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, February 24, 2013
Twelve Reasons Why Globalization is a Huge Problem
I am posting this article to illustrate how one person who is widely respected and read in technical circles related to fossil fuels, particularly those who follow The Oil Drum website, is unable to see beyond the confines of capitalism. This limitation is very common in this historical period where the system of capitalism coupled with advanced technology has produced so much wealth, material comforts, better health, well-being, and longer life for some in the world.
Unfortunately, these benefits have not been widely distributed. For those few, also known as the "One Percent", who have directly benefited from the ownership of the economy, capitalism has also brought the benefits of power over the rest of the world's populations and has resulted in many bad effects. I'm referring to never-ending wars both large and small, exploitation of working people, poverty, etc; and now we--those of us willing to look--see that we are now facing a future of exhaustion of energy and other resources, and the destruction of an ecosystem that can support human life. Still, many highly informed people such as Tverberg are unwilling to look at the system that has, and is, driving the human race to extinction.
Her view about globalization as the cause of all this is very much like one who claims that alcoholism is caused by excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages. Of course, this is true, but it explains only what is superficially obvious. Likewise, with her argument about globalization. To extend the metaphor, we might very well see globalization as out-of-control drinking and the last stage of the One Percents' addiction to their drug of choice-- capitalism; and its only a matter of time before this addiction destroys the planet's ecosystem on which we all depend.
Still, the article is useful by examining the many ill effects that this stage of the addiction is currently creating for the world's populations.