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, May 4, 2016

Extinction, “De-Extinction,” and Capitalism

Click here to access a 52 minute interview with Ashley Dawson, author of a new book entitled Extinction: A Radical History. The interview begins after a news summary at approximately 6:30m. The broadcast is from the studios of KPFA, a listener sponsored radio station in Berkeley, California.
What should we do in the face of the ongoing extinction crisis? What is rewilding, and how does it work? Is de-extinction, which involves the resurrection of extinct species, advisable? Ashley Dawson puts mass extinction and the various efforts to address it in a broader political-economic context.
Dawson targets capitalism as the culprit behind the mass extinction of life forms that is increasing at a rapid rate in spite of various attempts by advocates of  "green capitalism" to preserve species. A very thought provoking interview throughout, but he specifically draws our attention to the destructive role of capitalism starting at 36:25m.

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