Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Copenhagen, Rudd, Wong and other delusionary phenomena

I know a lot of people follow the news, waiting with baited breath to see if our fearless leaders will "save" us all at Copenhagen. I find it a little hard to understand how anyone can believe in this stuff at all any more! I suppose the school kids have "ideals" pumped into them and then go out into the world to be exploited by their seniors until the juice is all squeezed out of them. They provide the energy, while it lasts, to give our political processes the appearance of life. But it's all a gigantic machine, set in motion by long-dead hands, where the outcome of hardly anything depends upon specific actors any more — they're all infinitely replaceable — but on the inertia of culture, the habits and desires of billions, the grooves into which our actions are forced to conform by the structures both physical and mental which we inhabit. And how can a system which depends upon infinite growth, ever-expanding credit and growing population and consumption, vote itself out of existence? Because that is the only answer to all our looming problems.

There is no such thing as "sustainable development". It has no more reality than "clean coal". We can go on pretending for a few more years. No doubt there will be people in fifty years time who when the ruin of our civilisation lies strewn about them, will continue to spout the kind of nonsense which fills TV, newspapers and our conversations. And this basically comes down to a frantic groping around for ways to keep the unsustainable way of life to which we are almost all so desperately attached, going a bit longer. But it will end.

Perhaps you find this difficult to countenance and are appalled by my "negativity". But I'm not being negative. I'm merely stating a difficult truth which we are all going to have to face if we live a few years longer. It's a law of nature if you like — and we are animals like any other, subject to the laws of nature as much as any other part of it, however much self-deluding drivel comes out of the mouths of opinion makers on every side of politics.

So is the human race Doomed? Of course bloody not!

The way to think about it is this. Will there be humans on this planet in one hundred years time? Almost certainly! Will they be living where you're living? If the answer to this is most likely yes, how will they be living? Do you want to be part of their future? Yes? Then it's up to you to try and work out how to get there from here.

Forget millennial dreams, or apocalyptic dreams. Forget all the idealistic or nihilistic nonsense you've imbibed if you can. Try to imagine the real situation which will exist in one hundred years, or whatever time span you pick.

By the way, Ran Prieur has done a great post on the same ideas I've been riffing on above. Read it here. A quote…
It is said that Obama is wearing a mask, being a deceiver, as if he carefully pretended to be a progressive activist for a quarter of a century because a time traveler from the future told him that would get him elected president in 2008 so he could pursue his secret right wing globalist agenda. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" -- but it's hard to imagine two presidents more different than Obama and Bush. The fact that the country is moving the same direction under each of them should tell us something else: the president is not the boss. Obama has never worn a mask -- Obama is the mask, and not a very good one. It has never been more obvious that America is an ossified dying empire with a suicidal inertia that no leader or movement can stop. If Sarah Palin, Dennis Kucinich, or Carrot Top were president, the system that the president pretends to run would still be bailing out banks and insurance companies, escalating wars, hiding atrocities, and generally chugging along to its ruin.

The whole thing is worth a read.

1 comment:

Peter Burgess said...

Great post. The last few days have been a rude awakening for many. For others who had long ago lost faith in our political leaders and failing institutions the debacle at Copenhagen can come as no surprise.

On a different, but related tack, I came across the following link via the UK Guardian:


Sometimes we need to be reminded why the world has to change.

The Status Quo is bankrupt in so many ways. Change has to come.

It's becoming increasingly apparent that solutions will need to come from individuals and communities rather than politicians and large institutions. That's where grass roots movements like Transition fit in. Enough enlightened and outraged people can help instigate real change.