If I have a overriding theme, it is this: unless as a society or civilization we can conceive of a good that celebrates a low-energy and low-consumption way of life, one that offers intrinsic reasons for living simply and within the Earth’s ecological limits, we are likely either to consume our selves into oblivion, or should expect external or extrinsic limits of the sort imposed by heavy-handed governments.
By “conservative” I am not referring to anything resembling Republicans or European “center-right” parties, or positions yet further to the right on the liberal-conservative continuum as it is commonly understood today.
One of the big challenges faced by any student of current events is that of seeing past the turmoil of the present moment to catch the deep trends shaping events on a broader scale.
As the first part of this series pointed out last week, there’s an odd mismatch between the modern use of “fascism” as an all-purpose political snarl word, on the one hand, and the mediocrity of the regime that put the term into general use, on the other.
There has been a lot of bad news for European Green parties lately and it must be said that those woes are not really undeserved.
For a real conservative, then whatever’s old gets the benefit of the doubt. Whatever’s new is guilty until proven innocent. For my part, I think that many of the innovations of the fossil-fuel era may ultimately bring more danger than benefit, whether it’s personal cars, coal-fired electricity or the whole chemical industry. This view is making me pretty conservative.