Thursday, 17 December 2009
Nothing lasts forever.
The Copenhagen summit seems doomed to failure as thousands of accredited delegates are left standing outside in the cold, spiky and brave young protesters are battered by cops and the worlds politicians grapple with the insurmountable problem of dealing with climate change without threatening the economic system that brought it all about in the first place. Part of the problem is that collectively we find it very difficult to visualize a way of life, an economic system, radically different to the one that we have grown up with. We tend to feel, even when intellectually we know it to be untrue, that it was ever thus; that the set of economic relationships we endure are the natural order of things. Is change, real change possible? Of course it is. I can't predict how this will come about but nothing lasts forever. We lived for hundreds of thousands of years as hunter-gatherers. We have been farmers for a mere ten thousand years and industrial capitalism has been around for a trifling couple of centuries. In fact the New World slave plantation economy lasted longer than modern capitalism has and most probably all those Gone With The Wind characters thought their system was the end of history as well. Nothing lasts forever. Change will come alright. The question is will we be the passive victims of that change or will it be the result of our conscious desire for a different way of relating to each other and to the world around us?