Utopia is the Last Remaining Realism

We can find sufficient solar, hydro & wind energy for the current needs of the electricity grid, but for the new needs of domestic and commercial heat and of manufacturing (ceramics, smelting…) – we’ve not a hope in hell unless we dramatically reduce demands to at least a tenth. Transport, either electric, or hydrogen? – impossible. Renewable systems have not the capacity. Hydrogen is not a source of energy. It is a means to store surplus electrical energy.
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Meanwhile, any further use of either fossil fuel, or biofuel means climatic suicide. We neglected to apply planned descents from fossil-burning ways of life, many decades ago. Today is too late. We must instantly quench the fires. Impossible? – Yes. But, since we have squandered all others, the impossible remains our only choice.
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So, what do we have? – the return of personal intelligence, ingenuity & dexterity – people-sized technology – agriculture integrated with its ecology, sail-trade, river & canal trade, vibrant towns & villages, sizzling with revived skills of the trades – all within walking distances. Renaissance.
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Utopian renaissance is the only choice remaining – Choose it, or we choose the end of human cultures. It is simple.
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Governments have not the power to make such changes. Only immediate reclamation of dynamic commons from the static powers of the enclosures can liberate renaissance.
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These tax-generated cultural commons, though often decayed, remain in place – roads, streets, bridges, harbours, canals, navigable rivers, weirs, market squares and halls, libraries, concert halls, theatres, playing fields, parks, allotments, sewage systems, flood defences, sluices, drainage, lakes and reservoirs, hospitals, electrical grids and water supplies, monetary systems, town halls and parliament buildings… These are all basically communistic systems – financed by the commons, which recent UK governments have sought to enclose into private hands. Of course, some canals, harbours and so on and also theatres, cinemas…, were built by private finance, but today their maintenance has usually returned to the common. To change that, means enclosure (privatisation) and rent.
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People as tax payers and citizens have ancestral right to manage them on the common. Current enclosures bleed commonwealth into private hands. By rent, they shrink the common good, by increasing private good and without returning obligation.
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Then, we have Earth Commons, which no one made and from which we receive all that we have – soils, seas, rivers and biomass – gifts which, if we live within their laws, will be self-renewing.
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We also have minerals, fossils and salts, which do not remain in their original state if we use them – the original state is gone forever.
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This is the case for burnt fossils, agricultural minerals and salts and aggregate for construction. We now have a disbalancing surplus of gas and energy produced by fire and chemical reaction (fossil engines, artificial fertilisers, cement making…) and a deficit of biomass (critical) and mineral mass (less critical).
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Yes. We have a massive deficit of what we may call “cyclic nature” and a massive surplus of dangerous and linear human effects.
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The current UK general election has thrown a selection of artificial choices before us all, so that we must choose one artifice from the rest. No party stands on the premise that Utopia is the last remaining realism, or that societies must arrange that work and pleasure are within the walking distance of every citizen. Yet, choosing one party or the other will make a profound difference to our singular abilities to reclaim the common and to reclaim those ends.
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The current UK government’s entire motivation has been to enclose the last commons into the private hands of a small elite. Some other parties have become entranced by the seeming enlightenment of the European Economic Union – even though it is founded on enclosures and monopolies and the complacent dependency of consumerism. Both those neo-liberal impulses are towards ecological destruction and climatic catastrophe.
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Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has become the only political choice for Westminster. It (or Jeremy) can do nothing for us, but it may allow space to personally act – in time instantly – in space, shrinking till we fit our personal allotment of this lovely Earth.
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Given that all other reasonings are now too late, give me one reason not to choose Utopia?
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2 Responses to Utopia is the Last Remaining Realism

  1. Michelle says:

    I am reading Bruno Latour (An Inquiry into Modes of Existence) this morning – some echoes of your argument in the purpose of his inquiry: “Itʻs hardly surprising that the modernizers are gloomy…They are travelers in transit, displaced masses currently wandering between the dystopia of The Economy and the utopia of ecology, in need of an urbanist who can design a shelter for them, show them drawings of a temporary living space. In the face of this generalized housing crisis, modesty would be treason.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. bryncocyn says:

    Wow! That is succinct and beautiful. I’ve not read him. Now, I must.

    Like

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