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.
UPDATE: Parts of this post have been polished and clarified.
May Day is first and foremost a celebration of life in all
the earth. But historically it has
also been a celebration of those whose work sustains the modern world. Then as now, those whose work sustain
civilization were oppressed by parasites who grew fat and sleek through the
efforts and creativity of others. Those creative others they treated and
continue to treat as expendable inferiors. Some people
are rich because they deserve it. Others, the parasites, are rich
because, as they admit, they are smart and vicious enough to try and use money to fill an infinitely deep hole in their empty
souls. They even endorse class war. Bill Moyers, one of the
all-time greats in American journalism put it very well. I want to offer what is admittedly a rant, but a well supported one, in
respectful memory of this May Day tradition as well.
To do so properly we have to understand we are governed by
the least productive and least creative among us in both politics and
business. The productive and
creative are too busy by and large to play the sordid organizational games
these men and occasional women have mastered. With very few exceptions, are masters of manipulation,
deceit, and distraction.
Even so, it’s been a tough few months for America’s ruling
oligarchy and its faithful servants. Elected on so many false promises I have given up counting them, Barack Obama
seems to feel his best operating plan him is to kiss up to his enemies and kick
those who believed his
promises lies in the shins. Or somewhat higher. Now that we have the worst oil spill in
history, possibly world history, he is stil following his urge to placate his enemies including the
“drill baby drill” Alaskan imbecile. Even so, now both he and the corporate sociopaths he serves are looking pretty incompetent. (More here.) As indeed they should.
Among the more important lies Obama told us was his pledge
for more open government, a basic requirement for democracy. Now he has shown himself to not only do
all he can to prevent the truth of Bush era law-breaking from coming out (let’s
put it behind us) he wants to prosecute people who blew the whistle on
Republican lawlessness. (Let’s not put that behind us.) These priorities are not only dishonest, they are depraved.
Meanwhile Obama’s war on Afghanistan continues killing
Afghans and Americans to no good end. Picking up where Bush left off, dead people matter not at all when the
alternative is being criticized by Rebubbalicans. The man now has buckets of innocent blood on his hands,
blood needlessly spilled and with no end in sight.
Warning of fiscal crises brought about by endless war and
tax cuts for the parasites, he proposes putting domestic programs on the
chopping bloc, programs that benefit Americans, while increasing the defense
budget that served us so well against box cutters. But GE and Halliburton and other parts of his true
constituency will be pleased. Our
‘defense’ budget is now far bigger than during the Cold War.
Republican Rebubbalican Confederate
party is showing its true colors as the political abode for the most degenerate
portion of our nation, who are building mini police states in Arizona and Virginia. And
hoping to build more in Oklahoma and a host of other states. I am struck with the fact that these
“patriots” are willing to guarantee oppression and abuse of brown Americans but
do not target the large agribusinesses whose hiring practices draw illegal
immigrants north. The poor and
needy are enticed north with the promise of jobs, rendered even more powerless
by depraved laws, while the corporate aristocrats who lure them continue to
live in luxury.
Then there are the
corporate aristocrats who wax fat of the blood of other hard working
people. Mines have
collapsed, killing workers needlessly while funneling millions to the
oligarchy. Those deaths proved as
Don Blankenship observed, mine safety rules are as
silly as global warming. Only not in the way he intended.
Blankenship is the thug and possible criminal who runs Massey Energy.
Similarly, we are
discovering that oil giant BP, served so loyally by both parties, opposed
safety rules and rejected measures already in use elsewhere that would likely
have made this spill impossible. Halliburton, is involved as well.
Having previously done so much damage to us in Iraq (see here and here and here) while making millions for Dick Cheney,
Halliburton is once again living down to its image. There is no better candidate for the corporate death
Then there is the fraud and malfeasance committed by the
Bright Boys in Finance, bright boys who transited effortlessly from serving
themselves under Bush to serving themselves under Obama. Whether opposing auditing in the
Federal Reserve or stonewalling and possibly lying under testimony and hiding facts they should legally have disclosed , these parasites have done and
are continuing to do great harm to everything but their pocket books. Whether they are convicted of breaking
the law or are able to weasel out with the aid of corporate lawyers, political servants secretly undermining
effective action against them, and a compromised court system is yet to become
clear. What is clear to all but
the high priest economists who provide fancy rationalizations for them is that
they are parasites, frightfully effective ones.
This miserable performance, evidencing incompetence and
dishonesty across the board, is by
an old ruling elite that has gamed the constitution by capturing both parties
while preventing the rise of alternatives. We get to choose from moderately inhumane corporatist hacks
among Democrats or far worse corporatist hacks and their theocratic allies with
the Rebubbalicans. Both are
dominated by ideas that have long since outlived their usefulness, assuming
they had any to begin with. They
persist by covering for one another when the chips are down, rewarding
incompetents and penalizing the competent.
The future of this country rests on whether the natural
political antibodies this civilization can generate are up to the task of
eliminating this combination of toxic infection and growing senility.
The hope lies in Americans who actually care about the
principles our country was founded on and on those remaining honest people in government who might still prove that
our new aristocratic plutocracy is subject to the law like everybody else.