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Big Societyはコミュニティを殺す:図書館閉鎖から考える





Writers stage a 'shhh-in' against coalition plans to close 450 libraries

"Libraries are the NHS for the mind; one of the very few places where we are all equal... where we can all read and learn and get involved in our community,"


Philip Pullman's call to defend libraries resounds around web


Leave the libraries alone. You don’t understand their value.


What I personally hate about this bidding culture is that it sets one community, one group, one school, against another. If one wins, the other loses. I’ve always hated it. It started coming in when I left the teaching profession 25 years ago, and I could see the way things were going then. In a way it’s an abdication of responsibility. We elect people to decide things, and they don’t really want to decide, so they set up this bidding nonsense and then they aren’t really responsible for the outcome. “Well, if the community really wanted it, they would have put in a better bid … Nothing I can do about it … My hands are tied …”

And it always results in victory for one side and defeat for the other. It’s set up to do that. It’s imported the worst excesses of market fundamentalism into the one arena that used to be safe from them, the one part of our public and social life that used to be free of the commercial pressure to win or to lose, to survive or to die, which is the very essence of the religion of the market. Like all fundamentalists who get their clammy hands on the levers of political power, the market fanatics are going to kill off every humane, life-enhancing, generous, imaginative and decent corner of our public life. I think that little by little we’re waking up to the truth about the market fanatics and their creed. We’re coming to see that old Karl Marx had his finger on the heart of the matter when he pointed out that the market in the end will destroy everything we know, everything we thought was safe and solid. It is the most powerful solvent known to history. “Everything solid melts into air,” he said. “All that is holy is profaned.”
Market fundamentalism, this madness that’s infected the human race, is like a greedy ghost that haunts the boardrooms and council chambers and committee rooms from which the world is run these days.

The public library, again. Yes, I’m writing a book, Mr Mitchell, and yes, I hope it’ll make some money. But I’m not praising the public library service for money. I love the public library service for what it did for me as a child and as a student and as an adult. I love it because its presence in a town or a city reminds us that there are things above profit, things that profit knows nothing about, things that have the power to baffle the greedy ghost of market fundamentalism, things that stand for civic decency and public respect for imagination and knowledge and the value of simple delight.

 地域の図書館だけが、社会との窓口という人もいるでしょう。コミュニティの図書館で読む本で、世界のこと、社会のこと、そして自分自身のことをゆっくりと学んでいく子供たちだっているに違いありません。先に引用したコメントの通り、地域の図書館は、the NHS for the mind; one of the very few places where we are all equal... where we can all read and learn and get involved in our community


 でも考えます。森林を売り払って国民の余暇を奪い、図書館の扉を閉ざして社会との絆を断ち切ることによって最も必要としている人々のソーシャル・キャピタルの質を低下させる。その結果、そのような人々のすでに停滞しているソーシャル・モビリティが完全に停止・破綻する。にもかかわらず、キャメロン首相は壊れた蓄音機のように繰り返すばかり。予算削減と銀行幹部の天文学的巨額ボーナスを守ることによって実現するであろうBig Societyが人々の暮らしを向上させる。キャメロン首相が考える幸福は、誰のための幸福なのか?

 僕はコミュニティがある程度の自立を維持するのはいいことだと、行政の仕組みを全く知らない素人なりに想像します。Big Societyの考え方には反対ではありません。でも、今のイギリスの社会状況でキャメロン首相が提唱する方向にあるのは、暴力的ではないけど、厭世観に首まで浸かって身動きの取れない無政府社会ではないかなと。

The 'big society' is collapsing under its inherent absurdity

David Cameron: Have no doubt, the big society is on its way





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