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

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Big Fix: documentary exposes BP, U.S. Gov't on Gulf disaster

Click here to access article by Jan Lundberg from his blog Culture Change. 

The author reviews a recently released film "The Big Fix". With his background related to the oil industry, he is well qualified to review such a film:
...a national speaker, writer and publisher, is best known for running what was widely considered "the bible of the oil industry," Lundberg Survey Inc. In 1979 the firm predicted the Second Oil Shock. After 14 years there, he left for-profit work to found the nonprofit Sustainable Energy Institute, now Culture Change. For almost twenty years he has studied peak oil, energy alternatives, and conservation based primarily on grassroots change in lifestyle. 
This critic of crucial contemporary issues illustrates in this review a common trait of many such progressive people: they refer to the "system" but are unable to name it. Instead they prefer to make references to culture or lifestyle changes or doing away with Western Civilization, but what they are really referring to must be the capitalist system. This phenomenon demonstrates the power of the One Percent ruling class to control thought much like Orwell described in his classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

On the other hand, if we interpret this author's review literally, then it exhibits very shallow thinking. It's as if one could change cultures, etc. just like one could change clothes, e.g., like changing from designer jeans to untailored peasant dress. Such a view sidesteps the very challenging task of dislodging a class that derives huge benefits from the existing system of capitalism, which is the fundamental driver of fossil fuel usage, so that a new sustainable system can be installed.