Many Americans and Brits are struggling to come to terms with the votes for Trump and Brexit. We haven’t had the same shock in Oz, but we have a creeping version of the same disease.
Chip Giller, the founder of Grist magazine, which insists on humour in the face of general insanity, tells how recently he was moved to tears by Harry Potter. Yes, the fictional boy wizard. It’s a powerful story, that’s why it’s so popular. Harry chose to stand for what’s right, against impossible odds. Then a lot of Harry’s friends chose to stand with him, validating the love among them, and perhaps creating a glimmer of hope.
Giller was reminded that if enough Americans of good heart and good will stand together they might resist the forces of fear being marshalled by Donald Trump.
In 1987 Margaret Thatcher said during an interview
“… they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people … But it went too far. If children have a problem, it is society that is at fault. There is no such thing as society. There is a living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.”36
This was the origin of an infamous quotation: There is no such thing as society. Continue reading →