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Merde. (3a2) Why Now? Megas v. Climate

June 3, 2019

Donc, j’étais où?  Ah yes.  We’re in trouble here (preceding page).  “…the issue of climate-change denial organizes all politics at the present time.” Here’s what the Megas are denying: as Latour diagnoses the situation, massively changing (worsening) conditions of life on the planet put everyone, including the Megawealthies, in the position that was forced upon the peoples of Africa, Asia, and the Western Hemisphere by European and then American Megas (ca. 1450-present) in their drive to own every place and everyone.  Climate change is taking away the possibility of a home-land, ground, “soil,” terre on which to grow lives.  Rather, we will all share the mode of life that is creating reactionary politics in Europe and Trompflandia:  we will all be migrants.  [Compare what is happening to many species of birds and insects.]  This is profoundly disorienting, even for the Megas, who purposefully exacerbate our disorientation by insisting that (1) it isn’t really happening, and (2) there is no longer any “commons,” any common ground of humanity or humane vision, including responsibility [ability to respond] for each other.  

Into this public disorientation (plus the intellectual bankruptcy and habitual dissimulation of the Mega-Republican Party) stepped the master clown-trickster Trompf.  His “originality is to link, in a single gesture, the head-long rush toward maximum profit while abandoning the rest of the world to its fate. . .and second the head-long rush backward. . .toward the return of national and ethnic categories.”  That is, the living space that Trompf offers is a fantasyland.  This hoax is a post-politics politics, “a politics with no object, since it rejects the world that it claims to inhabit.” Trompflandia is a place like a golf course that exists only in the Mind of Trompf.

L proposes that in order to get our bearings, “we need something like a map [of the] positions imposed by the new landscape within which not only the affects of public life but also its stakes are being redefined.”

C’est à dire, we are migrating “toward territories yet to be rediscovered and reoccupied.”  Like any migrant, we must leave our ways of life and learn new one’s.  Mega “globalization” (a current iteration of “the Modern project,” see preceding page) promises that we can both attach our lives to a local soil, and at the same time have access to the globe; but actually it makes both of those alternatives increasingly impossible for anyone but a Mega.  Our project of rediscovery and reoccupation is to reconceptualize both local and global, so as to truly enact both.  [I’m thinking, in other words, that just as we must, with a healthy imagination, be able to hold in mind, affirmatively, two equal and opposite propositions, so we must be able to live at once in two places.]  Latour calls that new, accurate, healthy, sustaining concept and place, “Terrestrial.”  It marks a change in the “territory” of politics.

So how do we get there?  What does this new Geocentric political territory look like?  How is it organized?

“First and foremost, we have to figure out how to address those who rightly feel abandoned by the betrayal of the ruling classes and are clamoring for the security of a protected space.”  In our Terrestrial geopolitical perspective we must meet their legitimate human desire for belonging (minus the fundamentalisms), and tap those Old Local energies for our opening up of the New Ground. But to get to that terre–perspective, we must mobilize on a scale that is adequate to the scope of the taskAnd for that we must stop organizing by the social class grid of position in the so-called “process of production” and its economics of empire, hegemony, progress, and “class struggle derived from the seemingly material, concrete, empirical character of the opposing categories.”  

[Dwarfed by the elephant, we’ve been arguing like two bwanas with their eyes closed.  For instance, I’m thinking, the “Modern project” framework makes the global charitable “initiatives” of the Gates and Clinton “foundations” seem heroic, indeed Herculean, but they are extensions of the Modern Project, including Libertarianism (see for instance Gates on taxation).  But while better than the same world without them, these projects nevertheless reinforce a small and inadequate, Mega-Ego perspective on the nature and value of life.  On Christmas eve a Scrooge might say, “but are there not foundations?”  As things pan out, they become specks on the lense, floaters (maybe only eyes as old as mine can get that last). Mythologically speaking, this is foundational. Including, of course, the Trompf Foundation. I.e. we have to see and think much differently, much bigger, much better. I mean, no, it’s beyond bigger and better, it’s something radically different. As L points out, this situation is unprecedented, never before experienced. We have to imagine that.

“ ‘Look, you’re arguing for us to break new ground,” Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz told Olson at one point. “You may be right. I’m sympathetic to the problems you point out. But you shouldn’t say this is just an ordinary suit. … You’re asking us to do a lot of new stuff, aren’t you?’

‘We’re asking the court to apply bedrock constitutional law and principles to a wholly new set of facts,’ Olson replied.  

. . .In briefs to the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco wrote that ‘the assertion of sweeping new fundamental rights to certain climate conditions has no basis in the nation’s history and tradition — and no place in federal court.’

Even before Tuesday, lawyers in two administrations had made similar arguments in lower courts. But again and again, judges allowed the case to proceed.”]

(((to be continued)))

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