Monday, August 31, 2015

Fighting Fanaticism

"Fanaticism is bred by hopelessness and despair. It is not the product of religion, although religion often becomes the sacral veneer for violence. The more desperate people become, the more this nihilistic violence will spread....Neoliberal ideologues, after all, are also utopian fanatics. And they, too, know only how to speak in the language of force. They are our version of Islamic State....The only choice offered by 'bourgeois society,' as Friedrich Engels knew, is 'socialism or regression into barbarism.' It is time we make this choice."

Chris Hedges in yesterday's article in Truthdig.  Two significant elections coming up.  Let's hope it's even possible to make this choice. 


The Mound of Sound said...

I've been catching hell lately for writing that all our mainstream parties are in the embrace of neoliberalism. The New Dems go apoplectic yet what's really disappointing in their tirades is how poorly they understand the ideology of neoliberalism. People seem to have a sense of it but one that falls far short of a working knowledge of neoliberalism, how it operates, what it needs to survive - without which we'll never figure out how to dismantle it.

Marie, I'm convinced that mankind is coming to a confluence of powerful forces the impacts of which will leave us a stark choice of whether we want to survive and, if so, what we must do to achieve that. Yet the only way we'll get to have that choice is if we can understand enough of what's going wrong to fend off chaos, revolt and collapse and those are the "default options."

As Suzuki and others point out, this perpetual, exponential growth economic model we so slavishly follow is suicidal. Even Adam Smith, when he wrote 'The Wealth of Nations' in 1776 foretold that this model would lose its utility within 200 years following which mankind would have to transition into what, today, would be called "steady state" economics. What Smith could not foresee was the advent of the fossil fuel age and the industrial revolution that, in combination, expanded his 200-year cycle by more than a century. It's during that final trimester that we've seen these scourges of overpopulation, over-consumption, resource exhaustion and, of course, anthropogenic climate change. Through a variety of transparent conjuring tricks we have grown the global economy far beyond the bounds of the environment and now the unpaid bills are mounting up - desertification, deforestation, fisheries collapse, groundwater exhaustion, the cratering of biodiversity and more. This is the ugly and enormously dangerous face of the neoliberals' delusional utopia.

I feel like pulling up stakes, finding a nice secluded cove up the coast and building a cabin with a dock.

Marie Snyder said...

I'm going to a off-grid house tour in October. Then the search for land off the beaten track will start in earnest. Call me crazy, but I think Canada will outlast the U.S. in terms of land and water availability per capita, and then we're sitting ducks for a pretty frightening invasion.