Hope springs eternal, it’s written in our DNA

26_september_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,212

Saturday 26 September 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Greece’s finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, said on Question Time this week, ‘The problem is that austerity is being used as a narrative to conduct class war. To be talking about reducing the state further when effectively what you are doing is reducing taxes like inheritance tax and at the same time you are cutting benefits – that is class war’.

He is exactly right, of course. Whilst you pursue your war on the poor, you give tax breaks to the rich and to corporations, but punish the poor with permanent austerity. Too many have already died in the struggle, through hopelessness and despair. So today I am going to share the words of a friend as we conduct this timeless struggle against us which you have ramped so obscenely, because, come what may, we must and will win this and end this obscenity.

“I have just realised something, at least it has sunk into my head farther than it has up until now, that time and life go on. Life goes on, and tomorrow is another day, and that is what hope is all about. Hope doesn’t live in the past, and hope doesn’t live in the future. Hope only lives in the present, and when this moment is gone, hope exists in this new moment. Hope is an incredible fuel. It has ignited the entirety of the human race to “Go on!” Whatever horrible circumstance you are in, hope is the fuel that screams, “No!” and “Hell no!”

I’ve never really got that until just now.

Every silent scream in the darkness of despair, every protest, every march, every speech, every moment of “Hell no!” against the Status Quo is fuelled by hope. Hope that only exists for a nanosecond before it has to be renewed again. Again and again and again, as it has been for millions of years.

Nature doesn’t hope. It doesn’t need to. But we need it. We need to hope against despair, against the deliberate destruction of others against us, against what is good for the human race and for the community of people and the planet. That’s what I never understood before, that hope isn’t something you can transfer from the past or grab from the future. You, in your heart and in your mind and in the rage against all that is against the decency and beauty of humanity, must manufacture hope in every instance, in every moment of time.

That is something that ordinary people need to know. That hopelessness doesn’t have to get the last word. Hope can be ignited in every instance. If we have learned anything from our long, evolutionary history, it is that hope has always propelled us forward. In spite of those who would dare to rip us apart. We have been bequeathed, in our very evolutionary DNA, the fuel of hope.”


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