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 25, 2014

The Falling Rate of Learning and the Neoliberal Endgame

Click here to access a review of a new book by American Professor David Blacker, reviewed by Sean Ledwith for CounterFire (Britain).

American readers can ignore the first paragraph which was written for the British audience.
The book...leaves the reader with the clear and distinct impression that the next few decades will decide the fate of the human race. Blacker ominously warns us that the current global hegemony of the capitalist order presents most of our species with a grim choice: ‘we are subject to the harsh survivalist disjunction - we will have to kill it before it kills us’.
 .... His pessimism could have the effect of disabling an activist response to the challenges of our era, but it also serves as a useful antidote to the unthinking optimism that has sometimes blighted the rhetoric of the left in previous eras. Blacker provides a salutary warning that we may not have experienced the worst that capitalism can throw at us: ‘they could lead us down into something backwardly atavistic like neo-feudalism or something new or worse’.