They say nationalism grows when people start to think that their past is better than their future.
It is not hard to see why we romanticise a mythical past in this country right now – and why we have seen a rise in reactionary nationalism.
The robbery of all our wealth by the bankers and politicians has left us divided and angry, blaming immigrants and poor people for joblessness, poverty, declining real wages, longer hours, insecure work and the many other trials that blight our daily lives now.
Our education is being privatised, sold off to religious groups and corporations through free schools. University is an expense that can never be paid back. It is no longer a place for learning, but a place to turn yourself into the ultimate economic unit.
The NHS, Pensions and Welfare as we know it will probably not exist within a decade.
We are the first generation in modern history to be poorer than our parents.
We are all in debt now – mortgages, university, credit cards, payday loans – we are all chasing that chimera of a moment when we finally get caught up.
Even our nation is in this kind of debt, one that can never be repaid, or even really afforded.
And with all of this we are now a people without a future. It has been sold off – financially packaged and redistributed to us as reminder letters, and personal financial advice, and ‘careful planning’. Austerity is our future.
Of course, this is all a mirage. Money is no more real than debt. They are both ideas. We can say no. We can refuse to pay.
However those ideas are as real as the bailiffs who come to collect them. So what are we to do?
No one seems to be offering solutions, politicians are barely even lying any longer – they all say we face even worse times ahead.
But another future is possible.
Across the UK and the world people are living the change we want to see. Housing, energy , food, arts, banks and all the other good things are being created in cooperatives and localities all over.
These are owned by the people who use them and they are created for the benefit of all, not just for the profit of a few. They help people provide more of what we need and work less.
There is hope through 3D printing, the internet, and other technology that – if we keep it free and usable for all – we can create another world directly, without any interference from above.
Resistance is occurring globally – from the slums of Rio, to the cities of China, from the streets of the UK, to the squares of Egypt. Too many places and too many people to count and standing up and saying ‘Enough Already!’.
For the first time in human history we can create a truly global change, no longer looking to just solving problems within our own borders – or within the borders of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability and the other divides we see as so fundamental.
These are borders reinforced in the mind, and used by the powerful to keep us divided. They can be destroyed by us as they were created by them.
We know any truly liberatory change will have to come for all us, or not at all.
If we work together, learn from the mistakes of the past, be prepared to make new mistakes, and create and resist with joy and determination then we can imagine a better world.
We can believe another world is possible.
We can reclaim our future.
Read the rest of our Reclaim Series (search ‘Reclaim’) to find out more about the different ways we can reclaim our future together – and how people are already doing it.