Green revolution 2.0

“BP-Day: British Petroleum lands on the southern beaches of the US in massive amphibious assault”

The Oil Industry’s history since the end of World War II is enmeshed in the creation and triumph of the National Security State….

…BP is, at this very moment, calling all the shots in the Gulf, censoring reporters and photographers, restricting air space in the area of the devastating BP pollution, refusing OSHA and EPA air quality testing, and clarifying that no President  is powerful enough to hold an oil company accountable.

Now given that analysis, what can progressives do about the corporate planetary take-over? Can we beat the corporate state in a head-on political confrontation? Doubtful. Progressives are only about 15 – 20 per cent of the electorate.

The rational approach would be something like “economic guerrilla warfare”–picking off the invading army’s forces from behind cover and disappearing into the woods and bayous.

I’m not talking about rioting or terrorism but something much more constructive: a progressive insurgency using economic guerrilla tactics.

The corporate state maintains its power over the masses by intimidation and distraction. The ability of the corporate state to intimidate us comes largely from our economic dependence upon it. People are often willing to rock the boat only up to the point that they feel a threat to their paychecks or to some other economic benefit.

So, the critical path for a progressive economic revolution begins with ending our dependence on the corporate economy. We must become economically self-reliant.

For a group with our numbers that would be doable if we were adequately informed and organized. The corporate state depends on keeping us distracted from the critical path of establishing our economic independence from it.

We must begin to ignore many of the corporate diversions of our energy and attention. We need to stop defining our self-worth by our success at climbing the corporate ladder or by the number of overtime hours we put in. We need to yank out the intravenous 24-hr/day national news feed, and start educating ourselves and each other about green community organizing. We need to declare an economic independence day.

For some that might mean individual self-reliance in the form of a self-contained rural farmstead. But for more of us it means things like credit unions, cooperatives, co-housing developments and worker-owned businesses.

Why haven’t progressives invested more time and money in developing local, green free-enterprise? The corporate state keeps us pretty busy (not to mention dazed and confused), so we need to leverage our time and money as much as possible by effective organizing.

We need some existing progressive organizations to wake up to the need for alternative economic development and act as clearinghouses and incubators for green free-enterprise.

We need to overcome any obstacles that keep us from starting our own worker-owned and consumer-owned cooperatives, credit unions, organic farms, green grocery stores, solar panel factories, etc…everything we need to meet the economic needs of the progressive community (including dignified and satisfying employment) and end our dependence on the corporate economy.

Science, industry and corporate agribusiness gave us their version of “the green revolution”. Now it is time for progressives to show them our version of a humane, user-friendly Green Revolution 2.0

Obviously this is a long-term, grassroots strategy that will not sweep out the corporate invaders in our lifetimes. But what are the alternatives, really?

20 more years of weary wage slavery is not an option...

Poor Richard


9 Responses to “Green revolution 2.0”

  1. "Natural Lefty" Says:

    Poor Richard, I have several cousins who live in Tennessee. You write highly intelligent commentaries, from what I have seen of your site. I see that you just added the post on private property yesterday. Do you put these posts on the Hartmann site? I like your perspective as an attorney, since it compliments my perspective as a Social Psychologist, and person who finds it difficult to quote anybody else or follow any advice.

  2. "Natural Lefty" Says:

    p.s. I think I would turn out to be a communist according to that 2 dimensional political scale on your homepage, although that would not be an accurate description. I am an advocate of public ownership (green enterprise as you call it) and promoting the public good.

  3. Poor Richard Says:


    Thanks for your comments. I have to give the disclaimer that I am not an attorney. I’ve had attorneys and legislators tell me I knew more about property law than anybody else in Tennessee, but my legal knowledge was gained researching a book on protecting farmland and “open space” from development pressures.

    The book was never completed because the non-profit I was working for ran out of money for the project. However, I sent a letter to the commissioner of the TN Dept of Conservation and a week later I was in his office. He said my proposals were the best ideas he’d heard in 20 years and two years later the TN Conservation Easement Act of 1971 was law.

    Several of the posts on my blog here were actually originally written as posts to the message board. However, I just found out today that I have been banned from that site for no specified reason.

    If you are interested in my thoughts this will now be the only place to read them.


