Saturday, February 23, 2008

Re-Thinking the Foundations of Green Politics

Inspiring article by Steve Welzer in the new issue of Green Horizon Quarterly. Here are some excerpts:

Transcending Marxism, Freudianism, and Environmentalism

"The leftist movement for social liberation focused narrowly on sociopathological issues. As the critique of modernity broadened, two alternative, but also narrowly-focused, liberatory movements arose during the 20th century: a movement focusing on the psychopathological aspects of modernity (vide Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents) and the environmental movement, which focuses on the ecopathological aspects.

"The importance of the Green movement is that it holds the promise of synthesizing the narrowly-focused social, psychological, and ecological critiques. Emergent Green theory recognizes that our most serious problems flow from the aberrant direction we’ve been going in for millennia—away from sanity, toward lifeways that are unmoored from the community/nature matrix.

"This implies that human liberation won't result from changing ownership of the means of production or from psychotherapy/pharmacology or from simple environmentalism. Beyond notions of political revolution or personal liberation, what is required will be a Deep Green transformation of lifeways—renewal of appreciation for limits and balances, revaluation of community, re-establishment of our relation to nature and place. The problems of the epoch of development—imperialism, war, inequality, ecological crisis, mass forms of neurosis, preoccupation with technology—are all symptoms of the fact that we’ve lost our bearings in a headlong rush toward hyper-modernity. Our challenge now is to recover our grounding and find our way home."

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