Like Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm, I think it is true that good things happen to those who think and speak and act in a good fashion. Like tends to beget like. Call it Karma if you want. And, I know that it is true that grouchy, negative whiny crap just begets more crappy stuff to whine about. We can (and do) create our own hell. So, it is with growing reluctance that I write about what is wrong with everything when I know that such activity only makes it worse. We really should be writing about how to make it better.
First, we kill all the lawyers. Then the politicians. Then we take Manhattan. Then we take Berlin. (Leonard Cohen’s plan with more details)
But, after that visceral response, how to actually make it better? And that is the challenge facing the Green Party. The Green party has, for most of it’s existence, simply cried ‘foul’. They point out what is wrong and even take steps to stop the evil-doers doing their evil but don’t really have a platform of alternative actions to propose so as to do the good work instead of the bad. Admittedly, the Greens propose alternative energy instead of oil but that single plank notwithstanding, the overall plan to do right by the planet is not clear. The plank to do right by human survival needs (like food) is missing altogether.
And, NO, clamoring to reduce Carbon emissions is NOT constructive. It is, essentially, just more complaints. HOW to reduce Carbon emissions is what is needed and charging a carbon tax to permit emitting is NOT a solution.
We (the Greens) don’t have enough solutions. In effect, we are stuck in the same box as ‘they’ are. Stepping outside the BIG IDEA that is our modern world to fashion a new one is not all that hard but transitioning that NEW GREAT IDEA is next to impossible. The days of single game-changers like Marx and Mao are over. We don’t have BIG thinkers. Nor BIG doers. Not in economics to be sure.
The closest BIG NEW thinkers in modern economics is Amory Lovins, Hunter Lovins and Paul Hawken. They co-wrote Natural Capitalism. NatCap basically takes the human condition (greed, ambition, fear, need to trade, etc) and channels it into a planet-friendly business model. And their subject hero was Ray Anderson of Interface Corporation. He did good. They then dubbed that model one of SUSTAINABILTY. The word has caught on. The practice has not.
But it will. Sustainabilty is achievable. It is realistic. It blends or transitions from what has come to be known as normal Capitalism to something better and we are already underway on a micro-nano-scale. But it is piecemeal. People who live off the grid are examples, albeit not great ones. The 100-mile diet is an example. Buying local is an example. Our general trend to reject the biggest of institutions and their spokes-models is an example. And we can do so much more.
Bottom line: I am Rebecca-ish. I am optimistic. And I am attempting to be the change I want to see (while I still do the things I want changed out of convenience more often than I should). And I can see improvements all the time. But I do not see leadership. All the so-called leaders are on the dark side, Luke.
We need some good leaders.