Beyond Sustainability: For the Erection of Post-Ecocidal Cultures of Love and Egoless Action

"The faith in 'development' can no longer escape criticism, not only because it justifies huge increases in social inequality but because it has become dangerous, by compromising everybody's future. Unless we act in good time against both these articles of faith, it will be under the pressure of the catastrophes they have set off that will have to rethink our way of life and the foundations of our economic 'science.'"
 Gilbert Rist, The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith, 2002


(UNDER CONSTRUCTION)  

Eco Pax Mundi Agora is a project that aims to erect post-ecocidal cultures. By erecting post-ecocidal cultures we mean that with the steady establishment of agoras, Eco Pax Mundi Agora is to help to do our bid to move the planet towards post-ecocidal ground; a ground where a way of human life is conducted in a benign manner for the waters that fall from the skies, the ladybirds that dwell upon wild grasses, the rocks that so beautifully keep a cove in place and the penguins that happily go about an ice sheet. 

Agoras, to be sure, foster courses of action upon the planet that far from further saturating the atmosphere with additional greenhouse gases, assist us in storing carbon back into both the soil, and plants and trees (biomass). In so doing, this chemical stops from destabilising the climate and, instead, enhances soil fertility. Hence our life-affirming motto 'Crafting Carbon-Negative Living', around which all our action revolves. 

In its attempt to gain inspiration to erect post-ecocidal cultures, Eco Pax Mundi Agora has to alert us to the poverty of the dominant discourse, namely, sustainable development and its derivative sustainability. As the mainstays of the sustainable development strategy are laid bare, it is concluded that this promise fails to detach itself from the outlook that is largely responsible for global ecocide. Rather, it reinstates, reaffirms and ratifies the validity of the latter. In the pursuit of a lofty vision, Eco Pax Mundi Agora seeks to develop its own mainstays borrowing from alternative sources. 


The Poverty of the Sustainability Outlook

The Origin of the Concept of Sustainability

If you are slightly versed in environmental affairs, you may be acquainted with the term sustainability. Although now being a widely extended term that has become shorthand for environmental friendliness, this is a term originally coined by states. It largely conforms to the vision of most governments in the world, the manner they have come to approach the ecological problematic and the way they believe it is apposite to tackle it. 

The original provenance of the sustainability vision is under the banner of 'sustainable development' and to this phrase sustainability owes many of its ills. The formula sustainable development was advanced in a report called Our Common Future published in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development at the request of the United Nations. Since the commission was led by the then Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, the report is commonly referred to as 'The Brundtland Report'. 

 
Serving Mammon: the Stimulation of Relentless Financial Growth or Chrematistics at the Expense of Ecological Consideration

There are two passages in Our Common Future that largely capture the thrust of the report. One is the locus classicus of sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"; the other is a passage that reads "[w]hat is needed now is a new era of economic growth --growth that is forceful and at the same time socially and environmentally sustainable." To be sure, from these two passages we can infer that the sustainable development strategy aims simultaneously at three broad goals :[1] 'development' or presumed 'economic growth' --the falsity of this presumption is precisely what knocks down the entire sustainable development edifice; [2] social and intergenerational justice, for human needs should be met both now and in the future; and [3] environmental consideration only in so far as [1] and [2] have to be delivered.

Although the report (and economists at large) speaks of 'economic growth' this concept is at heart a misnomer.  'Economy' like 'ecology' derives from the Greek vocable oikos ('house,' 'abode,' 'dwelling', cognate with Latin vicus "district," vicinus "near;" Old English wic "dwelling, village," Historically, economy signified 'frugality, judicious use of resources.' Following the steady encroachment of capitalism as the default economic system, economy gained its present-day meaning as 'wealth and resources of a country' (short for political economy). 

