Tuesday, May 2, 2017

It's Too Late

As of late, after reading and viewing all of the bad news the world has to offer, especially with regard to rising sea levels and increasingly violent and intense storms wrought by climate change, I have come to the conclusion that there is no hope for us as a species. This is a new conclusion for me; despite being an inveterate pessimist, I have always held to just a sliver of hope that things could change, that we can't be counted out of the game yet.

No one event pushed me over the edge; I think it was just the relentless refusal of our political caste to take seriously the crisis engulfing us. Donald Trump's passion to unleash even more fossil fuel into our atmosphere, and Justin Trudeau's facile, fundamentally dishonest and juvenile insistence that environmental amelioration and exploitation of the tarsands are not mutually incompatible are but two symptoms of a western population that insists on having its every whim and consumptive desire met post-haste. Perhaps deep down, there is also an egoistic and hubristic inability to contemplate our own demise.

I read Owen's blog this morning, a sobering post well-worth your time, and here is the comment I left with him:
Of late I have been forced to conclude that there will be no turning back from the precipice, that the dark forces unleashed by our heedlessness are leading us to our inevitable fall. A shame really, especially when I see on the news almost every night stories of personal bravery and compassion where people put their own comfort, safety and well-being on the line to help or rescue another in distress or peril. I see in those stories the narrative of what we could have been as a species.
Here is but one poignant example:


  1. Don't allow your resignation to transform into submission. We may have bequeathed a dark future to our grandchildren but there is plenty of opportunity for us to make that future darker still.

    Edmund Burke wrote of man's fundamental duty to leave the world a better place for his children. Teddy Roosevelt echoed this in his Square Deal speech. Today we have broken that fundamental law and largely with neither guilt nor shame. The world we leave is a far worse place than the world we inherited from our parents and grandparents. We trashed the place like a Vandal horde but not all of it, not yet.

    Quite unintentionally, I'm sure, you've transformed into a Dark Mountaineer, Lorne, no longer willing to believe the lies that society tells itself for no other purpose than to continue to sack the planet. That doesn't mean you give up the fight.

    Although they would not acknowledge it, perhaps not even recognize it, but our political caste, in every mainstream party, has turned nihilistic, the inevitable end result of neoliberalism. The evidence that the "late stage" neoliberalism of today doesn't work is manifest. Even the WTO and the IMF finally admit as much. Yet no one can muster the vision to chart a safer course and steer us out of the neoliberal hold. The irony is that neoliberalism so impedes traditional sovereignty that political vision is fettered, stunted, leaving political leadership emasculated, visionless. Neoliberalism has become their gaoler and, through them, ours.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Mound. My epiphany, if I can call it that, doesn't mean that I intend to join the hordes who are intent on amusing and indulging themselves to death (and taking the rest of us with them). I intend to still lead a modest existence with respect to the physical world around us, but what I can no longer take seriously nor abide are the sanctimonious such as Trudeau who would have us believe a better, newer world is possible without significant sacrifice; similarly, to even attempt to show anything but utter contempt for the point of view of the neoliberals and those who support and advocate on their behalf (again, Trudeau,Trump and most world leaders) is something I have neither the capacity nor the patience for. What that leaves me with I'm not sure, but it isn't anything like what I might have imagined my senior years would be when I was young and the world seemed to be filled with endless possibilities.

  2. Lorne, I left this response to your comment on Owen's post:

    Lorne, what you see in these brave individuals isn't "what we could have been" so much as the vestiges of what we once had been. We've been reduced, transformed, conditioned into a people our grandparents would have difficulty understanding. Toddlers given iPads as electronic babysitters, a formative variety of solitary confinement. Teens who roam the halls of shopping malls looking down, focused on their smartphones for text messages that can convey such a weak substitute for human contact and interaction. Through means such as this we're shifted from a knowledge and fact based society into something much more retrograde and malleable, a belief and emotion based society and, hence, into the corral. We have not realized that Neoliberalism Avenue is a dead end street. The only way out is to go back and the longer we're here, the weaker and more disoriented we become and so the journey back out eventually becomes beyond our abilities.

    1. I wrote this morning, Lorne, that it's getting harder to hope. I, too, feel pessimistic. However, in my darker moments, I have to remind myself that it takes courage to face a dark future. And it is only courage that will let in the light.

    2. You and Mound are, of course right, Owen. I'm sure that I will snap out of this dark phase sooner or later.