We're going to discuss in this lecture the issues of power and politics. In the West since World War II, the environmental movement has almost exclusively operated under the assumption that the institution of democracy was sacrosanct. In other words, the solution to all problems was to work through the system and try to reach the American people. The American people are assumed to be a benevolent force and if we could just reach the American people, my goodness what a big success that would be. There were some successes in the 1970s, there were. But since 1980, the American environmental movement has gone nowhere and in terms of the future of the planet, things have gone very badly and are heading in a catastrophic direction.
THE RIGHT TO LIFE?
Now, we need to discuss the issue of ethics and politics. We need to discuss the issue of human rights and the so-called right to life. Who has a right to life? Only people? Only one species? Does one species have the right to kill off everything else on the planet? Our answer is clear and that answer is - no it does not. The level of the destruction is truly mind-boggling: 97% of the Lions, 98% of the Tigers, 99% of Whales. We could go on, this would be a 300 hour lecture. A good part of the world's largest rivers now run dry. Half the rainforests are gone. 95% of America's original forests have been destroyed and so on.
DEMOCRACY AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
Is this a benevolent process? No it is not. Can we assume the American people are a benevolent force? No, we cannot. So to endlessly have faith in democracy, to endlessly have faith in the American people, is stupid. But it's worse than stupid - it could be interpreted as being immoral. Do the American people have the right to kill all forms of life on the planet? No they do not. Who cares whether the politicians are duly elected or not? Obviously it would be better if the system worked. That would be better. But if it doesn't work, it needs to be replaced. Democracy is not a religion, it's not, and particularly in the case of America, where you have these enormous levels of religious delusion, it is very unclear that the American people can be trusted.
THE DICTATORS IN THE WORLD TO COME
In the crisis that's coming, we're going to see the emergence of dictators. This is likely to be necessary. This is likely to be the future. So we need to widen our scope of political ideas. We also need to get into the issue of human rights. There is all this talk about human rights - human rights - human rights. In the struggle for power, if there's a large political faction that's going to kill all life on the planet, what rights do those people have? There will be a coming struggle, there will be a coming war. Some are going to win, some are going to lose. The notion that this faction, or that faction has a right, or that everybody has some sort human rights is absurd - absolutely absurd - in terms of the world that is coming where billions are going to die. So this is the creativity that we need to have and we need to creatively think about what's coming.
Now thinking this thing through in terms of politics, here's where we go. Environmental issues are going to start becoming matters of civil unrest and international war. Military analysis institutions, such as the American CIA, are already studying the prospect of wars over water. Which, as the climate change gets worse, and as aquifers are pumped out, and ill-conceived dams are built, is going to become an increasingly volatile situation; because this could involve literally one country killing off a significant part of the population of another country.
However, there's going to be another issue relating to war, unrest and civil unrest in environmental matters. And those are the issues raised by, among other people, Evo Morales of Bolivia. The issue of climate justice: can a country like America pig out, and destabilize the whole planet and kill everybody else on the planet because they can't control their consumption? Is that going to be tolerable? No it is not. Now, how are countries going to react to that? That's a very good question.
ISSUES OF LIFE AND DEATH
One can see great conflict between parts of the world that are somewhat politically aware - such as Europe - and the irrational nature of America (particularly if the Republicans returned to power in 2012). Increasingly this will be seen as an issue of life and death correctly, and this could lead to enormous unrest vis-à-vis America by poor countries that are being devastated by climate change. Now we have to go to the whole issue of how this whole situation gets resolved if a country is going to try to destroy the planet. Those people need to be stopped now. If elections didn't get the job done, then history will return to good solid traditional violence - good solid traditional value of violence. That's why there's so much war and violence in history, because people don't listen to reason, and if people aren’t going to listen to reason - they don't have the right to exterminate everything else on earth. They don't, and they need to be stopped, and they need to be stopped by force.
PEACE BUILT ON MORTGAGES AGAINST THE FUTURE
So a good part of the peace in the West since 1945 has been built on huge mortgages against the future: cheap energy, cheap oil, destruction of the forest, the whole title wave of destruction that's helped finance the so-called boom since 1945. This is starting to run out and as a result there's going to be a quarrel about what's left over and it's not likely to be pretty. It isn’t. So it's important to think in terms of - yes it would be nice if everyone would be reasonable - yes it would be nice if everybody could be peaceful, but that's not likely to happen, and just endlessly talking about human rights is ridiculous.
A BRUTAL STRUGGLE FOR POWER
There's going to be a struggle for power, and it's going to be a violent struggle for power, and ultimately it's going to pit those who are aware of life against those who aren’t: such as the people suffering from a lot of the Christian religious delusions. There's also going to be a revolution in world religion coming, where this latest attempt (starting in 1900 and going through today) of trying to impose Christianity as the world religion is going to: A fail, B produce a violent counter reaction. And all around the world you see emergence of original religions.
THE VIOLENCE IN THE WORLD TO COME
Now this isn't going to be pretty either, because it is going to be reacting to a very ugly imposition of imperialism; which is likely to lead to a title wave of violence in another direction. And also since the Christians have destroyed so much of the original teaching of original religions. There is a bit of ambiguity as to what these religions are and that will open up the opportunity for licensing the most appalling forms of cruelty, and mass murder, and so on and so forth. Paganism wasn't all warm and cuddly to begin with, not that any religions necessarily are. so the point to understand is that violence is a very legitimate means and it may be a very necessary means for resolving problems in the future.