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27 August 2010 @ 09:29 pm
Climate Camp  
I wrote a thing about Climate Camp here: http://oolong.co.uk/oo/climate-camp

I think I'll post more about it later. I need to articulate my thoughts about non-violence a lot more clearly...
Current Mood: listlesshmm
FilthyMacNastymomentsmusicaux on August 28th, 2010 11:21 am (UTC)
I wish it *didn't* have the anarchic roots and the jazz hands bollocks that comes with that. It's irrelevant and gets in the way and puts people off.
0olong: fire0olong on August 28th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't go so far as to say it's irrelevant, though I figure it depends on your perspective. It's seen as part of a critique of capitalist society, a vision of a possible better world: A demonstration of a very different way of getting things done.

Which is all well and good, but it certainly puts some people off, and it's easy to see why you feel it gets in the way.
FilthyMacNastymomentsmusicaux on August 28th, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
> it certainly puts some people off

Hence it's disruptive. It lessens the impact of the campaign, because it puts people off from being involve (eg me) and allows people the campaigns could affect to dismiss it more easily.

Also, capitalism and ecology are not necessarily mutually exclusive. You'd need an economy that factors in the environment as providing a service, but green capitalism is not a misnomer. Hence it's irrelevant.

Bottom line: they're attention-seeking wankers hijacking a current a very serious problem for their own agenda. This always happens.
0olong: Jesus0olong on September 2nd, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC)
I think you're being a little unfair. If you've reached the conclusion that capitalism and sound management of the economy are in practice mutually exclusive - which is not an altogether unreasonable conclusion, based on the dramatic ongoing failure of all known capitalist systems to manage the ecology soundly - then agitating for the overthrow of capitalism as we know it, as a necessary precondition for sorting shit out, obviously seems perfectly sensible.

Conversely, I don't think it's altogether unreasonable to hold out hope that 'green capitalism' actually does have some hope of working, either. In which case Climate Camp is not the movement for you, and you'll presumably be wanting to agitate for rapid, radical reforms of the capitalist system and particularly the way it deals with the environment, if you're bothered about this sort of thing.

For my part I'm on the fence, feeling pessimistic and wishing that both sides of this argument weren't so prone to thinking people are wankers because they've reached different conclusions about what needs to be done.
FilthyMacNastymomentsmusicaux on September 2nd, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
Change is hard. The smaller the change, the easier it is. Therefore, a complete overthrow is pretty much shooting for the moon.

At best, it's being idealistic -- not that I'm against that, far from it, but I think that global warming needs to be tackled fast, by the quickest means, and that means idealism be damned. If greening the current capitalist system gets results and averts disaster, then I think it's probably the path of least resistance.

And at worst, it's hijacking one campaign to get your own agenda through. That's never a good plan.
0olong0olong on September 3rd, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC)
Yup. As I say, your position is by no means unreasonable.

The fact that the smaller the change, the easier it is, cuts both ways though: It's going to be so very much easier for governments and companies to make changes which are nice and palatable to the rich and comfortable, and far too small to satisfy what the science suggests is necessary, rather than going out on a limb. There really are an awful lot of vested interests very keen to see business going on pretty much as usual, in denial of the fact that that's only going to be possible for a limited time now.

So, yeah... If greening the current capitalist system gets results and averts disaster, then all is well and good and we can leave overthrowing it for another time. On the other hand, if it doesn't, the chances are it'll be too late in a few years.

It's not impossible that we really will see some serious results in the near enough future, but I'm seeing an awful lot of backsliding from our governments, which seems to set in pretty much as soon as the pressure is anything less than intense. It's also not impossible that more radical leftist/anarchist type ideals will win out in the way that some people seem to envisage happening, especially if capitalism goes on eating itself the way it has been this last couple of years.

I'm not seeing any strong reason to be particularly optimistic about either outcome coming to pass, but since the only other obvious alternatives involve temperatures hiking several degrees in the space of a few decades or so, and millions upon millions of environmental refugees, I'm also not inclined to dismiss either possibility. And whichever way you look at it, we need pretty serious reforms to the way things are run, which means piling some serious pressure on the people who are supposed to be running them. Above all, we need very greatly reduced consumption, and I worry about ideological disagreements getting in the way of pushing through such a capitalistically unpalatable proposition.
0olong: Jesus0olong on December 1st, 2010 10:38 pm (UTC)
Hey, another point occurs to me, reading some of the discussion of people's experiences of recent occupations and things - the Jazz Hands Bollocks is how the whole thing is organised. It absolutely serves a practical purpose; the question is not just 'do I like consensus decision-making' - it's 'do I prefer consensus decision-making to alternative ways of organising political actions'. Would you like Climate Camp better if it was run on hierarchical lines by Trotskyites, for instance?
FilthyMacNastymomentsmusicaux on December 2nd, 2010 08:41 am (UTC)
Yes, quite. And I don't like consensus decision making in this sort of thing. At climate camp they were all about 'how shall we decide how to protest', and I'm all like 'how the fuck should I know?'

I'm unconvinced by pure consensus decision making in most situations -- the car crash around the Forest web site being a fine example, in that people who didn't know what the fuck they were talking about took the day.
0olong0olong on December 2nd, 2010 10:41 am (UTC)
That certainly is a danger, yes.

The fact that so much of everything is organised on the fly at Climate Camp makes it much easier for people to go off on small actions, and to do things the police haven't meticulously planned for in advance. This may or may not be an advantage, depending on your perspective, but my suspicion is that it would never have got as much of a media spotlight as it did if not for those things. There is something to be said for relatively spontaneous direct action, given the apparent impotence of large-scale organised demonstrations of dissent, and for all the tedious faffing consensus decision-making can lead to, it's hard to see a hierarchical approach pulling it off this stuff.