Radio Curious Interview

McPherson was interviewed for Radio Curious. The interview was conducted via telephone on Monday, 14 September 2015. The result is described and can be heard here.

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Upon request for Nature Bats Last on the Progressive Radio Network, I provided an explanation for those looking to introduce abrupt climate change. It’s below.

We are in the midst of abrupt climate change, which will soon obliterate habitat on this planet for our species. This event has precedence in Earth’s history, and it’s irreversible at time frames that matter for humans. Civilization is a heat engine, and the planet is about to overheat. Our species, like all others, will go extinct. It’s later than you think. I’m not suggesting we “give up” in the face of certain death. I am, however, indicating that birth is a sexually transmitted disease that is lethal in every case. We all die. What matters now is how we choose to live. That’s always been the case, although we often lose track of the urgency.

Comments 132

  • I’ve penned and posted a short essay. There’s more, too. Catch the latest tidbits here.

  • No, lidia, I was not referring to you as hating on religion. I only bring up my friend and religion because, as I wrote, it is something that is denounced here repeatedly.

    I know ALL the things that people have done in the name of religion. Okay? Just like I know ALL the things people have done in the name of Science (caps).

    Yes, religion does address human suffering, at length. That’s what the ten commandments are about – human caused suffering of self and others – don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t murder, etc. That is all about suffering.

    When it comes to ANYTHING that humans do, we can always find the destruction, in religion and in science! As I wrote, let’s look at all the things humans have done using science to completely screw up the planet.

    I don’t come here and promote answers that people find in religion, and neither do I come here to get a belly full of other people’s prejudices and projections they blame on religion. As far as I’m concerned, religion and science and technology and all the other human endeavors and creations in and of themselves don’t DO anything. People do things. People are destructive. People don’t understand the consequences of their actions. People aren’t as smart as they think they are.

    I think I plainly stated, mea culpa, mea culpa. And no, I don’t think those posts were particularly violent, but candid statements about empire-approved racism that is prevalent in the general society and among some posters here.

    You may think that genocide is not related to the discussion at hand regarding near-term extinction of everything, but I do, because this is just the same genocide on a planetary scale.

    I don’t agree with almost anything that Paul ever writes, and I don’t like much of it either, so I don’t comment on it. I get that the people here just don’t satisfy him, and most of the time most of them don’t do anything for me, either. But I generally refrain from issuing general and all-purpose insults to the group as a whole where I delineate their many intellectual and self-examination inadequacies (in MY opinion). Maybe that evolutionary psychology stuff addresses grandiosity, and Paul can integrate that into his vaunted, god-like understanding of why people are the way they are, and how the rest of us can rise(?) to his level of insight and level of glomming onto what other people have written for the answers to our suffering.

    Take care, Lidia. I hope you are well, and I mean that sincerely.

  • p.s. who was it that provided the following lines from Alice in Wonderland?

    “I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.
    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”
    “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.
    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

    When the real conversation is about who is right (master), the conversation has to be aggressive and psychologically violent.

  • “You may think that genocide is not related to the discussion at hand regarding near-term extinction of everything, but I do, because this is just the same genocide on a planetary scale.”

    You see a black man walking in your white neighborhood. You think that is strange, not part of the program, most likely a threat. You call the cops to check out the matter. You probably just got somebody killed. Hopefully not, though.

  • @twimc

    Israeli officer sums up USS Liberty:

    “I never could understand why the U.S. government spent so much time covering this up. When the Six Days War day war was over, Moshe Dayan briefed the entire officer cadre in the Israeli forces. When he came to the Liberty he made no bones about it. He said, ‘We tried to take out the Liberty because we did not want them to find out what our plans were.’”

    The lesson of the cold-blooded attack on the Liberty was that there is nothing the Zionist state might not do, to its friends as well as its enemies, in order to get its own way.

  • @Melendia

    THANK YOU for posting the short vid on trees from Vancouver. I’ve been so sick to my stomach all summer long watching tree die off here in MN. What aren’t people seeing this!? It’s all around us and gets more noticeable each year. Ecological decline is here to stay, I’m afraid and is accelerating.

