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Richard Heinberg and the Collapse Myth
  The following excerpts show is that by 1996 Heinberg had invented his “New Cultural Myth” of modern society’s collapse and the consequent rise of sustainable tribalism. Before he has any idea of energy shortages or peak oil, he decides to “advertise” his “myth.” Four years later he discovered that ecology, instead of labor complaints, could be used as the basis for “revolutionary change.”

“Birthing a New Cultural Myth,” 1966
Virtually every thinking person sees the need for dramatic global renewal if our world is to survive; … only a new myth can inspire creative cultural change. But where will this bolt of inspiration come from? … It starts out somewhat like the old myth, but diverges rather quickly.

The New Story: Tens of thousands of years ago, human beings subsisted … asteroid impacts … the planet's atmosphere was darkened for years … humans resorted to
hunting animals for food. … Men—especially the strongest and most driven ones—became dominant. Tribes began to fear and fight one another. … some apparently chose … to learn more about the natural … Other people, however, decided to concentrate on adapting the environment to themselves. They domesticated plants and animals.  … A few individuals became wealthy and powerful. … Wherever they settled, they exhausted the land. ….

Huge cities sprang up, and devices were invented for every imaginable purpose. Feeding of the masses in the cities and the production of all these new devices required …
ruthless regimentation of human labor.  ... As hunger gripped the poorer classes of the planting-and herding groups, the youth of the latter began to seek out the few remaining peoples who had learned to adapt themselves to the land. The planters, who had been so arrogant, began to humble themselves before their cousins, whom they had butchered and enslaved at every opportunity. … They vowed to heal and renew the land and to forge sacred ties of mutual respect and aid between species and cultures, … and to satisfy their basic needs by ever-simpler means. [Emphasis added.]

In writing this story, I am keenly aware that I am to some extent "manufacturing" it. Assuming this story is in some sense a new myth … what should we do about it? Should we advertise it? In a sense, that's what I'm doing by writing it down and publishing it.

http://zfacts.com/p/854.html | 01/18/12 07:23 GMT
Modified: Mon, 26 Nov 2007 17:31:11 GMT
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