Sunday, February 17, 2019

How To Transition To A Sustainable Society

I'm a Canadian. Which means I live in a country strongly influenced by British parliamentary traditions and British history. It also means I'm heavily influenced by US-American political and social history. And, obviously, US-American traditions were heavily based on British ones.  The long and the short of it is that Canada is an heir to a politics of "gradualism" (at least since the 17th Century).

Now, the British can, with good reason, pat themselves on the back for a lot of things. And as I type it seems that there's a lot of evil mixed-up with the good in such things as the scientific and industrial revolutions that I'm referring to. To say nothing of the definite evils of imperialism, elitism, and general despoilation. But whatever else you can say, you have to admit that the British political-social structure has been very, very stable. Since the 18th Century, they have introduced innovations gradually and this has resulted in fewer catastrophes and greater social cohesion than in many other societies. Some very ancient societies cracked by resisting change too stubbornly, or embracing change too willingly.

And I think that this is relevant for the apocalyptic crisis of climate change that we face today. My hobbyhorse of "Workers as Citizens" advocates for changing as little of the details of our present capitalist pseudo-democracies as possible. It advocates for one major change, based on long-established liberal principles of individual rights and equality. From that one change, all the others follow in their own good time and in a natural, organic way.

I say this because the other alternatives (either tinkering with public policies or childish, hazy "revolutionary" scenarios offered by radical dimwits) are either insufficient to the emergency or they depend on so many other things mysteriously changing of their own, that one has difficulty taking them seriously.

I've said all this before to no avail. The only reason I've typed it here, today is because I had a topic that I wanted to write about but the historical record is thinner than I'm able to hang my thesis on. So I just typed this instead.

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