Robert Jensen points the way toward our complete transformation, if humanity is to survive Climate Destabilization. We can only hold on to our humanity through this crisis if limits are accepted by all and burdens are shared by all. Rejection of hierarchical Dominator Culture is essential to holding on to our humanity instead of descending into a death spiral of mutual destruction!
The future of the human species—if there is to be a future—must be radically green, red, black and female.
If we take this seriously—a human future, that is, if we really care about whether there will be a human future—each one of us who claims to care has to be willing to be challenged, radically.
Individually and collectively, we have failed to create just societies or a sustainable human presence on the planet.
We can start by looking honestly at the data about the health of the ecosphere, in the context of what we know about human economic/political/social systems. My conclusion: There is no way magically to solve the fundamental problems that result from too many people consuming too much and producing too much waste, under conditions of unconscionable inequality in wealth and power. [emphasis mine]
… when we reflect on our history as a species and the nature of the systems that govern our lives today, the sensible conclusion is that the steps we need to take won’t be taken, at least not in the time frame available for meaningful change.
This is not defeatist.
This is reality, and sensible planning should be reality-based.
Let’s demand of ourselves the rigor we demand of others. Let’s not deny, avoid, evade any aspect of reality.
My thesis: Our task today is not to scurry around trying to hold onto the world as we know it, but to focus on how we can hold onto our humanity as we enter a distinctly different era of the human presence on the planet, …
… we will not be deterred by the resistance of the culture. We will work at accomplishing whatever we can, where we live, in the time available to us. Which brings me to the future: green, red, black, and female.
Green: The human future, if there is to be a future, will be green, meaning the ecological worldview will be central in all discussions of all of human affairs.
Red: The human future, if there is to be a future, will be red. By that, I mean we must be explicitly anti-capitalist. An economic system that magnifies human greed and encourages short-term thinking, while pretending there are no physical limits on human consumption, is death cult. To endorse capitalism is to sign onto a suicide pact.
Black: The human future, if there is to be a future, will be black. By that, I mean we have to reject the pathology of white supremacy that has for five centuries shaped the world in which we live, and continues to shape us.
Female: The human future, if there is to be a future, will be female. By that, I mean we have to reject the pathology of patriarchy that has for several thousand years shaped the world in which we live, and continues to shape us. Again, this should not be confused with the tepid liberal and “third wave” versions of feminism that the dominant culture acknowledges. Instead, we must embrace a radical feminism that rejects the hierarchy and violence on which male dominance depends.
My claim is that we must deal with all these systems in a holistic, integrated fashion, that we will not successfully reject one hierarchal system without rejecting all hierarchical systems. Holding onto any system that depends on one group claiming dominance over another undermines our ability to shape a decent future. We should be dismantling any system based on dominator logic. [emphasis mine]
… Everyone’s analysis must take into account all these aspects of our lives; if your analysis does not do that, then your analysis is incomplete; and an incomplete analysis will not be the basis for substantive and meaningful change. Why?
If the story of a human future is not green, there is no future. If the story is not red, it cannot be green.
The green and red story is a story of limits. If we are to hold onto our humanity in an era of contraction, those limits must be accepted by all, with the burdens shared by all. And that story only works if it is black and female. Without a rejection of the dominator logic of ecological exploitation and capitalism, there is no future at all. Without a rejection of the dominator logic of white supremacy and patriarchy, there is no future worth living in. Any time someone wants to narrow the scope of our inquiry to make it easier to get through the day, we must make it clear that getting through the day isn’t the goal. “One day at a time” may be a useful guide for an individual in recovery from addiction, but it is a dead end for a species on the brink of dramatic and potentially irreversible changes.
Any time someone wants to think long term but narrow the scope of our inquiry to make it easier to tackle a specific problem, we must make it clear that fixing a specific problem won’t save us. “One broken system at a time” may be a sensible short-term political strategy in a stable world in which there is time for a long trajectory of change, but it is a dead end in the unstable world in which we live.
The stories we have told ourselves about how to be human within those systems must be replaced by stories about how to hold onto our humanity as we search for new systems. [emphasis mine]
I disagree with Jensen on "Red". Communist and Socialist societies have been no better, and often times far worse than Capitalist societies in conserving their environment. Just look at China's air and water pollution. An entirely new economic model is needed.
Brilliant, may I Twitter this?