Deep Concerns, Profound Illusions – ARCHIVED

By Frank Rotering | August 7, 2015

NOTE: The post below was written at an early stage and may not fully reflect my current thought.  It is included on this website for completeness only.  My current posts are here.

In this initial blog post I would like to briefly explain this website's rationale and to identify the topics I will address in the future.

Based on the disturbing environmental events of recent years, numerous people on both the political right and left have become deeply concerned about the ecological crisis. Unfortunately, these concerns are largely negated by profound illusions that skew people's thinking and prevent them from taking effective action. As well, few among the concerned have truly grasped the unprecedented, urgent, and existential nature of the crisis, and thus the transformative changes required to overcome it. Despite their heartfelt commitments, most still have their feet firmly planted in today's unsustainable world.

Three illusions in particular are preventing decisive environmental progress. The most serious is the business illusion, which equates business with capitalism. This misconception is potentially fatal because it causes society's most powerful members to cling to an expansionary and thus ecocidal economic system. They fail to see that their true interests lie not with capitalism, but with the private commercial activities that long preceded the system and that could thrive in a post-capitalist world.

The second major misconception is the climate change illusion. Aside from confusing climate change with its cause, global warming, this reduces the broad problem of ecological overshoot to a single one of its components. The issue is not that climate change is a minor issue - it is clearly an existential threat on its own - but that it focuses attention on clean energy rather than rapid impact reduction. The latter, which is necessary to reverse ecological overshoot, entails not only energy renewables and efficiencies, but also rapid decreases in per-capita consumption and population levels. However, these measures are incompatible with capitalism, and based on the business illusion are thus rejected by those in power.

The last critical myth is the democratic illusion. This is the widely accepted but unfounded idea that a capitalist society is ruled by the people through their government rather than by the capitalist class through its state. The tragic result is that the concerned are ineffectually pressuring governments instead of society's true rulers for a solution to the crisis.

This website's primary purpose is to reveal the ecological, economic, and political realities that will allow these illusions to be dispelled. Until this is achieved, meaningful progress on the ecological crisis will be impossible. The site's secondary purpose is to propose a post-illusion strategy. This is intended as a basis for discussion among thought leaders about the most rational way forward.

The ideas that support the stated aims are presented in the site's documents. The most important of these are displayed in the sidebar.  In future posts I will explore these ideas and comment on people, organizations, and events as they relate to the three illusions. From time to time I will also address the capitalist worldview. This is the broad perception of reality that has been instilled in people's minds through centuries of capitalist dominance. Because the ecological crisis threatens complex life on earth, one of my main topics will be nature of life itself.