It matters which world we think is ending, and it matters what we tell each other is worth doing in such a time.
And what I take from this is that we don’t get to choose whether or not there is an ending. We only get to choose what kind of ending we have, and therefore what we have left to build from.
When the high-energy authoritarian political centres fail, which ultimately they will, my hope is that some of these ‘irrelevant’ places will have forged resilient material cultures and mature political institutions that will enable them to usher our descendants into the next chapter of human history.
Perhaps we’ll be forced to return to mud baths and vigorous scratching, but hopefully our innovative minds will keep our skin moist and itch-free.
Since our civilization is not built on a foundation of sustainable principles, it is no surprise that we find it now to be utterly unsustainable.
Today, ecologist, political scientist, and author Patrick Ophuls joins Nate to discuss his new book, The Tragedy of Industrial Civilization and The Future of Politics.
We’re currently on a pathway to collapse, but the future doesn’t have to be bleak. We can develop communities where we take care of one another and the ecosystems we inhabit.
As the Joseph Campbell quote at the top of this article suggests, we will have to start the collective process by appreciating that no one is going to ‘fix’ the predicament of collapse for us, and that it cannot be fixed, only adapted to.
It’s these fields of deepened connection — of radical shared presence — that can support the healing and can function as the soil and seed for a new civilization to emerge.
This article questions the wisdom that climate-induced political changes are inevitably authoritarian; and suggests instead that centralisation and political dominion will weaken as we leave the stable Holocene era, potentially — but by no means necessarily — opening the possibility for more reciprocal models of political organisation.
But I think ultimately, I’m hoping/working toward encouraging Gaians to play an active role in serving as death doulas for our current civilization and as midwives for the next one to come.
The more I listened to participants, though, the more I realized perhaps most accurate word is “embrace”, for is it really possible to manage this polycrisis?