The New Discourses Podcast with James Lindsay, Episode 50
Sustainability is going to be the buzzword of the century. Everywhere we turn, we hear about sustainable practices in business and industry, sustainable foods and agriculture, sustainable energy, and so on. Businesses and governments sign on to “Sustainable Development Goals,” and so civil responsibility is framed in terms of this seemingly simple idea: sustainability. What does sustainability entail, though? What informs it? In this episode of the New Discourses Podcast, James Lindsay walks through Herbert Marcuse’s New Leftism of the 1960s and 1970s and explains how sustainability has become Marcuse’s “New Sensibility.” In other words, sustainability is the new way of thinking about the world so that we can have liberation, which is to say Communism. Join James in this groundbreaking episode of the New Discourses Podcast to explore this idea at its ominous roots.
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Goodness me. Is this the level that “informed” socio-political debate has fallen to? Glib, simplistic generalisations, labelling contentious views in an attempt to transform them to personal insults? Whatever happened to intellectual thought? To divide participants into tribal camps of right and wrong is not only misleading, it is counterproductive. It advances the search for a better system to selective use of snippets that support your personal preconceptions, entrenched as they are by your own personal indoctrination process begun at birth and solves nothing.
I urge everyone to question their own assumptions first. They are never helpful because they always reflect the past and are misleadingly projected into the future. Drop the insults and do some real thinking. You will discover errors, and fundamental flaws, in all ideologies. The challenge is not to perpetuate one above another but to discard the negative aspects of all, then contcentrating on the worthwhile that all systems offer. In this way, new paradigms can be created. That is the challenge of the light speed, silicon age. This is what all serious thinkers should, and must, aspire to.
I don’t think this is evidence Klaus Schwab read Marcuse. These ideas didn’t start with him. Depopulation? Been around since Malthus. The notion that we need to live plainer lives? Well, the saying “live simply so others may simply live” (attributed, perhaps erroneously, to Gandhi), has been around for longer?
It probably is pertinent to cut funding for higher education however, to deal with the problem of Credential Inflation. When the government prints more money, we know that it causes money to decrease in value. So when the government subsidises degrees…
I agree with everything Night wrote. To deny we have a serious problem with the way our global economy relates to the natural environment is to engage in the same sort of wilful denial of physical, biological and ecological reality that the Woke continuously engage in (e.g. when they pretend there are more than two genders or that we can create a perfectly equitable society by ignoring supply and demand realities and printing money forever with no consequences).
Whether or not you believe in climate change, just look at what is happening to our oceans, fisheries, endangered species, pollinators, desertification, soil depletion, fresh water supplies, dirty air in major Asian cities, and on and on and on.
Now just as there are competing Marxist and pro-freedom theories about how best to deal with our economic problems, so too is the case with our mounting environmental problems.
The Soviets and Communist Chinese have among the worst track records in human history in dealing with the natural environment, because they attempted to bend ecology to their political ideology with disastrous results for both animals and people (e.g. destruction of the Aral sea and the attempt to kill every sparrow in China leading to mass famine).
Banning a technology outright (as they love to do in California) is a typical communist solution. So too is the government thinking it has the wisdom to force one technology on everyone. In contrast, Pigouvian taxes or tradeable permit systems which internalize externalities are far better and more efficient policy alternatives that can provide clear signals to the market while managing technology transitions in “sustainable” ways which preserve consumer choice and freedom and the ability of producers to innovate new technologies outside the box.
Of course the Woke will try to exploit the need for environmental action to push their reordering of society, including a Marxist conceptualisation of global government The way to beat them is not to cede the environmental territory by denying the reality of the problem, but instead to be ready with better, pro freedom solutions based on environmental/ecological economics which thankfully are some of the last social sciences that haven’t yet been fully taken over by the Woke.
Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater here. There is no reason to abandon environmental sustainability just because Marcuse said use less plastic and produce less waste. Sadly, this seems to be what James is implying.
It seems clear to me that in the context of the circular economy the subject of sustainability is quantity, not quality; the circular flow of materials leaves producers free to innovate in terms of quality. Some kind of ‘creatively dead’ communism this is not.
if anything the problem is that sustainability, like justice or freedom, is an abstract that can mean many things, but we should not abandon it just because someone defines it in a particularly self-serving way or under its nebulous rubric tries to sell us something. What we need instead is to demand more precision and to be less beholden to the power of these open-ended abstracts.
Environmentalism was created by Hitler to control resources and corporate business . You do not seem to know how this all started . I was there . I. The these enviro nazis were religious crackpots creating gibes regulations and laws . It destroyed our manufacturing raised our cost of living . We all said “ these people are never going to stop and they didn’t did they ? We are the v CCP leanest country I. The world st the expense of our pursuer of happiness and innovation . The woke environmentalist is the new 21st Century religious fanatic red neck taking us all back to the stone ages …