Friday, 11 April 2008

Jack Brennan

Photo Ellis Scott.

Matthew Stone and friends interview Jack Brennan.

Matthew Stone: What do you have faith in?

Jack Brennan: Not much. Maths. Some Science. I like Darwinism.

MS: How can we change the world and what is there to be done?

JB: Here I'm slightly fatalistic. We are changing the world, by heating it up for instance. In this area we need to achieve controlled nuclear fusion power production, because no one is going to change.
If the question means "how can we young leftists change the world for the better?", then I think that we have to chuck out the notion of slipping through the cracks of our crappy society whilst enjoying an interstitial bohemian lifestyle. I'm against this slogan from 1968: "Be realistic: demand the impossible"; it's a recipe for impotence, because it's easy to refuse the impossible. When you make a just demand for a freedom, it should be impossible to refuse! Then you highlight something negative in a government. I think what needs to be done is more action, maybe violence, and certainly a willingness to take leadership. So, strange as the idea of revolution in the UK is, maybe we should all start doing push-ups in case things get rough.

Kate Moross: If you had the choice between either being able to manipulate space or time which one would you choose, and what would you do?

JB: I think that there is a way to show that these two powers are fairly equivalent in Special Relativity, but I'm just going to go for TIME. I'd use all of the extra TIME I had to learn languages and then fly to other countries in seconds. If I got bored, I'd speed up my bodyclock and die of old age, tomorrow.

Nicola Lane: What does success mean to you?

JB: I'm really stumped by this one. I think I'd rather not succeed, just have a good reason for not doing so.


JB: I like this question. That's kind of the state I am aiming for...

MS: What question should be added to this list?

JB: What film fits your vision of the future best and why? (The film needn't be set in the future)


M. Simon said...

We are heating the world? No. The sun is. The whole CO2 scare is manufactured. In fact solar scientists say we are headed for a Little Ice Age. The next sunspot cycle is already a year late. NASA is predicting a start in 2009. If it doesn't start until 2010 be worried. 2012? Very worried. 2015? Expect mass starvation world wide.

This might help:
WB-7 First Plasma

Connie said...

Cringe! Meaningful political change comes through open, democratic, liberal governments. It certainly does not come from skinny, gormless boys who do little more than shake their fist whenever they 'highlight something negative'about the government. Violence as Jack advocates is undemocratic,repressive and counterproductive. It's certainly no way to change the world. Please spare us your eleven year old Michael Moore logic. The world is more complicated. Relatively speaking, our society is not that illiberal. Anyone with a basic knowledge of comparative politics knoes this. Jack would do well to stop taking himself so seriously and read some JS Mill.

dalston shopper said...

I will note that both Jack and Connie have an incredible degree of confidence in what they do know about the world, even though they don't agree.

But I will say this, Jack, I speak 5 languages and if I could travel through time, I would go back in time and do some modeling and start a screamer, raw synth band with a brainy chick from New York. But that's just me.

jack said...

I feel that I have to respond to the comment written above by Connie. There are some specific points and then general issues that I will raise.

First point: "meaningful political change" comes from many processes, not just open democratic governments - rebellion, war, military coups and so forth, for better or worse. What I propose precisely is to question this dogmatic fetishisation of democracy which is endemic in the West, in Connie's own words, "the world is more complicated".

Second point: I don't know what my words have to do with Michael Moore. I watched "Bowling for Columbine"; I enjoyed it.

Third point: "violence as I advocate it"? I do not advocate violence, though I do not reject it out of hand. Perhaps my words were ambiguous before. This is what 1968 had that the recent Stop the War marches didn't, an ominous undercurrent. When I say violence I also mean it in the psychical realm, as a repressed but influential urge (cf. Konrad Lorenz, On Aggression).

Finally, I am not a utilitarian, and though I enjoy many of the ideas of Bentham, etc., I think it is fairly obvious that I am interested in non-majoritarian politics. Connie may be surprised to hear that I share a birthday with old John Stuart. Perhaps this irrelevant fact makes my politics more amenable to her via the same mechanism which made her think it not immaterial to mention my physical build.