To be sure, the household implicit in economy implies a living unit somehow embedded within the surrounding physical reality. Since relentless growth entails paying no heed to these demarcations to which economy does constrain itself, when steady growth is the target we can by no means be dwelling upon the economic realm. Rather, we have made a conspicuous incursion into financial terrain. Finance (from the Latin noun finis 'a payment in settlement, fine or tax') is that humanly construed realm, a politics of good-and-service regulation, that stops short of adhering to any physical reality. Since money is therefore a social convenience (or a fantasy!), growth is only possible in financial terms --not in economic ones. The association of financial matters with a social fantasy is in the present day more exacerbated since the gold parity of money came to an end in     . Not surprisingly, finance in the present day signifies "management of money, science of monetary business", which Aristotle brings on a par with the chrematistic quest. Chrematistics derives from the Greek vocable chrema 'possession,' 'wealth'. As any standard dictionary such as the Merriam-Webster defines it, chrematisitcs is "the study of wealth or a particular theory of wealth as measured in money' and the economic historian Schumpeter in his History of Economic Analysis (1997 [1954], 53; cf also Thomas-Pellicer and Pepper 2007, 7) emphasis that it "refers mainly to the pecuniary aspects of business activity". 


Sustainable development therefore has as its remit stimulating financial growth or imbuing society with a chrematistic ethos, with its no minor set of ecological  repercussions in view of the bulky world population To be sure, the increasing circulation of fantasy money translates into a higher amount of goods and services. These require, to put it in their scientific terms, the steady depletion of 'resources', which translated into our parlance that openly acknowledges love for our bedfellows,  is tantamount to saying, turning our characters into mere objects at the disposal of Man and turning them into goods  the utilitarian submission of our bedfellows to alleged human needs. 
 
Yet you cannot serve God and Mammon at the same time. You cannot let our characters thrive if you are obsessed with financial riches. Financial growth may be a possibility but this implies the sacrifice of any ecological consideration. With the oxymoron-laden formula sustainable development, Our Common Future stealthily serves Mammon. The report reaffirms the validity of chrematistics whilst jeopardising the intrinsic worth of our characters and their, which are also our, mates --let alone incorporating any true regard for their lives.  However, since this entails sustained depletion of so-called resources --that is, turning our characters into mere objects at the disposal of Man -- for the manufacture of goods, ecological considerartion --so called 'sustainability'-- goes out of window, must be sacrified. It is clear that the master that the Brundtland report serves is Mammon, or earthly reaches: financial growth. For, as we shall see below, sustainable development is the ploy devised by capitalism to sustain itself in the teeth of a crumbling 'environment' when it is no longer politically correct to turn one's back to this realitiy.
 
The oxymoron inbuilt in sustainable development further reveals that social and intergenerational justice is grounded upon undeliverable ends. Justice cannot be brought to bear upon an ever increasing pool of industrial needs [BELOW: END OF POVERTY AS REDISTRIBUTION], which leads to another point that urges contestation, viz., the 'Undemocratic extension of an Industrial Civilisation' further promulgated by the Brundtland Report



Undemocratic Extension of an Industrial Civilisation 

A salient remit of Our common Future is the urge to spread to all corners of the world industrial society. It was assumed by our world leaders that 'industrial bases' are desirable for everyone. The recipe for the report to make worldwide industrialisation compatible (sustainable) with the limited carrying capacity of the planet is largely that of ecoefficiency [passage]. In this light, one could argue that 'sustainable development' is the unproblematised reversal of 'industrial productivity'. As all unproblematised reversals, says Derrida/Plotnitsky, the initial term, in our case, industrial productivity is in charge of setting the tone for the second, that is 'sustainable development' whose job is that of further encroaching the first, that is, industrial production on the condition that this be sustainable, which, we have already unveiled above, is an impossibility.

