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Arrival

Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, October 9th, 2017 - 61 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, film, greens, political alternatives, sustainability - Tags: , ,

This Guest Post is by Standardista Incognito.

Spoiler alert: reading this may spoil the fun watching the movie Arrival for the first time!

In the recent movie Arrival aliens land on Mother Earth. Well, technically, they don’t actually land but their ‘ships’ just hover in the air like giant upright cumin seeds. As usual, us humans want to know whether they’re here to eat us, use as incubators for their offspring, or simply kills us for fun – yes, we’re a trusting bunch; I wonder where we get this from – and the simplest way to find out is to ask (strike me down with a feather!). This is why the heroine gets recruited; a young single female professor of linguistics (jawohl, mein Herr!) heading a crack team of specialists to learn how to communicate with the aliens before we shoot them back into space (this was before Trump became POTUS; he’d use Twitter to communicate with aliens). The hard-science physicist in the movie is male, of course, and looks like your average Hollywood actor adding a little bit of romance so not much stereotyping (another ‘quirk’ of our language) there either.

The aliens, who happen to be a cross between giant octopus and jellyfish (but they’re given nicknames so all is good – for now), have a weird alienesque way of communicating but us humans are so darn clever that we figure it out! As it turns out, the aliens are here to give us a ‘tool’ or ‘weapon’ and here the proverbial Babylonian confusion of tongues surrounding words, language, interpretation, and meaning starts to backfire; all trigger-happy world leaders (that’s all the ones with nukes BTW) are ready to bunker down and nuke them aliens.

Fortunately, our heroine is a quick learner and has become rather fluent in the alien language and can now interpret the past as well as the future as a result – the language is strangely holistic and conceptual compared to ours, which is linear and starts at the top left, going to the right, with punctuation, etc., to convey rather basic meaning. This happens to be the tool/weapon that the aliens were giving humankind (don’t ask; apparently, the aliens will need our help in 3,000 years’ time). One of the messages is that mankind has to work together or face uncertainty, which is like facing doom, of course.

So, in effect, the aliens gave us nothing in a literal sense but taught us something (a language, which is a bit of an anti-climax for those who might be expecting something more tangible or ‘grandiose’) that we humans were capable of all along. The key is in language, perception (of space & time), communication, and true collaboration. In short: unity, which naturally encapsulates the concept of belonging. There are several interpretations doing the rounds about knowing the future, e.g. it is meant to be and we go along for the ride and experience & enjoy (or suffer) the consequences or it is open-ended and subject to change because of free will (yes, that old chestnut again).

For quite some time now neoliberalism and free market speak have pervaded our lives and invaded our language, perception, and communication as well as stifled true collaboration and killed off community spirit. In short: disunity and separation. There have been calls for change; calls that are getting stronger (and more desperate). Several people have suggested the need for a new narrative, a new language, to replace the free market speak and help us see our world (space & time) and our place in the world (meaning of life) in a new light. People are story-tellers and we need a new story in order to discard the old one or build on it rather – a new chapter – because almost nothing is as compelling as a story that is embedded and enforced in (daily) experience even when it does not stack up against reality because stories reflect our beliefs of how things are and/or ought to be …

Recently, the Green Movement (no, this is not a Borg Hive full of slimy green aliens) arrived here on Mother Earth. Well, technically, they have been here for some time but were largely ignored because they were judged pretty harmless tree huggers and earth rooters although they also talk about alienesque things such as climate change, environment & eco-system, sustainability, holistic, social justice & equality, tolerance, diversity, democracy, community, post-capitalism, etc. But they appeared non-threatening to us non-trusting humans and we gave them nicknames so all was good – till now.

The message of the Greens is the same though: we have to work together for all mankind and this planet or else … You don’t have to be an alien versed in future-knowing holistic language to know what is going to happen in the future, according to the Greens. In fact, you don’t even need to be a linguistics professor with a crack team. The message is simple: learn this new language (not a second one at Primary School) and change your ways, or not, as you wish, in the full knowledge of the consequences.

