Thought Six

We’ll not find hope’s light, flickering, even faintly, through the signs of the times. Ecologies cascade, resources are pillaged, economies hollowed and people dispossessed. Man-induced climate change will soon make chaos of the works of Man and what’s more, 99.9% of us in the UK have had a hand in causing that chaos and in removing the possibility of a settled life for our own children.

The intelligence of our senses must come to that conclusion. All that I’ve mentioned is plainly visible, while it’s also apparent that a personally-induced acceleration is intrinsic to all those tragedies.

Yet turn on BC Radio Four, open the Times, or Guardian newspapers and we’ll find quite different anxieties. Those anxieties are to maintain the ways of life, which have caused that tragedy.

The only course to escaping the coming chaos is to utterly change how we live and to abandon the ways of life advocated by BBC Radio four, the Guardian newspaper, mainstream political parties and so on.

We’ve become accustomed to seek change – not by changing ourselves – but by our consumer choices, casting votes, lobbying governments, petitioning corporations and by posting comments below internet articles.

This is crazy. Corporations, governments and internet articles are all three, ideas – abstractions. They have not the physics to cause anything. They lobby us to live as they wish. It is foolish to lobby them to behave as we wish, since they can only behave through us, who one, by one, are composed into a society.

To be sure we can cast a vote to change the direction of government and corporate coercion, and that may create fewer obstacles to behaving properly, but each action I take is morally attached to me and not to governments.

If enough of my friends and neighbours choose to stop shopping in super markets, and instead seek out proper shops and market squares, then the local super market will close and new opportunities for trades’ people will open. If most of my friends come to cancel their holiday flights, because they see it (which it is) as child murder, then many, who were careless of such thoughts and may also be fashion-conscious will cancel theirs to be seen as a part of the new fashion.

If gossip in town becomes suddenly much louder, because of a fashionable evacuation of retail parks and a new love for diverse shops, pubs and so on, then the coercive voices of newspaper, internet, radio and television will become muted to the same degree.

If the impulse spreads (and the power of fashion is a powerful thing), then corporations will collapse along with the voices of the politicians which they’d “employed” in New Labour, Tory, UKIP and Liberal parties.

These truths are irrefutable.

Maybe, says the comment column soon to appear beneath this article, but pigs might fly, people won’t change and so all the above is pie in the sky. The comments, for the most part, won’t say my proposition is untrue, but that it lives in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Flying pigs eating pies above Cloud Cuckoo Land, are what tamed corporate politicians most fear. They are the innocent truth. Imagine that innocence. It is delightful and it is possible.

Now imagine the weary “realism” of the commentators. It delusively denies the place to which it heads – that is cascading ecologies, crashing economies, flood, drought, storm, famine… The weary realism urges acceptance of the end of civilisation. So, the weary realism is a delusion and my flying pigs are the truth.

The weary realism of Radio Four & the Guardian is persuading us that personally we are meaningless and that we must cast our vote in the coming general election for the realism that will sack economies, pillage resources, forget the ecologies upon which all economies depend and also forget the mother of all human catastrophes, which is climate change.


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3 Responses to Thought Six

  1. I am struck by the supreme irony (or maybe just incoherence, it’s beyond irony) of the advertisement below your post: Expedia, in partnership with Dubai, pronouncing that Aeroplane + Hotel = Save! Save what? Your children’s future? The beautiful biosphere we call home? No. You save money that will be worthless to do things that are pointless.

    Anyway, you’re right in what you write. I voted in the French presidential election (yes, I’m of the French persuasion, paternally). Melenchon didn’t get through and now I’m left voting for the lesser of two evils: Monsieur Status Quo rather than Madame Forteresse France. I don’t envy those voting in the British general election.

    Meanwhile my partner and I tend our lettuce and chard seedlings, feed the soil in our new garden beds, plant soft fruit bushes, build a greenhouse, buy some Real Seeds for 10′ peas. Doing real things, together, is the only hope. And hopefully our neighbours will see the simple rightness in what we do and wish to do likewise. And we will have done it first, figured out the difficult bits and will be able to help them when they’re ready to take up their tools, one by one.

    But the new house is bought with debt and though it’ll only take 7 years to pay off, that’s still 7 years of daily commuting, sitting at a computer to write yet more papers and reports about how to make people “adopt low-carbon behaviours”, in a system that is less and less able to pay for academic work – reasonably preferring to fund hospitals and schools (and unreasonably preferring trident missiles and subsidies for fossil fuel companies) than to fund scholarly pursuits – and less and less able to implement the recommendations we propose.

    But I bring my lettuce and cooking greens to work and I help my colleagues set up an allotment on site and through the chinks and the cracks in our oh-so-busy days, I suggest visions of an alternative way to be. “It just tastes so alive” says one, “the leaves are as big as trees” says another. I smile back and just hope that eventually, these simple pleasures might displace the desire to fly to Thailand on a week-long holiday.

    Thanks for your writings. They help me reframe this all as a journey – trekking down the slope of the Long Way Down. Oaks don’t grow in a day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bryncocyn says:

      Thanks Joshua. Blimey! I don’t see the WordPress advertisements. They are only revealed to others. Perhaps they appear like a shadow puppet joke to torture my pomposity. I hope the new job goes well. New (to us) houses always have an innocence, in which childhood and “playing house” returns, while outside the long way down remains.


  2. Greetings Patrick.

    RE from the Doomstead Diner here. I’d like to start cross posting some of your writings under your own byline on the Diner, and also possibly get together for a podcast.

    Please contact me on the Diner.



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