Monday, October 19, 2009

A Reality Check from the Brink of Extinction

By Chris Hedges

"We can join Bill McKibben on Oct. 24 in nationwide protests over rising carbon emissions. We can cut our consumption of fossil fuels. We can use less water. We can banish plastic bags. We can install compact fluorescent light bulbs. We can compost in our backyard. But unless we dismantle the corporate state, all those actions will be just as ineffective as the Ghost Dance shirts donned by native American warriors to protect themselves from the bullets of white soldiers at Wounded Knee.......

The reason the ecosystem is dying is not because we still have a dryer in our basement. It is because corporations look at everything, from human beings to the natural environment, as exploitable commodities. It is because consumption is the engine of corporate profits. We have allowed the corporate state to sell the environmental crisis as a matter of personal choice when actually there is a need for profound social and economic reform. We are left powerless.

Alexander Herzen, speaking a century ago to a group of Russian anarchists working to topple the czar, reminded his followers that they were not there to rescue the system.
“We think we are the doctors,” Herzen said. “We are the disease.”"

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