There is one slight problem though. Although it is a story this is not a movie!! The Greens are working on a new comprehensive & integrated language to replace unfettered capitalism and to achieve this task they need our collective help now, not in 3,000 years’ time. Meanwhile, some fearful people are chomping at the bit to (politically) destroy & annihilate the Greens (the messengers) because capitalism and greed is good, you know. The Greens are calling for unity to save this planet from the insidious destructive power unleashed by us humans that has been desecrating the environment & invaluable eco-systems – please note: not just (!) limited to the causes of climate change – and literally & figuratively been destroying lives as well as causing accelerated extinction of whole species. All we need to do is to develop and speak a new darn language! Our first words will be like a baby’s first utterances, we won’t all learn at the same rate – we have to respect this; we need to guide and help each other – and we won’t all become fluent. How hard can it be …

Post-script: The director of Arrival is Denis Villeneuve who also directed Blade Runner 2049.

The Greens are not the only ones trying to develop a new narrative that is appropriate for the crises we are facing.

61 comments on “Arrival”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Light Green, dark Green, shallow Green, deep Green, forest Green, field Green, young Green, old Green, overt Green, covert Green?
    Which Green?

  2. Bill 2

    Well, the Greens may or may not be suggesting something beyond capitalism. Sometimes they embrace socialist ideas and concepts and sometimes they’re happy enough to embrace capitalist ones.

    What they don’t do on those occasions when they do drop the ideological chains of capitalism and markets (and this is a positive observation) is offer up any concepts, approaches or ideas that aren’t rooted in socialist thought.

    So yeah, not quite sure where you’re getting the idea that a wheel is being invented from Incognito.

    • weka 2.1

      I think the post is pointing to wider green politics and its pushing beyond traditional left/right, capitalist/socialist political framing. Hence the need to learn the new language.

      The Greens in NZ obviously have to work within a neoliberal political system that has potential to move more towards social democracy, and they’ve chosen to work pragmatically by getting as close to governmental power as they can without compromising their principles.

      But the Charter clearly talks about things that are not the norm in mainstream politics. Using decision making processes that empower the people affected by those decisions. That humans are part of nature (which can sound either self-evident or can open the way to a very different way for humans to organise especially in relationship to the rest of nature aka what we call resources). Non-violence.

      Those things can be taken at face value, or they can be part of a deeper understanding of green politics on its own terms. To do that requires learning a new language.

      • Bill 2.1.1

        Using decision making processes that empower… – socialist.
        That humans are part of nature – socialist.
        Non-violence – socialist.

        ie – very much part and parcel of some major strands of socialist thought/philosophy.

        So no need for any “new language”… the wheel has already been invented and just needs attaching to an appropriate vehicle.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          Yet there is a language that green politics uses that I think you don’t yet recognise exists independently from socialist thought (although I agree there are overlaps).

          For instance, humans being part of nature in its deeper sense isn’t something I’ve seen from socialists, but would be interested in some reference points so I can compare.

          I’ve seen non-violence concepts from native peoples that aren’t based in socialism. Again, there are overlaps but I don’t see them as interchangeable.

          When I learned te reo I was able to understand thing about Te Ao Māori (and the world in general) that I couldn’t understand before. There is a decolonising of the mind that happens with all those (socialism, green politics, indigenous thinking), but I would say that necessitates learning three languages not assuming that one covers the others.

          • Bill 2.1.1.1.1

            Murray Bookchin would be reasonable place to go to get a taste for socialism’s “deeper sense” of nature. And you could (if you really wanted, though I don’t recommend it) have a look at some of the Primitivist stuff – or delve into the writings of the earlier anarchists/socialists for stuff.

            Overlaps. Sure. I don’t know of any political thought/philosophy that sits in splendid isolation. That appears to be somewhat the case being made by Incognito for ‘The Greens’, not the case being made by me for any particular strand of socialist thought.

            • Incognito 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I do indeed argue that a new language is needed by which I mean to include a new story & narrative. You’ll note that many others are making similar arguments, all from their respective angles. For example, and coincidentally, ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie said:

              New Zealand’s economy is in a transition of old economic drivers stepping aside for a new “social-justice” version of capitalism.

              https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/97609526/primary-sector-well-placed-as-economy-undergoes-transition

              George Monbiot is another example of someone who’s been arguing for a new language and narrative, e.g. http://www.monbiot.com/2017/08/11/natural-language/

              or

              But because we have failed to understand what is possible, and above all failed to replace our tired political stories with a new, compelling narrative of transformation and restoration, we have failed to realise this potential.

              http://www.monbiot.com/2017/09/11/how-do-we-get-out-of-this-mess/

              There are so many other examples …

              But the general shortcoming, if you like, of these arguments, notwithstanding how compelling they may sound and how much they may resonate, is that they remain linear, hierarchical, and reductionist IMO. I’d include in this criticism recent political events in the USA and UK that appeared to gain traction in generating movement & momentum and a chance of progressive changes.

