Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Heavy Whether

Those reassured by the anomalous heavy weather explanation for the readjusted winter quarter's 2.9% economic contraction should note heavy weather is becoming typical. Anthropogenic climate change is going to bedevil conventional economic assumptions -- and this in a political epoch in which one of the only two viable national parties refuses either to concede the reality of climate change in the first place or the soundness of conventional Keynes-Hicks macroeconomic assumptions anyway. We are far from living in anything remotely like the classic Galbraithian construal of American Capitalism (in which rights culture and organized labor function as countervailing powers to corporate and military competitiveness), but even that classic vision would not cut it in the storm churn of a Greenhouse Present. As I have said before, I am hoping the inevitable ongoing and amplifying commercial disruption and infrastructure destruction of climate change will function as analogues to what Piketty has called the "shocks of war" in his famous book, to create conditions in which state interventions into otherwise naturalized insular plutocratic forces become possible for a change, this time prompting a quite radical legal, normative, sociocultural shift re-internalizing public risks and costs in the name of a planetary sustainability that would also be more equitable-in-diversity simply by virtue of the diversity of stakeholders who would have to be taken seriously for the state to take sustainability seriously in that way.

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