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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

dreams and reality « Previous | |Next »
December 28, 2009

Our dreams and reality? Or maybe scientific rhetoric and reality? Or capitalist dreams of ever expanding growth versus ecological reality?

Maybe in 2010 we can come to realize that we human are not apart from the natural world, that we do not have dominion over it, and that our mastery over nature through science and technology coupled to the deregulated free market can have destructive consequences.

NewYeardreams,jpg.jpg

Maybe we will realize that life on earth is linked by a delicate web of connections that are easily broken. Or recognize that the economy's negative impact on ecology through the exploitation of natural resources (eg., water) or pollution (eg., greenhouse gas emissions ) also affects the economy in a negative way---- eg., the decline of irrigated agriculture from the lack of water).

This two way process provides a critical point to question the evolutionary adaptationists, who take it as:

securely established that organic change proceeds through the natural selection of individual traits, each of which improves the organism’s reproductive chances, that each trait’s evolutionary end-point represents an optimum, and that no other process is needed for an evolutionary lineage to move along through time.

Human beings in a capitalist economy do not just adapt to changes in nature; they also transform nature through technology and our economic practices. Haven't we done that in the Murray-Darling Basin?

Update
The continuing commitment to economic growth through the deregulated market and new levels of technological capability has produced a historical crisis. Our public debates about this are still contained between two options: ‘let the market rule’ with minimum regulation as advocated by the free market think tanks and Murdoch press and the recognition that regulation is indispensable.

Within the mainstream it is clear that the latter has prevailed due to the global financial crisis and global warming. This is the position of the Rudd Government-- a return to rapid growth with a more active regulation of the economy.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:15 PM | | Comments (4)
Comments

Comments

"You can have an environment without an economy but you can't have an economy without an environment".
A US politician, the bloke from New Hampshire I think.

Gary, It is interesting that this theme of the interconnectedness of everything is a key theme in the film Avatar.

Quite predictably all of the brutalists on the right side of the culture wars divide dismiss Avatar as some kind of naive pantheist or oriental fantasy.

Not seeming to understand that there brutalist world-view is pure fantasy too. Or rather a death saturated horrific nightmare.

fred,
up to now economists have done little more than treat environmental issues – whether smog or global warming – as mere footnotes (or "externalities") to their various measures of human progress in GDP.

John,
I haven't seen Avatar. I'm interested though.

What is vaguely sensed in Australia is that a historical movement is gradually emerging that senses and moves towards a different order or mode of living. A more sustainable one. However, there are little more than a few hints that we may be passing into a period of genuinely epochal transformation in our public culture.