              By default, as a direct consequence, such reductionism and associated limited concepts lead to a one-sided view. Correspondingly, lack of imagination and creativity will never lead to real, meaningful and long-term solutions that are sustainable. In fact, they become just variations on a theme, which is exactly the familiar pattern that we have been seeing over the years; plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose …

              I believe that the greens are ahead of all those others in that they are trying to reconcile the environment, social justice, and economy into one comprehensive and integrated story with its own unique language. Obviously, this language integrates existing elements but new concepts will emerge and (truly) new ways of thinking not just variations on an all-too-familiar theme.

              Does this make (more) sense?

              • Bill

                Does this make (more) sense?

                Yes and no. Yes insofar as a new narrative needs to be articulated. Within the confines of capitalism (as I’ve argued before) that can only be a variation on liberal capitalism or social democratic capitalism.

                That’s where I see the Greens – straddling those capitalistic possibilities.

                Beyond that, on the basis they recently had a self identifying anarchist as a co-leader (as well as formerly having prominent MPs from the more recognisably radical side of the tracks), I’d posit a guess there is or has been some strand within the Green Party quietly trying to push beyond capitalist mind sets.

                But a unique language? I know of no examples and on the off-chance you could provide an example or two, I’d question the point of it. Politics is about communication, not obfuscation.

                Anyway, something I stumbled across yesterday after sign-posting Bookchin (above) was a reiteration of something I’ve generally been critical of the Greens for.

                Unless growth is traced to its basic source-competition in a market society-the demand for controlling growth is meaningless as well as unattainable. (Bookchin – “Death of a Small Planet”)

                I believe the broader Green movement just doesn’t grasp that – what with recurring talk of “green growth” and whatever.

                • Incognito

                  Thanks for the reply and I’ll try (very hard) to be brief.

                  FWIW, I also believe we need to push beyond capitalism.

                  One example of a unique language that comes to mind is neoliberalism and market speak and how these have invaded our language (and thinking). My argument is, and I am parroting others, that we need a new narrative/language and not a counter-narrative (e.g. anti-capitalism), which would be akin the pendulum swinging to the opposite extreme that is equally bad, but something that rises above and goes beyond the current one (e.g. post-capitalism, TBA).

                  I’ll read the Bookchin piece later but may thanks for the link.

  3. tracey 3

    The fact that four guys, including a former Green Leader, sat on a panel yesterday and thought there needed to be rules, legislated, for how to talk to each other, was telling to me.

    • weka 3.1

      What did you think? (I just watched it and am having to recover from agreeing with Prebble).

  4. lurgee 4

    I think the Greens would do better if they dropped all this sort of waffle and adopted a more hard-headed approach to politics.

    Green supporters have argued that Green politics is an irreducible whole and you can’t have the environmental bit without the social reform bit and vice versa. It’s High Church stuff, not something you commoners can understand. That seems, to me, to be a fairly obvious attempt to keep their special little party out of the mainstream, so there can be footstamping and “I told you so”-ing when things go wrong; but no real commitment to actually stopping them going wrong in the first place.

    What percentage of New Zealanders actually buy into the Green philosophy? i think many would be attracted to a generalised environmental movement, shorn of its quasi-religious Gaia-ism. I don’t think the vanishingly small percentage who actually buy into the whole Green package will actually ever be a significant force in New Zealand politics, so the Greens – or at least environmentalists – should have a think about what that means. The only way to actually influence is power, whether actual or de facto. The way to power is to maximise vote share and support. Maximising vote share and support means offering a manifesto that lots of people will support, not one that will appeal to the composting toilet brigade.

    • weka 4.1

      “The only way to actually influence is power,”

      So says the old boys paradigm.

      Your comment is full of rhetoric designed to marginalise, but seems incapable of engaging with the issues presented. Maybe you don’t understand them (fair enough) or maybe they upset you. But the whole ‘you’re a bunch of whatevers who will never do any good unless you become the establishment’ is precisely why the Greens need to exist 🙂

      Change always comes from the edge first.

