In Militant Particularism and Global Ambition: The Conceptual Politics of Place, Space, and Environment in the Work of Raymond Williams, David Harvey discusses the challenges presented by moving from place out across time.
The temperature has changed. We can all feel it. The moment we live in now does not resemble any in recent history. Much of this is because of the current occupant of the White House and the anti-government Republicans who abet his belligerent antics in order to push through legislation that threatens to shred our society’s safety nets. The least among us are under threat as never before. But even before Trump came to power, there was evidence that something was going sidewise, across the nation and in our city.
If man draws all his knowledge, sensations, etc., from the world of senses and the experience gained in it, then what has to be done is to arrange the empirical world in such a way that man experiences and becomes accustomed to what is truly human in it and that he becomes aware of himself as a man. If correctly understood interest is the principle of all of morality, man’s private interest must be made to coincide with the interest of humanity.
Adam Ziemkowski and Rebekah Liebermann, CounterPunch, July 19, 2017
Seattle further cemented its reputation as one of the most progressive cities in the U.S. last week, when its City Council passed a law to tax the rich, sponsored by socialist City Councilmember Kshama Sawant along with Councilmember Lisa Herbold. The law places a 2.25% tax on individual incomes over $250,000 and $500,000 for married couples. It’s expected to raise as much as $175 million to fund affordable housing, education, transit, human services, and other critical needs.
Juan Cruz Ferre (JCF): There is overwhelming evidence that demonstrates how anthropogenic climate change is out of control and will lead to global environmental catastrophe – without a major overhaul of energy production. In the February 2017 issue of the Monthly Review, you point out that although we have been presented with precise and indisputable estimations, science and social science institutions have failed to come up with effective solutions. Why do you think this is the case?
(Richard Bond: If you haven't connected to Pablo, here's a great interview with him in Paris, and a statement about his situation from Focus on the Global South. His unbending principles and exceptional eloquence make him a target of the talk-left/walk-right extractivist-capitalist Bolivian government.)
I spent five days in June at a most unusual gathering. Unusual, because unlike the many academic conferences, the workshops, the handful of “symposia” I’ve attended, this one seemed right on the mark, existentially and politically, for our moment.
The United States has denounced the Paris climate agreement, cancelled all the measures decided by the United States in application of this agreement and withdrew from the Green Fund for the Climate. These are the major decisions that Donald Trump finally announced, on Thursday, June 1, after a long period of suspense.
These decisions are in line with the promises made by the new President during his election campaign. In the past few months, some observers had wanted to believe that Trump would change his tune, but he did no such thing. On the contrary, the speech he delivered in the Rose Garden of the White House flowed from a disturbing nationalist and populist demagogy. What did you expect? - as the advertisers say...
Victimization and nationalism
For Trump, the Paris agreement was nothing but a scandalous piece of trickery imposed on the USA. "The Paris agreement is not about the climate," he said, "it’s about the financial advantage that other countries get compared to the United States. The rest of the world applauded when we signed the agreement. They were happy, for the simple reason that we suffer from a very great economic disadvantage."
Drawing an apocalyptic picture of the implications of the agreement, the president said it would lead to the loss of 2.7 million jobs, cost the US $3 trillion and would result in a loss of purchasing power for US citizens of up to $7,000 a year. He listed the figures of the reductions in economic activity that would affect the industrial sectors: "86 per cent in the coal sector", he said... omitting of course to mention that solar energy already gives employment to 800,000 US workers (against 67,000 in coal) and creates more jobs than the coal industry loses.
For Trump, it is simple, there is a conspiracy: the poor Americans, who are too honest, are victims of an enormous injustice hatched by an evil machination of all the other countries. The denunciation of the agreement is therefore an elementary reaction of sovereignty and national dignity: "The heads of state of Europe and China should not have more to say about the policy of the United States than American citizens do. We do not want to be the laughing stock of the world. We will not be."