At some point I want to follow up on the last three posts and their comments – especially taking the nontheism issue head-on – but so far, everything on this version of the blog has been primarily Quaker-related. It’s time I started adding a little g & @ to the Q.
So, next post I’ll address an issue raised by a recent comment – why am I trying to integrate [green] anarchism with this obscure religious movement anyway?
But for now, a few “shorts,” Johan-style.
Nancy’s Ecology: Quaker blogger Nancy, of Nancy’s Apology fame, has been thinking about the environment in a new way through reading a book on the collapse of civilizations called Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed by Jared Diamond.
I haven’t read it, nor can I say with confidence that American (etc.) society is at risk of collapse. But I think such things are possible, and it is important to be thinking about them. So I was glad to see Nancy blogging about it (as well as giving props to the Battle of Seattle).
I share some of her worries. She writes: I don’t want democracy to die, nor modern medicine and education…. And I don’t want the spiritual evolution of religion to stop dead as extremism takes over. I’m not sure whether I would defend modern medicine (more for its means than its results), but I am indeed worried that if, for whatever reason, American society or industrial civilization begins to falter, that instead of an anarchist uptopia, or a primitivist clean slate, we’d simply revert to unmasked ancient Roman brutality, and that people would flock to reactionary religious groups. I think it’s naive to dismiss this possibility.
How can we avoid this?
Nancy proposed a long list of things, many of which I think are quite good. Though many of them seemed to require the government to do something, and I am suspicious of governmental solutions. In fact I’m thinking more and more lately about the prospect of the radical left/post-left making alliances with leftist libertarian types, in order to deflate the state as much as possible now – so that when it wants to get nasty, it’s easier to deal with.
Speaking of, the FBI’s efforts to derail the radical environmental movement in the US are still going on – no new indictees in the Green Scare, but the current indictees and prisoners are still in jail or on a leash. One of them, Zachary Jenson, has been in solitary for almost six months, and is turning 21 in two weeks. From a recent update (via Infoshop):
Zach will be turning twenty-one on July 23. Please don’t forget his birthday! Zach has been in total separation (Solitary Confinement) since the day of his arrest, January 13th, 2006, and receives very little human contact. The cards and letters from supporters all around the world really help to build his morale in this horrible situation. Write him a letter or send him a card and help make Zach’s birthday a little more enjoyable. He deserves it! Remember, it takes longer for Zach to receive his mail because he is in jail, try to send your letters and cards early so they get there in time!
Zach was arrested for allegedly going along with plans suggested to him and others by an FBI agent-provocateur for destroying some cell phone towers and power plants in California (which, to give credit where it is due, are probably some of the best ideas the FBI has come up with). If you’re in Boston, an activist group I am a part of is getting together Monday at 7 p.m. at TJ Scallywaggles to write letters to Zach and other imprisoned eco-activists.
“Spare no deceit”: A Musing Environment is an environmental blog written by a Friend, apparently old but new to me. My initial skimming of recent posts seems to indicate that a lot of her posts take the form of classic blog-style summarizing of recent news, but there is also some writing on how Berkley Friends Meeting is dealing with the issue. She writes often about climate change.
Earthwalking: Marshall Massey’s journal continues to be of interest – both for Marshall own observations on the land he is walking through in the Midwest, and his reports on what individual Quakers are saying in the meetings and churches he is visiting.
Marshall, in case you don’t know, is walking from his home in Nebraska to a Quaker speaking engagement in Virginia, and meeting with Friends along the way to talk to them and get them to think about their relationship to the earth. (Though his feet have been giving him trouble and he’s doing some walking and some driving now.) For me reading the blog has both given me hope (that things may change), and made me despair (that we have a long way to go). I’ll expand on this at a later date, probably after Marshall’s journey is over, which I think is a couple more months.
Quaker-E: Pam and I talked a little more on this post about starting some kind of mailing list or forum focused on Quakerism and ecology, but no action has been taken yet, partly because I’ve been too busy to think much about it, and haven’t really reached clarity on the concept.
If this sounds like something you would potentially be interested in, your thoughts and ideas are coveted. What would be useful, and what would simply create another way to waste time online?