      • lurgee 4.1.1

        Your comment is full of rhetoric designed to marginalise, but seems incapable of engaging with the issues presented.

        (Some of) the Greens supporters’ rhetoric seems designed to insure they are marginalised and thus incapable of engaging with the issues confronting us.

        Maybe you don’t understand them (fair enough) or maybe they upset you. But the whole ‘you’re a bunch of whatevers who will never do any good unless you become the establishment’ is precisely why the Greens need to exist 🙂

        Or maybe I am frustrated at seeing insufficient progress in the face of onrushing calamity.

        Change always comes from the edge first.

        Fiddling while Rome burns, and all that.

        We’ve been waiting quite a long time and the Greens are still in the margins, and not changing much.

        And I don’t accept that they have influenced other parties and made them Green by default, because a) the major parties are not very green, by and large, and b) where they have become a bit green in places, its probably in spite of, not because of, the Greens.

        • Steve 4.1.1.1

          The other day i emailed a reply to ask Greenpeace, why it was,that they made their focus, on banning the use of “single use” bags. I said, why not push for adoption of single use paper bags as an ok replacement?. That way you’ll more than likely have loads more people happy in getting behind you.I said , its better,perhaps, that you wouldn’t want to overlook the fact that not everyone will “always” be able to pre plan their weekly shopping

          They never even returned a reply to me.Evidently the only time i’m worth approaching is when they are after my support and/or money donations.Anyway, i’ve now unsubscribed from their emails.Why would i continue to support them?.It seem mighty obvious, to me anyway, they don’t give a damn what anyone else may think about things they do.Don’t care to even reply?

          Years ago.We even used to use flax products in NZ. Flax possibly makes good strong paper.And whats even better, flax help to provide “wildlife habitat” and water buffer zones that might otherwise end up being drained.But, in my opinion Greenys don’t seem to often want to help produce some incentive “along” with their schemes.They far rather just go straight for the throat with demands.And then if they feel too many people are too slow to agree to “jump” on their band wagon.Those folk are just the blatantly bloody-un-thoughtful folk too evidently

          I didn’t this past election.And i wont be voting green party, ever again either,unless i see change. I’d like to vote Greens.I’ve always been a real staunch conservationist,at heart, my whole life.But, i feel, i’ve seen too much silly shit happen, that in effect has helped to cause harm that had actually need not need to happen

    • RedLogix 4.2

      Seen the movie twice now (both times on awful cattle class flights over the Pacific) … and what an excellent movie! Inspiring exactly as Incognito describes and highly recommended.

      It’s a sleeper, starting low key but gently building to the most excellent climax and twist at the end. Also … spot the New Zealand reference at one point.

      The idealist in me loves this kind of thing, but how this might translate into real politics is something I too struggle with. Lurgee has a real point, it’s good to think about this kind of thing, but ultimately politics (as distinct from value systems) is about negotiating concrete interests with people who don’t share your values and watched the movie only half-way before they channel flipped.

      • weka 4.2.1

        That is true, but where Lurgee’s argument fails is that he suggests that the GP are crap at being pragmatic. I can’t see any evidence of that in his comment. What I see are a bunch of slurs and pejoratives that tell me he doesn’t like their values or ways of operating.

        Worse, his argument appears to be that the Greens should become mainstream to gain power. But from a Green pov, the mainstream view is the problem (e.g. climate change), and so they seek change not power as a primary motivator. The priority is to make NZ mainstream more Green not to make Green more mainstream. What would be the point of gaining power if you had to become like National or Labour and thus lose the policies that would affect the change you desire? It just doesn’t make sense.

        • Ad 4.2.1.1

          At 6% and close to power the most pragmatic thing the Green MPs could do is exactly what they are doing: not make too much noise, wait for the argy-bargy to die down, and get as much influence you can once it’s settled.

          Maybe it’s not ‘being tough’, maybe they are simply tacticlaly smart, and I would prefer to believe the latter under Shaw.

          Maybe next election if they get a better result, tear up the Labour compact, and get ready to deal as a player rather than letting Labour do it all for them.

        • JanM 4.2.1.2

          Exactly – ‘for what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul’

        • Steve 4.2.1.3

          “What would be the point of gaining power if you had to become like National or Labour and thus lose the policies that would affect the change you desire? It just doesn’t make sense.”