    • "Natural Lefty" Says:

      Seriously, you were banned from the Hartmann site? I find that hard to fathom. I did read a thread on the message board today, which I thought about but did not respond, about a proposed march on Washington, and noticed you called that rat’s ass guy smartass rat guy or something like that. But that was pretty mild I thought, and he said worse things to you and others. Maybe it was for that. If so, I think he must have been banned too. I have called specific conservative posters delusional, and once even wrote something like “What kind of hallucinogenic toad have you been licking?” but never received so much as a warning. I do try to be careful not to insult people personally, though. In those instances, I was referring to the views expressed by the person as being unrealistic, let us say. Ironically, I just saw your latest post on the Hartmann Community, and almost replied there, but decided to check here instead.

      I don’t know if you saw the replies from that crazy guy GreenMule/Goodboy (previously I suspect)/GoodRiddance (previously I suspect) in response to one of my posts. I do admit that I got him banned from the Hartmann site. I had never used the offensive button before, and in fact, was not even really aware of it, but while trying to reason with this suspected, pitifully untreated schizophrenic (just an educated guess on my part that he is a lucid schizophrenic) and after reading 3 consecutive insulting posts by him based on his misunderstandings, plus checking his activity on the site and finding that he was doing the same to others and being warned about it, I clicked the “offensive” button 3 times, once for each offensive post, and he was quickly banned after that. But his comments were really hateful, paranoid and out of left field, so to speak. After examining his jumbled writing style, I thought I recognized him as having been under those previous names on the old Hartmann site, and remembered that he had the same tendency to misunderstand other people in most unfortunate ways, and write in such a way as to be difficult to comprehend. All of this seems emblematic of the mind of a schizophrenic person, perhaps a bit of the “disorganized” type and a bit of the “paranoid” type in combination, so I feel really badly for him, but he needs help that we cannot convey through the medium of the internet, in my opinion.

      I had the mistaken impression that you were an attorney. You do seem very knowledgeable about law and many other topics.

      I wanted to mention a couple of other items. This seems like a longshot, but my uncle was an ecologist who taught at Eastern Tennessee State University in Johnson City. (I am not sure about the correct name of the school, but for sure it is in Johnson City, TN.) Since you were also involved in ecological issues in Tennessee I wondered whether you knew him. His name was John Warden. I am his brother’s youngest son. Unfortunately, my uncle John died of a heart attack a few years ago, but 3 of his 5 children still live in Tennessee.

      If you are on Facebook, there is a very active progressive community there, and I am the leader of The Thom Hartmann Bloggers Group there.

      I think that your public versus private distinction is crucial in my thinking, too. Just today, I was listening to NPR and the guest said that Europeans, for example, have a much greater sense of public ownership of resources than Americans do. I think Asians also have a much greater sense of public ownership than do Americans, having a more collective orientation to life. I plan to emphasize this issue in some of my coming posts.

      I hope the administrators at the Hartmann site let you back on, or you find my group on Facebook. Meanwhile, I will try to check your site periodically. I have my own site, Robert Warden’s Box-Free Blog, but its message board was awkward and got deleted, so I use the Hartmann Community and Facebook to get replies to my posts.

      • Poor Richard Says:

        Natural Lefty,

        I have been boycotting Facebook because they have played a little too fast and loose with personal data. I have the same reservations about Google but I find the search service less dispensable than Facebook’s services and most of Google’s other services.

        I mostly agree with your take on GreenMule, but I kind of got a kick out of his iconoclasm. When he called me (as he calls everybody) a pseudo-intellectual, I agreed with him.

        I also agreed with some of One Smart-assed Rat’s comments, but I felt that his style was often tiresome.

        I wouldn’t mind a forum that let members be as rude and sarcastic as they wanted and only banned people for being stupid or tiresome.

        Sadly, I didn’t know your uncle, John Warden. I wish I had. I didn’t get to know that many people during my decades in Tennessee because much of that time I lived in a school bus on the top of Flower Mountain near Monterey. I knew a few teachers at Tennessee Tech at Cookeville but I am basically a recluse.

        The American cult of egoism that we euphemistically call rugged individualism is a cognitive pathology. I think we still suffer as a population from the fact that most of the American settlers were religious fanatics–another cognitive pathology. Character disorder is in our DNA.

