Response to post from A.C. Stark, UK, on the need for fundamental change

There is perhaps more agreement across political left and right about the need for fundamental change than is at first evident. The Post Truth Era has arisen more out of knowledge than ignorance.

Another great post, A.C.

Roger Hallam’s criticism of the 'left' rightly says that it is neoliberal in its prescriptions for change, so is there any difference between the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ in regard to these basic illusions? Certainly there have been and are still significant differences between left and right, but little difference in regards to the illusions described, apparently.

I agree and would further suggest that there is a significant degree of understanding, though perhaps still vaguely expressed, across politics in our time that fundamental change is necessary. It is not ignorance which has led to our new state of Post Truth, rather knowledge. The breadth and depth of the fundamental change you describe would be terrifying to many, hence a sensed, if sometimes unconscious, need to create denial in the face of that knowledge. But what’s at stake goes deeper than that.

Anthropologists (e.g. Jared Diamond) have suggested there is evidence that many cultures of the past have encountered such existential moments - starkly put: which is more important, to change and survive as a civilization, even thrive, or is it more important to hold onto to the traditional view of itself ('world view') with attendant practices, even if it means extinction of their civilization.

What is happening across consumer civilizations today is this cultural existential process of deciding priorities. It may be the Post Truth Era is a precursor to a more conscious cultural decision that the necessary change is too much, thus allowing our exploitative culture to continue with the future playing itself out, likely not ending well. But a more hopeful way is still possible as you suggest.

Richard Keller


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