  • @ogf,

    A couple of quick points. One is that I somewhat regret posting my rant yesterday. I too prefer to avoid broad-brush insults like that, they are never helpful. Yesterday I was ticked off for other reasons, and it boiled over. And there is no takeback on NBL. Oh well, such is life.

    The other thing is that I recognize that my thinking has diverged quite dramatically from that of most people. If I was thinking and writing as I do in the hopes of gaining acceptance from a wider audience I would be deeply disappointed. I definitely understand why you would find my thought patterns unpleasant. Given that you do, your approach of ignoring my dwindling number of posts is the right one. On Facebook you could block me. However, like takeback, there is no block button on NBL either.

  • Well, gee, Paul, I think I did “own” it. I don’t see complete non-violence as a realistic goal or state of affairs, though. My mere day-to-day existence is violent to innumerable beings before I even open my eyes in the morning.


    Thanks for “owning” your own ranty-rant, but, see… I don’t think these sorts of outbursts are intended to wound anyone in particular. I think they are perfectly normal and healthy. But it’s funny (I say this truly jokingly) how even your rant apology above descended into snottiness at the end. LOL! We just can’t help it, and really I think that’s ok. Fuck ’em if they can’t take “unpleasant thought patterns”.

    Herein lies the paradox, doesn’t it? You said, “The only conclusion I can come to is that those posting here are little different from the great unwashed, and have in fact NOT done the hard work that is required to come to terms with NTHE.” Huh, sounds like “separating, denigrating, and blaming” to me!!

    Of course WE are little different from “the great unwashed”!! That’s the whole point of your premises—of non-duality and of the inescapability of genetic and thermodynamic destiny—is it not? So how can YOU be different?? YOU can’t! And neither can I!

    So are we going to beat ourselves up about it?

    Are we going to beat each other up about it?

    laughing.. laughing.. laughing…

    ====
    At least one poster here has claimed that disagreement with him is the equivalent of abuse. [This has come up as an issue in academia: students are increasingly uncomfortable with ideas unlike their own and feel assaulted if challenged.] Meaning everyone has to be “tolerant” of nonsense. Being used to a fairly scrappy style of debate in which no-one takes things personally, I may well not be terribly forbearing in that I am apt to ridicule the ridiculous. I can try to be different but then I’m not me. Just like you aren’t you without that ultimate little twist of the knife.

    Paul, you asked “What purpose is [“violence”] serving for you? What is its value for your self-image?” Are you really interested in “helping” me? Because this sounds kind of condescending. What you might call violence, I think of as friction. In a world without friction, nothing ever happens and everything slides down into a pool of immobile goo. If you’re going to be equanimous about the world, you have to be equanimous about violence as well. That’s a very interesting challenge.

  • ‘Can anarchy only thrive in a corrupt, over developed culture?’

    artleads, seems to me the exact opposite is true. small scale primitive/primal culture is the soil anarchy thrives in. too bad such cultures have pretty much gone extinct in our modern, vastly over-developed, over populated world. except, i suppose for a few pockets here and there of few and far between surreal communities that defy that trend. remember also that surreal anarchy is simply the absence of social hierarchy, the absence of the toxic effects of civilization, wealth, corrupt oppressive government, laws, and law enforcement.

    lidia, to me the donald trump political phenomenon is just the latest manifestation of how stupid, shallow, and clueless lamestream amerikan voters are. also another example of how truth is often stranger than fiction. i’m constantly incredulous at it all. what’ll/who’ll be next? i probably shouldn’t ask. frankly, it frightens me to contemplate the sort of ‘leadership’ that may come to the fore in the land of the cluelessly enslaved, once things get bad enough, desperate enough…

    kevin, i lack the time/interest/desire to pursue all the numerous conspiracy theories/facts that one can pursue. i think it’s enough to simply know that an extremely small fraction of humans wield an enormously outsized degree of power, related to the extreme degree of wealth concentration/disparity that exists, and tha those with the most power tend to also be among the most ruthless and cunning, and that the shit they’re able to pull off, in conjunction with the sad fact that ‘the masses’ are largely clueless and easily misled, staggers my imagination. in summary, all the details, i can do without for the most part.

