Keith Hart on Sun, 4 Jun 2017 22:15:10 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> merkel, macron: europe on its own

Hi Felix,

Thanks for making a response to my overlong post.

Environmentalism is a form of what Durkheim called "natural
religion" for which Australian totemism is the archetype and about
as intellectually credible (the aborigines worship society in the
symbolic form of animals in particular places). Projecting social
problems onto nature makes us less personally responsible for them.
Climate change and renewable energy are serious problems, I admit, but
they will be dealt with only if we radically change society and wars
are often a catalyst for that. In fact, a world war would be great for
reducing carbon emissions, busting the oil cartel and promoting solar,
wind etc.

Macron will find and Trump already has found that winning campaigns
have unintended consequences when they take power. I would be
interested in your grounds for identifying the interests that made
Trump president. Are you saying that green issues will be his undoing?

3. No society in history and prehistory has ever been self-sufficient,
including the US which uses its monopoly of the world currency to
avoid having to pay for what it buys from the rest of us, not to
mention hiring African boys to fight its wars for a pittance. We
all have to make good local deficits by trading with foreigners and
that is why money and markets, in many different forms, are human
universals. To extend the dream of national self-sufficiency to power
blocs, even by negation, is to cling to Aristotle's vision of economy
when what the world needs most is more reliable connection.

Discussing what to do if the world is gearing up for war is not
depressing for me. I am an old man with a teenage daughter. I can
hardly be indifferent to what all this could mean for her future.
Bringing up green politics is proof enough that a scenario doesn't
have to be concretely immediate to provoke social action. So why not
war? Kant said that the last problem to be solved by humanity will
be the administration of justice worldwide. Conflict is the means to
that end. Look what happened after 1945. I would rather not envisage
massive human losses, but I wonder what might wake people up to the
real dangers we face without having to suffer them first.


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