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Climate Apocalypse and/or Democracy

Climate Apocalypse and/or Democracy

Jedediah Purdy

In the last week, a group of scientists and a prominent historian each predicted a climate apocalypse.

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Yeah you wonder when countries talk of camps for refugees. Right now those camps will be stop overs but what will they be when there are millions pushing against the gates and trying to cross the borders? Will they be stop overs or stop gaps? Places where you go that look more like prisons designed to keep you from escaping than they do anything else? What kind of refugee camps will be built when there are a hundred million refugees seeking to go elsewhere - anywhere - other than where they have just come from?

The Times op-ed hits a point we don’t want to face. What happens when we don’t want any more refugees? I mean when everybody doesn’t want them not just some people don’t want them? When food supplies are short, nobody wants to share the little that there is.

What happens then to our democratic forms of government? We have Total Information Surveillance, drones, mobile surveillance Sting Rays, RFID chips for documents and IDs. What will we do with all this?

We are making it to easy to lose our freedoms and I for one worry at our kind and generous natures amid the adversity to come. Would it produce another Hitler? I doubt it but why would it even need to? We pass legislation making pity for immigrants a thought crime and wash the hands of the authorities that carry out deportations etc. America is the lucky one though. We are an ocean away and that is far enough it seems.

We make ready the sorrow of the world. That is this generation’s legacy.

Interesting bit of disingenuous blather on the part of Amartya Sen: no democracy has allowed its people to starve. The original democracy, Athens (at least the one we claim as our model) was a tyrant extracting resources from the city-states it had dominated. Basically it was a feast enjoyed by a minute segment of the population at the expense of the larger group (“barbarians”). Democratic Peace theory is purely based on the concept of neoliberal free-market policies. There is no historical record I can think of where there was not some form of exclusion /exploitation/domination/extraction on the part of a democratic state. They may enjoy political participation at home, but have blinders on when it comes to looking outside their own borders. So Jedediah’s premise ends up being flawed–he has not used the word “ethics,” (although he does play with the concept toward the end)which ends up being far more critical as concept than democracy.

I was thinking about the impoverished, often invisible poor AND hungry here inside The Homeland–in response to that blather.