    ‘The world is full of ignorant, stupid, stubborn people. And people who jump to erroneous conclusions.’ -kiwi kevin, sad but true! oh, so true.

    ‘It’s as though you are saying, “how can religion be bad if good people are religious”? It’s a non sequitur.’ -thanks for making this point, lidia.

  • No, it’s as if I’m saying that plenty of people who are more than credentialed and accomplished in the most strenuous science disciplines disagree with the entire science-good-religion-bad perspective.

    If qualified, competent, accomplished scientists don’t all agree with atheistic-materialistic “science,” then maybe the there’s reason.

    That’s what I’m saying.

    It’s pretty simple and self-evident. What makes all the religion haters smarter than those people? I can’t see that they are smarter, or that they do understand science OR religion anywhere near as much as they think they do.

    That’s what I’m saying.

  • “artleads, seems to me the exact opposite is true. small scale primitive/primal culture is the soil anarchy thrives in. too bad such cultures have pretty much gone extinct in our modern, vastly over-developed, over populated world. except, i suppose for a few pockets here and there of few and far between surreal communities that defy that trend. remember also that surreal anarchy is simply the absence of social hierarchy, the absence of the toxic effects of civilization, wealth, corrupt oppressive government, laws, and law enforcement.”

    TVT,

    I referred to anarchy without recourse to any scholarship on the matter. You will no doubt correct me, but I thought of anarchy as a way of thinking that derives from familiarity with history and the pitfalls of civilization throughout history. While I know wonderfully liberated and evolved poor/uneducated people, I wouldn’t expect most of them to mouth the term, “anarchy.” I was using the term in a context in which I think highly educated people like Guy (and a few others on NBL) might.

    I don’t read much now, but during my student years (60s) I browsed a lot. Once, I came across something by Sartre: to the effect that while he backed communism, and was a member of the party, he would be its first victim if the party came to power. I don’t know if he considered himself an anarchist, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. Some years later, I came across something by Susan Sontag: it might have had to do with a visit to North Vietnam. She thought highly of the people and their solidarity in the face of oppression, but thought she had more on her mind. That more must obviously have come from the ultra-sophisticated culture that we inhabit. A central tenet of that civilization is the primacy of the individual.

    Most healthy societies, ones that did not ravenously devour everything they could, did not elevate individualism; they elevated the group. Since I know nothing but individualism, and am intensely unsuited to groups, I cast my lot among the people who have no place among the healthy. Maybe I have too much on my mind. There is likely not to be any place for us anywhere but in civilization, where nobody cares about anybody else or what anybody else does…very broadly speaking.

    Maybe the term “existential” is more appropriate than “anarchic” to describe my position. Maybe both are. Or neither.

    I thought about the situation because I realized that, while I firmly support the Cuban revolution, I am way too individualistic to ever be a part of it. I can only survive while there is cheap food to buy through industrial civilization. The paltry produce I grow falls better under meditation than horticulture. I see the plants as my dear fellow creatures. I take them personally. This wouldn’t work if I lived in a group that depended on efficient group practices to grow food. In that sense, I see myself as an anarchist. But like I say, I don’t know if I’m using the right term.

  • ‘I don’t think those posts were particularly violent, but candid statements about empire-approved racism that is prevalent in the general society and among some posters here.’ -ogf

    i don’t want to get in a pissing match with u, ogf. i respect a great deal much of what u’ve written over the years here, but since u continually bring up this subject, i feel compelled to respond, since i feel that i’m one of the prime targets of your sense of outrage re. your perceptions of rampant unacknowledged racism/bigotry. my response is that i agree with the others who have/do perceive a great deal of racism in your own attitude and remarks, especially concerning ‘whitey’. so, i think this is a proverbial case of the kettle calling the pot black. and re. criticism of religion, since u consistently perceive it as wrong/unjustified and it upsets u a lot, why don’t u just ignore it, even if it requires u to stop reading what those like me who are prone to doing it have to say about everything? seems like it would save u much aggravation. if u don’t, perhaps i’ll be the one who’ll have to quit reading everything u have to say, because i don’t like being aggravated either. whatever…
    ______________________________

    lidia, thanks for the hilarious monty python clip.

