Sunday, August 9, 2009

Kunstler on progressive politics

Should be no suprise to anyone that I espouse the peak oil thesis of why we have economic troubles, and will have for some time to come. Hence, I'm a bit of fan of James Howard Kunstler, and hope he succeeds waking up America.

In circles that pass for “progressive” these days, the natives are getting restless. Their agitation seems pretty inchoate for the moment — still resting on vague, poorly-defined wishes for “change.” These vague promptings need to be focused on specific action that is realistic within the context of comprehensive contraction and transformation. A big piece of this would be the recognition that our suburban sprawl economy is dying, and that we now have to bend our efforts to reorganizing American life on the most fundamental physical terms. We have to inhabit the landscape differently, move around it differently, generate food out of it differently, and make things on it again. Whatever remaining real capital there is in the system can’t be squandered on cash bonuses for Wall Street employees. (see post)

Any progressive politics (as this blog presumes) must be based on a likely vision of the future. Rebuilding a plausible economic future for Worcester means dealing with peak oil reality, a sustainable energy future using the means we have now, like wind & solar, and a relocalization of all the essential goods and services on which society depends. I've posted before on Small is Beautiful and its corollary, Relocalize Now.

The next Mayor and City Council of Worcester need to adopt a new vocabulary. Don't trust any candidate for pubic office who doesn't know what it means to relocalize or prepare for a sustainable future. Building another cog for the global economy will only waste precious time in preparing for the emergent reality. Joe, hope you're listenning.

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