dialog re/ localism, Gulf Gusher, Connie’s quesion

2010-06-25

Richard Moore

Bcc: contributors
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re/ question about forums

Vera B wrote:
I have been following your posts on yahoogroups, and am wondering… do you run a forum anywhere where people can talk to one another? Or is it all filtered through you, as it is on yahoogroups?

Hi Vera,
There is an open blog for subscribers, and it is mentioned at the bottom of every posting. No one ever uses it. I’ve also set up open email lists in the past, and no one used those either. Personally, I never subscribe to open lists, unless it is a closely knit group with a lot of harmony in their thinking. Otherwise, it tends to become a shouting match among a few frequent posters. Although it can be frustrating at times if you’re bursting with something to say, I think the cyberjournal formula has stood the test of time fairly well.
rkm

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re/ Take 3 – Ch 4: The emergence of localism
Thomas Greco wrote:
Dear Richard,
That new version of Chapter 4 is brilliant.
You are quite correct that we need to shift our focus to transforming society by making communities more self-reliant.
 

One hot topic of discussion these days is, how to enable small investors to participate in the financing of green and sustainable businesses, i.e., how to empower both savers and small entrepreneurs? (See and http://cuttingedgecap.ning.com/; you may want to join the discussion.) 

 

Many people have a small nest-egg and are asking, how can I invest it in a way that won’t see its purchasing power evaporate through inflation of the dollar, euro, pound, etc.?

They are also asking, how can I assure my future access to food, energy, shelter, and other necessities of life?
 

What this suggests to me is the need to organize people in the community to channel their financial and other resources into small-scale local production units that can provide these things.

I’m now working on organizing an entity like an investment coop that will pool small amounts of money to invest in local enterprises like small-scale alcohol fuel production, food production and processing, etc.

     I hope that you will in subsequent chapters provide specific directions on how this organizing can be done, and point to working models that may exist or are developing.
   

regards,

   

Tom


Hi Tom,
I agree with you completely about channeling local resources into an investment co-op, and then into local production units, in particular worker-owned co-op. I will definitely be developing these ideas in Chapters 4 and 5. 
rkm
Brian Hill wrote:
can you send this to the local currency people on your lists?  Thanks.
The Ecologist: 10 steps to creating your own local currency

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re/ The Gulf Gusher and the NWO
S.McDowall wrote:
I agree with Richard on this.   Especially if what many people say is true and  HARP is being used to influence weather and cause earthquakes.    There were some interesting media reports that came out of India when the devastating 9.3 earthquake hit in the Indian Ocean.   Witnesses claimed they saw flashing lights and a strange cloud formation just prior to the event.   Lights they had never witnessed before.   Hard for someone like me to know if this means anything as I also know that lightening has been reported during earthquakes.  I don’t know if this is a recent phenomena or if this has always been the case.

Bill Blum wrote:
Richard, if you believe that the powers-that-be actually SEEK “a major nuclear war” you’ve lost me.  Permanently.  So please remove me from your mailing list.
Bill


Hi Bill,
Perhaps you can offer an explanation for why the US is surrounding Russia and China with anti-missile systems, and spending billions on space weaponry and upgrading its nuclear arsenal. This has all the earmarks of preparation for a first-strike, and it is certainly not because Russia and China want war. Given that you wrote Rogue State, I’m a bit surprised by your message.
adios,
rkm
Robert Gregory wrote:
Hi Richard – thank you for your column on the “gusher” – I just read Chuck Butler’s comments in The Daily Pfennig and here is a quote from him and his column:
 

Then there was this… This is going to make you want to go yell at the walls, or go outside and yell at the trees… Are you ready? A dire report circulating in the Kremlin today that was prepared for Prime Minister Putin by Anatoly Sagalevich of Russia’s Shirshov Institute of Oceanology warns that the Gulf of Mexico sea floor has been fractured “beyond all repair” and our World should begin preparing for an ecological disaster “beyond comprehension” unless “extraordinary measures” are undertaken to stop the massive flow of oil into our Planet’s eleventh largest body of water.

Interesting to note in this report is Sagalevich stating that he and the other Russian scientists were required by the United States to sign documents forbidding them to report their findings to either the American public or media, and which they had to do in order to legally operate in US territorial waters.
However, Sagalevich says that he and the other scientists gave nearly hourly updates to both US government and BP officials about what they were seeing on the sea floor.
Why did we have to hear about this from the Russians?
 

