Saturday, 15 May 2010

Religion, Politics and……Design?

It’s probably a couple of weeks too late to be talking about politics. A bit irresponsible of me really, what with my 6 blog followers, I’m obviously influential enough to have made the difference in deciding the outcome of the election.

Why am I even talking about politics on a design blog? Because politics is important to me as a designer. Why so? Because politics is about life and the way I design things is a product of my life.
Design makes the world better and easier. It improves the way people live their lives. It simplifies things. It is at the service of the people. It brings people together. It breaks barriers. It makes the world smaller. Proper design anyway, not showy design which only serves to make the “designer” some cash.
As a designer I need to be intuitive in order to assess everyday problems and find ways of finding solutions to these problems. I need to have an open mind, a free mind, an independent mind. And be creative, obviously. I also need an environment where I can be subject to these conditions. And what does politics do except dictate the conditions which I live under.

………So which system allows me these conditions? Capitalism makes me a slave to materialism; it therefore contradicts my right to be free.
Where does this leave me? Somewhere on the Left….Most good designers and fair people are.

Let me complain a bit more about capitalism and its followers. Thanks.
I think most people who vote conservative consider themselves to be “hard working and good people”. I however, would generally consider them to be “ordinary people”. To be good, implies that you are doing something extra-ordinary. Like, for example, not just doing the ordinary instinctive thing and caring about yourself; but caring for others to an equal extent.
I think that capitalism/materialism encourages us to own things which we think will make us happy. Anyone who has ever travelled to a poor country and has seen that people can be happy without nice cars and that they treat each other with kindness will understand that people don’t actually need nice things to be happy. Likewise, anyone who has ever met someone with a crazy amount of money and is unhappy and unfulfilled will realise the same thing. I believe life is like design. The best kind of design, is simple design. It’s about taking out the superfluous crap that doesn’t need to be there. And capitalism encourages us to strive for superfluous crap. And be competitive for this crap and not like each other in the process of attaining it.

So now let me talk about the Left. I think that Islam is basically socialism but with God and rules. It puts the well-being of the people above the well-being of the individual. It allows me to express myself and be relaxed and open in doing so. It means I don’t feel that I am less than someone just because they own more things than I do. It allows me to feel safe around other people. It provides the environment I need to feel free and therefore be a good designer. This is why politics is important to me.

So to say I am disappointed that Cameron is our new Prime Minister would be a gross understatement. Cameron and his party philosophy are only good for him and his rich friends and setting the bar at the height of being like him and his rich friends.
Like design, I think that life should be inclusive; for all.