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.
It turns out that in 1980, when
Reagan was running against Jimmy Carter for President, Republican leaders worked
behind the back of the US Government to obstruct negotiations to free American
hostages held in Teheran. Carter’s failure to achieve release helped propel Reagan into the Presidency -
on the back of apparent Republican treason, it turns out. This revelation, or rather confirmation of a suspicion common among informed Democrats and liberals at the time, not only sheds genuine light on St. Ronald Reagan, more importantly, it shows the patriotism of the modern right for the lie that it is. (From a narrowly Pagan perspective, below the fold you will also see how this manipulation has obscured our own roots in American culture.)
One of the most frustrating
accomplishments that the nihilists of the religious right and their secular
allies have accomplished is to destroy our ability to communicate over public
issues. They have done so by
claiming ‘values,’ ‘patriotism,’ ‘manliness,’ and ‘strength’ belong only to
them and that words like ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ are somehow un-American.
They have hidden much of our history from us while elevating the villains and hiding the genuine representatives of America’s values. There is the wonderful cultural upwelling between the War of 1812 to the Civil War that was the origin of so much that was good that bloomed again in the 60s and 70s. The first major spiritual movement beyond Christianity, including much that will look familiar, Environmentalism, Feminism, a national anti-war movement that included Abraham Lincoln,and much more. You can get a glimpse of that period in Sarah Pike’s great New Age and NeoPagan Religions in America. It opened my eyes.
They have taught us the falsehood
that the Civil War was not over slavery – making it incomprehensible. They have made
entire sections of our history invisible, for example the Southerners who opposed slavery and the hundreds thousands who even fought for the union. A few of the genuine Southern heroes can be read about here (a good place to start) and here and here and here. Good has been turned into bad or made invisible, while the morally deficient or depraved defenders of chattel
slavery have been made into heroes
We Pagans should be particularly sensitive to this issue. No other spiritual tradition has had its true nature so obscured, its true past so distorted, as we have. And for similar purposes of legitimating domination by the powerful over others. Much of the knowledge of the West’s Classical Civilization has been lost forever and much that we have now we possess only because it escaped the Church’s attempt at total destruction. The same is happening to the best of our past, the American revolution and the major principles that animated it.
A decent culture can be slowly
transformed into an evil catastrophe by playing on its weakest links. For serious students of what threatens
us today, I recommend Claudia Koonz’s fascinating The Nazi Conscience. It explains how decent Germans were slowly transformed into people who, in the
name of moral values, could accept and often endorse the actions of the Third
Liberals and just plain Americans
have treated the spokespeople of the ‘conservative’ movement as if they were
fellow citizens who simply see the world differently. And this is true for the rank and file, who believe their
leaders to be truthful men and women.
But the leaders are neither patriotic nor honest, and this information about
what Republicans were and continue to be willing to do to gain power should be
made as public as possible.