Before I wade into blogging about my new book Saying NO to a Farm-Free Future, I’d like to take a step back and try to characterize some of the broader political contours that have now put me in a different camp to George Monbiot,..
Underneath all the disorder we see in our pandemic-plagued economic, social and political lives is the crumbling of key assumptions about what we call modernity, a period of “enlightenment” that has supposedly freed us from the past.
If there is any hope worth having, in a time when we are rightly haunted by the thought of an ‘uninhabitable Earth’, then I don’t believe it lies in the triumph of reason, nor in the recovery of an imagined past. If I have any clue where it lies, I’d say it’s in the difficult work of learning to feel and think together again; to come down off the high and lonely horses that some of us were taught to ride, to recognise how much has been missing from our maps, how much has gone unseen in our worldviews.
Standing at the window of the third floor, in isolation and sadness and cowardice, I think, we chase our lives across the decades seeking a sense of purpose. Yet our gaze is averted from the possibilities and the wisdom gained from living slowly, at five to eight miles an hour.
The modern seems unaware of what I’ve called the chief intellectual challenge of our age, namely, that we live in complex systems, but we don’t understand complexity.
The modern’s outlook demands nothing of us except acquiescence to the current power structure and its prescribed trajectory for the human endeavor. The modern’s message soothes our worries and calms our fears about our future and that of our descendants…until the day comes when it doesn’t.
That being said, I find the alternative vision for the future that Trainer suggests improbable as well, though I should also add that it is only presented briefly in the article in question.
I’m not really sure when it feels right to talk about “the new year” in the endless cycle of life on the farm.
Berman writes that Faust “comes to feel it is terrifying to look back, to look the old world in the face” and to me this exactly captures a rage in modernism that troubles me.
As remarkable a document as his Encyclical Letter is, even more significant is the reception of the Pope’s ecological manifesto by liberals and progressives around the world.
This lecture by Leon Krier is one of the most informative I’ve ever watched on the field of architecture, each minute is a flash of insight.