Monday, January 2, 2012

Buying time

   So I’ve said I’m on the fence about Ron Paul. His ideas are genuine, but part of me is trapped in a nightmarish funk facing the reality that climate change is going to make hell on earth an uncomfortable reality.
   I think that the transition to a free market will benefit those with already existing systemic advantages. If we allow business to shed its regulations, we will no doubt see increased income polarity. However, this polarity will gradually lessen, I suspect, as the government stops choosing winners and losers and consumers are empowered to create economic associations more in tune with localized, community-driven plans for improving the human condition. However, this requires a complimentary commitment to the right of voluntarily assembled individuals to determine their own social and economic structures; its absence will further the proliferation of wage slavery in poisoned environments.  Do we have time or the will to see this transition through?
   I admit that I am not as knowledgeable when it comes to fiscal policy and a return to the gold standard. Still, the elimination of the banking cartel under the Federal Reserve could hardly do any more harm than the bailout guarantees have wrought. A financial system without credit will certainly bring “growth” to just above absolute zero; the mechanic molecular processes will not give us the high, but it will also subdue the low of the business cycle. When individuals plan for their futures and have it all on the table, presumably fewer tragic errors will result. We must, as anarchists or as Christian moralists or whatever, accept that individuals must determine their own destinies, financial and otherwise. Moreover, removing the internationalized credit I.V. from local banks, we may also see stronger communities based on the collective necessity of raising startup capital.
   So, if humans structure economies in ways that best suit their needs and immediate wants, we can dispel the myth of the anonymous and ominous economic monster under the proverbial bed, holding us hostage to the unknowns inherent in social scientific inquiry. We must accept that every individual is her own master. But are we?
   Any brief survey of recent scholarship in climate science can transform the most optimistic face into one that hangs with the burden of annihilation. How can freed markets set this straight in the limited time frame we are given? Put simply, they cannot.  The schism is both intellectual and philosophical. I care more about human survival in the biological sense than I care about a way of life that has never been, at any time since the industrial revolution, sustainable. And at once I am hopeful that the promises of limited government can free communities from the bondage of the modern bureaucratic state, but also disbelieving that individual freedom can solve the collective crisis of climate change. The surety of famine and furious climatic events necessitate the creation of a global consciousness—call it the cosmopolitan revolution. It is our only hope to preventing the unscrupulous decline of human civilization to a deserted relic of our present.
   While it may be tempting to dismiss the necessity of the cosmopolitan revolution as liberal hyperbole, it is not. Of all the impediments, one seems certain to destroy any immediate prospects to stymieing the coming climate disaster. Here is where I leap from the fence in faith, choosing imperfect near-term economic and social realities for a chance--distant as it may seem--to revolutionize the global conscience. We cannot expect to build bridges between communities of individuals—states, boroughs, villages, whatever--if we allow the shallow rhetoric of nationalism once again to drag us into total war. The international house of cards is in a precarious balance as the United States seeks to expand its militaristic empire in response to the shriveling of its economic reach into obscuration. Even the untrained observer can see the aligning of states vis a vis others, with metronomic propaganda machines spewing disinformation to their respective publics. If we are to survive a climate apocalypse, we cannot waste resources, time and political will. We cannot allow the facade of hate to perpetuate distrust and cast shadows over the imperative of human survival. World War III will likely not destroy humanity, but peering so shallowly into the future may prevent us from conquering the greater threat.
   Ron Paul does not have all the answers for creating responsive social and economic institutions, but at least he buys us time. If any other delusional imperialist retains control of the behemoth military-industry, we can expect war. And not far beyond the ruins of great cities, our farms will weather to deserts, and not soon enough thereafter our souls may be cast to the expanse of energy wandering the universe. 

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