To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Saturday, November 28, 2020

New Observercast

Preserving Power Determines Policies

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Reasonable people now realize the illogic involved in the perpetual extraction of limited resources and the dangers of increasing greenhouse gas emissions. But unreasoning people – as in those who refuse to think – and outright scoundrels, who don’t care what kind of Earth they’re leaving their heirs, still clamor for maximum exploitation.

We can point to the drought that made Anasazi farming untenable or the Little Ice Age that drove the Vikings from Greenland after more than 400 years of occupation. The deforestation of Easter Island contributed to the demise of its high culture.

But those and other instances of changing conditions were in the past. We’re different. We’re special. Except, maybe, Venice, which floods with the monthly high tides, or Australia, which is being incinerated on a continental scale.

Naomi Klein, who sparked Green New Deal thinking, told the Huffington Post recently that this resistance to environmental facts amounts to eco-fascism. All that counts is preserving the current power hierarchy. They know better, but care less.

The stubbornness of that resistance – which bodes ill for all of us – can also be seen in the resurrection of xenophobic nationalism throughout the world, this country included, as exemplified by the base bigotry of Donald Trump and his base.

It’s another manifestation of the “my, me, mine” mentality that is debasing our world.

At the evil core of this ideology is the notion that our country, our culture, our language, ourreligion, our fourth team free safety is superior to anybody – no, everybody – else’s. Yes, it is a logical impossibility for every nation to be better than every other. But logic was not invited to the discussion.

As with the stubborn climate change deniers, whose denial of scientific facts is but a wishful belief, a creed condoning corruption, the nationalists deny, defy and denounce the very obvious fact of one human race. True, some of us might have residual Neanderthal – whose reconstructed models became better looking when that was discovered – or maybe Denisovan DNA, but we’re all cousins.

But logic and facts are most unwelcome to “true believers” of any ilk. Many of the bigots take joy in the rise of other bigots throughout the world. They seem to miss the obvious conclusion that a world full of proud supremacists is one where conflict is inevitable. They might hate some of the same people, but they hate, as well, any who claim equal footing with their own superior nation/culture creed.

That has been the state of affairs of states for the past 5,500 years of marked history. War and destruction in the name of nationalistic superiority have repeatedly derailed human progress. We haven’t been forced to reinvent the wheel, but we came close to those conditions during the superstitious Dark Ages.

The stubborn persistence of nationalistic nonsense shows just how hard it will be to gain any traction to save Earth as we know it. The same people for the same reason – power – prefer violence to cooperation, even if that cooperation could ensure a better future for their heirs.

Gary Edmondson
Gary Edmondson
Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democrats. He lives in Duncan, following a sporadic career as a small-town journalist, mostly in Texas, and as an editor of educational audio-visual materials. Some days he's a philosopher/poet, others a poet/philosopher.