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

Friday, March 22, 2013

Apocalypse, Not? The Politics of Collapse and Rebirth – A Book Review

Click here to access book review by Brian Tokar from Toward Freedom

Prepare to have your mind stretched by this review of Catastrophism in which several activist-scholar authors examine the significance of the widespread apocalyptic myths currently seen throughout popular culture. In this examination the book's authors attempt to address the following questions:
Can the specter of apocalypse serve to invigorate popular movements, or is it merely an outlet for escapism and despair? What of the significant ranks of radical environmentalists who now believe that a restoration of biodiversity can only follow the collapse of civilization? Are such views part of the solution or part of the problem?
My own view is that the factual evidence presented by scientists overwhelmingly indicates a radical climate change future in which humans will not be able to survive. We can just continue to deny this evidence, or we can face facts such as the necessity of removing the system of capitalism that is driving us, humanity, to our species extinction. The Shakespearean choice well expressed in his famous soliloquy is now more urgent than ever before:
To be, or not to be--that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.