I’ve been amazed at the collective wisdom of the truly left of us, those who adhere to the belief that people — communities of common needs — are smarter than the total sum of individuals who seek power, money and a birthright to the gutting of ecosystems.
Competitiveness isn’t it, and yet we are telling the young, just out of the cradle, that they must fight for everything, and the king of the hill is the person who can acquire more and more to feed his or her ego or entitlement.
As they age through the hamster wheel of consumerism, Capitalism and Empire’s exploitation in the elite’s name vis-a-vis the majority’s name, students learn to expel less and less the amount of the hubris of Empire and Mad Men consumerism; and then self-deception grows exponentially each year an American is planted in this culture (sic).
Yet, where are the family of men, women, children and others (yes, the complexities of those who do not identify as Cis-gender) who stick together to ensure the world is globally connected to the family of Homo Sapiens in the family of Gaia? Who’s teaching resistance? Who’s teaching a true communitarianism? Teachers stuck on that same hamster wheel, leading the way? I think not.
I am saddened that my profession — education — has been neutered and spayed of collective wisdom, so this family of community — and I see community of place and community of purpose being equidistant in our need to not only overthrow the few who have for centuries destroyed possibilities for a socialism of the mind, spirit, and urban-rural development, but those who have hindered the possibility of incubating a new idealism drawn from tribalist human laws.
A map of the world that does not include utopia is not worth even glancing at.
— Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism, 1891
You’re captives of a civilizational system that more or less compels you to go on destroying the world in order to live. … You are captives—and you have made a captive of the world itself. That’s what’s at stake, isn’t it?—your captivity and the captivity of the world.
The world of the Takers is one vast prison, and except for a handful of Leavers scattered across the world, the entire human race is now inside that prison.
No one species shall make the life of the world its own.’ … That’s one expression of the law. Here’s another: ‘The world was not made for any one species.
If you can’t discover what’s keeping you in, the will to get out soon becomes confused and ineffectual.
[T]he price you’ve paid is not the price of becoming human. It’s not even the price of having the things you just mentioned. It’s the price of enacting a story that casts mankind as the enemy of the world.
― Daniel Quinn, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit
I’m on the Oregon Coast, Central arena for amazing tectonic shifts, and the strata of biological and geologic evolution in your face all the time, each and every inch I make through a temperate forest of rain and moss and Sitka, to the basalt and granite beachheads that empty into the sea, is compelling. Upwellings, gray whale migrations south and back north, whelping coves of fur seals and harbor seals.
I am enjoying a brief weekend respite with my fiance’s daughter, a junior at the flagship college, one of them Oregon State. She comes to me as a STEM, scientist technology engineering math, seeking environmental chemistry degrees.
She tells me that students she’s around do not want to embark on political discussion. She tells me science professors (sic) don’t discuss global warming or climate change. She knows nothing about the American role in killing and murdering people in Venezuela, or at least the newest machinations to carry that out in the name of Abrams Pence, Trump and Virgin Airlines, et al.
The world of academics, in STEM, can be very constricting, cloistered, self- absorbed, and worse, self-important. There are no great debates going on in this $26K a year school, and there are no faculty she has that give a shit about sticking their necks out to engage in the real things in life. Chris Hedges calls this the sickness of the liberal class, credential-ism and careerism.
Universities no longer train students to think critically, to examine and critique systems of power and cultural and political assumptions, to ask the broad questions of meaning and morality once sustained by the humanities. These institutions have transformed themselves into vocational schools. They have become breeding grounds for systems managers trained to serve the corporate state. In a Faustian bargain with corporate power, many of these universities have swelled their endowments and the budgets of many of their departments with billions in corporate and government dollars. College presidents, paid enormous salaries as if they were the heads of corporations, are judged almost solely on their ability to raise money. In return, these universities, like the media and religious institutions, not only remain silent about corporate power but also condemn as “political” all within their walls who question corporate malfeasance and the excesses of unfettered capitalism.
