Tag: book (page 1 of 2)

The ideology of e-s-c-a-p-e

Book cover: 'Deep Adaptation: Navigating the Realities of Climate Chaos' edited by Jem Bendell and Rupert Read

Taken from Jem Bendell’s chapter ‘Deeper Implications of Societal Collapse: Co-liberation from the Ideology of E-s-c-a-p-e’ in the new book Deep Adaptation: Navigating the Realities of Climate Chaos, edited by Jem Bendell and Rupert Read.

The chapter is an auto-ethnographic one where Bendell examines his own assumptions and motivations for writing.

Entitlement involves thinking, ‘I expect more of what I like and to be helped to feel fine.’

Surety involves thinking, ‘I will define you and everything in my experience, so I feel calmer.’

Control involves thinking, ‘I will try to impose on you and everything, including myself, so I feel safer.’

Autonomy involves thinking and feeling, ‘I must be completely separate in my mind and being because otherwise I would not exist.’

Progress involves thinking and feeling, ‘The future must contain a legacy from me, or make sense to me now, because if not, when I die, I would die even more.’

Exceptionalism means assuming, ‘I am annoyed in this world because much about it upsets me and so I believe I’m better and/or needed.’

He continues:

To reject the ideology of e-s-c-a-p-e is to have little place in public discourse today. That is not by accident. The ideology of e-s-c-a-p-e has been conducive to the rise of certain power relations which are embedded in capitalism and all political systems. That ideology is reproduced and spreads through those economic and political systems. There is a relationship between material contexts and the deep rules or ‘operating systems’ of all societies and economies, on the one hand, and the ideologies that become widespread on teh other. You may recall that Karl Marx once wrote about how the ‘mode of production’ of goods and services incentivizes certain ways of understanding oneself, the world and society (Cole 2007). It is clear that the ‘mode of transaction and consumption’ is as important as the mode of production for how we understand ourselves and the world. There is an iterative relationship between material contexts on the one hand and ideas about self and society on the other, especially when those ideas reshape what is considered (or is possible to experience as) a material resource.

Cultural complexes contributing to the climate crisis

Book cover of 'Deep Adaptation: Navigating the Realities of Climate Chaos', edited by Jem Bendell and Rupert Read

Taken from Adrian Tait’s chapter ‘Climate Psychology and Its Relevance to Deep Adaptation’ in the new book Deep Adaptation: Navigating the Realities of Climate Chaos, edited by Jem Bendell and Rupert Read.

What I like about it is that it cuts to the root of much of what is wrong with western societies — the symptom of which is the climate crisis.

(i) the assumption that value is determined by monetary wealth and the monetization of everything;

(ii) the consumerist paradigm of well-being, in which desire for sex, status and fantasies of security are exploited. One example is the current book in sport utility vehicle (SUV) sales, obliterating the emissions savings due to electrification of transport;

(iii) the ‘no such thing as society’ trope which defines us as isolates rater than members of a collective. The myth is one of liberation and motivation, but its main effect is to dehumanize;

(iv) the generalized belief that competition rather than cooperation is the natural condition for humanity and the main driver of progress. Competitive sport often (but not always) reinforces this;

(v) the ‘culture of uncare’, as outlined by Sally Weintrobe;

(vi) entitlement — the notion that we are not just special but at complete liberty to dominate, exploit and destroy. This myth has some religious underpinnings. It is also a close relative of colonialism. Entitlement includes expansion and incursion — a prime factor in zoonotic diseases like Covid-19 (Tait 2020);

(vii) species autonomy — the delusion that, with our brilliance, ingenuity, technology and built environment, we have created the world, a bubble in which we’re above wider nature, rather than being dependent on the natural world in myriad ways.

Friday fawnings

On this week’s rollercoaster journey, I came across these nuggets:

  • Renata Ávila: “The Internet of creation disappeared. Now we have the Internet of surveillance and control” (CCCB Lab) — “This lawyer and activist talks with a global perspective about the movements that the power of “digital colonialism” is weaving. Her arguments are essential for preventing ourselves from being crushed by the technological world, from being carried away by the current of ephemeral divertemento. For being fully aware that, as individuals, our battle is not lost, but that we can control the use of our data, refuse to give away our facial recognition or demand that the privacy laws that protect us are obeyed.”
  • Everything Is Private Equity Now (Bloomberg) — “The basic idea is a little like house flipping: Take over a company that’s relatively cheap and spruce it up to make it more attractive to other buyers so you can sell it at a profit in a few years. The target might be a struggling public company or a small private business that can be combined—or “rolled up”—with others in the same industry.”
  • Forget STEM, We Need MESH (Our Human Family) — “I would suggest a renewed focus on MESH education, which stands for Media Literacy, Ethics, Sociology, and History. Because if these are not given equal attention, we could end up with incredibly bright and technically proficient people who lack all capacity for democratic citizenship.”
  • Connecting the curious (Harold Jarche) — “If we want to change the world, be curious. If we want to make the world a better place, promote curiosity in all aspects of learning and work. There are still a good number of curious people of all ages working in creative spaces or building communities around common interests. We need to connect them.”
  • Twitter: No, really, we’re very sorry we sold your security info for a boatload of cash (The Register) — “The social networking giant on Tuesday admitted to an “error” that let advertisers have access to the private information customers had given Twitter in order to place additional security protections on their accounts.”
  • Digital tools interrupt workers 14 times a day (CIO Dive) — “The constant chime of digital workplace tools including email, instant messaging or collaboration software interrupts knowledge workers 13.9 times on an average day, according to a survey of 3,750 global workers from Workfront.”
  • Book review – Curriculum: Athena versus the Machine (TES) — “Despite the hope that the book is a cure for our educational malaise, Curriculum is a morbid symptom of the current political and intellectual climate in English education.”
  • Fight for the planet: Building an open platform and open culture at Greenpeace (Opensource.com) — “Being as open as we can, pushing the boundaries of what it means to work openly, doesn’t just impact our work. It impacts our identity.”
  • Psychodata (Code Acts in Education) — “Social-emotional learning sounds like a progressive, child-centred agenda, but behind the scenes it’s primarily concerned with new forms of child measurement.”

Image via xkcd