Friday, January 16, 2009

The One Big Thing George W. Bush Did Right

Robert Creamer in the Huffington Post: "History will record that George W. Bush made one critically important contribution to our country -- and to the entire world. He and his administration provided unquestionable proof of the bankruptcy of radical-conservative ideology, and set the stage for a qualitatively different progressive era in American politics."

Amen to that.

Since the neo-conservative / individualist ideology is dead as Soviet Communism, what is to go in its place? What is the emerging political philosophy? In the 21st century we have come to the understanding that humanity does not stand alone, self sufficient in its being. We now understand that the human being is a part of the earth's biosphere, albeit a unique part. We understand that the biosphere is a dynamic, continually changing web of life, where the web affects the existence of each part, and each part reflects the web itself. We understand that through our technologies, especially our ability to burn fossil carbon, we are affecting the planetary system in a big way.

Therefore the dominant emerging political philosophy is the ecological or green ideology, that sees ourselves as part of a system with which we must live in harmony. As individuals, an important aspect of that system is the human society that we are part of, but human society is not the reference point - our being-in-the-world is the reference point. We must now view ourselves and the planet as systems, and in our policy thinking, take in as many parts of the picture as we are rationally capable of.

This shift in our political consciousness is arguably as revolutionary, if not more so, than the Enlightenment or the Renaissance.

Normally political philosophies take decades or centuries to work through into policy. The unique challenge of our time is that we only have months or years to work from the idea to the implementation.

I sometimes think that the Green Party does not itself realise the enormously powerful implications of our stance. We think the right things, but we are too much affected by our placement in the ideological and political ghetto of exclusion.

Clearly we are not going to move from our position as a struggling minority party to the dominant force in Government that we need to be, in the ecological time-frame that is available. We need to re-frame our strategy, away from the left-right dialectic that we tend to adopt ("all will be well when we are in power") to a more holistic framework, where we understand that all human beings are green at heart, that is, all human beings have a love of nature at the core of their beings, but that this feeling is obscured by layers of cultural and intellectual misconceptions. Our task is to challenge these misconceptions (as we are doing) and provide leadership to other political parties to educate (e-ducte, draw out) them to re-learn the green way of doing things. We should avoid the knee-jerk reflex of total opposition to everything that other parties say. Instead of saying "No, but..." we should learn to respond "Yes, and..."

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