The idea of an Earth Manifesto reaches way beyond “normal politics.”
The pressures that diverse interest groups place on democratic institutions drive politics. Right? Well, that is what the power elites that dominate political institutions have claimed for a long time.
Nevertheless, politicians feel the power of great wealth and giant corporations every day. The public discourse is constrained through bias in the mass media. These are the forces that actually drive politics today.
When we factor in the increasing ease with which accumulated power can amass more advantages of increasing power, over time the whole thing inevitably devolves into a plutocracy. It is a self-reinforcing feedback loop. Such exponential growth usually leads to the collapse of the system. We have pretty much reached the end of that line. With the ascendance of Trumpery, political dictatorship becomes a real prospect, especially when Republicans, who never really wanted the narcissist sociopath as their candidate, now spinelessly pander to a deeper corruption than they had ever mustered on their own.
Information technology in the hands of power elites accelerates the concentration of power. The corporate media reduce expressions by so-called “competing interest groups” to ambiguous 15 seconds of sound-bite segments, while the real business of power goes on, unaffected. It is only by the sheer bungling of presidential performance that so many lines of inquiry into not only election fraud, conflicts of business interests and the public interest, but also illicit relations with Russian oligarchy have opened up.
More importantly, the “political conversation” has shifted so far from addressing the urgent problems and needs of the American people that nothing of substance is recognizable. In ways that seem endless, numerous federal programs and policies, even established institutions, already suffer under presidential orders to rescind all rules that protect the people and the ecosystems we inhabit.
Earth Manifesto Now
Meanwhile, the planet burns. Where are the planetary interest groups? Well, the Big Green environmental organizations were bought off for decades. They are just now beginning to take serious stands while trying to hold on to those big action-dampening corporate donations.
Far more hope resides in the emerging groups of indigenous protestors – think Standing Rock Protectors and their allies. The Sunrise Movement and the Extinction Rebellion, have grown in organization and commitment to stand in opposition to the destruction of their native lands, water, and air. The Squad, new congresswomen of color, enthusiastically support The Green New Deal, an Earth Manifesto of sorts.
It seems only from directly threatened groups in civil society that serious demands for deep changes come. Perhaps social media enhanced organizations of diverse issue-based groups, such as the “indivisible” coalition, will garner a broader base for transforming the politics of despair to a locally executed global movement.
We need a new politics of societal transformation, a political movement to establish ecological communities that turn away from the techno-industrial behemoth that Dmitri Orlov calls the “technosphere.” Such a movement seems the only viable path to defend the biosphere and for humans to find a place of our own by restoring the ecosystems within which we must live.