Where There Were No Doors

Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before - Joseph Campbell

Monday, February 14, 2005

Who you calling a Leftist Wack Job?

Conservative American blogger, Tiny, has labelled me a "Leftist Wack Job". The cheek of the man. A wack job I may be; but how dare he call me a Leftist! I've a good mind to sue.

Having already been called a member of "the left-wing intelligentsia" on another blog, it seems that mainstream political thought is having difficulty with the idea that there might exist opinions beyond the narrowly defined scope of "left" and "right". Is it left or right wing to believe that none of the world's big problems can be solved without a radical shift in how our civilisation views reality?

Right and left are so tied up with economics as to make them meaningless if you reject economics as a basis for viewing the world. Ultimately - whether of the left, right or anywhere else in the one-dimensional reality of modern economics - it comes down to viewing the world as a competitive marketplace. That's a very restrictive metaphor. And as a map of human existence it leaves out pretty much all the interesting spots.

There are other metaphors. Other maps. The world can be viewed (and organised) along different lines. Instead of using a competitive marketplace as our model, why not try an integrated systems approach?

Of course, economists being people of little imagination usually stare at you with incredulity should you suggest such a thing. They don't actually understand how it could work because they have mistaken the map for the landscape. They believe that the economic model of reality is reality. So if you suggest an abandonment of economics, the response is usually a contemptuous, "don't be ridiculous, that's the way the world is". The implication being that it couldn't be any other way. That the economic model of reality is the natural one.

Now that's an idea of supreme kookiness.

Integrated systems exist in nature just as much as competition (indeed, they are probably more prevalent and more vital to life on this planet). More than that, they tend to be a more efficient way of doing things... in order to be successful, integrated systems work towards minimising energy use; competition very often depends upon overt displays of unnecessary energy consumption.

We are a species which has evolved the ability to choose our own metaphor for reality, and we find ourself in a world of diminishing available energy. Yet we persist with this economic delusion. It's irrational. It's moronic. And it's a recipe for disaster.
The problem is, of course, that not only is economics bankrupt but it has always been nothing more than politics in disguise... economics is a form of brain damage.
- Hazel Henderson
So if I'm not a Leftist, what would I call myself?

I'm a realist. A scientist. And an artist.

Though I may also be a wack job.


Blogger D said...

the problem with tiny can be summed up in the first two words of your post. it is difficult for some americans to grasp concepts that are outside the boundaries of the country. more often than not, when im confronted with such folk, im meet with insults or the like. ignoring these people has saved me much aggravation and frustation. thats my two cents.

14/2/05 23:51  

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