Thursday, January 1, 2009

An open letter to liberal/left issue advocates

While the following was written in response to an e-mail from TrueMajority titled "Our plan for 2009" it is not just directed to TrueMajority; I'm not intending to pick on them (they're actually my personal favorite out of the bunch), because the following is also addressed to MoveOn, Codepink, Democracy for America, Progressive Democrats of America, and the dozens of others who believe that a little "progressive" reform around the edges, taken in slow and easy incremental steps, with heaping helpings of compromise with a system that is anathema to life itself constantly added to the mix, will be sufficient to stave off the collapse and chaos we're heading toward--which is being brought on by clinging to and legitimizing this mindset. Thus, this critique also fully applies to the mainstream environmental groups such as Sierra Club, WWF, NRDC, etc.

Sorry to be so blunt, but until the whole lot of you find the backbone to be honest about the blatant destruction caused by your corporate benefactors, and help dispel the myth that economic growth is necessary for prosperity and progress, your progressive and environmental ideals will remain unfulfilled.

On 29 Dec 2008 at 9:48, Matt Holland, TrueMajority wrote:

> Dear Dave,
>
> What a whirlwind year. In the past twelve months we celebrated
> the election of a new progressive President and witnessed an
> economic collapse brought about by a failed right wing ideology.

Dear Matt,

It would be a whole lot easier for me to support TrueMajority (or any of the other liberal/left issue advocate organizations--please don't feel like I'm singling you out) if it felt like any of you either understood the issues or were willing to support a realistic and viable alternative to their root cause.

Let's take the latest TrueMajority e-mail that triggered my response as a case study. First, Obama is not progressive. He is solidly middle of the road. He wouldn't have been vetted by the DLC for his presidential bid were he otherwise. Second, the economic collapse is the only logical outcome of the Ponzi scheme known as free-market capitalism; right-wing ideology merely hurried the collapse along by exposing its faults to the light of day in a manner that is hard to either ignore or deny. But blaming our current economic situation on the right or thinking that we can "green" economic growth merely shows that stupidity knows no political allegiance.

You almost always take the proper "progressive" stand on issues, but without ever acknowledging that each of these issues is a symptom of a failed cultural paradigm. It is a paradigm of domination; of hierarchies of control that function through power over an other that's assumed inferior. New issues will continue to emerge from this paradigm as long as the inherently faulty analysis of liberalism is being applied. While the left may be more compassionate than the right (speaking only of the political ideology, not the real people who get swept up in it), the fact that compassion continues to be necessary on such a wide-spread scale is proof that a fundamental problem remains--unexamined and thus unresolved.

There is at least one recognized but as yet not well known path to a sustainable future that is based on ecological wisdom, social justice, economic equity, and participatory democracy. As a further incentive in requesting your support to help publicize the alternative I advocate, a sustainable future based on these values will create a culture of peace, something both the political right and left insist they desire.

One core aspect of the process to blaze this path is known as relocalization. It includes the decentralization of vibrant and resilient local steady-state economies that exist in harmony with their bioregional ecosystems. Relocalized communities don't require growth in consumption or energy use to be considered healthy, i.e. they are powered down and prepared for the energy descent the world will be experiencing as the reality of Peak Oil settles in.

The other core aspect of creating a truly sustainable culture is overcoming our separation from the natural world--which includes each other. This entails reconnecting the human spirit and all the rest of our dozens of natural senses to their roots in both the creation and to the creative tendency of life itself to build and nurture relationships of mutual support that are conducive to life in its ever increasing diversity.

While this systemic alternative won't, indeed can't, support infinite economic growth or consolidation of power, it will create the foundation for the quality of life people all over the world say they want. Evidence for this claim can be found in the global acceptance of the values espoused by the Earth Charter. This systemic alternative is also the only rational response to catastrophic climate destabilization and the poisoning of the biosphere by industrialism that I'm aware of. If any of you should know of another, please quit keeping it a secret.

The alternative of reconnecting and relocalizing can create more opportunities to reach the potential the natural bounty a life-affirming planet assures any species that stays within its ecosystem's carrying capacity. This includes the opportunity we have to participate in the creation of sustainable lifestyles, organizations, and communities based on the natural systems principles from which sustainable ecosystems emerge. It presents a new way of being that is resonate with the natural creatures we actually are, instead of putting us in constant reaction mode to the toxic symptoms the status quo keeps handing us.

Doesn't it make more sense for a national organization such as TrueMajority to live up to its name and champion a different way of being that supports and provides for the majority?

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