huxley’s point in creating then destroying a vision of paradise?

“Feminism is about repairing and imagining a new way of changing the world.  It is not a set of demands, it’s about who we are,” in the words of activist and journalist Beatrix Campbell. Such a compelling call to action is surely something that we can all sign up to, isn’t it? The rallying cry for new social constructs and better political representation that is about the people, for the people.  The trouble is, too many of those terms are fluid, undefined and susceptible to manipulation if not misinterpretation – politics, identity, community, feminism.  Is it any wonder that we don’t know who we are or what we stand for, never mind knowing if we’re there yet?

How many of us really think about the different components of our being — our identity as determined by our own actions and beliefs, and who we are as perceived by others? For most of us, it isn't until we face a struggle in life — for the right to justice, equality, political representation, even the basic struggle as experienced by all of us at one time or another to belong — that our identity starts to matter in dramatic ways.