The Choice is Between a Tragic Rite of Passage and Extinction

A lovely morning to greet Easter Sunday. Yes, I can live in the moment of birdsong & young blossom and for that moment, be happy. But, how many more spring festivals shall we celebrate? My lack of action – my unchanged life will soon (has already caused) the end of all dawn choruses and of all festivals. Pompous? Really?
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There is a way “to flatten the curve” on climate heating – forget flattening the curve of the virus – good behaviour for that is now second-nature – & to think about how to personally abandon the family car, how to make flying an historical anomaly & how to make trades & pleasures to be within walking distances. That, not ephemeral virus behaviour, should be our deepest second nature.
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While we have leisure of lock down – here’s some productive planning – how do we re-centre suburbia into self-sufficient towns & villages? – & create more horticultural – more dog & stick farming systems, re-populating fields with people, not oil? How we replace car parks with allotments and market gardens? How much can both domestic and market gardening weave into the town? How do we import food and return manufactured goods to and from surrounding fields and orchards and back, without fossil fuel?
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How do we replace the manufacture, or import of useless goods, with both more productive and self-determined labour and also with the resultant leisure time? After all, even today, both unpaid labour and self-made pleasures, makes up the greatest part of our “economy”. Increase that time & we create a more resilient, skilled and convivial economy, which is less dependent on external forces, such as money. David Fleming calls such a way of life, the slack economy. It has leeway. It can stretch and contract without collapse, because the skills and morals of people will have replaced “the market”. People are always available to “step in”. Someone’s senses, everywhere and anywhere will note economic weaknesses and someone with specific skills will find remedies. An economy is an organism connected to its terrain as best it can – it is one species in constant adaption to its ecological effects. It is fallible. It is a eusocial adaption – not one of the sum of individuals, but nevertheless all sensual intelligence must first pass through the senses of someone. If that individual is connected… Yes. Only connect.
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Casinos of usury, rent, currency manipulation & gambling of stocks, bonds & shares, have bled the real economy of people – their trades and pleasures – dry. Here, in the reality of fields & lost trades, why not, when we can, use money as rebellion? Spend it between ourselves. Create an economy beneath casino collapse. We can un-spend the corporation, the solicitor, the architect and so on – out of existence, and re-spend a convivial community into existence as the ashes of wealth extraction fall around us.
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Yes. Modernity is levitated above and apart from the vital movement of time. It is locked in the past, forever seeking the future – progress, enlightenment and so on. It is about to destroy both itself and our species.
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We can evacuate, descend and stand in the moment amidst her sensual rewards. Only the present moment can make the future, just as our present is groaning with the clumsy missteps of the past. Many of those footprints will be our own.
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So, step lightly and the future will not have to bear that weight. Step into the moment of the species and her ecological effects. Tragedy is everywhere. It is the truth. We cannot but choose tragedy – all other roads are blocked – transition is too late – de-growth to a steady state economy is too late. We must choose the collapse of modernity – the collapse of all that weight of money, worthless work, rent, stocks, bonds, shares… It will bring horrible suffering – unemployment, crashing tax revenues and so collapsing infrastructures. But our choice is that suffering, or worse – extinction not only of our species, but nearly all the species with which, together we’ve evolved. That end is now but decades away.
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The other side of our rite of tragic passage, are roads to happiness. There, we can build the steady state we choose – rising from modernity’s ashes.
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