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, August 10, 2016
Toward Democratic Eco-socialism as the Next World System
In this somewhat lengthy essay, Baer, an anthropologist, argues for the necessity of an eco-socialist future. As such I believe it mixes a lot of reformist ideas, organizations, and personalities with more historical socialist writers to produce an academic and luke-warm version of a call for revolution. It is light on revolutionary strategies and rather heavy on future ideas about how we should live sustainably in a new system.
For me the essay is more typical of an academic's call for revolution in that such calls are in the abstract while being very light on the immediate political strategies and tactics necessary to overthrow the existing system of capitalism. I think this is because of the upper-middle class nature of an academic. He/she is well rewarded within the capitalist supervised academic subsystem while requiring some ideological compromises to survive. As long as they confine themselves to abstract criticisms of capitalism while promoting idealistic ideas, they tend to be safe and secure in their careers.
Perhaps I'm being a little unfair. You, as an independent thinking person, will have to decide for yourself.