Centrethought is an online political forum that I co-founded alongside like-minded friends at the end of 2013. While we’ve all got different views about how the world should be run, one thing we agree on is that people are becoming increasingly switched off to the issues facing our society. Centrethought exists to encourage young people to become more politically aware and engaged.
I’m the managing editor at Centrethought, and also a regular contributor. Since our humble beginnings we have grown to a team of over 15 writers, have published over 100 articles and have received tens of thousands of views. We have also been recognised by the National Library of Australia, who archives online publications “to support learning, creative and intellectual endeavour, and contribute to the continuing vitality of Australia’s diverse culture and heritage.”
One of the reasons I personally wanted to start such a site was as an outlet for my political thinking. Although I used to write mainly comedy and opinion, I have always been a very political person, hence my motivation to be involved with Centrethought. Anyway, even if you’re not too interested in politics please check it out if you have the time. You can see what I’ve written here. As a special treat for you for reading this far, I will give you… more to read. Here is my first article that I wrote for Centrethought:
It’s easy to be cynical. You wake up, turn on the TV and you’re instantly bombarded with terrible stories of murders, warfare, bombings, rapes, poverty, inflation, unemployment, One Direction actually having fans, etc. While doing work experience at a local newspaper, I remember my mentor telling me about how, as a young cadet, everyone in his office had cheered when they’d heard there was a train collision with many fatalities. Thanks to modern technology, I can access the doom of the world at any time, any location. I’m carrying misfortune in my pocket and picking up tragedy stacked neatly next to the counter at the café. Caffeine and catastrophe, just what we need to start off our days. Meanwhile, the world is slowly baking itself to death.
In our first article, BJ wrote about how he thinks the world ‘has some serious problems’. While I agree with the fact that humanity faces many challenges in the near and distant future, I have great faith in what we as human beings have the capabilities to achieve.
Maybe I’m just another naive, idealistic Arts student, but I have strong faith in people power. Look at what we have accomplished. The world is far from perfect, and there is much that needs fixing, but we should not focus solely on the gloom. From the ashes of two World Wars to the prosperous, interdependent economies that we have now (if you can forget that little GFC thing that will hopefully evaporate eventually), we have been able to remove unjust dictatorships, empower people through democracy and facilitate intercultural understanding. We have been able to end apartheids and avert a dreaded third World War (so far). We have built societies where ethnic diversity and multiculturalism are, for the most part, now intrinsic, although there are still some kinks to be ironed out.
Of course, the world is still far from perfect. But our problems can’t be solved by wallowing in cynicism and defeatism. By taking heart in everything we have accomplished so far, we can also gain the optimism to achieve everything that we still haven’t. I’m not adopting the Aussie ‘she’ll be right mate’ mentality; I do think that we will have to work hard to achieve our ideal world, and that it will be a difficult process. But that’s my aim as a contributor to Centrethought; to bring recognition to the challenges that we face, and to spur discussion on the best way for us to collectively tackle these issues in order to build a totes kickass society.
And remember, kids: even if the glass is half empty, it can always be filled.