SATURDAY, JUNE 11, 2016
Eric Lee, A-SOCIATED PRESS
TOPICS: AND THEN WHAT?, FROM THE WIRES, SYSTEM OF ENOUGH
TUCSON (A-P) — Love and understand:
Understand: Seneca, Malthus, Lloyd, Mill, Darwin, Wallace, Lotka, Soddy, Scott, Cottrell, Hubbert, Boulding, Mishan, Hardin, Bertalanffy, Ehrlich, Bartlett, Odum, Georgescu-Roegen, Meadows, Daly, Tainter, World Scientists Warnings, Kaczynski, Diamond, Latouche, Hall, Klitgaard, Wilson, Lent
Love and understand: First Peoples, Thoreau, Muir, Leopold, Carson, Abbey, Schumacher, Christian, Suzuki, Elder Brother's Warning, Aluna Message, Washington
All the above: marginalized by the intelligentsia of the Growth Hegemon as their narrative of system over self, of enough is enough, is not consilient with SYSTEM! over self, or MORE! so all can get richer as members of the SYSTEM that firmly supports PROGRESS and DEVELOPMENT at any cost as material wealth/GNP/consumptive growth without limit. That this narrative can still be believed in by most (and their intelligentsia) is what keeps the SYSTEM going (along with unsustainable high energy inputs and denial).
The current technoindustrial SYSTEM is one of profit (acquisition) and loss (cost/waste/harm) in which profit is privatized and costs (e.g. pollution, illness, harm) are commonized as much as possible. The functional difference between capitalism and communism is rhetorical, which is to say, both are growth SYSTEMs pursuing the same end. When Khrushchev asserted, "We will bury you!" he meant economically by growing faster than the capitalist West. Pure (non-existent) capitalism would privatize both profit and loss, while pure (non-existent) communism would commonize profit and loss (unmanaged commonism). Socialism privatizes profit (but don't tell anyone) and commonizes loss, and both capitalism and communism soon become functionally socialist (but don't tell anyone). Commonism, commonizing profit and loss, is alternative, but if unmanaged, always has a tragic outcome, forcing any would-be commonist growth society (having more than 100-150 members) to become socialist. The current global SYSTEM is socialist as commonizing profit would not allow for economic growth. Commonizing profit while privatizing loss would not grow the economy either.
Alternative is a closed (except to energy), no growth, largely egalitarian (0.8—1.25) rationing system using mostly solar input for needed energy, no net profit, no elite material wealth, where the system is managed to minimize production and consumption to provide for needs rather than wants (managed by-the-numbers Natural Law commonism). This alternative would be sustainable (function long-term) and be prosperous enough—other than no one dies with more than 1.66 times as many toys than another.
The acquisition/waste growth SYSTEM assumes an open, illimitable frontier/commons. Consuming the planet has a short-term payoff, and some may be laughing maniacally to the bank (e.g. 99% of Americans including those getting free food from the Food Bank), but a reasonable guess is that the SYSTEM, the Euro-Sino Empire, will peak somewhere between 2030 and 2070 (~95% p?), and will transition or humans will go extinct (maybe p=10% in next 100 years). Transitioning now to managed commonism (a managed commons benefiting all life) would minimize extinction, that of myriad species which could include humans. The Feudal SYSTEM, based on the ideology of God's Mandate (divine right of kings narrative), was replaced by Growth's Mandate (the ideology of the cancer cell) and the technoindustrial Growther SYSTEM, which, if hu-mans are to live long and prosper, needs to be replaced by Nature's Mandate (as understood via best guess of those who listen). The current Growther SYSTEM (of MORE!) cannot be tweaked/reformed into its opposite (Nature's Mandate, a society of enough). So down with democracy, up with naturocracy.
The fox knows many things: the hedgehog knows one big thing. —Archilochus
Ecologists. . . are hedgehogs. The one big thing they know is this: "We can never do merely one thing." This simple sentence imperfectly mirors the one big thing . . . —the idea of a system. —Garrett Hardin
It will be a race toward either paradise or oblivion, right to the last moment. —R. Buckminster Fuller
Alternative to oblivion: choiceless obedience to the Nature of things. Freedom is the recognition of necessity.
Narrative of Empire: SYSTEM! over self
Humans and their subsystems matter, to which environment is a peripheral externality.
Narrative of the Ecolate: System over self
Environment matters, of which human affairs are sub-sub-sub-subsystems enfolded within.
We are the environment (e.g. geobiosphere) or we lord over, are 'decoupled' from Nature. Both are not actual. If human subsystems are a small part of a complex planetary life-support system, then what works, what allows a species to persist, to evolve, is not determined by the species nor by choice. Nature doesn't care about your opinions (beliefs). The contingencies of survival follow natural laws in which obedience is linked to persistence as a life form. An ecolate narrative is alternative to a political/religious/business-as-usual narrative. Extinction is an option. Human choice is based on preference (opinion), like and dislike, picking and choosing, being for and against—going with what feels good. If one's understanding of Nature is a function of the nature of things, as in determined by without room for opinion, then choiceless awareness follows, for the price of an effort, assuming one would rather know than believe. Serving the system (Aluna) is perhaps our highest calling (the Kogi serve the system as ecolate humans, not the SYSTEM as social control system of human-centric special interests), hence the subsystem of their lives has worked sustainably for 1,100 years. Perhaps we too could/should say NO TO EMPIRE.
The mind clings to its image of the world; we call it real only because of our ignorance. Do not seek after the Truth, merely cease to cherish your opinions. —Jianzhi Sengcan, 6th century CE.
Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know... I was in New York in the 30’s. I had a box seat at the depression. I can assure you it was a very educational experience. We shut the country down because of monetary reasons. We had manpower and abundant raw materials. Yet we shut the country down. We’re doing the same kind of thing now but with a different material outlook. We are not in the position we were in 1929–30 with regard to the future. Then the physical system was ready to roll. This time it’s not. We are in a crisis in the evolution of human society. It’s unique to both human and geologic history... Soon all the oil is going to be burned and all the metals mined and scattered.—M. King Hubbert
My world, my Earth is a ruin. A planet spoiled by the human species. We multiplied and fought and gobbled until there was nothing left, and then we died. We controlled neither appetite nor violence; we did not adapt. We destroyed ourselves. But we destroyed the world first. ―Ursula K. Le Guin
One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. ―Aldo Leopold
Anyone who believes that exponential growth can continue forever in a finite system is either a madman or an economist. —Kenneth Boulding
The solar system matters (maybe): You are a speck on the pale blue dot below as seen up close. Know then thyself.