Been thinking with others recently about the various options within both a reformist and revolutionary agenda. The following is a list of important ideas but for me the debat seems to be alot more complicated than the simple duality of reformist vs revolutionary when when identifying how to re-create human systems that align with ecological well-being.
1. Non-corporate self sufficiency communities/networks.
2. Equality and justice.
3. Horizontal forms of organisation.
4. A balance between low/medium/high impact activities.
5. Democratic ownership of the mwans of production of goods and services
6. Displacing/removing the psychopathic elements out of the system to render them harmless/inactive.
7. Internalising externalised costs.
8. Paying/compensating the ecological world for ecosystem services, loss of habitat, loss of life, extraction of minerals.
The complicatedness of the situation of how to change the system has led me variously along a continuum between the reformist and revolutionary positions with the conclusion that the overall system has features that work and features that do not work. For example it needs to be acknowledged that most if not all humans desire a certain standard of living and a certain standard of well-being in their lives and in many ways the current system in terms of the goods and services that we produce satisfies these desires. In this respect the corporate machine has a role to play since much of our goods and services require an extensive infrastructure that can only be facilitated by some version of corporatism. However I would argue that although the system in this respect is inherently a good, at present it is a system that is run very badly as result of hierarchical power structures that distributes power very unequally, distribute rewards very unequally and distributes goods and services very unequally. In this sense what is broken and needs reforming/revolution/evolution is the organisational structures that belie the production of goods and services so that the production and distribution of goods and services are within ecological limits and equitable. I.e Earth Care, People Care and Fair Shares.
In this respect this takes care of the environmental dimension of Felix Guattari’s Three Ecologies and in particular the economic-ecological
So the next is the social-ecological dimension and in particular the political sphere. It is actually questionable to what extent we even need a state or even a parliamentary system if the economic-ecological dimension is running smoothly and harmonious with other aspects of the ecological world especially that in the main it is seems to be a forum in which privilaged humans with psychopathic tendencies can monopolise power and control over the production of goods and services with money being included as both a good and a service. Much of it as many people know all too well depends on implicit or explicit consent and the monopoly over ‘legitimised violence’ and furthermore is only suatained by maintaining the illusion of legal fictions in order to maintain rule and order.
This is an area that still alludes me in many ways and so is a conversation for another time except to say that a functioning social-ecological dimension must be able to facilitate sustainable and resilient (sufficiency) economic-ecological systems which would need to include equitable distribution of land to facilitate a balance between low/medium/high impact activities.
The last of the three ecologies is the mental-ecological and in terms of the continuum reform/revolution is perhaps where I would position myself as revolutionary especially in terms of achieving ecological equality and equity. This where we would need to change hearts and minds and transform hierarchical modes of thinking into more heterarchical modes of thinking. Linear thinking into curvature thinking, selfish (or psychopathic) thinking into empathic thinking, isolationism into collectivism, competition into cooperation. This is the realm of education, health and well-being and obviously the point at which the individual meets the community and the community meets the ecological world. This revolution of the mental-ecological would need to be facilitated by the revolution of the social-ecological.
So in conclusion the reformist/revolutionary debate is not clear cut and so a continuum between the two needs to be identified. Personally I’d propose using the Three Ecologies model developed by Guattari who himself developed the work of Gregory Bateson. By making a distinction between the evironmental/economic, the social/political and the mental/individual I’d propose that the evironmental/economic needs to be more reformed than revolutionarised and that the social/political anesd the mental/individual needs to be more revolutionarised than reformed.