Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Today's Environmental Revolution - 3 philosophies

Dr Abe V Rotor

Three philosophers have three formulas of an environmental revolution.

Rudolf Bahro,
author of The Alternative, claims East Europe’s non-capitalist road to industrialization has been shaped by the same growth ideals and methods as has Western capitalism, and that the working classes of both West and East have the exploitation of nature and the Third World as common. Defending their own societies’ privileged positions on the world market, both camps add to global inequity. For which Bahro calls for a new social movement – the environmental movement, a grand coalition of people’s forces, a rebuilding of society from the bottom upwards.

Ivan Illich on the other hand, criticizes modern society and its failure to cater to human needs. He believes that the privileged today are not those who consume most but those who can escape the negative by-products of industrialization – people who can commute outside the rush hours, be born and die at home, cure themselves when ill, breathe fresh air, and build their own dwellings. People must arm themselves with the self-confidence and the means to run their own lives as far as possible, especially as big institutions like schooling, medical care and transport today are creating more problems than they solve. Politics is no longer a simple Left-Right choice; man must have a choice of energy, technology, education, etc., he calls vernacular values.

According to Andre Gorz the ecology struggle not as an end in itself but as essential part of the large struggle against capitalism and techno fascism. He champions a civil society shifting power from the State and political parties to local community and the web of social relations that individuals establish amongst themselves. The State’s role is to encourage self-management among the citizens. He envisions a Utopian future where “the citizens can do more for less,” and the development of a rich, all-round personality.

Definitely, while we need a revolution to save our environment, any means that is contrary to peace and unity, is definitely unacceptable. And we would not adhere to the rule of force or violence just to be able to succeed.

It is said, that revolution starts in a small corner. It could start in each of us.

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