Please further note the western-centric outlook inbuilt in the report at the expense of non-dominant, say, ecosystems people for whom industry is anathema to their nature-oriented ways of living. Let us to be sure recall that industrial production was originally a western practice

Neoliberalism's Trojan Horse 

The defence of the rights of our lovely characters where part of the agenda for which the modern green movement stood throughout the 60s and the 70s, with the hippy revolution. The Brundtland report meant to some extent the co-option of those calls for root and branch revisions of our ingrained ways of proceeding with Mother Earth. There is ample evidence to claim that the sustainable development strategy has been the Trojan Horse (or ploy) deployed by neoliberalism to make inroads and further encroach itself in a time when it is no longer politically correct to turn one's back to the ecodebacle. All what the sustainable development slogan promulgated in the Brundtland Report (and reinstated in the United Nation's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals) has achieved so far is the sustainability, that is, the enduring prevalence, of industrial and corporate capitalism.  
 

A Concern for 'Human Needs' Bespeaks a Mistaken Notion of the Good Life

As we have learnt from the passages quoted from Our Common Good above, sustainable development has been conceived as a means to safeguard human needs premised upon industrial goods. By way of Aristotle, who seem to have stood for a highly sound notion of economics distancing himself from chrematistics, we can intimate that the sustained emphasis upon human needs follows from a crass misconception of the good life. For a concern for human needs denotes the fear of looming scarcity. Such a concern bespeaks a characterisation of the good life by way of an abundant proliferation of goods and services. 

As Buddhists remind us basic needs are relatively easily met in a paradigm of self-sufficiency. From a Buddhist perspective, basic needs are strictly shelter --which not, a villa for everyone; clothing, which not being hooked upon fashion; food --which not a meat-rich diet; and education --which not bending one's spirit to technoscience. So says Karl Polanyi  in 'Aristotle Discovers the Economy' (1971 [1957], 81) indeed in an Aristotelian vein: "if scarcity springs 'from the demand side,' as we would say, Aristotle attributes it to a misconceived notion of the good life as a desire for a greater abundance of physical goods and enjoyments." Our Common Future is about rendering this desire a common cause.
 

Sadly in Line with the Anthropocentrism Prevalent in the Western Trajectory

Sustainability remains largely stuck in human-centric concerns for humanity's survival at the expense of other sacred forms from the mineral kingdom, the flora and faunaThe Brundtland Report lumps together the lively variety teeming with characteristics all their own that conform the waters from the skies, the lovely ladybirds, the stunning rocks and the adorable penguins  (to which we were referring above as a metonymy for all the sacred forms that dwell upon the mineral kingdom, flora and fauna, where we humans constitute a subgrup) into a homogeneous uniform totality called variously 'the environment', 'natural resources or 'natural capital'. In this context the waters falling from the skies, the happy-go-lucky ladybirds, the stunningly beautiful rocks and the superb penguins are bereft of their intrinsic value, worth and personality and are subjected to the urges and whims of an increasingly spreading and demanding industrial society. That is why we say that the Brundtland report, and many strands of sustainability for that matter, are unfairly anthropocentric, where White Man is taken as role model at the expense of the rest of sacred creatures who are left with no say in the 'whither the planet' debate. What is more, these creatures are not even considered as worthy of this say to start with.

Absence of an Ecocentric Concern

Although much like democracy that has turned into a wishy-washy banner upheld by the likes of the American administration to go to war and the other extreme of direct- democracy acolytes, sustainability, for all its polyvalent uses, retains much of the initial 'sustainable development' promise. It often stops short of an ecocentric concern for our waters falling from the skies, the ladybird having the time of her life amongst the wild grasses, the rocks adorning the seaside and the penguins roaming with liberty upon the ice caps. As expressed above, sustainable development (and this treatment is in many cases replicated with the sustainability vision) often approaches these sacred creatures with a utilitarian end, viz., turning them into resources. 


Mastery Over Sacred Creatures from the Mineral Kingdom, The Flora and the Fauna

Our Common Future further empowers the manipulative mind that entitles itself to master our four characters and their bedfellows, placing itself over and above them and thus reducing them to resources. This report bestows untold power upon global ecocrats who are in a state-centred manner to manage the needs of the community. That is to say, the Brundtland Report fails to stand for the co-stewards of the agoras who patiently listen to Mother Earth's rhythms and tend to her in a manner that the growing of food, fibre and feedstock for human use hardly interferes with the playground of the waters falling from the skies, the ladybirds freely dragging themselves upon wild grasses, the rocks sustaining beaches and coves and the lovely penguins standing upon their ice sheets. 

