REAL Green and the Third Way

REAL Green first acknowledges we are “path dependent” – where we came from and how we got here puts strict limits on what is now possible for us to do.”  This means first we come to terms with failure.  Future actions will spring from the crisis of existential failure.  If we do not accept failure then we continue to embrace failed strategies.  Some of this will work but significant amounts of effort will be stranded in the collapse process.  This represents huge amounts of resources soft and hard that cannot be wasted at this point. 

The below article of capitalism and socialism in theory sounds great but the reality of it is also failure.  The failure is just a different set of circumstances with different argument of stake holder.  Socialism will kill growth because it will attempt to change the basics of global productivity from a system that is hyper productive.  Socialism will interject control that wills stifle wealth at the same time it will demand more wealth to develop grandiose solutions.  It is a trap and socialism cannot get out of a trap just like capitalism can’t.  REAL Green proposes first behavior conditions of acceptance of failure.  It then concentrates on life boats and hospices which mean adaptation and mitigation strategies.  This can best be approached by a two-tier system based upon a reduced hyper productive core of globalism.  The reduction comes from eliminating the parasitic elements of finance.  It will come from greatly reducing consumerism, travel, and “modern” leisure.  This strategy will crash the economy if taken to extremes but accepting the end of growth with managed decline would be the intent.  The first step would be getting people back to the land into local simplicity, food seasonality, and intermittency.  This would revolve around restricted travel and local based consumption.  Triage and hybridization are the key here.  Until we can get a momentum going for a return to localism the capitalistic core would have to remain.  Too much has been delocalized and much must be reintroduced. 

A cooperative socialistic trend would be needed to educate and then begin the process of triaging out the destructive elements of capitalism.  Note that removing the destructive elements of capitalism will not save us or the climate.  Socialism will fail also but there are many useful socialistic strategies that can power overall policy.  In this case the socialistic element is the gate keeper for the decline process.  Socialism has a significant application at the local level.  This two-tier world will apply to both the developing world by keeping subsistence people where they are at.  Sustainable development would be eliminated and replaced by maintiang the status quo of poverty and subsistence living.  In the rich world those moving back to the land will become poorer.  Overall the rich developed nations would be downsized economically. 

It should be the intent to promise these “back to the land people” the basics of health, education, and food security but there is no guarantee because this is process of change is without a clear blueprint with known result.  This collapse process will involve irrationality, abandonment, dysfunction which cannot be forecast well enough to make guarantees.  In the rich core where knowledge and the powerful elements of comparative advantage, global transport, free movement of capital/knowledge, and JIT production will have to be maintained to provide the resources to allow this second tier to transition.  Hubs of control and knowledge hosting must be maintained.  This means a transition starts at the bottom and works its way up not the other way around like what is being proposed by socialistic academics today. 

This involves allowing capitalism to do what it does best and using socialism to guide capitalism into decline and construct livable local based communities that will be low carbon and anchored in intermittency of small-scale renewables, seasonality of food, locally based transport. Animal power and a close cycle of permaculture farming would be transitioned to as a goal.  This would continue along with industrial agriculture because there is no alternative for food security.  Some monocultural systems may be maintained and others phased out but the process will be very careful to avoid destroying food security.  Renewables will attempt to cover power basics like lights, refrigeration, and in some cases climate control.  Digitally locals will focus on education, knowledge maintenance, and accounting. 

As you see REAL Green focuses first on the behavior narrative then moves to the bricks and mortar of a hybrid of socialism and capitalism.  It is again seeking hybridization strategies with the traditional old ways of home economics that were local and low carbon.  There is then the application of modern knowledge and superior technology to tweak these traditional ways.  Finally, it goes hybrid with a core that is hyper productive and energy intensive as is the status quo currently to support a segment going local and low carbon based.  All this is allowed and maintained with trust and confidence that this is the only way to negotiate the carbon trap and the path dependence. 

REAL Green recognizes that the above grandiose strategy is theoretical and unworkable because of the carbon trap we are in and path dependency of globalism and nationalism.  What REAL Green says is do it relatively at the local and individual level with strategies.  Maybe regions that have the right combinations can take it further.  At the global level the basics of what will work and what is fantasy can be exposed.  Neither Capitalism nor socialism will work as a transition. There is no transition or transcendence.   The status quo will fail as with a REAL Green adaptation.  The key is to choose pathways less bad and to develop these instead of claiming solutions to leave the trap.  It is likely the top is lost because of lack of trust and lack of conviction.  This top is “path trapped” by a multitude of conflicting currents that revolve around competitive cooperation effects of a global village.  It may be the case the top could acknowledge the benefits of localization instead of the push for globalism and sustainable development.  Not all sustainable development is bad what is bad is the coopting of development by market-based capitalism in delocalization.  So sustainable development is in effect and as applied a delocalization process not a localizing one. 