          No real need.They already doing well enough on their own steam anyway

          Green party have often become their own worst enemy.They demand everyone (jump on their bandwagon) agree to “work in” with them,while in return Green party still refuse to work-in with the very people that they also ask to agree to be voting for them

          This perhaps “help” to explain why they haven’t done so well,so far, as they might have?. No sense comes from trying to “demonize” everyone, and “pretend” as if perhaps folks really must only ever want money

          • weka 4.2.1.3.1

            I have no idea what you are referring to. I have noticed that you have a beef about the Greens and greenies in general that is based in anecdotes about how they haven’t responded to you personally in ways that you want. I find it helpful to not tie political parties into personal gratification that way.

            • Steve 4.2.1.3.1.1

              That’s where (i feel) you are wrong Weka.If i’m the only one, with which the Greens wont respond.Like you say.Then this still wont help to explain, why it is, that they still seem to get so few votes.Will it? .

              Miles of NewZealanders would love to feel they could afford to vote Greens.We cannot.The Greens seem to continually forget to take a pragmatically balanced approach

              Now perhaps this can help explain why the Green get so few votes.Or do you feel, NewZealander are generally slash and burn demon type folk?

              • weka

                There’s lots of reasons why the GP vote dropped, or hasn’t risen in the past. But honestly, if you take umbrage at an organisation not replying to a random email, and then attempt to tie that to politics, it makes me think you have an issue with greenies. I’ve had the Greens not respond to emails, I just assumed they were busy.

                “Miles of NewZealanders would love to feel they could afford to vote Greens.We cannot.The Greens seem to continually forget to take a pragmatically balanced approach”

                By all means make the case for that. I don’t see it myself.

                “Or do you feel, NewZealander are generally slash and burn demon type folk?”

                Plenty are. Plenty aren’t. The Greens are leading edge, that’s not going to be comfortable for many people.

                • Steve

                  Oh well.I’ll bow out, and leave you to it.But it seems pretty obvious loads of people must have issues with voting Greens.Votes (action) tend to speak far-louder than words ever do?

                  “Plenty aren’t.”

                  Correct.So where is that correlating Green vote gone to then?

                  No sense in Greens not waking up.I know of loads of people down south,all still Greenys at heart,conservationist landowners yet wont vote for the Green party.Feel it would be mighty silly to continue to do so.Far too much like voting for arm chair conservationist.We watched as loads of land was turned over into pasture.For valid reason we couldn’t argue with.Why? ,because we were also being faced with the same problem ourselves too (huge land rate rises)

                  Green party is doomed.Unless it become more pragmatic in its approach.Conservation will still be bound to continue, but it may be other parties that may become far more “progressively” involved.

                  At the Green parties loss

                  • weka

                    The Greens just got Labour to front foot on environmental issues. That’s how the Greens effect change. It’s not a loss for the Greens, it’s a win.

      • Phil 4.2.2

        Weka, as I see it the fundamental problem is our current economic system which is a pyramid scheme that requires growth because the vast majority of money is created as debt. This drives the obsession with economic growth which in turn drives population growth (the easiest way to achive economic growth) and the destruction of the worlds ecosystems including via climate change.

        Many people seem to forget that the economy is a human construct and that we are free to choose an economic system that achieves whatever we wish. I would say that the current system which gives 8 individuals the same wealth as the poorest 50% of the worlds population is a very undesirable one.

      • Incognito 4.2.3

        Some people argue that politics is (about) conflict resolution. The movie was all about conflict resolution at different levels (e.g. personal, team, national, global) and in different ways (e.g. collaboration, military action). And the movie was about making choices, whether you know the consequences or not, and fully accepting these. Not a huge gap to “real politics” to bridge, is it? I guess it depends whether you see political pragmatism and green ideology as light-years apart or as the two ends of the circular language of the aliens in the movie that don’t quite meet but are, in fact, very close; the small gap perhaps signifies the tension (or conflict) that can be bridged by choice and free will …

    • Incognito 4.3

      I do understand what you’re saying and that it may all sound too esoteric to be ever accepted as mainstream. This is why I think the greens and others need to work on creating and moulding a compelling story that resonates with the “commoners”. It has been done before with socio-economic and political ideologies and there is no logical reason as to why it cannot be done again. Once it is there the language will ‘speak for itself’; it will not be highbrow, sciency, or quasi-religious although it may invoke these kinds of sentiments with some, initially. Once people realise that the greens are about inclusivity, not acting at the expense of others or the environment, and unity that paradoxically encourages diversity and individuality I think it will have a much larger appeal.

