Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Revolution: the only solution?

"There was one dynamic in the model, however, that offered some hope. Werner termed it 'resistance' – movements of 'people or groups of people' who 'adopt a certain set of dynamics that does not fit within the capitalist culture'. According to the abstract for his presentation, this includes “environmental direct action, resistance taken from outside the dominant culture, as in protests, blockades and sabotage by indigenous peoples, workers, anarchists and other activist groups'.
Serious scientific gatherings don’t usually feature calls for mass political resistance, much less direct action and sabotage. But then again, Werner wasn’t exactly calling for those things. He was merely observing that mass uprisings of people – along the lines of the abolition movement, the civil rights movement or Occupy Wall Street – represent the likeliest source of 'friction' to slow down an economic machine that is careening out of control. We know that past social movements have 'had tremendous influence on . . . how the dominant culture evolved', he pointed out. So it stands to reason that, 'if we’re thinking about the future of the earth, and the future of our coupling to the environment, we have to include resistance as part of that dynamics'. And that, Werner argued, is not a matter of opinion, but 'really a geophysics problem'."

This article is mostly about how important immediate action against human activity that is encouraging climate change. But the part that is of interest to me is that scientists are concluding that the only way to alter the way humans are acting is through revolution.  I'm certainly not sold on the idea, but it's an intriguing point. Does the fact that we are allowing our only home, earth, to become uninhabitable to ourselves indicate that our current political and economic systems can only be altered quickly enough by revolution? 

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