We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Climate change cannot be addressed without breaking from capitalism

Click here to access article by James Plested from Red Flag (Australia).

Referring to a metaphor posed by Benjamin that revolutions are like passengers pulling an emergency brake on a runaway train, Plested writes:
The longer the capitalist system goes on, the more it resembles the “runaway train” of Walter Benjamin’s imagining. And nowhere is this clearer than in the case of climate change.

Here we face a challenge with potentially devastating consequences – rising sea levels, more frequent extreme weather events, the destruction of ecosystems and an accelerating rate of extinctions. Yet the current “drivers” of the train, the world’s business and political elite, show little interest in changing track.

Reforms, half-measures and market-friendly solutions have gotten us nowhere. Only when we pull the “emergency brake” on the system, forcefully wresting power away from the minority who are currently at the controls, can we hope to avert catastrophe and begin the task of building a better, more sustainable world.

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