        Thanks for your feedback on my posts. In the past 48 hours I have added a lot to my current post about Private Property on this blog, including some stuff about taxes and corporate personhood.

        I don’t know if you have read my piece about “Why can’t the private and public sectors just get along” but you might like that.

        I would love to get any feedback you have time for.



  4. "Natural Lefty" Says:

    You know what, Richard? I think I saw that post where GreenMule called you a pseudointellectual when I was checking his other activity. Really, why do you agree with that? Well, I like iconoclasts, too, being one myself, and GreenMule certainly is, too, but I suspect he is too out of touch with reality to realize that.

    Hmm, I haven’t noticed anything about Facebook playing fast and loose with personal data, but I guess I really don’t mind as long as I don’t get a bunch of ads or women who want to sell nude pictures of themselves. That is what happened on MySpace, plus if I told someone my father grew up in New Mexico, most of them would say something like “so your dad is a Mexican?” And they were being serious.

    You really lived in a school bus? That seems so bohemian. It certainly seems like an intellectual environment of sorts.

    The rugged individualism is something I have written about, too. You might have even seen that. I think there was a post I wrote a few months ago called “The Immorality of Capitalism” which discussed the very problem you mentioned. It is indeed a cognitive pathology. You are very perceptive. I think religious fundamentalism is a cognitive pathology, too. I have mentioned to some people that it seems as though there are many people who are susceptible to fundamentalism, while others are not. I definitely am not, but I don’t think spirituality as in wondering and trying to figure out what this universe is all about is pathological. In fact, I think it is healthy, in an agnostic sense, as opposed to people who claim to already have the answers which of course favor themselves. I am more spiritually eclectic, agnostic, think that there is a higher power but don’t know what it is. I think science will help us gradually understand more. My profile on Facebook, by the way, is really my wife’s, who is a lot more religious and pretty than I am. That is why it doesn’t fit me. I put some stuff on there for her from time to time, since she isn’t really computer literate.

    I don’t think I have really given you that much feedback, but I am glad you are benefitting from what I have given. As I mentioned, I have had a tremedous amount of feedback in particular from one person on Facebook, plus a lot of other feedback divided among various people. I hope you get back to Facebook soon. Hopefully they won’t abuse your privacy. If you do, the way it works is that it tries to form networks of friends. Every comment that friend makes (their “status”) shows up on your homepage and you can respond to it. You can find friends if they are on Faceboook and you have their email addresses, or you can search for people you know, by school, for instance. You can also take friend suggestions from other people, and Facebook itself makes friend suggestions. In addition to the friends, Facebook has many groups one can join and contribute to such as my bloggers group. I have lots of progressive friends on Facebook who provide links to interesting articles or provide interesting quotes. I reply to some of these, which can be fun, although I am too busy with my other activities to surf the internet looking for interesting articles and quotes, myself.

    I need to log off the computer now and start some other activities on my agenda. I will try to read those posts you mentioned this weekend.

    • "Natural Lefty" Says:

      p.s. I want to clarify what I wrote about in “The Immorality of Capitalism.” I wrote about how capitalism operates at the lowest levels of Kohlberg’s theory of moral development, but later, I mentioned (I think in this post but not really sure) that conservatives tend to endorse a rugged individualism approach, while condemning government. Thus, they seem to see the issue as the individual versus the government, when the real issue is corporations versus the government. That is, we have a choicee between bequething power to a hopefully representative government which is responsive to the public, or to patently nonrepresentative corporations which are run like kingdoms and only have their own financial interests in mind. Clearly, we are better off, and freer as individuals, with a representative government.

      That post had a lot of views on Thom’s old site, even though he did not mention it in his newsletter, and after that, I started hearing Thom and callers to his show mention this false dichotomy between the individual and government which ignores the role of corporations. Maybe I am imagining that and giving myself too much credit, but it seemed as though I had started a rethinking process about how people think about the roles of government, the individual and corporations with that post.

      I would encourage you to add your perspective about that topic, too.

      • Poor Richard Says:

        I agree with your analysis of corporations vs individuals, and most everything you’ve written that I’ve read so far. But don’t worry–I never agree completely with anyone, including myself.

        I’ll be busy for a few days, but when I get a chance I’ll try to comment on all your posts on facebook. I’d be much obliged if you did the same here if you have time.

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