  • artleads, i’m not quite sure what to make of your most recent comment, but i do have one response, to this part of it: ‘Since I know nothing but individualism…’

    to me, surreal/true individuality in my culture/society (and i presume your’s too) is virtually nonexistent, thanks to the pervasive vile influence of oppressive, dogmatic, bigoted conventions, attitudes, and arbitrary laws we all must face and adapt to. in other words, freedom, to the extent it may exist, is virtually nonexistent in our culture, meaning that individuality, to the extent it’s allowed to exist, is superficial and unrewarding, imo. true individuality can only flourish under anarchic conditions, where everyone feels free to ‘do their own thing’ without having to fear being imprisoned or otherwise socially sanctioned as a result (of course always with the caveat that when one ‘does his/her own thing, that doesn’t involve harming others).

    (warning to ogf, u probably shouldn’t read this) it should be noted that dogmatic religions, which is to say the most common/vulgar religions practiced, have played an enormous role in the development of oppression that’s antithetical to individuality, in our world…

  • “true individuality can only flourish under anarchic conditions, where everyone feels free to ‘do their own thing’ without having to fear being imprisoned or otherwise socially sanctioned as a result (of course always with the caveat that when one ‘does his/her own thing, that doesn’t involve harming others).”

    Dear TVT,

    I think this is very idealistic. I know of no societies, past or present, that ‘do their own thing’ and do not follow rules/taboos, call it what you will. They have to do that to survive. What you’re talking about does not seem realistic to me.

  • well, artleads, i don’t wish to discuss it further, so i won’t. but i did get that in referring to individuality as endemic to our culture, u were referring to the fact that we’re quite isolated, lacking a sense of community, particularly those of us who are misfits, as referred to in this krishnamurti quote:

    ‘it’s no sign of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society’.

  • Yes. To a large extent. Thanks.

  • tvt, I was not thinking of you at all in connection with my comments about racism. Okay? Probably because I rarely read your comments. There are a lot of people here whose comments I skip right over, and I do ignore them, thank you.

    And let me make it clear, again, I am not the one who used the term “whitey,” that was apneaman. I responded using the same term to him, and to one other person who also lay the blame for that injection of nastiness into the conversation at my feet, as you are doing now. I don’t want to go all defensive on you, but you do need to be rather careful with context and how you characterize things, because your understanding is looking as sloppy and inadequate as your punctuation. Why is it that context for these things is lost after only two sentences so much of the time?

    I think the rest of your comment to me is equally misguided, including your advice as to how I should respond to, or ignore, anything. I’m not asking your approval of my response to the patent racism of terms like “noble savage” as it is used here, and the fact that no one can discuss indigenous perspectives or achievements at all, perspectives of people who were quite sophisticated about all this environmental-nature-ecology stuff for a really long time.

    If I were African, or native Hawaiian, or aboriginal Australian, I’m sure I could make the same counter points regarding the biased and blindly racist statements repeatedly made by a few posters as to how all humans have always been everywhere at all times, blah, blah, blah. This is according to people who only know the dominant culture and hold secondhand ideas gleaned from an academic tradition and culture deeply invested in murder and theft. But I don’t have those Hawaiian or Aboriginal or African cultural traditions available to me to use to make my points, so I have to use the knowledge I do have, and address the falsehoods that I am aware of.

    I know it’s very difficult to stop blaming human ills on things that humans create, like religion. For myself, I do not blame religion for the ills of the world anymore than I blame science and technology for the ills of the world, despite the essential roles science and technology have played in the death of everything alive.

    I blame humans on every score, fully understanding that external circumstances and pressures and animal behavior are inextricably linked. Give humans religion, and look what they did with it for a few thousand years. Give humans applied science and technology, and within my lifetime, little more than 60 years, with full knowledge available, humans destroyed this beautiful world.

    And the truth is, I don’t really care that people blame religion and worship science in their little personal cosmologies, but I will say, again, they look just like the psychotic fundamentalists to me, and I cannot tell one substantive difference between the two perspectives. They are two sides of the same coin as far as I can tell, equally fundamentalist, equally demanding specific form while missing the substance of everything.

