Saturday, November 22, 2008

To Save Earth, Stop Growth


First of all, received wisdom -- prejudices really -- so loaded that they orient collective action without anyone really thinking about them. The most powerful of these preconceived ideas is the belief in growth as the sole means of resolving social problems. That position is powerfully defended even as it is contradicted by the facts. And it is always defended by putting ecology aside because the zealots know that growth is incapable of responding to the environmental issue.

The second of these ideas, less cocky although very broadly disseminated, proclaims that technological progress will resolve environmental problems. This idea is propagated because it allows people to hope we will be able to avoid any serious changes in our collective behaviors thanks to technological progress. The development of technology, or rather of certain technical channels to the detriment of others, reinforces the system and fosters solid profits.

Alternet


Alternet has two audiences: (1) disillusioned underachievers in their slacker apartments with their bitterness at life, unlike their baby boomer second grade teachers, not giving a crap how unique and special they are. (2) Wealthy people who enjoy self-flagellation so that they then have a cause in life, which is to be unique and special by "not just not noticing, doing something," which inevitably coincides with buying products, socializing with other wealthy pompous people and drinking free trade lattes.

The rest of the article is babble, but the two points above are good.

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Subvert the dominant paradigm, don't be a solipsist.

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