Needless to say, this is alarming stuff!  bob g

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re/ Connie Fogal: Question to Richard Moore
Madeline Bruce wrote:
Thank you again for your tireless vigil for earth and for mankind. When I watch TV coverage of the oil gushing into our precious oceans my response has been to 1. Pray every day, and 2. Try not to think about it. I am seeing hopeful signs though, of communities rallying with local efforts. On Gabriola Island, the residents have raised $200,000 to build their own Emergency Clinic, with no government input. The push to run the large, centralized hospitals “like a business” has resulted, in Nanaimo, B.C. in repeated outbreaks of the often fatal C Difficile infection. Eight patients have died of this, which they contracted while in hospital. Trained, experienced, decently paid hospital cleaners were replaced by poorly paid, untrained, and transient contract workers, and that was the result. The novel Howard’s End, by E.M.Forster looks at how power corrupts individuals, and he takes his London protagonists back to a small, self-sustaining family farm, for the good of their souls. There are many reasons for valuing local self government. Madeline Bruce.

Jim Fadiman wrote:
Thank you to Connie for pushing you to put it together as directly and clearly as possible. Had to do that for my book on a request recently, and glad I did. 
You are writing the right book at the right time, and time is fast running out. 
The oil spill, if it does not lead to a wake up call, and so far, not really much is coming about because of it, suggests that the sooner we can set up for local survival the more likely it will be that some localities will survive.
Now if only the well blow out were a hostile act by some hostile people – matters not who- then we might notice that there are 4500 other oils well out there in the gulf alone, each one with the potential to gush some unknown amount of life- killing oil.
Funny to realize that it is oil, made up of the remains of living things, may be the ultimate doomsday weapon that the earth uses to get rid of most of us. Rather like the ultimate “the rising of the undead” horror tale
  Jim


Herb Kline wrote:
Could you explain once again (or point me in the direction to find out) why the growth era of capitalism is over — I don’t doubt it — it seems clear enough somehow — but I just began to realize that I don’t fully understand it — Peak Oil, if it be a reality, would clearly be a constraint on the growth of capitalism, and on industrialized society in general — but, I have the impression (correct me if I’m wrong) that you have your doubts as to the reality of Peak Oil — if this be the case, what other constraints do you see re: the continued growth of capitalism (and industrialized society, in general)
  Also, the Gulf oil spill as a deliberate part of the de-population project is plausible — yet, I have difficulty seeing how such a de-population project could be controlled sufficiently precisely enough to avoid unwanted side effects, so to speak, i.e., unwanted from the point of view of the elites — could you elaborate, or point me in the direction where I might find such elaboration
  Herb


Hi Herb,
Under capitalism there is a pool of capital seeking profitable investments. Over the centuries, that pool has gotten larger and larger. Meanwhile, as we have gradually approached resource limits, the available profitable investments have been gradually diminishing. By about 1970, capitalism as a global system was beginning to pass the point of diminishing returns. That’s why they launched the neoliberal project (privatization, globalization, derivative markets, etc.), so as to create an investment ponzi scheme that was not based on real economic growth. 
     In 2008, even the neoliberal project passed the point of diminishing returns. Hence, the New World Order, based on a command economy, as we see with Obama’s new ‘financial reform’ bill, which gives the Fed the power to micromanage the economy.
If the goal is to reduce world population by about 80%, then even the Gulf Gusher is probably not sufficient. And who needs fish if you can produce food in GMO factories? That’s the mentality of the monsters behind the NWO. 
rkm



Sharon Stevens wrote:
Hi Richard, I’m really tired, so please forgive me if this comes across negative. I am so delighted by your continuing spirit of commitment to real action and to the hard work to change the world. I am grateful for this consistent message.

I am, nonetheless, tired of seeing my brothers and sisters derided as sheep when they could be represented as collaborators. Following Maarten Hajer, I am also aware that, when spirituality was separated from the rational discourse of environmentalism to create what communication scholars call “ecomodernist discourse” (around the time Thatcher was in power), the grassroots of ecological activism became weaker for a time.

Connie writes that she wants to connect through a positive message of hope and reality. You say she is about to enter the fray, because of what she sees in her soul and instinct. What is this but magical realism?

Consider the tradition of magical realism in Latino literature, and its impact on the Chicano and Chicana movement. Consider Gloria Anzaldua’s Borderlands/Frontera, a book that uses magical realism to change consciousness to create a bridge between women and men, homosexuals and heterosexuals, whites and non-whites, without ever denying systemic oppression. This has inspired any number of people to become increasingly active to change the world. I am one of them. It has been a slow process, but it works step by step.

