Saturday, August 21, 2010

Human Engulfment

Hal Pepinsky,,
August 21, 2010
As I recall, it was political turmoil surrounding the Mexico City earthquake of 1985 that finally led me to recognize junctures between collective human distress and natural disaster. Recently, there is the earthquake that shook Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas—a superb product of Franco-American imperial exploitation. Now there is the deluge in Pakistan. I see mother earth attempting to dampen the concentration of military firepower downstream from the Afghan border.
I am a castellan, a citizen/owner of the US castle that has for global human righteousness sake—from Dresden to Afghanistan—unleashed and commanded firepower as big as mother earth will tolerate. Having become as big and mighty as any one people can ever become ever again, we in the US are scared, distrustful; as usual in such times of hegemonic decline, we are xenophobic, adding walls and firepower to fortresses along the Rio Grande, and now, escalate Islamophobia, or Christian fundamentalism—same thing.
Nation-statist global military empire has peaked in the US. With increasing indifference to “foreign” civilian life, as with drone aircraft, we will kill abroad. We will distance ourselves from our imperial collaborators and denounce them for losing our wars. At home, our loss of empire will increasingly turn into disapproval of our leaders and mutual condemnation. That’s just how these historical moments go.
This moment has been underway for awhile. In a paper I wrote in 1989 on “societal rhythms in the chaos of violence that became p. 60 in my 1991 book on The Geometry of Violence and Democracy, I wrote:
As a U.S. citizen, I can see that my country has probably reached its peak of global domination. I can foresee that for someone with my liberal inclinations, the prevailing political ethos of the coming decade will be a relief from the repression of the 1980s [Wrong! Criminal justice punitiveness accelerated.] I can foresee a Soviet-U.S. political accommodation and eventual Northern white military global alliance against Southern and Eastern peoples of color…
I’m always open to ideas on how we in the US might go. I think Gaia is telling US and all humanity that she and our living environment have had as much of human consumption and occupation as earthly life can sustain. I see no way to shift this course of events. I’m living in a country where we are throwing a temper tantrum against being deposed as kings of the global human mountain. I do think that investment in private, local family economies is prudent personally. I do see diversification of local networks, as in bartering economies, as the most dependable form of social insurance. Yes, President Obama, I even think it was an act of grace that Muslims might want to celebrate peace near towers where people from 88 nations died on 9/11.
Escalation in human disaster is inevitable at this moment in human history. I think Gaia is telling us that faith that national/state father figures/leaders can't solve our problems. In this fiscal climate, I feel particularly inclined to invest in family and local economy. Love and peace--hal

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