Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Chocolate by the bald man

After a day of confinement to the Ballieu library and an inspiring talk with Robyn, I took the tram down to La Trobe to try out the Australian version of the NYC-favourite Max Brenner. Fine hot chocolate in the rain while reading the last Monocle of the year, a bit uncertain on what grounds I am entitled to such luxuries, to savour the very last remnants of the long nineties.

Green politics remains a flashpoint. Yet, all my ranting about “Greens” may come down a bit contradictory given that I am myself a Green, at least in the narrow sense that I have voted for the Green Party in every election. But my agreement may be more pragmatic than philosophical in nature; I insist on the primacy of critical reflection and the Enlightenment tradition, I believe that the modern project still has a lot of mileage and that an emancipating vision of the future will look far more like Star Trek than some kind of quasi-romantic return to the local.

That being said, I think much of the confusion and heated reactions stem from the fact that the academic discourse on ecologism is something quite different from for instance the political platform of the Green Party in Sweden. For those lucky enough to have escaped the university world at an earlier stage, many of my “enemies” may look like straw men. But rest assure, they do exist, and a debate is necessary even as it is warranted to ask whose purposes such criticism ultimately serves?



Blogger Gabriel said...

OK, point well taken... I was reminded of the existence of these Deep Greens by a letter to the editor in local paper Barometern today, I guess it would add to your case... Maybe my escape from academia was in part motivated by the wish to stay out of fruitless intellectual battles, yes.

I think more could be gained talking and debating directly with these opponents within the broader Green spectrum, rather than alienating them. That would of course take a lot more time and effort, something like how Tor Billgren devotes a seemingly endless amount of time and effort to reason with people opposing gay rights, regardless of other points of comparison.

Hm... "the local" is something we should not return to, you say. Personally, I believe, a such thing as "rooted cosmopolitanism" is possible. (I picked up this expression at a conference lecture, not at for instance Appiah's writing, but as a general concept, it could be of general interest for any Bright Green, eh?

11:28 am  

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