      If the greens drop the ball and become a “generalised environmental movement” then somebody else will take over the quest – it is only inevitable.

      • weka 4.3.1

        Do you think such a story can be constructed deliberately? (as opposed to arising organically albeit with some intervention).

  5. savenz 5

    Labour and Greens have a tendency to become obsessed by micro issues that they campaign on, but are NOT pressing issues that most people are concerned about.

    The ‘warm dry’ house campaign for example. Prisoners are housed in warm dry accomodation but not something anybody aspires to. Freedom and human rights are more important and democracy is under threat at present. Getting a home is more pressing if you are homeless . Trying to keep your job to pay for your home with zero security is more important than the state of the home.

    Last election Labour became obsessed by first home buyers, again a very niche group. This election Greens became obsessed by beneficiaries and having the most female MP’s on their list (a Clinton moment). Who the F cares? I’d prefer hearing about policy that helps women (or even better, people) from the Greens than self congratulation about numbers of MP’s. Most people were more impressed when Jacinda told the MSM to politely F off when asking about her maternity aspirations.

    If the Greens want to stay in power, they need to really focus on what went wrong this election and communicate the bigger picture. Go back to being Green in the environmental sense and freedom in the societal sense. We need the Greens – they are the future.

  6. mlpc 6

    I think this piece confuses The Greens and the greens.

    The Greens aren’t environmentalists who want to save the planet. They are a combination of crypto-anarchists and anti-capitalists, for whom the environment is secondary.

    But it would good to have a strong environmentalist party.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      Prior to returning to Wellington in 2010, Shaw worked in the consulting division at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Between 2011 and 2014, Shaw worked as both a consultant for HSBC bank on “environmental awareness programmes for future leaders” and also at Wellington social enterprise the Akina Foundation.

      So that’s what an anti-capitalist crypto-anarchist looks like these days! Good to know 🙄

      On a more serious note, get your amygdala checked. It’s making you look like a scared little moron.

      • mlpc 6.1.1

        Shaw was a management consultant. So what? Stalin trained for the priesthood.

        And, on an even more serious note, drop the persona; abuse. Did no one ever tell you it means you have lost the argument?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1

          Too funny. You call the Greens names but the moment it gets turned around you suddenly discover the ad hominem fallacy. So we can add hypocrisy to delusions and stupidity.

          That’s a criticism of your behaviour, by the way, not a personal attack. Suck it up.

          All you’ve revealed here today is that you have no idea what the Green Party’s policies are. Either that, or you wouldn’t recognise an anarchist anti-capitalist if one set your lawn on fire.

          • weka 6.1.1.1.1

            Is ‘crypto-anarchist’ and ‘anti-capitalist’ name calling?

            • In Vino 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes it is – and mlpc shows in that comment that he (?) has no understanding of the Green movement – only his (?) own wishful thinking.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Applying labels to people is straight out of the ad hominem playbook. There’s nothing substantive in Mlpc’s remarks whatsoever.

              Mapp does it too: we’re “Standarnistas”, and that’s a rebuttal of our arguments, apparently.

              Edit: comment made prior to seeing R/L’s moderation. Having a low opinion of someone’s unsubstantiated pejorative comments is a bannable offence? Or is it cuss words? I’m none the wiser. Then again, my word isn’t worth shit either: thought that was the point of the policy about unsupported assertions of fact.

              [RL: Quibble all you want, but it was the unnecessary aggro that earned the holiday.]

              • weka

                I think you should have been given a warning, but each moderator has their own limit re the aggro and it’s not like this isn’t a pattern with you.

        • Robert Guyton 6.1.1.2

          “Shaw was a management consultant. So what?”
          Is every politician’s previous occupation and training made redundant by your “so what?” filter, mlpc? Can we apply it to the politicians you favour? Could you give us a name to try it on?

    • Ed 6.2

      The economy relies on the environment,

      • mlpc 6.2.1

        Quite so. But it is naive to imagine that The Greens can manage either, or even want to.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.1

          Says who? Your word isn’t worth shit.