    I’m not a fundamentalist.

  • i’m afraid we fall on completely opposite sides on this issue and will have to leave it at that. i shall go on criticizing religion and the religious, while sometimes acknowledging ambiguity considering, as u pointed out, they can be quite wonderful in some ways. and u’ll go on doing your thing. i guess we’ll just have to make more of a habit of ignoring each other. better than pointless argument. in a flawed world, imperfect solutions are better than none.

  • FWIW, and to no one in particular, I want to state how I interpret anarchy.
    I’m not referring to a dictionary. I apologize if I am merely spreading confusion. This thread is pretty much over, so I don’t expect correction, should it be warranted. But I’ll take it seriously if offered:

    Anarchy is order without coercion. Where there is disorder, therefore, there is no anarchy.

  • How is anything you wrote a solution, tvt? Justifying illogic with more illogic isn’t rational. Isn’t that part of your big angst with religion? It’s so illogical? Lucky for all of us that Guy allows people to post all kinds of irrational nonsense and gibberish.

    One of my favorite things anyone ever said was Stephen Covey’s statement from his 7 Habits book – we’re all free to do anything we want, but we aren’t free to decide the consequences of our choices. We don’t get to choose consequences or results, because that’s beyond human ability. We are all free to say or write anything we want, but we don’t get to decide whether or not people will respond to us or how they will respond to us.

  • Artleads said: “Anarchy is order without coercion. Where there is disorder, therefore, there is no anarchy.”

    @Artleads,

    I’ll refer to dictionaries since that usually seems to help with this sort of stuff.

    Anarchy simply means “without a leader” or “without a ruler”:

    Anarchy:
    “from Medieval Latin anarchia, from Greek anarkhia, from anarkhos without a ruler, from an- + arkh- leader, from arkhein to rule”
    (Source: Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003)

    Anarchy:
    “Medieval Latin anarchia, from Greek, from anarchos having no ruler, from an- + archos ruler — more at arch-”
    (Source: Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web.)

    Leader/Ruler can take various forms. For example, law may rule, dictators may rule, a certain class may rule, etc. Anarchism rejects all of that. Anarchism rejects all forms of rule, it essentially rejects imposition. Anarchism does so in attempt to return autonomy, empowerment and freedom to the individual.

    The ideas “order” and “disorder” are interesting in the anarchist sense.

    Who is to determine whether something is “orderly” or “disorderly”? Wouldn’t the ability to make and act on such a determination signify rule or superiority in some sense? This is why I, at least personally, avoid relating “order” or “disorder” to the terms anarchy and anarchism. Anarchy/Anarchism don’t really concern “order” or “disorder” as much as they concern rule and hierarchical imposition.

    A personal point about “order” and “disorder”: Many humans seem to believe, and this is predominately those in government positions, that no order exists unless there is man-made, man-imposed order. In other words, many don’t believe in a natural order perpetuated by nature — they believe that is “chaos”. Rather they believe only in man-made order — they believe government, law, etc., is order. I tally this up as more human ignorance and arrogance. After all, look where our little “order” has taken us.

    Of course those who want to rule, and those who benefit from ruling, would want us to believe that a life without rule is “chaotic”. (As if the world we live in today — with rule — isn’t.)

  • Millions of English/lit crit majors mouth poet Alexander Pope’s poetic words as deep wisdom – “What is – is right.”

    Social Darwinists take the existing social order as clinical proof of Social Darwinism.

    “Schindler’s List” won best movie, best actor, best supporting actor & best director.

    How can you argue against such demonstrated success?

    Aren’t the wealthy better looking too?

    Structural/functionalism in the “social sciences” takes the identical approach to justifying the status quo.

    Ivy league establishment hacks; Talcott Parsons & Robert Merton are still considered genius social scientists – unabashedly selling functionalism, “What is – is right.”

  • djl,

    Thanks so much for this response. It is totally along the lines I was searching for.

    I’m somewhat familiar with the dictionary definition, but I was looking for a relatively consistent (personal) definition that brought a ray of light as the dictionary definition doesn’t quite do. So there’s the “correct” definition and the one I find useful.

