Thursday, May 27, 2010

We're All DOOMED!!!!

My old childhood friend Jim Brewster engages in an exchange concerning the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, relevant to her position as Solicitor General in a case involving Monsanto Foods. Some of the comments on the article are almost farcical in their hysteria.
All of Americas Food Crops will Soon Be SCREWED… Plant Your Own Or Die, will be the New Law Of The Land…
These SOB’s Should be Put up against a wall and Shot! For Crimes Against Humanity…

they’re criminals, ecoterrorists and enemies of the people.

it is up to the people to create the society we need and want.

As Solicitor General, Kagan’s job is to defend those of Acts of Congress which are constitutional.

She is supposed to represent the people, not corporate interests.

As to her other positions, she agrees with Bush and Obama that suspects can lose their habeas corpus rights, e.g. indefinite detention without trial.

She is an abomination to freedom along with the rest of the goons in government who continue to support the Patriot Act, kidnapping, torture, assassinating citizens, ad nauseum.

Actually, I was pretty nice to her in this piece since I didn’t get into all these other problems with her.

I admire Jim's insistence that the discussion revolve around relevant facts, take certain realities - that as SG, Kagan was doing nothing more than acting as an ethical attorney, many other points - and that said discussion take place with civility.

When engaging people who think that the entire planet is about to die because a corporation is doing business under the relevant law, there is no way any discussion can be civil. There is no way to "argue" with people who believe it perfectly acceptable to murder other people in the name of "the people". That Jim does an admirable job of taking the discussion in a new, and interesting, and constructive direction will be of little relevance.

With the ongoing nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico, global warming, deoxygenated zones in the ocean - whole regions devoid of life thanks to human abuse - toxic sludge from mining practices, and on and on, I think it would be good, even constructive to address some questions regarding the viability of our current level of technological/industrial society. These are, as I point out elsewhere, these questions, while certainly involving technical questions, are, in the main, political.

Were I to hazard a guess, unless we members of industrialized societies suddenly gain a wisdom and foresight our ancestors managed not to have, I think we probably face the gradual but increasingly obvious end of industrialized society. I do not think this dystopian in the slightest, because human beings have usually managed to survive these kinds of social breakdowns. Yet, the main question is how we decide to face this decline. Do we outsource these questions to technical experts? Do we cower in fear? Do we line corporate leaders up against a wall?

One reason I am relatively sanguine about the prospects of the potential collapse of our current industrial infrastructure is the length of time involved. Another is that I find far too much of the discussion - like the "Mark of the Beast" article - to be based on waht I consider false premises. The utopia/dystopia Hobson's choice rests on assumptions regarding progress, human society, and the relationship between politics and technology that don't hold up under scrutiny. I don't consider myself "dystpian" for thinking it likely our society will end its current way of managing at some time in the next few centuries. I don't believe that, should some technological breakthrough come to pass, the future will be so bright we all have to wear shades.

Rather than attempting to engage people, on either extreme, when they do not have any desire to discuss or argue, but to preach and be admired for their wisdom and sagacity, it is up to some people, like Jim, to present options and possibilities for those willing to listen and consider. That is why I do not think we're all doomed. On the contrary, while my descendants in the 25th century may look back and bewilderment at our folly and lack of foresight, I believe and hope that they will run things a bit more wisely, a bit more scrupulously, and bit less wastefully.

Virtual Tin Cup

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