Reasons to be (cautiously) cheerful

Only as recently as 2005 our doubtful hope (held flickering and faltering for four decades) was of waking people up to the extreme seriousness and urgency of the crisis which global capital has brought upon our planet. Each of us pledged to do everything we could to spread the message - not merely by modest example now - but by unrelentingly explicit intellectual and cultural battle.

Incredibly, as 2006 drew to a close, we could see that, apart from some obviously extreme outposts of reactionary intransigence, humanity had actually achieved its first conscious collective objective: climate change denial was now a stigmatized unsavoury vice deplored by all the mainstream political parties in all the so-called civilized countries.

Moving from 2006 into 2007 and taking stock of our successes and failures it was clear that the next stage of the struggle of humanity against its corporate enemies was to highlight and draw attention to the nature of the causal links between climate and habitat destruction and the logic of expropriation which is intrinsic to global capitalism.

Of course some of us had been doing that all along, fighting literally for our lives on the front lines of demonstrations around the world. But as long as the majority of people think these protests have nothing to do with them the expropriators will continue to get away with it at such a pace that we will not have time to reclaim our planet yet alone the lives of the poorest of its inhabitants. What we needed to do was to break through a second barrier in the default cultural settings, to demonstrate the relationship between everyday economics under capitalism and the ruin of our Earth.

As we move towards the end of another year I think we have made substantial progress on that second front and that the drama played out in the last night at Bali really projected that. Of course it is terrible that there are still no firm figures, that this is only another ‘road map’ ( and we know where ‘road maps’ have taken the powers that be so far) and that Japan, Canada and the US have so much stinking shit on their faces. But still we can let hope flutter and stretch wings which may yet soar in clear, clean air.

Look what happened: A serious important responsible Official Representative of the World doing his best, just simply burst into tears, and, as he was led kindly from the podium (by another real human being), the rest of humanity burst into spontaneous applause! Then the US delegation was booed, actually explicitly booed by the representatives of the Rest-of-the-World. And then (wonder of wonders! ) the EU actually waded in behind India and stood up against the bullies. There is still much to weep about and especially for the small islands, but let’s take heart, step by step we make the road. And we are making it, by walking.

And as we walk we practice the democratic dialectic. We discuss. We pose alternatives. We criticise ourselves and each other. We negate negation and push forward, if not with hope then at least with the faint hope of hope.
Step One : Change the global cultural default setting on Climate Change
Step Two : ditto on the Consumer Market

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