Turn of the screw

The Happiness Manifesto

24 November 11 words: Samuel Rogers
‘The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion’- Albert Camus

 

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"There's no other way, there's no other way, all you can do is watch them pay..."

 

One year ago today, Nottingham was covered in snow and Market Square was full of protestors angry at the forthcoming cuts. Since then the snow has been replaced with a more permanent visitor in the Occupy movement and the cuts have left deep scars. There is also another Occupy movement at the moment, one far more ambitious. It’s organised by Goldman Sachs and involves taking over whole countries. These are truly, worrying times. With this in mind, LeftLion is happy to give a voice to anyone who feels they are able to make a difference or at the very least, make us smile. So we welcome Samuel Rogers to these pages to tell us a little about his Happiness Manifesto. (Literature Editor)  

‘The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion’- Albert Camus

This, in the modern world, seems truer and truer each day. We have seemingly hit a point now where people feel so ostracised from the political process that they are beginning to question whether we live in a democracy, whether democracy is even a good thing, if so what would it even look like and further to this they are asking the question as to whether it is money and the very capitalist system that by its very nature, necessarily prevents us from achieving this. What is unique about this period in history is that for the first time people are starting to truly question systems themselves as opposed to looking for answers from within them. What’s more is that in reaction to realising that perhaps their liberty is not being defended, or their voices represented, they are taking to the streets to speak out and be heard.

As someone who has spent the last two years writing about the pursuit of happiness outside of institutions and deriving happiness in your expressive representation of yourself, your freedom and your will to advocate a more liberated world and future for all; I have been overjoyed to see brave individuals from all sorts of different backgrounds coming together to peacefully pose these crucial questions about where our society is headed.

I was recently at Occupy London the weekend they announced the Finsbury Square settlement. The declaration was a particularly beautiful moment but more than that it was the people with not just hope in their eyes but a motivation and a burning desire to be part of a brighter future that was truly inspiring. We saw the pure rage of the downtrodden and rejected of our consumerist society with the riots this summer and now we are seeing the intellectual fightback of the educated but seemingly equally futureless. There is no doubt in my mind that what we are witnessing is the beginning of a revolution of individuals, creativity, arts and minds geared towards promoting a fairer future for all. As such I was very proud to hear that my hometown Nottingham too has an occupy movement and is getting on board with promoting and advocating the kind of bold thought that may one day lead us out of this economic mire.

This is an exciting time to be alive and one which could truly shape history. While I would like to be spending more time at the occupations I feel that they already know what they need to be getting on with. What I want to do is encourage more people to think in such a way as that they may be more inclined to join them. Hey, we can’t all be constructively angry all of the time; but maybe taking it in turns to register our displeasure, but also our potential solutions, and maintaining a constant presence doing this, is, actually, a constructive thing, which we can all take pride in taking some small part in.

To read more about Samuel Roger’s Happiness Manifesto. Samuel will also be giving out two hundred and fifty free copies of his book so keep your eyes out for a hairy get who looks a little like Russell Brand.

For other articles about people trying to make a difference, please see the following articles:

Nottingham Creative Network

Hitting back with kindness campaign

Cuts demonstrations

Occupy Nottingham interview

Gunpowder, Treason and Pot 

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