Sunday, January 18, 2015

Why is the 'West' hated ?

Well, for a start, most of the West is loved or at least tolerated by most of the rest of the world, but it is the point of this piece to claim that the bits that are not adored and emulated are the very bits the Green Party is seeking to change. Put it another way, terrorism would not be incited by a Greened up West.

My claim is based on my perspective on world views as held by people other than me. That is a tough job to do, but one that everyone should attempt before deciding on the justification of any 'war' - hot or cold.

This Green Party supporter's idea of a non greenies subconscious view of the world is one where people go about their daily lives unaware of their impact on the environment - unable or indeed unwilling to do anything about it. Lack of interest or engagement forms most of the inability of the West to change, a solid and determined desire for power - to keep 'business as usual going for as long as possible - forms the rest, the most influential section. Sadly, that final part controls or owns the infrastructure , both physical and legal that runs our world.

This is not a blame game. The lot in charge have been responsible for the massive gains in freedoms and opportunities that all the people of the west have benefitted from for so long. We love our way of life and have no intention of changing it, certainly not because someone somewhere else doesn't like it. It really puts our backs up if the outsiders start doing anything about their grievances. Terrorism is not nobel, exciting, or in anyway acceptable - but it does have a cause. My contention is that this very cause is the thing that Greens see as dooming us all. In one word, it is Growth.

Growth needs two things, space and resources. For centuries, the strong have inherited everything the weak have had to offer - because they can. This has worked fantastically well for the strong, us. It even strengthened the otherwise weak, or at least convinced them that they where second or third class world citizens. They were told by their stronger 'betters' that they could and should work hard to improve themselves - by emulating us.

In ancient history, civilisations had survived and grown to the point where things leveled out nicely, not too few people to do the work, not so many that there was not enough to eat. Presumably life was good, comfortable and people could be happy living it, but it didn't grow. Now, add a few wolves to that contented herd and you will get quite a few very angry sheep. OK, a sheep can't take down a wolf, but a bunch of them could be very nasty to a few unprotected cubs.

Rome worked in rather the same way as the west today. Looking back at what happened to them gives us an idea of the future of the 'West' Rome was supported by slaves but a slave could rise to great heights and some did, but most could not. There were a limited number of spaces for freed slaves and lots of work for the rest to do, so there was only one carrot and a very large number of sticks. Today is the same, but there are more carrots - not an unlimited number of spaces, however the trick still works because everyone really believes 'it could be you' and so 'keeps calm and carries on'.

This fuels Growth. Growth is good, the alternative is death - or so we teach. The Roman Empire faded away as their resources failed to support the increased demands, but there were a lot of bangs and even more whimpering on its way out. Rome just had to keep growing, if it had been happy with what it had, it could still be around now.

Rome knew nothing else and it was not alone. Napoleon had to invade Moscow, so did Hitler - all in the name of growth ( but they called it 'living room' ). The goal of growth was the downfall of all of them. Resources ran out and nature got its own back.

We can yet escape this trap by recognising their error. The alternative to growth is not death, it is sustainability. That does not mean ossification, we can still have novelty, luxury, great advances in everything - but - not at the expense of space or resources - these have to be shared and re-used, reclaimed and redistributed so everyone has a go - or, and this is the main bit, the weak will get strong and take it from us.

The threats and the solutions:-

The only way to be safe from unprovoked attack is to ensure you don't have anything an attacker may want - the way to ensure total safety is not to do anything provocative.

Proper resource distribution addresses that first point. Science and technology, although not a panacea, do offer us the chance to continually improve our way of life and - when shared openly with anyone who wants it - give the same to everyone else too. That would negate our need for defence systems - quite a saving.

For the second point, we in the west have no intention of provoking others although we do it every day. We don't even know anyone else exists - we are 'Little England' and the rest of the world is just where we dump old stuff and get new stuff from. In a green future, we could be just as insular, but we would create nothing that needed dumping and would need nothing more from the outside than we had already inside. Ukip supporters should love that - total isolation until the summer holidays.

What would we do with our time ? Go and explore space - or learn new things, or learn old things - that will be up to the individual, but I'm sure someone somewhere would still be angry about something. We should be strong enough to let them shout.

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