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, March 28, 2012

On the origins of green liberalism

Click here to access article by Ted Steinberg from Climate and Capitalism. 

This website has resurrected this article from behind a paywall in Radical History Review of 2010 that allows us to review the activities of the fashionable green environmental movement that served to distract activists from efforts to look at the capitalist system that is currently driving us toward environmental disasters. Because we now see very little coverage of this movement in mainstream media, it appears that it has reached a dead end. In recent years we witnessed attempts to deny climate change, but this, too, seems to have run its course. I wonder what is next.
The countercultural emphasis on individual responsibility mirrored the newly emerging neoliberal agenda with its vision of democracy rooted in an appeal to personal freedom, disingenuous as it may have been. Green liberalism, in other words, was shaped by changes in the larger political culture.