Monday, June 13, 2005

When Scoundrels Rule

I am reading The Last Refuge, Patriotism, Politics and the Environment in an Age of Terror, by David W. Orr.
The book is dedicated to Vaclav Havel, Nelson Mandela, and Paul Wellstone--pioneers of twenty-first-century politics.

Yes, it's another description of the damage that the right-wing idealogues have wrought--environmental, civic, political, economic--but Orr skillfully weaves these many disparate strands into a coherent whole.

The environmental movement has at its core, the wonderful, soul-stirring transcendence you can experience in America's wild and lonesome places. That psychic jolt has energized an army of ecological activists. Those soldiers work unstintingly to maintain our wild and lonesome places purely in the hope that generations of Americans as yet unborn will be able to experience the same psychic jolt.
I am sorry to say that America's labor movement does not seem to provide a comparable heart-felt enthusiasm. Sure, we can all reason, judge, and explain why workers should organize, but it is a rare (and joyous) moment when a worker "feels" what organized labor is all about. One day perhaps . . .

Here is a quotations from the Introduction to The Last Refuge

". . . Increasingly, we are ruled by a plutocracy, distracted by the entertainment industry, and frequently misinformed by an increasingly concentrated news media that puts the pursuit of market share above telling the whole truth. And, part symptom, part cause, we have state legislatures and a congress with many members who havent read widely, thought deeply, or imagined much beyond their own pecuniary gain."

Gee, sounds as if David Orr visited Annapolis during the last legislative session!

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