my name is Riccardo, I'm writing from Milan.
I was invited and taken to one of your talks by Polly Higgins when I was in Stroud, almost exactly one year ago. The idea of creating a narrative makes good sense, I very much liked the idea.
There is a small chain of events that brought me to write you now.
The short version is that I am trying to put Greta Thunberg and FFF on the track of Polly. As I see it, from the awareness that Fridays For Future has and creates, the next logical step for them is to do something tangible with this awareness. What better than to support Polly's Mission LifeForce which aims to turn Ecocide into an international crime? It is fully operative supported. FFF in itself could mean a vast source of additional supporters already, but they can also carry along and distribute Polly's intention to create this Ecocide law even further.
In my own 'mission' for a better Europe (www.EurOpinion.is), the original idea was first to achieve a better Europe and then get to better environmental and climate politics. However now I think it might actually be the other way around, that a better Europe can start from this movement and momentum for a better climate/future and as such be a reference/example for the rest of the world. It seems in fact very well timed. If the current awareness for climate can be turned into, or rather be expanded with, the awareness of this better Europe (which they themselves could be the start of) then the coming European elections might even bring hope and be yet another step further towards protecting nature and climate and towards a better society in general.
This is roughly my personal narrative.
In your article you talk about how to keep the momentum of the Climate movement alive. “The world has been thrown into climate chaos, caused by fossil fuel companies, the billionaires who profit from them and the politicians they have bought..." Maybe climate alone is not enough. EurOpinion aims to discover interactively with the participants what other great issues are suffering in the same way as climate/nature does, basically from the same people, those billionaires -in fact the binding issue for all- and bring them together, on a European scale to start with and considering five selected main attention points (categories):
- Nature First (for now put as home page)
- Freedom of Speech
- Gender equiity
- Go non-profit (alternative economies, commons!)
- Abolish Bank Secrecy
In ancy case there is also space for Education, Health, Science and Spirituality amongst others. More detailes on the site itself.
For now, I am working on EurOpinion all by myself and my resources (time, programming abilities) are limited, so it's like trying to build a Ferrari only out of Lego blocks. Even so, I hope to reach a level that may serve as a scale-model. The full concept goes much further than meets the eye, but this is a start.
I wonder if you think this narrative and (the concept of) EurOpinion can be useful to inspire, amplify or somehow channel the narrative you are thinking about yourself.
2019-03-26 - adding...
After just seeing the intros of Ecosocialism or ecocide and of Democratic Socialism Explained, a thought struck me. Again! Because this isn't the first time. But following your philosophy it suddenly seems more crucial than I had thought until now. Shouldn't this new narrative also have or maybe even START with some new terminology?
Continuing to use the terms "left" or "right" at this point in global and human history, doesn't seem to make sense anymore. Besides being worn out and boring, there is also too many possible interpretations that makes it confusing. Particularly regarding the "left", due to (its openess to) the many different and apparently non-related starting points: protection of nature, solidaritty, human rights, non-discrimination, (alternative) health, (alternative) education, (alternative) spirtiuality, etc.The "right" is more specific, easy and clear, because it's actually mono-thematic: profit, industry, production, consumption, GNP, employment, "prosperity", investment, speculation, finance, economy... at the end it's all about the same: money! This is very easy to understand by everybody and, unfortunately, also very easy to just blindly follow. Moreover, it's practically the only thing that people know, because global(ized) society has been (non)functioning for ages based on this narrative, as you say, since colonoization.
Even worse than the terms "left" or "right" are the terms "socialism" and "capitalism".
Socialism doesn't really describe anymore what these "leftists" or "progressive" or "alternative" forces stand for (with what aim or priority). "Socialism" in itself doesn't define anything specific and needs of additional elements, like "Eco"socialism, or some specifying description, making it hard to grab in one go. My impression is that it is anyway, always somehow associated with Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Castro, even Putin, Russia and (failed) communism. I think this association exists on a global level amongst all not-specifically-socialists (so from "neutral" or the middle all the way to the "right") and more specifically so amongst Unitedstatians.
The same thing happens with the term "capitalism" but then the other way around. In the sense that the only ones to use the term "capitalism" are those same "socialists" (or "worse") described before. I don't know of cases where the "right" describes itself as "capitalism".
So both being "left/socialist" and using the terms "right/capitalist" is for most people, I believe, close to or the same as "old, failed Russian communism".
I think a new narrative would also need new terms that are as easy to understand as "money". My personal observation and inspiration regarding recent global concerns bring me two possible outputs:
- To be, think and act Planet-wide - "Planitarianism", "Planetism"? (although I have my doubts with -isms)
It's about Future (Greta - Polly) for the planet and humanity (healthy nature, climate and society structure)
and can be associated with equity in all senses (gender, sexuality, race, life-style) on local, regional or national level and on a global scale between nations. It goes very well with the "think globally act locally" idea and it would also be extendible to professional, work and other environments, I think.
I guess any other term that expresses concern for future generations and again the planet, would fit as well.
The counterpart could be something like productionism, profitism, extractionism or the like, maybe even money-ism...
- the other focus would simply be up and down
up being the idea that a society should be created bottom-up
with the counterpart being down, the typical top-down approach as society, in fact, has had for ages
In my own view both the "Planetary" as the "Up" concept offer an understanding where most or all of the currently fragmented and scattered socialists, progressives, alternatives, neo-hippies (as I consider myself) and the like could unite and be the driving force of this new narrative to restore order, peace and harmony to the land.
As said before, I don't think the climate/care-for-nature movement alone is enough. I don't think it can't be self-feeding. But obviously it now does have the strength and momentum to be the locomotive behind which to hang all the other "progressive" wagons. It is the philisophy I will be following for EurOpinion.