The roots of this contempt and disregard for our characters is to be actually found in Ancient Greece where Socrates stated that 'for something to be beautiful it must be intelligible'. With this intellectualisation of existence a manipulative approach to all that  was not White Man (thus including women and men from other colours, our waters falling from the skies, the lovely ladybirds, the stunning rocks and the lively penguins) was inaugurated. This trend has had a tendency to exacerbate itself as the centuries have elapsed, with a few exceptions of independent thinkers and religious individuals such as Francis of Assisi that expressed their love for all sacred forms. The exaltation of nous, our intellect, reached one of its most strident overtones with René Descartes in the 17th century. As you may recall from high school, Descartes is renowned for his slogan 'Cogito ergo sum'. Translating as 'I think, therefore I am', the Cartesian slogan signifies that a disembodied mind, the res cogitans, (that instantiates and, in so doing, disseminates the intelligibility that Socrates had already exalted) is free to operate with an overt disregard for all that is embodied (the res extensa) including our four characters for which we can't stop feeling so much love all the same. The Brundtland Report sadly reproduces this disdain for all that is embodied (including our four dear characters). 


Providing Unfounded Psychological Comfort Whilst Neglecting Structural Transformation

These global ecocrats are to shoot the magic bullet that will make sustained financial growth compatible with the physical possibilities of the Earth. Despite the nonexistence of this magic bullet, global ecocrats play a social role. Namely, their appointment exerts a soothing psychological effect to the masses: 'They are taking care!'. This forced delegation of responsibility further disempowers any attempt at alternative manners to handle the ecodebacle such as communities' tentative initiative to gain control over their food and economy. 

Sustainable development has succeeded in moving off the table any talk about structural changes of social, political and economic order. In this context, Our Common Future premises the eradication of poverty upon further financial growth. Distributive justice is thereby muted.  

Rendering production and consumption sustainable whilst leaving current social, political and economic arrangements untouched partakes of this cosmetic strategy this utilitarian anthropocentrism. It is further ideological cover for the politics of business-as-usual. 


A March Forward that Obscures Power Relations

Moreover, from an entropic perspective sustainability is an impossibility. Once urban life with its mega carbon footprints and colossal industrial infrastructure is accepted as a reality we have to abandon any attempts at sustainability. In this light, the rubric sustainability emerges as a more or less covert attempt at rendering the winners and losers of turning our characters into resources to be harnessed at will ambiguous. As Ruth Thomas-Pellicer (2017: 232) repeatedly states in her The Places of God in an Age of Re-Embodiments, the deliverance of environmental justice entails first and foremost to address the following queries: by way of which private and collective institutions, who encodes what jargon and principles to provoke and justify which high-entropic processes? It seems to me that dominant governments have coined the phrase sustainable development as a strategy that justifies the acceleration of the high-entropic rate to benefit the middle-, upper-middle classes and of course, the elites at the expense of the dispossessed and disenfranchised by this very system, where our dear characters are included. It is the latter group that suffer most directly the ravages of climate change. 


Sustainable development, furthermore, crowns the teleology of progress so characteristic of the Western trajectory. This strategy promises to eradicate the decadent consequences that follow from the deployment of the Western scientific and technological powerhouse, presenting the turning of our characters into resources that may run out as a mere impasse. Sustainable development is firm in securing to the planet unstoppable advancement and modernity, which, as we have seen above, is the furtherance of neoliberalism with its ongoing financial/chrematistic globalisation that has financial growth as its most venerated fetish. In this light, sustainable development is the consummation of Western metaphysics, namely, the intelligibility exalted by Socrates epitomised in a report that is to be Our Common Future. As Heidegger would put it, "this model is the Platonic idea ostensibly drained of all ontological content and becomes a mere cypher, a monadic carrier of information, a unit of cybernetic science".