    For me, order without coercion means order without rulers. I’m sure that thorough semantic scrutiny would cast aside my definition. But just as you so rightly point out, especially at the end, we have to look at what the results of any “correctness” yields. The kind of order that comes from using terms correctly won’t necessarily help when you’re running from a flood.

    So, providing that I warn the reader that I’m inventing my own “incorrect” definition of the term anarchy–but one that may be congruent with it–I hope that I can help make the term not just something for academics and more something for the unwashed legion who are in dire straights.

    I see order in much the nature-centered way you do. The earth rotates on its axis and goes around the sun. Humans might not fare well if that order were interrupted. But it’s not clear what such interruption would mean–positive an/or negative on a broader cosmic scale. So we are using the term “natural” in relation to what makes human life possible. We are perhaps being human-centric in all of this.

    If what they call the biosphere can no longer support human existence, that might be the disruption of human-relevant order. Selfish, greedy conduct that lead to wars and environmental destruction lead to systemic breakdown of human habitat. The question in theory, therefore, is do we want to live or do we choose to die? As I am defining it, order is what makes living possible (leaving aside for now all the rigorous analysis of irreversible feedback loops). As far as the masses are concerned we are still in the realm of possible change for the better. I’m only speaking to that meme. If you think that change for the better is desirable, you need order. For starters, obviously destructive behaviors toward our nest would be jettisoned–deforestation, plastic and garbage in the ocean, aborigine genocide, etc. An argument might be made that these behavior change represent meaningful reversion to order?

  • @Artleads,

    I really don’t know. Sometimes I wonder, what do I know? Nothing. I just think.

    I’m a human. A pretty ignorant one too. I don’t even know what lies beyond our universe. Some say there’s just one, some say there are many, who knows? No one.

    What do I really know? Nothing. Even the things I observe are lies. The images I think I see when looking around aren’t even really what they appear to be — they’re simply fields of energy converted into makeshift images for my mind to comprehend.

    I really don’t know if it is a meaningful reversion to “order”. I don’t know what “order” or “disorder” is — I just have opinions. And for me to present them as anything else would be misleading.

  • ‘order without coercion means order without rulers’

    again, ‘order’ is in the eye of the beholder, and absent rulers, is a fleeting thing at any rate. society is not static. rulers attempt to make it more so, with greater or lesser success, but change is the only constant, so that any ‘order’ that exists now will be gone soon, to be replaced by some other ‘order’.

    ogf, i often find u to be dogmatic and wrong, as apparently u find me. i proposed a solution, that unsurprisingly, u found much fault with. saying it was no solution at all. well, when sheeple can’t see eye to eye, they can endlessly argue and criticize one another, or they can go their separate ways. in my proposition to ‘ignore’ each other, i meant not read each other’s comments- something we’re already doing, to some extent. i’ll just stop reading yours, and go on with my own, not knowing or caring how they’re affecting u, or not. it’s nice to be friendly, but if that’s not possible, it’s better to be distant than to fight/argue/criticize constantly. as i said, i can do without the aggravation.

  • I’m trying to pin down “order.” This is a problem, because the term for me is about promoting survival on a blog dedicated to anything but that.

    To remove some of what might look like baggage from my position, I’m disclaiming the notion that I personally say survival is possible. Instead, let’s say I’m addressing those who agree with the Bill McKibbens, the Naomi Kleins, the Pope Francis’s of this world who believe that it is. I’m at least not antagonistic to their positions, since they can reach and somewhat awaken millions as no others can. IMO, a step up from their position that should be more in harmony with NBL is the notion of order. So what is this order about?

    This is theory. I’m assuming (for the sake of discussion) that survival of humans is possible. But for me, absent anarchic order, survival is much harder to conceive of.

    – Anarchy = without rulers
    – Anarchists must see that as life affirming; otherwise why bother?
    – Life affirming = what is consistent with habitat survival
    – Why is (ruler-less) anarchy life affirming?
    – It removes hierarchy
    – Hierarchy promotes the amassing of power that works against life.
    – What is likely to promote life = “order”

    Order, then, is indispensable for the meme that humans can survive. And order seen this way is simply some kind of slowing, reversing or accommodation to natural-habitat destruction. And this is only achievable through anarchy (as I’m defining the term).

