In this book first published in 2008, Jaime Semprun and René Riesel examine the attempt by predominantly First World governments and NGOs to utilize the specter of an environmental apocalypse as an alibi to save “industrial civilization” by imposing a rationed form of “survival”, justified by a terroristic propaganda campaign based on fear, enforced by an expansion of the state’s coercive powers, and facilitated by the mass conformism and resignation that “industrial society” has induced in the population by creating an “anxiogenic environment” of “insecurity and generalized instability”; “[f]or the fears proclaimed by the experts … are in reality nothing but orders”.
Catastrophism, Disaster Management and Sustainable Submission – René Riesel and Jaime Semprun
“Even if liberty had entirely perished from the earth, such men would invent it. For them slavery has no satisfactions, no matter how well disguised.”
Étienne de la Boétie
Discourse on Voluntary Servitude
Does the failure to reach an agreement to keep global temperature rises below 2 degrees celsius prove that capitalism has no answer to man-made climate change?
The COP-17 climate change talks in Durban earlier this month agreed to a binding greenhouse gas emissions agreement to be prepared by 2015 and entering into force in 2020.1
- 1. 'COP' = 'Conference Of the Parties' to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The end of politics: theses on the crisis of the regulatory system of the commodity form - Robert Kurz
In this essay first published in 1994, Robert Kurz examines the history of “politics” as the “regulatory system” of “the modern commodity production system”, from the inception of capitalism to its high point immediately after WW2—when “the last residues … of the pre-modern constitution” were eliminated and when “politics” was finally totally absorbed by “economics”—and its current crisis, heralding “the historical collapse of the system”, manifested as “the environmental crisis, the crisis of the society of labor, the crisis of the nation-state and the crisis of gender relations” in an era when democracy “is nothing but the completed subjection to the subjectless logic of money”.
The End of Politics: Theses on the Crisis of the Regulatory System of the Commodity Form – Robert Kurz
Jared Sacks on the civil society/NGO exploitation of grassroots organizations at the United Nations COP 17 meeting on global warming in Durban.
As I wrote a few days ago, the NO TAV movement was planning a huge day of mobilisation on December 8, for the anniversary of what has become known as “The Battle of Venaus” in 2005, where activists managed to defeat police and security forces and take back parts of the valley that had been evicted and cleared up in the previous days.
How the local authorities perceived this call out is clear from their reaction: on December 7 a temporary decree was issued, prohibiting the access and transit of people and vehicles around the fenced areas of the valley for the following two days. New check points were established or reinforced during the day.
Benjamin Fogel on COP 17 fiasco in Durban, South Africa.
COP 17 drags on. Everybody would rather be somewhere else. When last Saturday’s protest march of around 10,000 people reached Durban’s ICC, the venue of the UN environmental conference, suits rushed out with iphones and blackberries. They seemed desperate to escape the boredom inside for a little local singing and dancing. Some delegates even pushed past mounted police to join the protest.
Benjamin Fogel on the march for climate justice at the COP 17 meeting in Durban.
“Africa is Under-Polluted”
The International Conference Center (ICC) in Durban where the COP 17 talks are taking place is located between a Nedbank office block and a mall. A location that effectively symbolizes what ultimately stands in the way of genuine environmental action: state-protected big business and the gratifying wonders of consumerism.
More initiatives and protests being planned by the Italian NO TAV movement against a high speed rail line being built in the Susa Valley (Piedmont).
On November 24, the NO TAV movement held a public assembly in Bussoleno to discuss and plan December’s initiatives and protests. For more than 3 hours participants debated and exchanged views on the present state of the NO TAV struggle and future initiatives. More protests are planned in particular around the date of December 8, anniversary of the great victory of Venaus in 2005*.