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, August 9, 2013
Fracking the Commons: Why Your Public Lands Are Under Assault by Oil and Gas Drilling
Written within the acceptable guidelines of capitalist media which implicitly recognizes the sanctity of private ownership over socially produced wealth, the author cries foul over energy corporations' onslaught of environmentally destructive shale-oil fracking on supposedly public lands.
While his concern about this practice is well-meaning, and his clear explanations about its damage to aquifers in particular are valuable, I think he offers the same old delusions about the promise of working through capitalist legal processes and institutions to save our environment. Reinforcing such delusions detracts from real solutions that we now desperately need: replacing the system, and the class whose power is derived from this system, with another sustainable system powered by the people and serving the needs of all people.
But, of course, this is the usual liberal take on all the dire contemporary threats to our well being. This is not to say that such efforts are worthless, but at best they are only stalling measures that can provide us with more time to do the real political work that is mandatory--revolutionary work.