Thursday, May 26, 2016

                          NEWS FROM THE OTHERWORLD

Naomi Klein's latest denunciation of Orientalism & the steam engine 
oozes from the subluminous ether of ecosocialisme into 
The London Review of Books:

                                  LET THEM DROWN 
        The Violence of Othering in a Warming World 
Naomi Klein examines how Said's ideas of racial hierarchy, including Orientalism, have been the silent partners to climate change since the earliest days of the steam engine, continuing to present day decisions to let entire nations drown and others warm to lethal levels. The lecture looks at how Said’s bold universalist vision might form the basis for a response to climate change grounded in radical inclusion, belonging and restorative justice.

Video: Let Them Drown

The most important lesson to take from all this is that there is no way to confront the climate crisis as a technocratic problem, in isolation. It must be seen in the context of austerity and privatisation, of colonialism and militarism, and of the various systems of othering needed to sustain them all. The connections and intersections between them are glaring, and yet so often resistance to them is highly compartmentalised. The anti-austerity people rarely talk about climate change, the climate change people rarely talk about war or occupation. We rarely make the connection between the guns that take black lives on the streets of US cities and in police custody and the much larger forces that annihilate so many black lives on arid land and in precarious boats around the world.

Overcoming these disconnections – strengthening the threads tying together our various issues and movements – is, I would argue, the most pressing task of anyone concerned with social and economic justice. It is the only way to build a counterpower sufficiently robust to win against the forces protecting the highly profitable but increasingly untenable status quo.

Climate change acts as an accelerant to many of our social ills – inequality, wars, racism – but it can also be an accelerant for the opposite, for the forces working for economic and social justice and against militarism. Indeed the climate crisis – by presenting our species with an existential threat and putting us on a firm and unyielding science-based deadline – might just be the catalyst we need to knit together a great many powerful movements, bound together by a belief in the inherent worth and value of all people and united by a rejection of the sacrifice zone mentality...