Democratic Forest Trusts (PDF)in Watson, Alan; Dean, Liese; Sproull, Janet, comps. 2006. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress Symposium; 2005 September 30-October 6; Anchorage, AK.Democratic trusts with leadership elected by citizen-members promise to solve many of the problems afflicting both traditional government and corporate ownership of forestlands.Â This article explores these issues in some depth.Complexity and the Dream of Human Control of Eco-Systems (PDF)in Watson, Alan; Dean, Liese; Sproull, Janet, comps. 2006. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress Symposium; 2005 September 30-October 6; Anchorage, AK.The title captures it.Â I then explore the kinds of institutions compatible with both nature and the modern world that are implied from this analysis.Rethinking the Obvious: Modernity and Living Respectfully With Nature (PDF)The Trumpeter: Journal of Ecosophy, Winter, 1997.Modernity is usually considered a wrong turn in terms of respect for and sustaining the environment.Â I argue the reality is more complex, for modernity has freed us from personal dependence on agriculture, ended the economic value of children, radically reduced the likelihood of large scale wat, and shifted much production to intellectual rather than material capital.Â This partially decouples society from nature, which gives us important opportunities as well as problems.Towards an Ecocentric Political Economy (PDF)The Trumpeter, Fall, 1996.This paper begins my effort at showing how liberal modernity can be harmonized with an ecocentric perspective on our relationship with the natural world.Â It is a corrective to much “free market environmental” literature that sacrifices Nature to money as well as to anti-liberal attacks by well-meaning but economically naÃ¯ve environmentalists.Unexpected Harmonies: Self-Organization in Liberal Modernity and Ecology (PDF)The Trumpeter, Journal of Ecosophy, 10:1, Winter 1993This is my initial paper exploring how what I term ‘evolutionary liberal’ thought can be an important means by which society and nature can be brought into greater harmony.Â The other Trumpeter papers build on it.Deep Ecology and Liberalism: The Greener Implications of Evolutionary Liberalism (PDF)Review of Politics, Fall, 1996.Liberal thought and deep ecology are usually regarded as mutually exclusive. But the “evolutionary” tradition offers a way to integrate the two through commonalties in the work of David Hume, Michael Polanyi, Arne Naess, and Aldo Leopold, providing a stronger foundation for liberalism while strengthening the case for an ecocentric ethic.(Related subjects: Ecology)Saving Western Towns: A Jeffersonian Green Proposal (PDF)in Writers on the Range, Karl Hess and John Baden, eds., University Press of Colorado, 1998.Developmental pressures in the rural and small town West involve three groups: long term residents, new arrivals, and environmentalists. Today their interests often conflict. This conflict is in part the outcome of institutions which prevent harmonizing competing interests. The concept of developmental trusts, both for rural regions and for small communities offers a means whereby these interests can be harmonized for the benefit of all concerned.(Related subjects: Politics)Social Ecology, Deep Ecology, and Liberalism (PDF)Critical Review, 6: 2-3, 1992.Murray Bookchin is considered a leading radical environmental theorist. However, his analysis is incapable of leading humankind towards a more respectful and sustainable relationship with the natural world. Criticisms of Bookchin from both the deep ecology and evolutionary liberal perspective complement one another, pointing the way towards a better understanding of how modernity relates to the environment.The paper as a whole offers an early discussion of issues that are more clearly addressed in later papers, particularly Deep Ecology and Liberalism (1996) and the three Trumpeter articles in 1997, 1996, and 1993. However, there are other ideas in the article which have not been developed more thoroughly elsewhere.
This is my first post on the issue of why I am very skeptical of having a Pagan clergy. I will come at it on an angle.
To have an official ‘clergy’ is to have some organizational structure with authority to say who is clergy and who is not. But organizations tend to become corrupt, confusing their interests with the interests they are supposed to serve. It happens everywhere, but is particularly tragic in religious organizations.
The past, recent and apparently ongoing moral depravity of many in the Catholic hierarchy (NOT Catholics in general) supplies one reason why I oppose even small steps towards institutionalizing Pagan practice through official ‘clergy’ UNLESS it is crystal clear that this term ONLY reflects their capacity to offer counseling or other secular professional skills. This is my sole concession to what I have learned since first making my case against it in Pagans and Christians.
Consider the hideous behavior of Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of Brazil who recently excommunicated the doctors who performed an abortion on a nine year old girl who had been repeatedly raped by her father. He also refused to excommunicate her father because his crime was not as bad. Just the actions of one man? No. The Vatican came to his defense when decent people were appalled.
Consider also the record of the Church hierarchy covering up the records of pedophile priests. I live in northern California, where pedophile priests were actively protected by former Santa Rosa bishops Mark Hurley and John Steinbock. The abuses went on for two decades. I wrote about them in the early 90s. They continue.
Consider Bernard Law, Cardinal and Archbishop of Boston, Massachusetts, resigned after Church documents surfaced suggesting he had covered up sexual abuse committed by priests in his archdiocese. Earlier when the media began emphasizing these scandals, Law spoke out powerfully: “By all means,” he said at the time, “we call down God’s power on the media, particularly the Globe.” For reporting on the scandals. This was supposedly “anti-Catholic.” After his resignation, Law moved to the Vatican, received a new post, and later gave a funeral Mass for Pope John Paul II.
My point is not that pedophilia occurred in the Catholic Church – abuses like that happen in any large organization and the number of priests involved is small. This issue is not unique to the Catholic Church. According to Christianity Today it happens in many other churches. My point is the organization’s complicity in covering up the crimes, protecting the perps, and when discovered, blaming others.
Consider the current Pope’s lifting the excommunication of a Holocaust-denying right -wing Bishop. Days before his being readmitted to the Church, Richard Williamson said on TV that the historical record indicated that there had not been any gassing of 6 million Jews. Defend excommunicating doctors who performed an abortion on a nine year old who had been raped, and welcome back a so-called ‘bishop’ who was a holocaust denier.
My point is not anti-Catholic – this is my second explicit statement on that issue – but a much more interesting one. Organizations tend to become corrupt. (See my Why Organizations Lie. ) Religious organizations are no better, and possibly worse, than secular ones. As we grow in numbers and influence there will be demands for Pagans to become more institutionalized, more organized, more “like everybody else” so Christians can better relate to us.
This is but one reason among a number we would be making a serious mistake to follow that beguiling logic.