Opposites make the whole.

Satish Kumar’s wisdom is that opposites make the whole.  

So, for example, there is always the bad news, like Donald Trump. But then there is the election of Joe Biden, representing very good news. Although progress may not be linear, over time it is the good news that ultimately prevails. That is how humanity advances. Similarly, there are excellent democracies like New Zealand . And there are dictatorships like China and Russia; dictators like Xi Ping and Russian President Putin, who bumps off his opponents.

Can we imagine today the devastating war of 1939 to 1945 between the main countries of Europe? I believe that is the course of history. I for one am so glad to be living today, rather than 50 or 100 years ago.

Here is another example of bad – absolutely awful. During World War 2, Alan Turing cracked the enigma code and that shortened the war by several years and saved countless lives. Yet In 1952, Alan Turing was arrested for homosexuality – which was then illegal in Britain. He was found guilty of ‘gross indecency’ (this conviction was overturned in 2013) but only avoided a prison sentence by accepting chemical castration. In 1954, he was found dead from cyanide poisoning.

Biden calls for a “one nation” approach, for working together, repairing alliances, rising to the occasion in creating a new and better world. Joe Biden’s success over his long political career has come from seeking gradual reforms, building coalitions and aiming for bipartisan compromise rather than pursuing or leading a revolution. 

Trump was a divider. Biden is a unifier. He emphasized unity in his inaugural address in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the dangerous scourge of misinformation and bitter partisan divisions in modern-day America: “To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words and requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity.”

Joe Biden sends a clear message to the watching world – America’s back.

Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path

His success over his long political career, in fact, has come from seeking gradual reforms, building coalitions and aiming for bipartisan compromise rather than pursuing or leading a revolution. (I am indebted to The Conversation for these comments).

The position of women today is so much better. This is better for everyone. More top leaders are women and, on the whole, I believe they make better leaders than men. Think of the most influential women to day such as Angela Merkel. Then there is New Zealand’s highly regarded Premier. Roughly a third of UK MPs are women, thank goodness – generally they compare so favourably with some of their aggressive male counterparts. And more and more women occupy top positions. For example Frances Lorraine O’Grady is the General Secretary of the British Trades Union Congress (TUC), the first woman to hold the position.  That is not to say that we have not got much further to go.  In In 2020, only five FTSE 100 companies are steered by women.

For black people in Britain, the same is true. Black or brown men and women are in greater evidence in the news every day. Again we have much further to go.

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Preview(opens in a new tab)about:blankAdd titleOpposites make the whole.

So, for example, there is always the bad news, like Donald Trump. But then there is the election of Joe Biden, representing very good news. Although progress may not be linear, over time it is the good news that ultimately prevails. That is how humanity advances. Similarly, there are excellent democracies like New Zealand . And there are dictatorships like China and Russia; dictators like Xi Ping and Russian President Putin, who bumps off his opponents.

Can we imagine today the devastating war of 1939 to 1945 between the main countries of Europe? I believe that is the course of history. I for one am so glad to be living today, rather than 50 or 100 years ago.

Here is another example of bad – absolutely awful. During World War 2, Alan Turing cracked the enigma code and that shortened the war by several years and saved countless lives. Yet In 1952, Alan Turing was arrested for homosexuality – which was then illegal in Britain. He was found guilty of ‘gross indecency’ (this conviction was overturned in 2013) but only avoided a prison sentence by accepting chemical castration. In 1954, he was found dead from cyanide poisoning.

Biden calls for a “one nation” approach, for working together, repairing alliances, rising to the occasion in creating a new and better world. Joe Biden’s success over his long political career has come from seeking gradual reforms, building coalitions and aiming for bipartisan compromise rather than pursuing or leading a revolution. 

Trump was a divider. Biden is a unifier. He emphasized unity in his inaugural address in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the dangerous scourge of misinformation and bitter partisan divisions in modern-day America: “To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words and requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity.”

Joe Biden sends a clear message to the watching world – America’s back.

Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path

His success over his long political career, in fact, has come from seeking gradual reforms, building coalitions and aiming for bipartisan compromise rather than pursuing or leading a revolution. (I am indebted to The Conversation for these comments).

The position of women today is so much better. This is better for everyone. More top leaders are women and, on the whole, I believe they make better leaders than men. Think of the most influential women to day such as Angela Merkel. Then there is New Zealand’s highly regarded Premier. Roughly a third of UK MPs are women, thank goodness – generally they compare so favourably with some of their aggressive male counterparts. And more and more women occupy top positions. For example Frances Lorraine O’Grady is the General Secretary of the British Trades Union Congress (TUC), the first woman to hold the position.  That is not to say that we have not got much further to go.  In In 2020, only five FTSE 100 companies are steered by women.

For black people in Britain, the same is true. Black or brown men and women are in greater evidence in the news every day. Again we have much further to go.

Incidentally, another piece of good news today is that Unilever will force its tens of thousands of suppliers to pay their staff a living wage as part of a new range of commitments that is expected to impact millions of workers globally.

What you can do to use your power: Support organisations campaigning for democratic reform: Make Votes Matter , The Make Votes Matter Alliance, Compass-Together for a good society, Politics for the Many , the Electoral Reform Society, The Citizens Assembly Project, Constitutional Convention, Unlock Democracy, Counting Women In, 5050Parliament and Voice4 Change.

I am an author, writer and speaker. In normal times, I give participative talks in communities, universities, schools and at conferences. My latest book The 21st Century Revolution – A Call to Greatnesswas Oxford Alumni Book of the Month for November 2016. Professor Katherine J. Willis, CBE, Principal of St Edmund Hall and Professor of Biodiversity, Department Zoology, University of Oxford said “I am greatly enjoying it; you write beautifully”. I update the book through my Blog which includes many other topics.

If you value what you have read, please spread the word.

Incidentally, another piece of good news today is that Unilever will force its tens of thousands of suppliers to pay their staff a living wage as part of a new range of commitments that is expected to impact millions of workers globally.

What you can do to use your power: Support organisations campaigning for democratic reform: Make Votes Matter , The Make Votes Matter Alliance, Compass-Together for a good society, Politics for the Many , the Electoral Reform Society, The Citizens Assembly Project, Constitutional Convention, Unlock Democracy, Counting Women In, 5050Parliament and Voice4 Change.

I am an author, writer and speaker. In normal times, I give participative talks in communities, universities, schools and at conferences. My latest book The 21st Century Revolution – A Call to Greatness was Oxford Alumni Book of the Month for November 2016. Professor Katherine J. Willis, CBE, Principal of St Edmund Hall and Professor of Biodiversity, Department Zoology, University of Oxford said “I am greatly enjoying it; you write beautifully”. I update the book through my Blog which includes many other topics.

If you value what you have read, please spread the word.

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