    For anyone who thought that humans could survive, order would not be trivial or relative, or maybe this or maybe that. It would mean one thing, and one thing only: it would mean having a biosphere that was somewhat survivable, as well as what could happen to ensure that.

  • The above is only an attempt to understand a puzzling subject. It might well be that ruthless dictatorship is what it would take to sustain human life (if that were possible). But anarchy (if it were possible) would be far more fulfilling. And it would probably have to have mass appeal and comprehension to succeed.

  • My goodness, terry. Okay. I hear you. I hear that you feel like we are arguing, and I hear that you think I am a racist and dogmatic and wrong and find fault with everything, and all those other issue-focused points you make

  • i don’t know how much of a racist u are, ogf, but since u seem fond of flinging that accusation at others, particularly those who, in your opinion, don’t understand and disrespect native american cultures, u sort of invite being charged with it yourself. i never said u find fault with everything, but u often do with me, and with others who criticize religion, which i anticipate will be an ongoing source of conflict between us if no corrective action is taken (like, when either one of us sees that the other is going off on a topic that the other finds upsetting, simply stop reading that comment/essay, skip to something else).

  • djl,

    I don’t know anything either. This is why a strip away all concerns except the most elementary and basic. As a living creature, and like all sentient animals, I value life as a given. No buts ands or maybes. The ability to stand aside and speculate whether life is worth it or whether it’s good or bad must be something that only civilized (mis)educated people do. I am not among these people.

    But I’ll continue thinking about anarchy and order. (I’m not sure they are the same thing, but it seems to warrant investigation.) I’m doing that for my own edification, but the subject also strikes me as holding out some possible relevance to a populist philosophy of some sort.

  • So I’m trying to define order. And I’m trying to put forward some sketchy notions while I still am allowed:

    Order seen from a human perspective. It’s always a work in progress. Order is what enables the human to live. Order is not about recrimination for past misdeeds, but if these are not faced, order is stymied. Order isn’t perfect. Nothing is perfect.

    Here’s a weak analogy: The exceedingly clever but deranged teenager clobbers the parents over the head and leaves them bleeding and unconscious. He then steals the car and turns it into a twisted hulk of metal in a ditch. The parents revive well enough to take the wreck to cousins and friends to see if they can get it back to running order. The petulant teenager is hardly repentant, but can hardly make the case that he should take the car again. Nonetheless, the parents are having a hard time wresting the keys away from him. Also, he believes he deserves a new car, somewhat analogous to going to Mars to start a new civilization.

    This is what I point to as disorder. The teenager should be sent away to a correctional facility…for his own good, as well as that of the community. Yet, he insists on being center stage.

    There’s nothing wrong with white people other than the denial of what they have done, other than the refusal to leave center stage. Control has to return to the indigenous people who had some sort of order going. Was their order perfect? Probably not, but the sky was dark for birds and buffalo were uncountable. The rainforests were intact, and so were the grasslands. The sea was not polluted. Perhaps none of this was perfect at all, but exceeding rich and vital, and good enough to sustain life.

    And yet, everywhere one turns, white men are still in control. How is this order? There are more women than men, so how come they don’t run the planet? The fact that Christine Lagarde is head of the IMF doesn’t mean that this isn’t still a man’s world. Where is the order here?

    The children run amok in the classroom, throwing chairs at each other. There is no order in that.

  • So, quit writing, terry. You think ignoring me is a good idea, then do it. No one is in your house holding a gun to your head and forcing you to respond.

    What you are really saying is you want me to do something, and I’m not agreeing to it, no matter how many personal attacks you launch, no matter how much you mischaracterize my statements, no matter how much you want to reduce things like history and culture and genocide to he-said/she-said discussions where all opinions are of equal value, like we’re talking about whether we like asparagus or not.

    I’m going to do what I want to do and write what I feel like, as long as the king of the website allows.

    You’re just going to have to deal with it, I guess.