          [RL: Take a week off until 17/9. You know better.]

        • weka 6.2.1.2

          They do want to, and they have a competent, costed set of policies that show that.

        • Robert Guyton 6.2.1.3

          Why do you say that, mlpc? What details of Green management brings you to your conclusion?

    • greywarshark 6.3

      So Rw. Diss the people who have been cursed in all ways for decades for being the only continuing environmentalist party, and say wistfully it would be good to have one! mlpc you are a real mlpc.

    • Incognito 6.4

      If you are correct, and you might well be, then I am not talking about The Greens. And if the greens are “a strong environmentalist party”, as you seem to suggest they are or should be, then I am not talking about them either. I was talking about the ‘message’ rather than the ‘messenger’. Words (e.g. labels, stereotypes) do sometimes get in the way of meanings, intentions, and concepts …

      Edit: you could check out the link in the post-script; it has nothing with either The Greens or the greens 😉

  7. Ant 7

    A new narrative which places the needs of the planet first, (and thus our own) no matter how skilfully presented, (I nearly said marketed) is faced with the formidable hurdle of human selfishness. To replace “what’s in it for me” with “what’s in it for us” overlooks that most of us are programmed to short-term goals and survival.

    Despite dire and convincing persuasion by climatologists over the past few decades we persist in voting in climate-insensitive governments. Rene Dubos (So Human an Animal) laments our extraordinary ability to adapt to worsening conditions rather than taking collective steps to initiate genuine transformation.

    Ethologists weigh in with the illuminating example of rats presented with 3 runways, – only one with cheese at the end. Attaining success on runway no. 2 the rat will go down no 2 a second and a third time. If the cheese is moved to runway 1, the rat will abandon runway 2 early on and trial the others. The extrapolation (sadly) is that humans will persist down runway 2 indefinitely, as being right is more important than securing the cheese.

    A huge responsibility rests with those who have moved beyond the competitive consciousness to the cooperative one. It needs to be demonstrated as viable in terms of inspiration, stimulation and life-style satisfaction. If sufficient numbers of us can be seen “getting the cheese” it may just be catching.

    • Incognito 7.1

      Thank you for your comments, which I agree with to a point. Briefly, I believe that we can do some (?) re-programming and move beyond the ‘basics’ of short-term goals & survival. Quite similar to Jung’s concept of individuation, for example.

      I’ll just leave with a quote by Mahatma Gandhi:

      Your beliefs become your thoughts,

      Your thoughts become your words,

      Your words become your actions,

      Your actions become your habits,

      Your habits become your values,

      Your values become your destiny.

  8. Robert Guyton 8

    When soldering, the application of a flux helps the hot iron draw the solder along the line needed to create the join. I see The Greens as both flux and hot iron. In my imagination.

    • Incognito 8.1

      You have a fascinating imagination, I must say 😉

      • Robert Guyton 8.1.1

        I’d expected someone to respond, “For flux sake!”
        “And in his brain he hath strange places crammed with observation”
        Comment assigned to me in House of Residence Yearbook. Today, I discovered that the full quote (Shakespearean) runs:
        “And in his brain, Which is as dry as the remainder biscuit After a voyage, he hath strange places crammed With observation”
        Ha!!

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    There is something of consensus among political pundits (not an entirely reliable source) that recent elections here and in the UK illustrate a kind of watershed or cleavage from neo-liberalism, which has been the reigning paradigm (at least in the dominant media) for perhaps three or four decades.

    One potential of the Greens lies in offering an alternative movement politics, complete with a more inclusive vision of community and the environment. This would appropriately develop in a devolved fashion – sharing cuttings or other renewable resources across the back fence more than theory out of the contemporary progressive ‘intelligentsia’. It is the truly broad based movement rather than the telegenic leadership that typically engages with the more significant public concerns and muddles its way through the messy business of creating workable solutions.

    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      Spot on, Stuart.

    • Incognito 9.2

      I agree, although the issues go back further than neoliberalism, which IMO coincided with other changes occurring and speeding things up to a kind of ‘tipping point’. The “watershed” of recent is, in my view, that more people are now openly talking and discussing a breakaway from neoliberalism (and capitalism) as a possibility. This creates the future and reality because once you think it is possible it becomes possible, i.e. ‘believing is seeing’. And then it comes down to the further choices we make …

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