Friday, January 16, 2015


Too many threads coming together here. Callenbach and Starhawk, The two Berrys, Thomas and Wendell (unrelated as far as I know). Matthew Fox and Hildegard. Tom Cowan and Meister Ekhart. Maybe I'll get it all to make sense. One of these days.

Has anyone out there ever read Ernest Callenbachs’s Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging. Depending on your point of view they are either visions of utopia or a dystopia.

Ectopia is set in the near future. Washington, Oregon, and Northern California have seceded from the US. It’s a vision sustainable living. A truly cooperative democracy, a lot of wood, a little pot, no cars in the cities, Find a copy it makes more sense to me now than when I read it in the seventies.

Ecotopia Emerging is the prequel but written after the first book. Which the author had to self publish. Then the college crowd discovered it and real publishers put it out. Anyway, the US, much like now, is a mess. What’s scary are the passages in italics that catalog the elected hired help basically deciding how many of us to write off in order to keep certain industries going. The nuclear power plants, the fence row to fence row big Ag dependent on herbicides, pesticides, and petro based fertilizers.

And how much of our hard earned money was going overseas to keep our oil addicted society from going into withdrawal.

Anyway, this is one of the one star reviews of Ecotopia. I’m not even sure if the twit actually read the book. Or at least no the book I read.

If you believe in Marxist ideas, than maybe this book can be seen as a nice approach to environmentalism. But if you love this country and the capitalistic and democratic ideals that have made it great, then you will see this book for the sham it is.

And, tah dah. This is my comment on his/her comment. Which will probably never be read by anyone. Some additions in bold face. Oh, and Marx isn't mentioned except to note that the USSR isn't doing any better than the US and gee I hope they don't nuke us on top of the God Awful mess we've already made. There is a great deal of messy participatory democracy in Ecotopia. One house of the legislature is picked by lot, work groups and families discuss things a lot before anyone makes a move. It's a rather messy, organized/disorganized world.

I  love this country too. But, it's not working for too many of us. Our democratic ideals are being subverted by gerrymandering and a lamestream media that can't find the back of it's a$$ with both hands. Our supposedly "cheap" food is built on a pyramid of herbicides, pesticides, petro based fertilizers and a big ag that sacrifices as much topsoil as we get bushels of grain. We're stuck in a foreign policy nightmare in part because we didn't have the guts to wean ourselves from the gas guzzlers back when it would have made a difference.

Maybe the Saudis would have fewer petro dollars to invest in Wahabi madrassas if we’d stuck with building the cars we needed instead of the ones we wanted. Or more accurately bought the cars and pickups the industry wanted to sell us.

We don’t have a health care system, we have a disease management system. A very profitable one for the insurance and drug companies. And a total nightmare failure for the rest of us. I have to tell you watching the commercial breaks these days is educational to say the least. Last year’s medical breakthrough is this year’s lawsuit factory.

Reading mom’s AARP magazine. I don’t know what the blood disease is except that it’s eventually fatal. There’s a drug for it. If you can convince your insurance company to fork over four hundred thousand dollars a year. That’s right boys and girls That, a 4 followed by five 0’s and a comma. Didn’t say it would cure it. Only that it would treat it. And profiled on gal witth I believe MS. First they jacked her copays. Then they sent her to a different pharmacy. Then the drug company raised to price to the point where it’s totally out of reach because her share of the cost is out of reach.

I guess we have reached that point that Wendell Berry wondered about. What do you do when there are too many people period. I guess we just let them die. Preferably after they’ve been milked for every last cent and then some.

We don't live in a democracy now, if we ever did. We live in a corporatacracy. Maybe, just maybe, we need fewer MBA's and financial advisors and more carpenters. Fewer pundits and more dirt farmers. Fewer video games and more dancing on a sand dune or under some herkin' great old growth Doug firs. More homely home made cookies and fewer ones wrapped in plastic.

Were we made for the this train wreck of an economic order or was it supposedly made for us. Because if it was it sure as heck isn't working.

Oh, and BTW if anyone ever reads this, my family has been here since the mid 1600's so I guess we helped make the messes and the dreams. Bless me if I know how to clean up the one or make the others  come true.

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