REAL Green says the process will have to start at the bottom by individuals and communities who see the benefits of staying ahead of the collapse curve as best as possible.  Not all individuals or locals can even attempt this because many are by their very nature cannot be reformed.  Some locations will not survive energy depletion nor climate destabilization.  We should not throw good money after bad.  If your local cannot be self-supporting with a minimum of decoupling from the global then it is one of those locals that have been lost to deglobalization and should be abandoned by those seeking relocalization and local sustainability.  Let’s be clear no local is really sustainable anymore as was once possible so relatively speaking all locals have been compromised without support from the global in some respect.  This includes the exposure to competitive forces of market-based capitalism that can immediately gut a local of its ability to support itself.  In this respect if the top could limit and downsize these destructive forces on locals that may have the right stuff this might be the best it gets from the point of view of the top. 

At the individual level it is all about behavior modifications and the hybrid is using the status quo to leave it.  It is about triaging out as best one can the destructive elements of the global.  This means a very difficult needle threading of the necessary economic with that which is sustainable and resilient.  REAL Green says some amount of unsustainability and non-resilient behavior and infrastructure is inevitable.  REAL green says it is about a journey not a refuge.  REAL Green acknowledges there are no refuges and the end will visit all in some respect.  What REAL Green says is an individual and a small community can lower the damage and create the seeds for a reboot.  If you or your community can at a minimum treat this as a hobby or a spiritual exercise like one does with bowling and church then some headway can be made.  REAL Green is not a cult it is a add on like a browser.  This has to have a start and there has to be an element of education and the trial and error of experience.   This is about embracing chaos and then managing it in a way that acknowledges the messy and relativity of that turbulent process.  Salvage the best hardware and practices from modernity and triage the worst of the lifestyles and hardware.

“path dependence” – where we came from and how we got here puts strict limits on what is now possible for us to do. “

“The carbon trap by Paul Chefurka”     energy skeptic

“Whether we realize it or not, everyone living on planet Earth today is caught in what I have come to call the “carbon trap”. The nature of the trap is simple, and can be described in one sentence:  Our continued existence depends on the very thing that is killing us – the combustion of our planet’s ancient stocks of carbon.  This unfortunate situation was not intentional, and is no one’s fault.  The trap was constructed well outside of our conscious view or understanding.  Its design came from our evolved desires for status, material comfort and security.  We recognized its seductive promise long before we knew enough science to discover its hidden hook.  It was built with the best of intentions by well-meaning scientists and engineers, whose knowledge of the consequences was both incomplete and clouded by their own evolved desire for a better life.  Most of us, even those who are aware of our predicament, distract ourselves by creating and admiring elaborate and luxurious appointments for our carbon-clad prison.  Many who can see the bars spend their time dreaming of ways to slip through them into the world outside – a world of natural freedom that they can see but never reach.  Those who are fully aware of the trap also understand that we now need it to survive; that leaving it (if that were even possible) would be as fatal as staying inside. We are victims of what complex systems scientists call “path dependence” – where we came from and how we got here puts strict limits on what is now possible for us to do.  One of the things we can’t do is simply open the door and leave. Even the fact that our carbon-barred prison is now on fire can’t change the cold equations. We are condemned to wait here until the walls burn down, when a few soot-blackened survivors may stumble out into the blasted and barren landscape left behind by our self-absorbed construction project.  This is why I believe that the one quality most needed in the world today is compassion.”

“THERE IS NO THIRD WAY  Socialism is the only realistic solution to climate change”     climate and capitalism

“Capitalism will not and cannot prevent climate disaster. A socialist response at governmental and societal level is an historic necessity.  A lot has been written, including by myself, on why capitalism, by its very nature, cannot tackle or stop climate change. The purpose of this article is not to repeat those arguments but to make the positive case for socialism as necessary to deal with this existential crisis for humanity.  By socialism I mean simply the combination of two things: public ownership and democratic control of production and society…Only through socialism will it be possible to generate both the political will at the top and the genuine popular support and collaboration to achieve the immense coordinated transformation of the national and international economy necessary in the current emergency. Only public ownership and democratic planning can coordinate the establishment and expansion of free public transport, the urgent transition to renewal energy, the mass retrofitting of homes and a vast program of aforestation and rewilding…This cannot be challenged or dealt with without socialist redistribution of wealth and socialist planning internationally. Only socialist internationalism based on the common interests of the world’s working people could achieve such international cooperation; any capitalist option, no matter how ‘green’ its intentions, would degenerate into national and international rivalries which would destroy any coherent international planning…But under capitalism stagnation or, even more so, de-growth is an immediate crisis, a recession when it is short and a ‘great depression’ when it is extended, spelling mass unemployment, poverty and austerity (with the risk of fascism thrown in). This is because capitalism has a drive to growth built into its very fabric. Achieving a non-growth economy (measured in terms of GDP) or, should it prove essential, a de-growth in certain areas would also only be possible on the basis of socialist planning combined with the popular consent that would come from mass involvement in the democratic planning process.”

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