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

Monday, October 25, 2010

Climate change v capitalism: the feast is almost over

by Jerry Mander from the Guardian

Even this liberal capitalist newspaper recognizes that the contradictions between capitalism and Earth's ecology demonstrates conclusively that the feast is over.
The whole situation is something new for capitalism, a shock. For two centuries it's been like a closely guarded secret that the entire economic system we live in, and assumed was forever, is actually part of another larger system, but with only so many resources and dump sites. But the secret is out. We are eating up the materials that sustain us, and the feast is almost over.
And there are some very encouraging signs that people are waking up to the necessity of changing things.
Already there are many hundreds of groups, from every continent, at work defining the ingredients of an alternative economic system, one that can live within the carrying capacity of the planet.
So, the big question is, "are we going to wait for the capitalist ruling classes to stop the party, in which case it might be too late, or are we going to stop it?"