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.
Pat Robertson’s is receiving well deserved if still
insufficient condemnation for saying the Haitian earthquake may be a “blessing
in disguise” and is the result of a “pact with the devil” Haitians made long ago to
drive out French slave masters.
(After all, BLACK people could not possibly defeat White people without
Satanic help.) As is probably well known to my readers, Haiti is a center of Voudon, (popularly called Voodoo) a Pagan African Diasporic religion that survived bloody persecution by Christians. It’s prominence there is likely why he is spreading his inane drivel about Haiti and the devastating quake that killed so many and maimed so many more. Robertson’s poisonous bile had one positive impact for me. It brought me back to happy memories of
attending a Voudon ceremony years ago in New Orleans.
I had gone to New Orleans to attend a Southwest (!)
Political Science Association meeting and took the opportunity to visit an old
friend in the city who taught at a University there. So I arranged to spend a few extra days in the city. I also hoped somehow to get to attend a
genuine Voudon ceremony.
As a long time New Orleans resident, I hoped she could get
me invited to the real thing, not one that was arranged for tourists. She said she’d look into it, and soon
told me there was one I could attend in a couple of days. My use of the correct term, “Voudon,”
had favorably impressed the woman who served as the group’s Manbo, or priestess.
The day before I drove to her botanica, to introduce myself and in the
process make sure I could find it at night by first finding it in the day
time. Her botanica was a small shop with
herbs and various things used in Voudon.
We had a delightful conversation during which she mentioned that her
teacher in Voudon had at one time also studied Wicca. (Hear that, Pat?)
The shop was in one of the most unusual neighborhoods I had
ever seen. Narrow streets with old
houses in an architectural style I cannot really describe, except to say it did
not look like America, or the French Quarter for that matter. The neighborhood
looked and felt like another country. (The longer I stayed in New Orleans, and
the longer I was away from the French Quarter, the more this sense of
difference seemed to characterize everywhere I went.)
When I returned later for the ceremony I walked up the
building’s narrow stairs and through a narrow hallway into a back room that
opened out on a back porch. White
and Black people were there, and in this temple the majority were white. Two or three guys had the invocational
drums and as they drummed the priestess traced patterns for different Loa on the floor with white flour.
As the ritual began we all did a kind of circle dance, and
in time several people became “horses” for different divine riders. Papa Gedde
arrived and spent much of the rest of the ritual on the back porch, smoking and talking
with people who approached him.
Before long I had my own rider, Agwe (a Loa of the sea), which was a
delight to me and apparently a surprise to most there since I was a
visitor. But the incorporation was
not real deep.
After the ceremony ended and I had returned to where I was
staying, and had a chance to get some perspective on the ceremony, I decided
the “feel” of the ritual was remarkably Wiccan. There was a larger crowd, but not much larger, and the
drumming was something no Wicca ceremony in my experience has had, but all in
all I felt right at home.