Absence of a Lofty Vision 
So it occurs that in the present day our green politics are largely articulated by way of the sustainability rubric. However, as it has been exhibited above, this rubric often fails to propose any radical worldview upon which we can rely with a view to steering human tread out of the chemical Anthropocene. And as all those of us who are engaged in change will easily acknowledge, visions invariably need to be grand and spacious so that some kind of change has eventually the chance to materialise. If we reverse the statement this is equal to claiming that we can state that the promise of sustainable development or sustainability as it is understood by governments today appears as a vision that hardly beholds the other side of western(ised) geno-cum-ecocidal culture. In this context, we cannot trust it as a policy that shall deliver any true and lasting transformations to the advantage of Mother Earth and her lovely creatures.    

, which boils down to an ecoefficient expansion of industrial bases premised upon sustained growth, and on this basis the eradication of poverty inand a sufficiently ecofriendly use of 'resources' (our waters falling from the skies, the ladybird having the time of her life amongst the wild grasses, the rocks adorning the seaside and the penguins roaming with liberty on the caps turned into mere resources- oh, no!) so that this industrial society can be sustained 

 






BEYOND SUSTAINABILITY
Eco Pax Mundi Agora, while embracing those who identify with the rubric, intends to alert us to the dangers of this approach which has come to encode a great deal of green politics. Eco Pax Mundi Agora believes that portraying our present as ecocidal is far more apposite. For one thing, it present the problematic not as an unremitting  march forward but as what it is: an assassination of our sacred characters and their lovely friends following the values that organise our society, where greed is legitimised and enthroned upon our financial system. Characterising our present as unsustainable has a much more anthropocentric ring, where Man is exclusively sorry for the fact that his way of life may no longer be sustained and thus pursued in the future.   



Characterising our Present as Ecocidal and Aiming at a Post-Ecocidal Stage Puts Matters in an Empowering Light 

In short, we can say that sustainability, far from advancing true Earth politics, appears as counterproductive to the development of a deep green agenda. In sharp contrast, in integrating the word 'ecocidal' in our endeavour, human action gains a new light. Instead of presenting our ill relation with the creatures inhabiting Mother Earth's womb as a ruthless crusade forward, we are willing to acknowledge the harm that our tread upon Mother Earth commits. With this acknowledgement, we are upon a completely new plane: We can critically examine our deeds and empower ourselves towards overcoming this stage, for indeed as the banner 'post-ecocidal' points to it has no merit to merely accept our complicity in ecocidal perpetration. Rather, our terminus is leaving this stage of history behind. It follows that we must muster up the intellectual tools that lead us over, across and beyond our decadent contemporaneity. A set of tools that we must finely hone so that they not only illuminate the nature of the predicament but walk us out of it. 

A 'Philosophy of the Future' with an Ecocidal vs Life-Affirming Logic towards Human Deeds
A 'Philosophy of the Future' with a Discriminating Logic of Ecocidal vs Life-Affirming Deeds

In our attempt to eradicate ecocidal behaviour we can react to Friedrich Nietzsche's call to develop a 'philosophy of the future', a philosophy for a post-ecocidal future, that is. A fundamental tenet of such a philosophy is that of conveying a logic that approves of life-affirming philosophical and scientific practices as well as the human behaviours that the former inspire. Consistently, this logic has to stigmatise the ecocidal ones. Our times command the articulation of a logic of transitivity and intransitivity, of the continuum in/transitivity, that is, in relation to the non-ecocidal and ecocidal respectively. The virtues of the philosophy of the future are first the critique of all established values that lead to ecocide , or, in our case, the categorisation as intransitive of that which is disrespectful of the oikos ('household') and its surroundings, and then the creation of new, life-affirming values. 'Hammer and transmutation' is Nietzsche's pithy recipe for the philosopher of the future. Namely, it is insufficient to enact a logic that assesses practices as transitive or intransitive according to their relation with the household and its surroundings; what emerges as intransitive exacts due transformation. 