Just what will a chemistry degree accomplish in a world of Monsanto, Exxon, Pfitzer, ConAgra, Raytheon, Dow and the list of chemical purveyors is a long as the new chemicals created yearly for the forms of consumption capitalism supercharges, which pits people and the environment against each other and then in turn puts at risk us all in the name of the profits of the few.
Flame retardant in every person and mammal on earth? Atrazine sprayed on crops that baby in the cradle and those babes in preschool consume? A chemical rainbow of products that causes nervous and mental and biological and endocrine disruption in insects and nematodes and rodents. Somehow we disconnect we are also those cockroaches getting the end Apex bioaccumulation of those cancer-causing chems.
They don’t even study Rachel Carson, and while they know nothing about The People’s History of the World; Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States; Guns, Germs and Steel; Notes on a Catastrophe or David Wallace- Wells.
Worse yet, they aren’t talking about Davos;, and the stuff they consume on YouTube, Instagram and the like well, it is the thing of a distracted and disengaged culture of LGBTQAPP+++.
They never know why and what their society is and was and will be becoming, because now the capitalists are on over-drive looking to make another generation and that generation’s children into the next marks.
They don’t know scientists like Vandana Shiva, and as I said, Rachel Carson.
At each stop, Shiva delivered a message that she has honed for nearly three decades: by engineering, patenting, and transforming seeds into costly packets of intellectual property, multinational corporations such as Monsanto, with considerable assistance from the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the United States government, and even philanthropies like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are attempting to impose “food totalitarianism” on the world. She describes the fight against agricultural biotechnology as a global war against a few giant seed companies on behalf of the billions of farmers who depend on what they themselves grow to survive. Shiva contends that nothing less than the future of humanity rides on the outcome.
“There are two trends,” she told the crowd that had gathered in Piazza Santissima Annunziata, in Florence, for the seed fair. “One: a trend of diversity, democracy, freedom, joy, culture—people celebrating their lives.” She paused to let silence fill the square. “And the other: monocultures, deadness. Everyone depressed. Everyone on Prozac.
More and more young people unemployed. We don’t want that world of death.” The audience, a mixture of people attending the festival and tourists on their way to the Duomo, stood transfixed. Shiva, dressed in a burgundy sari and a shawl the color of rust, was a formidable sight. “We would have no hunger in the world if the seed was in the hands of the farmers and gardeners and the land was in the hands of the farmers,” she said. “They want to take that away.”
Amazing, my female soon-to-be step-daughter has not been initiated in the fine arts of dissent and scientific truth, with someone like Rachel Carson as a talisman for any up and coming woman interested in pursuing the siciences:
Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species — man — acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world. — Rachel Carson
I gotta end this with some measure of hope, and that would be that there are still many members of my tribe ready to tackle the stupidity of manufactured consent, false dichotomies, false balance and all the other mediated crap of the propagandists.
A great piece on Dissident Voice, one of my brethren, Jason Holland:
Suggest peace or ecological sustainability? Shit, sorry buddy, now you’re a radical; a naive one they’d argue. The powers that be seem to fully embrace the idea that it’s fine as a nation-state to act like homicidal authoritarian maniacs who are pushing the global ecology to the brink of collapse, that’s just fine, so long as you just want to kill the proper people. Should you be a proponent of peace, cooperation, and sustainable non-exploitative living for all, generally creating a world with far less atrocities and horrors, well, that will get you the label of radical even for the socialism lite policies Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is pushing in the green new deal. She has since owned the moniker of radical along the general line of thought that if being more humane makes her a radical then so be it, and rightly so, but if the ideas of being more humane are considered radical now, wait till these mainstream hacks hear what is actually necessary to begin to heal the natural world on a timetable that doesn’t end in some rather brutal ways and much faster than most think possible no less. Climate change and species extinction are continually accelerating faster than expected along exponential curves and exponentiation has a way of sneaking up on you rather fast. Now we’re talking about the type of stuff that will be openly balked by the status quo neoliberal capitalists as potentially extremist.