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Reply #57: A quick response to these (non-)"principles" [View All]

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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-21-09 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
57. A quick response to these (non-)"principles"
We live in a time of social, economic and ecological unravelling. All around us are signs that our whole way of living is already passing into history. We will face this reality honestly and learn how to live with it.

When economic and even social conditions are improving globally, it is difficult to accept the "economic" aspect of the argument. Therefore I cannot agree to it.

http://www.gapminder.org /

Ecologically we do have problems to sort out, but there's no real danger of our bringing global society to the brink, at most a natural culling of population could take place, given the worst case scenario of human involvement (global warming creates sea level rise, acidic oceans, and sea life goes extinct en'masse). In the end population may be readjusted by half, but from some economists point of view, this would be a "good thing" since those who would ultimately perish would be those at a lower class in society, who are an "unnecessary burden" on global capital. Of course, they would never say it.

And a person who believes global collapse cannot be stopped (and in some cases should not be stopped) is essentially nothing more than a xenophobic racist who has no compassion for those at the lowest tier of society would would unabashedly be affected by these ecological changes. We're talking mass migrations, large concentration camps, people being shot and killed because they try jumping a border fence, stuff like that.

2. We reject the faith which holds that the converging crises of our times can be reduced to a set of‘problems’ in need of technological or political ‘solutions’.

This is essentially a rejection of science. Science that, unsurprisingly, helped the ecological conclusion be made, and hopefully results in a series of scientific proposals that can mitigate the problems we face. By saying "there is no fix" you are basically, as I said in the response to the first principle, saying "oh well" to those on the lowest tier of global society who for so long have been exploited. They've been exploited their whole existence and now they get to die a painful and authoritarian death.

Indeed, the last principle suggests that there are solutions, but those solutions are inarguably relegated to a small minority of believers who have prepared themselves for this global industrial collapse, and who wait for it with baited breath, hoping one day to be able to participate in archaic and exploitive ideologies.

3. We believe that the roots of these crises lie in the stories we have been telling ourselves. We intend to challenge the stories which underpin our civilisation: the myth of progress, the myth of human centrality, and the myth of our separation from ‘nature’. These myths are more dangerous for the fact that we have forgotten they are myths.

The root of these crises starts with a fundamental rejection of egalitarianism, of which these "principles" play an integral part. That is, the idea that ultimately we are doomed, and that there's nothing we should even attempt to do for our fellow human beings.

The "myth of progress" is most certainly not a myth, under any definition of the word (including the OED definition). The fact that the author is able to write such principles and post them on a network which millions and millions of people can view, shows that progress is a very real, very active process. But said progress is always going to be thwarted by any kind of rejection of egalitarianism. If we are not equals, then what of progress?

When someone on that lowest tier of society is unloading grain from a truck because corporations build soda factories which drain water supplies, necessitating foreign imports to simply survive, they are fully aware of their part in society, they are fully aware of the air conditioning that the driver is enjoying, as the sweat drips heavily off of their skin thick in grime, unwashed in clean water their entire existence. They know what progress is, they see it with their own eyes. They wish for it more than any other.

http://www.mineyourownbusiness.org /

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosia_Montana#Films:_.22Go...

Human centrality and the separation of nature are of course one in the same, and they are not necessarily myths, most people recognize nature, and enjoy experiencing it, but the whole "egalitarianism must take a back seat" thing removes them from being able to experience it. People spend their days flipping hamburgers, sitting at a computer, lugging rocks, and when that day is over, they just want to go home and relax with whatever luxuries that they have and sleep.

This is where the "myth of progress" statement comes from. It presumes that an anti-egalitarian society is necessary to have the technological society we currently enjoy. But that is hardly true at all, and not proven in any credible sense. We *can* have egalitarianism with our level of luxury. We *can* have tangible progress for *everyone*.

In "Mine Your Own Business" there's an eco-yuppie who is petitioning the government to keep an industrial project from being created under the guise of "environmentalism." Said eco-yuppie told the director that the poor impoverished people "liked their conditions" and "wanted to be primitives." So, doing what would be completely anti-ethical to the "narrative" that said eco-yuppie was creating, the director *asked* the people living in straw huts what they wanted. They claimed quite quickly that there existed no more sticks to gather to build new huts or improve upon the ones that they had, and that in fact they were basically screwed already, that they could not go back, and that they weren't allowed to go forward.

The eco-yuppie then went on to show off his yacht and house that he was building. Real cool, that.

4. We will reassert the role of story-telling as more than mere entertainment. It is through stories that we weave reality.

Untrue, unverifiable stories applied to social life in a tangible way (outside of entertainment) got us to where we are today. Kings claiming sovereignty because they said so. Science is the first step toward removing this inequality, because it allows people to verify statements and claims, and to set them apart from other claims that are unverifiable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T69TOuqaqXI

Manipulation stems from claims that cannot be checked. So if a "healer" claimed that they could cure a disease by channeling some sort of supernatural power, those who believed said claims would be in a position of inequality. The story tellers, then, are the masters, because said story, said information, exists solely in the claims of the teller, and are not part of actual objective reality.

5. Humans are not the point and purpose of the planet. Our art will begin with the attempt to step outside the human bubble. By careful attention, we will reengage with the non-human world.

Non-sensical spiritualism. What is the author trying to say? I agree that humans are not the "point and purpose of the planet," but I don't know anyone who would disagree with such a shallow concept. Humans are a part of the planet just as any other species, however, we have had a far reaching impact on the planet due to inequality within our own species. Indeed, just as we see other humans we see the world. As simple things that can be exploited for our own ends.

This obviously has to stop.

But you don't have to don a wolf head and dance around a fire for it to stop.

6. We will celebrate writing and art which is grounded in a sense of place and of time. Our literature has been dominated for too long by those who inhabit the cosmopolitan citadels.

We're already doing that.

http://creativecommons.org /

http://www.fsf.org /

We don't need global collapse and 3 or more billion people dying for this to be the case. Opening ones eyes can be useful.

7. We will not lose ourselves in the elaboration of theories or ideologies. Our words will be elemental. We write with dirt under our fingernails.

Indeed, collapse is already agreed upon by the author, therefore elaboration is not necessary. We sit idly by waiting for billions to die (even if they don't this is an inherently evil position to take). "I have this position and I will not change it for anyone." Yet no evidence for said position, and no desire to even expound upon the little argument that you do have.

8. The end of the world as we know it is not the end of the world full stop. Together, we will ?nd the hope beyond hope, the paths which lead to the unknown world ahead of us.

There won't be an end of the world because there are people who actually do care about other human beings. There are people who don't want to see people suffer. There are people who don't wish for the destruction of the environment (a collapsist scenario inherently approves of more environmental destruction; for when frost hits a billion people a billion more trees will go into the furnace). And all of these people are actually actively working against these ends.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_hardware

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RepRap_Project

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCores

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multimachine

If the premise is true, if there is really nothing that can be done about global collapse, then, well, it's simple.

We won't go down without a fight, we will help our fellow human beings, and we will expend every ounce of energy we have to succeed.
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