An Ecocentric Grand Narrative with/of Plural Manifestations
In order to fulfil the remit of creating life-affirming values, we must first envision the ecotopia. This vision shall have to enjoy grand vistas, largely reclaiming the grand narrative to the detriment of postmodern strictures that lead to confining fragmentation. Brennan . For the issue to be addressed, ecocide, has got planetary proportions. In so doing, we can realistically conceive the possibility of overcoming, leaving behind this geno-cum-ecocidal stage of human history. We can subsequently claim that we are pragmatically moving towards post-ecocidal cultures. Pragmatism without an extraordinary, magnificent vision capable of pulling us out of these extraordinary times of climate emergency loses its purchase.   

It is important that we emphasise the need to put into place post-ecocidal cultures, and thus not culture in singular, for the manifestation of benign tread upon the planet has to, can only be realised by endorsing --critically-- locally embedded traditions. There are myriad ways to express one's love for Pachamama. It is further important that this endorsement of ancestral ways should be highly critical, discriminating since our future has no room for patriarchal, racist or any kind of bigoted attitude. The locally embedded traditions have to imbibe the benign overtones of the post-ecocidal grand narrative --hence its relevance. 

Post-Ecocidal Cultures Entail an Ecocentric Outlook


A salient trait of a post-ecocidal worldview is an ecocentric transition. That is, the relinquishment of an outlook where Man is at the centre of the pluriverse and the acknowledgement that Man's needs can only be realised within the possibilities, which are bountiful, afforded by Mother Earth. Against this background, I would like to propose a very  specific definition of ecocentrism. This has two interdependent premises. First, we are Earthlings and this conditional status renders our embodied condition the most precious gift upon the planet. Second, our embodied condition is sustained by a star called the Sun that powers the whole planet. It follows that ecocentrism should be the acknowledgement, celebration of our embodied condition on the planet powered by a star. The first implication of this characterisation of ecocentrism is that subjecting ourselves to this framework, to the affordances of sunlight, that is, shouldn't be a source of sacrifice, as some have theorised. Rather, it should give us back our identity as a species and thus should be a cause of great celebration and joy. 

Two additional implications if we accept the aforementioned characterisation of ecocentrism: 
1/ From rights to responsibility: there is only one way to ensure that we bring human tread in consonance with the affordances of a beautiful planet powered by a star, namely, by taking responsibility. This new-gained sense of responsibility further shatters a liberal sense of freedom which largely has come to mean in the present day 'I must be able to do whatever high-tech allows me to', including, for instance, sleeping in Majorca at night and working in Germany during the day by commuting by plane. Or owning 10 cars in a lifetime. There is only one kind of liberty in ecocentrism, which is happily aligning not my needs, as I am not doing it isolated as the liberal paradigm entails, but in the context of a community, to the affordances of the Earth as powered by a sun. I insist, this liberty takes basically a form of responsibility. 

2/ Realistion is not self-realisation but realisation in communion with, or as Patrick Curry puts it, 'co-realistion'. This realisation further not achieved with a plethora of high-tech devices as put at my disposal by capitalism. Rather, this is in communion with what I have defined as loci standi, a neologism to refer to 'all the places of secure stay' provided by Mother Earth, including the commons, an organic seed and any metabolic process based upon photosynthesis. Meeting this definition includes both agroecology and permaculture as two ways to feed us and organise human life. An ecocentric community tends not to be very eager to undergo realisation by way of instrumenta movendiThe circulation of Instrumenta movendi are instruments of additional mobility that feed upon and therefore parasite upon loci standi thereby destabilising the latter, including paved roads, vehicles run by fossil fuels but also electric cars, genetically modified seeds and the related agribusiness model.  To accept these, the ecocentrically enlightened community engages in thorough deliberation: who shall benefit from these instrumenta movendi and who shan't? What are the loci standi that are going to be sacrificed to manufacture this set of instrumenta movendi? For instance, a pool of computers may be considered as a desirable device to have in an ecocentric community. In this context, the ecocentric community first acknowledges that a computer is an instrumentum movendi, that is, its fabrication is at the expense of myriad loci standi, such as minerals, metals and . So this ecocentrically-minded community publicly asks: who is going to benefit from a computer? What are all the loci standi that will have to be desacralised to this end? And applies this deliberative procedure with each device that they may consideer as desirable, not least the most high-tech ones that entail the ecocide of a larger pool of loci standi
 
