Wednesday, January 13, 2010

No wonder

And Karl du Fresne wonders why people are so angry these
days: why such unprovoked or out-of-proportion rage. He
cannot account for it. J M Greer (see my previous three
blogs) has an idea or two about it, though. Noting, also, the
‘extraordinary level of anger that surges through America
these days,’ this erudite and clear-headed writer suggests
that what really angers us is the ‘fact that our preferred
story doesn’t fit the universe everywhere and always, and
those who disagree with us simply remind us of that
uncomfortable fact.’ And it’s unlikely to be a coincidence,
Greer says, that this anger has intensified ‘over a quarter of
a century when the grand narratives of both major
American political parties failed the test of reality.’

The same remark can be applied, mutatis mutandis, to New
Zealand’s major political parties too. Neither is capable of
addressing what’s really happening now, let alone tackling
it. As oceans rise and oil recedes, they can only offer baubles
and beads from the same old economic bag of tricks. If I
may quote Greer again (I will get off him eventually),
‘Despite occasional bursts of lip service, every major
political party in every major nation in the industrial world
supports economic policies that effectively subsidize
increases in fossil fuel use, and thus move the world further
away from a transition to sustainability with every passing

As they say, you're never going to solve problems with the
same thinking that got you into them; but it’s not so much
that the major parties won’t change their ways—they can’t.
They are the creatures of a narrative—a very powerful and
convincing one for a long while—that is now past its use-by
date. The new narrative currently being written by a million
anonymous authors has yet to take fully realized form, and
may in fact take decades if not centuries to do so. For the
moment, I agree with former Christchurch mayor Garry
Moore, who, asked by the Press on New Year’s Day for his
thoughts on the year ahead, said: ‘Ordinary people will tire
of waiting for clay-footed politicians to lead on
environmental matters.’

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a bloke of a certain age Karl will recall one of the greatest lines ever in a song ---
"And the words of the prophets are written on the subway (read toilet) walls and tenament halls"

"Go fuck yourself" read the grafitti which so upset him. We are Karl, we are.