Naomi Klein is in my opinion another prophet on behalf of an economics that will work for all peoples and the planet and future generations on this planet.
In her important book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate, she lays out the case why an extractive capitalism—one built on taking and not giving back—is ruining the Earth and with it the future of all creatures living on it. And how it does not have to be this way, that we have the freedom to think beyond the economics of the past to a more sustainable and joyful and community-based future.
She calls us to move beyond despair and to recognize that the climate emergency (and Yes, today this includes coronavirus and other viruses that may be on the horizon caused in great part by climate change), can give us a perspective and a charged moral imagination to address societal and economic issues in a larger and more inclusive context.
Economic demands—for basic public services that work for decent housing, for land redistribution—represent nothing less than the unfinished business of the most powerful liberation movements of the past two centuries, from civil rights to feminism to Indigenous sovereignty.
She believes that a “Marshall Plan for the Earth” can create the kinds of good jobs and clean water and equitable redistribution of agricultural lands that people yearn for. She believes that “our most heroic social justice movements won on the legal front but suffered big losses on the economic front” and this is why our world is so “fundamentally unequal and unfair.” This would apply surely to the issues Black Lives Matter is raising about the price paid for racist policies and structures.
Because climate change imposes an “unyielding deadline” on all of humanity, it “can be the force—the grand push—that will bring together all of these still living movements.” The “unfinished business of liberation” is at stake.
Klein insists that we have “just enough time” to address climate change and despair is not an option—certainly not a solution. Rather, the real battle is that
we are afraid—with good reason—that our political class is wholly incapable of seizing those tools and implementing those plans, since doing so involves unlearning the core tenets of the stifling free-market ideology that governed every stage of their rise to power.
The crisis as she sees it is one of clinging and one of unlearning and one of needing to gear up our imaginations. These are spiritual issues, as Meister Eckhart and others who speak to subtraction over hoarding emphasize in depth. We are faced with learning to let go and to give birth and to make justice happen anew (the via negativa, creativa and transformativa). And it all begins with the Via Positiva, falling love with Earth, its health, its future, its beings and the beings of the future.
See Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate, pp. 458-460.
See Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth.
Banner Image: “The Anti Police-Terror Project host the 6th Annual Reclaim MLK – Rally & March on 1/20/2020, after Oakland police arrived at the Moms 4 Housing site in West Oakland in armored vehicles and riot gear to arrest the moms bringing national attention to the housing crisis.” Photo by Peg Hunter, Reclaim MLK-Oakland, on Flickr.
Do you share in Klein’s optimism that the Climate Emergency can get humans off our couches and contributing to a large project of saving the Earth as we know it and bringing equity and justice alive?
Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth
Fox’s spirituality weds the healing and liberation found in North American Creation Spirituality and in South American Liberation Theology. Creation Spirituality challenges readers of every religious and political persuasion to unite in a new vision through which we learn to honor the earth and the people who inhabit it as the gift of a good and just Creator.
“A watershed theological work that offers a common ground for religious seekers and activists of all stripes.” — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice.