Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Stop biodiversity loss or we could face our own extinction, warns UN

The world has two years to secure a deal for nature to halt a ‘silent killer’ as dangerous as climate change, says biodiversity chief

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  1. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    November 5, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    As this and numerous other scientific voices have been saying for years, our species, and particularly the most affluent (and those who produce for them) are living wildly beyond their ecological means. Fixing this is going to require unavoidably drastic changes in the way we live. Business as anything even vaguely approximating the usual is not a sustainable option.

    No regime has had to face such a massive departure from a well established tradition since the original roll out of capitalism and modern times. We are looking at a reluctance to adapt to save ourselves that compares favourably with that of a our Aboriginal brothers and sisters who are still struggling two hundred plus years after the first awful collisions with modern agents and agency.

    Everyone is more worried about their ‘industry dreaming’ and consumer ‘culture’ than getting into a viable space that will serve their descendants.

    What makes this conundrum much worse is that the political forces that do have advocacy carriage of the environmental issue are not just narrowly based, not just using the issue as a stick to beat their regime opposite numbers with, but are themselves agents of a regime master agenda that is as much a part of the problem as anyone or anything else.

    The graduate humanities and economic libertarian intellectual streams that started to roll out of universities and colonise our bureaucratic/pedagogic social and corporate administrations in the 1960s, as capitalism rebooted demand from needs and wants to iconic (mainly sexual) fantasies and indulgences, both brought with them a radical deregulatory agenda in favour of private interests and personal discretion at the expense of the social/economic commons, and its means of social reproduction that they were supposed to be stewarding.

    While all this seemed benignly ‘wealth producing’ and ‘liberatingly’ indulgent at the time, the long term consequences have been absolutely dire all round. When the social humanities ‘church’ and market ‘crown’ struggle and jostle for power and legitimacy, as any regime duopoly does, each accuses the other of its libertarian deregulatory/degovernancing/disinhibiting and privatisation (disaccountability) crimes against the well-being of the common weal each is responsible for. Both are infallibly right about the other, whether it is the chaos enveloping our financial system as revealed by the GFC and the subsequent Royal Commission, or the chaos enveloping the social one as revealed by the South Australian Nyland Royal Commission investigating child protection, or the earlier inquiry into the cultural of abuse of children in remote indigenous communities, or the impending ecological chaos as reported by the IPCC.

    In the ideological finger pointing and shouting matches between the Tweedle Dees and Dums of our age, their mutual culpability is successfully obscured and the myths of democratic contention, debate and reform is maintained in a mutual deadlock that perpetuates business-as-usual for all sides in the equation.

    Getting out of jail on this is going to require an abandonment of traditional capitalist laissez faire social and market ideology. ‘Authoritarian’ regovernancing and deprivatisation accompanied by ‘repressive’ enforcement of sustainable behaviour is very likely the direction for the future because the whole culture of liberty and rights has so been so abused and removed from responsible agency. And while getting through that is very unlikely to be smooth sailing, mass constituencies will go along with it because they won’t have much choice if they want to save their collective necks, even if that applies to the steadily collapsing existential, social, economic and ecological infrastructures that have to be rebuilt and put in place to keep everyone ‘afloat’, both literally and metaphorically.

    And consumer capitalism and its indulgence ideologies will have to go to make way for that, not because of some dream of glorious revolution so much, as getting through this century with a bit of skin left.

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