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Author Topic: Our Best Point the Way
sean s.
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 860

posted 07 December 2001 02:31 PM      Profile for sean s.   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
On the 100th anniversary of the Nobel prize, 100 Nobel laureates warn
that our security hangs on environmental and social reform.

Nobel Laureates' Statement


From: montreal | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
Babbler # 621

posted 07 December 2001 02:35 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hi Sean! Welcome back!
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 554

posted 07 December 2001 02:41 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
*devil's advocate mode*

Looking at the list of signatories, what does a bunch of physicists and chemists know about politics?

*end devil's advocate mode*


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
sean s.
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 860

posted 07 December 2001 03:00 PM      Profile for sean s.   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think that what the scientists understand is that politics is too important to be left only to politicians, and that we all have a right to express our views on the future of this planet.

To grossly simplify, there are three major paradigms in contention - McWorld (the symbol of which is the World Trade Center), Jihad (the symbol of which is the
Koran) and the Postmaterialists (the symbol of which is No Logo - though, in fact, we do
not believe in symbols, let alone in ONE symbol).

In general, the Jihad people (religious fundamentalists, fascists,
nativists like Pat Buchanan, militia movements) are the least educated,
the most violent, the most authoritarian and they value the Afterlife.

In general, the Postmaterialists (NGOs, ecologists, anti-corporate globalisers) are the most educated, the least violent, the most anti-authoritarian, and they value
Life. The Nobel Laureates seem to be advocating this paradigm. (For more on the Postmaterialists, see Ron Inglehart's book
Modernization and Postmodernization)

McWorld, the dominant paradigm, which includes the global élite (Davos, Switzerland), multinationals and governments, is, on average, in the middle on all of these dimensions. That is, it is less violent and authoritarian than Jihad, but more violent and authoritarian than the Postmaterialists
(even with all of the talk of the violent protests in Seattle, Quebec City, Genoa etc., the Postmaterialists never killed anyone, though McWorld killed one in Genoa).

Unfortunately, McWorld has itself decided to become more authoritarian as a response to Jihad. What the scientists understand is that in the long run it would be more promising to become more Postmaterialist as a response to Jihad.

[ December 07, 2001: Message edited by: sean s. ]


From: montreal | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 625

posted 07 December 2001 04:54 PM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Great to have you back!
From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
bandit
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1435

posted 07 December 2001 05:16 PM      Profile for bandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
One physicist that seemed to know a bit was einstein.
www.geocities.com/redencyclopedia/einstein.htm

From: sudbury | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
sean s.
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 860

posted 07 December 2001 06:03 PM      Profile for sean s.   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thank you RR and Meades. I thought you might have considered joining the Green Party after the failure of the NPI?
From: montreal | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
MJ
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 441

posted 07 December 2001 06:25 PM      Profile for MJ     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think, Sean, that the point of the people supporting the NPI is that *no* party on the left right now is credible or effective enough to represent what they want. And that includes the Green Party (assuming the Greens consider themselves 'left', which I know many do not). They want to build a new party that encompasses the best aspects of the different movements/parties, while avoiding the problems plaguing each that have resulted in their present ineffectiveness.

Speaking as a non-NPI person, of course.


From: Around. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
sean s.
rabble-rouser
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posted 07 December 2001 06:34 PM      Profile for sean s.   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My impression was that the NPI was trying to pull the NDP in a more ecological and social justice direction.

Since the NDP has rejected this idea, it seems to make sense to support the Greens (not just the Green Party, but also Greenpeace etc.) instead of the NDP.

But you are correct - the Greens are neither "left" nor "right". These categories only obfuscate issues.

[ December 07, 2001: Message edited by: sean s. ]


From: montreal | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
MJ
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 441

posted 07 December 2001 06:58 PM      Profile for MJ     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
From the NPI website (all emphasis theirs)

"The New Politics Initiative is being launched by a diverse assembly of Canadians who are committed to the goal of creating a new political partyin Canada."

"We believe that this is a time of opportunity for the left in Canada."

"The New Politics Initiative seeks to build a party not just to contest elections, but also to fight more broadly for humane goals."

"The left in Canada is at a crossroads."

"We are united in the belief that the only way for a left party to regain relevance and credibility is to re-connect to the energy and activism of grass-roots social change politics."

"An activist left needs an activist party."

I think these quotes make it clear that the NPI is focused on more than just reforming the NDP, and considers itself an explicitly left-wing movement. I doubt most of the people involved would feel comfortable putting their energies into a political party that actively eschews calling itself left.

Also, based on their press release from right after the NDP convention, I don't think they feel defeated or rejected.

"Most of our supporters do not feel defeated this weekend," said Libby Davies, Member of Parliament and an NPI endorser. "To the contrary, this initiative has generated so much hope and so much excitement, especially among young people, that we feel a real obligation to continue to work towards our goal."

[ December 07, 2001: Message edited by: MJ ]


From: Around. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
sean s.
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Babbler # 860

posted 07 December 2001 07:16 PM      Profile for sean s.   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"Left" is just a word. It is true that our smartest thinkers like Naomi Klein Naomi Klein and Michael Hardt Michael Hardt are usually labelled (and label themselves) as "left", but this is just a convenient short-hand for people who don't have the time to read their excellent books.

[ December 07, 2001: Message edited by: sean s. ]

[ December 07, 2001: Message edited by: sean s. ]


From: montreal | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged

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