I blogged on this a couple weeks ago, as I recoiled at the inane thesis of a WIRED article about “conspiracy theories” such as global warning.
The modern belief by evangelical Christians in the rapture, which does not exist in biblical literature, is no less fantastic, one that at once allows for the denial of global warming and of evolution and the absurd idea that the righteous will all be saved-floating naked into heaven at the end of time. The faith that science and technology, which are morally neutral and serve human ambitions, will make the world whole again is no less delusional. We offer up our magical thinking in secular as well as religious form.
Hedges, in this article, articulates it succinctly: “We trust naively in the inevitability of our own salvation”. And for the direct tie to the Occupy movement themes:
Those willing to cater to fantasy and self-delusion are, because they make us politically passive, lavishly funded and promoted by corporate and oligarchic forces.
The oligrachic forces have always depended on the pushers of the opiates of the people, to keep them compliant and even feverishly supportive of continued exploitation, even at their won expense (OFTEN, in fact, at their own expense).
Like the Earth, Easter Island was an isolated system. The people there believed that they were the only survivors on Earth, all other land having sunk beneath the sea. They carried out for us the experiment of permitting unrestricted population growth, profligate use of resources, destruction of the environment and boundless confidence in their religion to take care of the future. The result was an ecological disaster leading to a population crash. … Do we have to repeat the experiment on this grand scale?
The beneficiaries of such conditions seem capable only of ramping up their assaults on environment, economies, and communities. This is starkly brought home in Hedges’ book, “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt”. The social devastation of the Indian reservations, Urban abandonment (Camden), and communities devasted by mountain top removals (which are simply an “advancement” – and more destructive by orders of shocking magnitude – of former exploitative coal mining company practices), farmworkers in slave conditions on Florida, are all narrated in infuriating detail, telling the story form the point of view of those whose habitat and livelihood were summarily destroyed and poisoned.
The Occupy movement story thus far are “Days of Rage” to which Hedges turns his attention as the last, possibly hopeful chapter. It is the hope instilled when significant resistance engenders movements. I’m sure I will have further comments and reactions after I read that last chapter. And I hope it will indeed be a “last chapter” in the sense that something significant is planted and seen through to harvest. These hopes, too, are the form I hope the church will recognize as a proper theme for her people. A resistance of what IS in deference to another way; another world that is possible.