My latest article, See No Evil: The Morality of Collapse, is up at SHIFT magazine as part of its sixth edition. Check out the whole magazine! And if you like what you read, or prefer to read hard copy, please get this issue as a digital download (beautiful magazine layout) or sign up for an annual subscription (6 issues).
In this article, I ask the reader to consider these questions:
- Is it acceptable to use violence when pacifism seems inadequate to confront the most devastating aspects of industrial civilization?
- Are large public protests a means of raising awareness and political pressure, or are they a useless distraction from preparing for economic and political collapse?
- Are social justice and equality essential preconditions for collectively addressing issues such as climate change, or would that be just rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic?
- Would it be a great service or a great disservice to deliberately provoke a collapse of markets and the economy in order to reduce consumption and energy use?
- Is giving up on environmentalism and large-scale attempts in response to climate change, and instead focusing on local initiatives and personal and community preparedness, a realistic and pragmatic strategy, or dangerous, irresponsible defeatism?
Here’s the start of the article, and a link to the rest:
As we wade into discussions about the consequences of collapse, and the most effective ways to become resilient in face of it, most of us avoid discussions about morals (personal standards of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’) and ethics (collective standards of ‘just’ and ‘unjust’ behaviours). As an example, it doesn’t matter whether climate change is human-caused, we assert, we need to focus on how to deal with it, not who to blame for it.
Alas, it is not so easy to avoid the issue, because our worldviews are inevitably rooted in our beliefs, including our moral and ethical ones. So when it comes to preparing for collapse, the different groups who accept that the near-term collapse of industrial civilization is inevitable (or at least requiring immediate and drastic action to avert) possess worldviews that are rooted in different, and I would argue, almost irreconcilable moral and ethical standards. This makes collaboration, or even agreement on what to do, fraught with difficulty, if not impossible.
PS: More creative works coming soon on How to Save the World.