If the global economy goes seriously tits up — as I believe it is about to do — the important thing is that we understand the actual reasons why it went tits up. Otherwise the drastic remedial action we’ll inevitably take to ensure that it never happens again may well result in the exact opposite.
Consider, for example, that disturbingly tentacular collective of self-righteous hippyish busybodies Transition Towns. Here is an
ideological movement which senses, as most of us do, that there’s something seriously amiss with western industrial civilisation. It senses — again, wisely and correctly, I believe — that we urgently need to form networks, build stronger and more self-reliant communities, grow more of our own vegetables, and so on, if we’re to weather the storm.
Where the Transition Towns movement couldn’t be more wrong, though, is in its analysis of why these emergency actions are necessary. Transition Towns thinks the problem lies in the greed, wanton resource-depletion and yearning for growth which drive the capitalist system. In fact, the problem lies with the mentality which gave us Transition Towns.
Transition Towns is a ‘community project’ whose aim is to ‘raise awareness of sustain-able living and build local ecological resilience’ in response to the ‘dual challenges of climate change and peak oil’. A jolly admirable aim, too, I’m sure we would all agree, if either of those ‘challenges’ were genuine.
Read the rest at the Spectator.