Consider the children’s anime film Totoro, and its impact on the Japanese conservation movement.

Consider your own so-called rational writing, which meets all of our social norms for what good writing should be. You are writing words on a computer. Words on a computer are not trees in a rainforest or plants in a garden. They are not decisions in Parliament or any other deliberative body. They are not even protests on a street, which are themselves but another symbol-system. They are not money for an organisation that works in these ways.

What are you thinking?

This is magical realism. Your writing is your great hope, and your hope benefits us all.

You believe you can change our consciousness. (You’re right!)
You believe that if we change our consciousness, we will act. (You’re right!)
You believe that if we act, we will change the world.

You are right, so keep on writing.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, we consider the importance of the concept of “wairuatanga,” or spirituality. From wairuatanga we receive such important concepts as “mana whenua,” or the spirit of the land, which is closely connected to the concept of the “tangata whenua,” or people of the land. By recognising wairuatanga, we hold onto an immense resource for sustaining and fostering collective values such as land care  and respect. Mana whenua is also a potent political resource, especially for indigenous activists, because we all accept that for our indigenous Maori, the concept of tangata whenua speaks to a deep reality and source of identity that is rooted more deeply than the surface, more deeply than the present. In other words, because of wairuatanga, land care has political strength. Without wairuatanga, such concepts are empty tools.

For myself, through spirituality, I struggle directly with my alien-ation. Often, my “aliens” first manifest in dreams, imagination or intuition, and when I face them directly, I am able to integrate that which is alienated back into my life. Slowly. Step by step. As I confront alienation, I rediscover my agency. So I hope. I act. I talk to others, I cooperate.

Please do not undermine spirituality. Spirituality is, above all else, a meaning-ful approach to our lives. By believing in spirituality–including, but not only, by believing in the symbol-systems of a rational modernist book–we change our consciousness. By evolving our consciousness, we change our behaviour. You could say, if you wish to be inclusive, that by believing in magic, we become workers of light.

We need hope. Spirituality, including magical realism, gives hope. Another fruit of the spirit is perseverance in the face of apparent set-backs; it is the capacity to act for what is just without seeing the results of our actions, which means we can pursue long-term goals with fidelity and a sense of joy.

Spirituality challenges our alienation and reconnects us with our instincts.

A fruit of the the spirit is changed consciousness.
A fruit of changed consciousness is solidarity.
A fruit of solidarity is grassroots collective action.
A fruit of grassroots collective action is that the great world of our present will be shared even more widely, and experienced as even more wonderful, in the future.

Peace,

Sharon

P.S. You keep representing your audience in negative terms, in small slips of the discourse. This is because, as Kenneth Burke says, if we are not careful of how we use words, they will use us. Look at your sentence copied below, between the two em-dashes.

rkm> Underneath this non-political kind of radicalism — and unsuspected by
the activists themselves — there lies a radical political
perspective.


You could make the same point without the material between the em-dashes.

In his Prison Notebooks of WWII, which has made a huge impact on the world-wide social justice movement by giving us the term “hegemony” and a way to understand how symbol systems uphold oppression, Gramsci discusses the importance of the “organic intellectual,” the grassroots worker that develops a theoretical framework for understanding his or her situation. I appreciate Gramsci’s refusal to believe that intellectualism is the province of an elite group of knowledge workers. I have known young students who see themselves as organic intellectuals, despite their still nascent ability to articulate their views, but because of this “magical”–that is, this real but still unproven–belief in their power to understand their experience, they act with increasing radicalism and confidence, and they have the capacity to keep on developing their understanding and ability to communicate.

It is clear, from the content that surrounds such slips, that you believe in people; you think highly of the promise in all the people you address. Unfortunately (and please forgive the personificaton) language is a tricky dragon to slay. I suspect you can find similar slips in this email of mine, and I hope you will forgive me and trust that I will keep trying to learn. I am writing you because I trust you will persevere in writing what I believe can be one of the most actively influential books of our time. I am thinking of how Martin Luther King’s speeches are riddled with comments from his correspondents. I do not think this is plagiarism. I think this is the best way to lead a collective movement. You know how to be such a leader. Your commitment to dialogue and consultation is proof that you know how to craft a message robust enough to inspire us all.


Hi Sharon,

I’m so glad we have connected. You seem to be wise in all those places where I’m ignorant. You’ve already forced me to rewrite Chapter 4 once, and I’ll be keeping what you say here in mind as I continue. And when I finish the chapter, I’ll be seeking your incisive feedback. 

thanks,
rkm


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