The choice is 'ours' not 'mine'.

Reply to A.C.Stark's "Elephant in the Room" Wordpress post on climate change and culture: The choice is 'ours' not 'mine'.

Right on the money, A.C. (sort of a pun, perhaps?) This 'existential crisis' which you describe is necessary to understand the politics of the day in New Zealand. To explain how a nobody like John Key could be so consistently popular for eight years while saying nothing at all in that time is not so hard when viewed in the context you describe. This 'existential crisis' may be hard to intellectualize in the popular culture, but is still the overriding (underpinning) factor which has emerged over the last few decades.

To say the media and power brokers are not psychopaths is a valid discussion point here. Psychopathology is a personal condition defined by psychiatrists, but the existential crisis goes beyond any individual. Individuals live within, and cannot be separated from, a social/cultural context (and even a historical process). To say our culture's response to this existential crisis is insane would be a reasonable description if we allow extrapolation from a usually applied individual condition to a culture at large.

As such, there is a question as to what is going on culturally here. I think that everyone has some kind of understanding of the existential crisis we are dealing with and all are in the play. Archeologist Jared Diamond is known to have described ancient cultures which had gone through a period (periods?) of changing circumstances (tribal, climate, etc) where a fundamental decision had to be made (one way or another). Would they change and survive? Or would they decide it was more important to continue as who they had been, and how they did, even if that meant a catastrophic failure of the society and disappearance. That was their 'existential crisis'. He observed this may be what is happening in our current history.

So it is not just the media and power brokers making this decision; we are all already involved. And it is happening throughout western culture, of course, probably all cultures, not just in New Zealand.

Thanks, A.C. for a great post.

Richard Keller


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