The State of the Argument

The State of the Argument within the Pacific Green Party

There has never been a plan for the future–and there never will be.

Nevertheless, I can tell you with complete confidence that something extraordinary is going to happen in the next two or three decades. The people of our culture are going to figure out how to live sustainably–or they’re not. And either way, it’s certainly going to be extraordinary.

The fact that I’m unable to give you a prescription for the future doesn’t mean you’re just helpless bits of cork bobbing in the tide of history. Each of you is about where Galileo was when he was told in no uncertain terms to shut up about the earth moving around the sun. As far as the gentlemen of the Roman Inquisition were concerned, the earth’s movement around the sun was a wicked lie they had to suppress–and could suppress. But as he left his trial, Galileo was heard to mutter, “All the same, it moves!”

Surprisingly little hung on the matter. The future of humanity didn’t depend on destroying the medieval picture of the solar system. But the future of humanity does depend on our destroying the medieval picture of humanity’s relationship to the living community of this planet.

Galileo didn’t know that people would someday take space travel for granted, but he did know that they would someday recognize that the earth revolves around the sun. We don’t know how people will live here in 200 years, but we do know that if people still are living here in 200 years, they will recognize that we are as much a part of the living community–and as thoroughly dependent on it–as lizards or butterflies or sharks or earthworms or badgers or banana trees.

Brian Setzler 2 January 2013

To me it appears to be the stuff of those that have already conceded defeat in the public sphere, or the battle external to themselves, and seem to be repeating litanies to atone for their trespasses in being part of what they consider to be a problem, and yet, an external, objective problem ironically confronted with broad sweeping psychologically-rooted terminological ecology-rhetoric and change so myopic, immediate and self-directed that we can qualify it as “life-style reform”.

And these “solutions” are neither adequate to address our problems nor particularly difficult to do.  In short, reforming your life is much easier than fighting Exxon-Mobile and the other hundred billion dollar gorillas by trying to slip something by them which makes them irrelevant and powerless and quickly thereafter bankrupt and dissolved.  (In this modern David and Goliath story, all we need is a small “stone” of aprx. $5 billion of LFTR research seed money to fell this pack of cartels that, in their entirety are worth Trillions of dollars; they know this and this is why their Secretary of Energy makes sure that nothing is pursued.  Steven Chu, and all holders of this position are practically vetted by the existing power cartels.)

In addition, the rhetorical or life-style reform “solution” allows us to believe that the problems we face are due to other’s lack of their “rescindiations” of modern convenience and their lack of seeking for forgiveness in this ideological framework that is largely lifted, cut-and-paste, from Catholicism – even including the modern carbon tax idea as a pre-Luther method of selling us our “carbon indulgences” as the church used to do.  It is the “solution” composed of both instant gratification and guilt: a gratification for the little things that we are able to do in our life like recycle and whatnot, and also of guilt for blaming others and ourselves when we fall short of being able to support these things.  So we target our neighbors and friends, so we castigate those in the 3rd world for their audacity in wanting to have a decent life; somehow, pursuant to this ideological “solution” we find ourselves looking at those with little power in the system, and avoiding uniting in going after those with all the power in the system in addition to the baggage and guilt one must feel if one believes that the problems are as such at the solutions can only be found in such an exercise of putting oneself in the political deep-freeze.  One must wonder why such a media pedestal is giving to those preaching such “solutions” as the inertia of the existing system is kept intact and those with the power keep their power as the populace that is aware of the problems of our present situation are sent scattered to chase thousands of trifling issues and never confront Status Quo interests in a way that would have any affect or damage someone’s bottom line.

Matt Folger, 2 January 2013

Brian Setzler happens to be the President of the Cascadia Chapter

His secretary humbly concurs with the President’s quite eloquent statement

About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
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