Environmental Justice: Rendering Power Relations Visible
Characterising our present as ecocidal, acknowledges crime perpetrated against sacred creatures. Thus it assumes the existence of criminals. This perspective enables us to pose the query: to whose advantage is the saturation of the atmosphere with greenhouse gases?



Erecting Post-Ecocidal Cultures Of Love and Egoless Action
[In this context of transformation we realise that it is not enough to internalise economy into ecology as ecological economists insistently propose. For as we have seen above, such an internalisation is already implicit in the vocable 'economy', deriving as it does from the Greek term oikos, 'household', 'house', 'abode', 'dwelling'  + nomos "managing," from nemein "manage" (from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take"). thus etymologically meaning "frugality, judicious use of resources". and thus renders it automatically cognate with ecology. In our transmuting endeavour we need to be far more drastic.

What is needed is the development of a culture, nay, cultures to acknowledge the plurality in the instantiations, rooted in] 

These post-ecocidal ecocentric cultures should be based and further foster heightened sensitivity towards, and love for our four characters and their bedfellows who are also ours, for it is all together that conform to the sacred creatures that cohabit --or should cohabit-- in Mother Earth's matrix, womb. Only the exaltation of our emotions will conform to a strong enough basis to become enraged when creatures in the mineral kingdom, flora and fauna are harnessed as resources and turned into instrumenta movendi. This is, in Nietzsche's terms, an instantiation of the errancy of Western metaphysics; of squatting into those spaces that this tradition has branded as untruthful. The objectifying scientism so characteristic of modernity brands the deployment of feeling as an avenue from which to derive truthful claims to science an aberration --let alone a full-blown declaration of love for the waters falling from the skies, the wandering ladybirds, the rocks adorning coves, and the penguins basking in the cold as we set out this 'scientific' article.  

MOVE ABOVE - Western metaphysics reaches its foremost zenith with modernity, of which sustainable development is a conspicuous manifestation. In this light, sustainability as a science also partakes of the politically correct, detached, sanitised edge common in the objectifying scientism which has largely singlehandedly handed down our ecocidal present. The anthropocentrism and quietism inbuilt in sustainability, far from inciting us to take immediate action in the teeth/face of the downgrading our characters and their --which are our-- companions into resources, natural capital instrumental to capitalism, sanctions this atrocity.   being torn immediate action which is what is needed to prevent runaway climate change, It fosters a politics of let's-leave-structural-issues-untouched business as usual.

True love is not immobilising. As the 13th-century Sufi mystic by the name of Rumi already phenomenologically noted in his 'theology of love', love is action, daring, choosing to stand for, revolutionary. And this action, when it is fuelled by a life-affirming love for life is egoless, namely, it takes the form of an ethics of non-reciprocal responsibility for the other, as Emmanuel Lévinas has rightly reclaimed from the Western metaphysical trajectory. I purposely write 'egoless' to distinguish it from selfless. I believe that a self-empowered, ecoliterate self is sine qua non to egoless action and service. In a nutshell, in the words of Nelson Mandela “A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”
 
,         

"WE COME FROM FAR AWAY

AND WE STILL HAVE FAR TO GO

[...]

OUR FACES HAVE BEEN EFFACED WITH THE WIND OF SO MANY YEARS

BUT WE CARRY THE FLAME IN OUR EYES.

