Perspective from Afar | Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver | Millennium: Winners and Losers In The Coming World Order by Attali
April 9, 2017 Leave a comment
I am basically quoting passages in Barbara Kingsolver’s article, “Small Wonder” and including the link of a review of Jaques Attali’s book which she mentions, “Millennium: Winners And Losers In The Coming World Order”
At a time when the modern imagination seems fully engaged in discussion of swords of every length and breadth, there’s little room for other kinds of talk. But I’m emboldened by Medea to speak up on behalf of psychological strategy. It’s not a simpleminded suggestion; her elixir of contentment is exactly as symbolic as Jason’s all-conquering sword, and the latter has by no means translated well into reality. The strategic difference is the capacity to understand this one thing: Some forms of enemy are made more deadly by killing. It would require the deepest possible shift of our hearts to live in this world of fundamental animosity and devote ourselves not to the escalating exertion to kill, but rather, to lulling animosity to sleep. Modern humanity may not be up to the challenge. Modern humanity may not have a choice…. The easiest thing is to think of returning the blows. But there are other things we must think about as well, other dangers we face. A careless way of sauntering across the earth and breaking open its treasures, a terrible dependency on sucking out the world’s best juices for ourselves — these may also be our enemies.
The easiest thing is to think of returning the blows. But there are other things we must think about as well, other dangers we face. A careless way of sauntering across the earth and breaking open its treasures, a terrible dependency on sucking out the world’s best juices for ourselves — these may also be our enemies.
The laws governing international trade render it more difficult each year to inject moral considerations into the marketplace, frustrating the many nations and individuals who still wish to balance economic motives with compassionate ones. Indeed, international trade laws increasingly restrict access to the very information that makes any such concession possible — witness, for example, the endless battle for accurate labeling waged by U.S. consumers who prefer their food organically grown and not genetically modified. The profiteering drive of commerce owns no malice or mercy, is incapable of regret, and takes no prisoners; it is simply an engine with no objective but to feed itself. And it is a Goliath: A decade ago, the combined sales of the world’s ten largest corporations exceeded the gross national product of the world’s hundred smallest countries put together, and the gap is growing.
Inevitably, hungry souls and angry hands rise up against that amoral giant, and ever-higher walls of armaments are required to keep them at bay. These walls create among us a huge class that the French author Jacques Attali has named the “millennial losers,” for whom the fantasy of prosperity promoted by the media is both a continuous allure and an endless slapdown. The siren’s song calls them toward Paris and New York, glittering Emerald Cities walled off by inaccessibility. In his 1991 book, “Millennium: Winners And Losers In The Coming World Order”
Jaques Attali observed with a chilling prescience
that particularly among those in the Middle East who’d suffered repeated humiliations by the West, the fiercely absent presence of worldly affluence tended to inspire fervent cults of frustration and outrage.
We who are alive in this moment didn’t build these walls, nor did we ignite the fury that has smoldered for eons and hurls itself at us now as a burning question. But we have inherited the urgent necessity of answering it. And possibly we will succeed.”
George Monbiot continues to articulate the problem of the environment in terms of constraints created by the global political elite – in the pockets of the corporate oil oligarchy and such, with his recent post “The Problem With Freedom“. “Propaganda works by sanctifying a single value, such as faith, or patriotism. Anyone who questions it puts themselves outside the circle of respectable opinion. The sacred value is used to obscure the intentions of those who champion it… When thinktanks and the billionaire press call for freedom, they are careful not to specify whose freedoms they mean…one person’s freedom is another’s captivity.”
Funny, attended a group circle of mostly ex pastors in a parish in Santa Fe of mostly the over-80 crowd. All agreed without question in human induced climate change, which they mentioned was the new word after ‘global warming’ became politically incorrect. One of them offered this information, that ideology is the major blocking point. As soon as ideologies become the subject, peoples’ comprehension or ability to even see or discuss an issue, goes out the window.
Each of the above are worth reading.
What can we do? Here are 10 things you can do to impact the environment in a positive way, according to Defenders of Wildlife.
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