Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hierarchy, climate change and the state of nature

Article by The Symbiosis Research Collective, which sees "hierarchy as the central problem," which they define as "a system of obedience and command backed by the threat of force." Hierarchy arises from historical narratives like Hobbs claiming it's a dog eat dog world so we need authority to keep the peace. Another was a romantic story of blissful egalitarianism. Historically humans seemed to have alternated between these paradigms.

But it was with the emergence of the State that hierarchy gained complete dominance. Without an egalitarian counter weight we degenerated into the state of affairs we see today. It's all about dominance, power and control over people and the environment. "Hierarchy thus facilitates environmental destruction by allowing a small group of elites to pursue their own wealth through exploiting both lower human classes and the rest of nature without accountability or consequences (at least not for them)."

They recommend ecological democracy as the remedy.  "If the 7.6 billion people on the planet had equal power to democratically determine our common future and hold one another accountable for the impacts of our actions, we would not be pursuing more oil in the face of certain destruction and mass death. Only true democracy can get to the root of the environmental crisis, and put a stop to it."

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