 

THERE'S NO AFFLICTION THAT DIVERTS US FROM OUR LENGTHY PATH

ALL WE LONG FOR IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF US

AND TIME SHELTERS US IN ITS BED.

 

I COME AND BRING WITH MY VOICE A SONG OF HOPE

IF YOU WISH TO SHARE IT WITH ME

[...]

WE COME FROM FAR AWAY

AND WE STILL HAVE FAR TO GO

PERVADED WITH DREAMS AND LIGHT AS WE ARE."

 

Adapted version of Miquel Martí-i-Pol's 'I come from far away', own translation from the original Catalan, music by Lluís Llach

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Bb7Y4ni9wARuth



Continuity humus-humanity

In this context, we shall claim that the unlettered of the third millennium shall not be those who cannot read and write --although we ought also to strive so that these skills are enjoyed by everyone in our post-ecocidal communities. Rather, the illiterate shall be those who fail to partake of these post-ecocidal cultures and politics of love and egoless action in restoring and regenerating Mother Earth; those who fail to develop a sense of affectionate responsibility for all earthlings animate and inanimate, for such a distinction only exists in the supremacist anthropocentric mind and its patronising attitude towards the more-than-human world.

Questioning social, political and economic structure
Sustainable development has succeeded in moving off the table any talk about structural changes of social, political and economic order. On the other hand, the enactment of the discriminating logic of ecocidal vs.life-affirming deeds renders us to  side with the critical voices concerned with the preservation of a liveable planet. These seem to point to the need of effecting radical shifts at these three levels. 

To be sure, at the social level, the agoras foster community as a unit of conviviality, which, inter alia, minimises unbalanced distribution of power. At the political level, Eco Pax Mundi Agora prompts a bioregional model. Namely, it encourages us to administer human life in direct relation with the spontaneous biophysical demarcation of Mother Earth. At the economic level, Eco Pax Mundi Agora localises economy in a context of economic, seed, food and water sovereignty.


Radical Re-evaluation of Needs towards Self-Sufficiency

In post-ecocidal cultures of love and egoless action needs are not whimsical urges construed by the marketing departments of multinational corporations but follow from an acknowledgement of (a) our embodied condition on the planet. They manifest an overt celebration of our embodiment as our most precious gift qua earthlings; (b) our embeddedness in a bioregion that therefore develops its politics and economic system within the possibilities of Mother Earth's ecological reality; (c) our contextualisation in a worldview that takes its cues from the aforementioned planetary embodiment and bioregional embeddedness.  






Halting the March Forward: Re-Entering Ecocycles
In fact the march forward may have to halted so that human tread re-enters ecocycles

Honing Human Virtues
and the techno-fixes that are proposed --including the Green Revolution with its GMOs-- further allow us to go dormant when it comes to the effort that it shall take on our part to hone our virtues and bring about an ecological civilisation, in line with one of the proposals by Patrick Curry in his Ecological Ethics.


I agree with you, Patrick, and so you are right in claiming that this is a concern for us. Generally speaking, permacultists stop short of an ecocentric view their outlook broadly being that of 'making anthropocentric peace with the planet'. But here is where a syncretism of la créme de la créme of what's being brewed today on the planet comes in. (I for one consider myself a syncrestist). We have to see how the best of our intentions click together and in so doing enforcing an ecocentric worldview.

So to share my recipe with you once more: permaculture-based comunities leading to the instilling of ecoliteracy, leading to population control, leading to rewilding, leading to n...Result: a world where White Man is no longer the centre of the pluriverse.

It goes without saying that the implementation of these steps is not without strenuous effort on our part, but that's perhaps the reason why we were given a life in the first place --namely, to excel in our deeds: a virtuous-cum-ecocentric ethic as you uphold in your great Ecological Ethics.




(UNDER CONSTRUCTION)  



An International Ecohumanitarian Organisation

Eco Pax Mundi Agora

'Joining Hands To Advance Earth Regenerative Living'