Gardenworld Politics

Here is a  link to the  draft chapters of Gardenworld Politics:    link

The blog posts that follow are about the book, about news that pertains to the book. Gardenworld Politics  brings together the need for food and habitat with  humans engaged in the craftsmanship of  making new communities that meet needs and are attractive. The book  considers the major alternative, the technological acceleration scenario.

Blog below, newest post on top .

2215. Economics, markets and emotions

We like to think that economics is a cool rational way to look at society and that markets are a way for thought to make decisions based on explicit criteria of value.

But look at the way the market really works.  Buying stocks or cars or cereal – 

for example, the ads for cars mostly have a car moving way too fast, spinning out of control, control regained in a landscape of boulders and ditches, ice or mud, places none should drive, but this is the appeal to the potential buyer.  We call this rational?

If we opened up “preferences” to the emotional then economics might be more interesting – and useful.

2214. Truth as faith and as fact

The following requires some real thought. There is lots of discussion about truth, fake news, and the motives of trump supporters. .

The word truth evolved from troth, as in I pledge thee my troth. Troth is a word about the relations among people – feeling. Truth is more about our relationship with physical things -fact.

The politics of the Trump supports s more on the line of faith than of fact. Faith with Trump whom they see as having faith with their sense of community and willing to fight for them Think of te way the fans cheer at high shcool football games (“Kill em Chico”)

Understanding this difference helps us -and we need help – understand what motivates those who continue their Trump support.

This understanding would lead us to a politics which is true in both senses and a better understanding of how we got into this divisive bifurcation. I think the division is deep in our cultural past and plays out now as the democrats are seen as the party that used to be for labor but now is the party of the professionals and the Trump supports are the community of those whose culture is losing out to abstract forces.

The following from th ever useful

truth (n.)

Old English triewð (West Saxon), treowð (Mercian) “faith, faithfulness, fidelity, loyalty; veracity, quality of being true; pledge, covenant,” from Germanic abstract noun *treuwitho, from Proto-Germanic treuwaz “having or characterized by good faith,” from PIE *drew-o-, a suffixed form of the root *deru- “be firm, solid, steadfast.” With Germanic abstract noun suffix *-itho (see -th(2)).

Sense of “something that is true” is first recorded mid-14c. Meaning “accuracy, correctness” is from 1560s. English and most other IE languages do not have a primary verb for “speak the truth,” as a contrast to lie (v.). Truth squad in U.S. political sense first attested in the 1952 U.S. presidential election campaign.

troth (n.)“truth, verity,” late 12c., from a phonetic variant of Old English treowð “faithfulness, veracity, truth;” see truth, which is a doublet of this word. Restricted to Midlands and Northern England dialect after 16c., and to certain archaic phrases (such as plight one’s troth). Also see betroth.

2213. Civil and military, two lines of development

To cope with a different future that diverges from growth and technology we will need to take apart our belief in progress as linear and inevitable. We have a history of development something like from fire to the vwheel, the clock, the printing press, electricity, TV, iPhones. And we think this is progress, unquestioned. But in parallel with this line we have another line with military at the center of invention, guns, slavery, raising up wealth and pushing down ordinary people to be labor. It is clear that this pair of parallel lines tells us that maybe it isn’t progress after all, but a mixed bag we can — and must — rethink.

2212. Competition means winners and losers. Can society afford losers?

Many search efforts in economics stress the value of the research and thinking to increasing competitiveness. But competition discussing winning implies losers. But can society afford losers? Who are they? What happens to their assets? Since losers make up a major part of society, (for forty years the bottom 80% has been flat in income while the cost of most things around them has gone up and the bottom fifteen percent ha really lost out) why are they not subject to more interest and inquiry?

(I think I know some answers but afterall this is a provocation)

D.H. Lawrence wrote an introduction to Edward Dahlberg’s novel Bottom Dogs.

When we think of America, and of her huge suecess, we never realize how many failures have gone, and still go to build up that success. It is not till you live in America, and go a little under the surface, that you begin to see how terrible and brutal is the mass of failure that nourishes the roots of the gigan~ tic tree of dollars. And this is especially so in the country, and in the newer parts of the land, particularly out west. There you see how many small ranches have gone broke in despair, before the big ranches scoop them up and profit by all the back-breaking, profitless, grim labour of the pioneer. In the west you can still see the pioneer work of tough, hard first-comer, individuals, and it is astounding to see how often these individuals, pioneer first-comers who fought like devils against their difficulties, have been defeated, broken, their efforts and their amazing hard work lost, as it were, on the face of the wilderness. But it is these hard-necked failures who really broke the resistance of the stubborn, obstinate country, and made it easier for the second wave of exploiters to come in with money and reap the harvest. The real pioneer in America fought like hell and suffered till the soul was ground out of him and then, nine times out of ten, failed, was beaten.

2211. Post election thoughts

There ae many but here are a few.

  1. Perhaps Biden as President but with a Republican Senate is good in this way: it slows him down giving time and his therapeutic style to soften the country and allows a larger majority to move to new economy and new ecology. Two years till bi-election. If he acts too swiftly it will exacerbate the polarization.

2, The Democrats failed to come up with a mea clue about the economy that was turned away from working class democrats by Clinton who was a reaction to Reagan. The D party became the party of the mainstream banking and globalization agenda for which much of the 1% worked. The bulk of the country came into this election with nobody representing them. Biden will have a lot of explaining to people about what he is trying to do. I am hopeful that he will be able.

3. Climate disruption is the overriding concern. The idea that there is a path that is both green (adequate cutting of fossil fuel use) and creating more jobs than e lose may be an illusion, When cutting takes priority then there has to be curtailing of the fossil fuel economy and with it we cut jobs. There are some paths out of this but they require a degree of globalized centralization that is hard to image anyone with power proposing.

2210. World democracy

The US election affects the whole world, especially prominent with climate, but they just have to watch terrified. This is obviously not democracy. What is it? How can we do better? It requires that we think not as US citizens (we didn’t anyway uch) but as energized world citizens.

2209. Election means choice

We are in a mess because the leaders of previous generations did not take care of the full range of people nor of the land. Instead of stewards we wee self centered. The result is a disaster and it is not clear we can survive . We should have taken care of each other and the land. A person down and out should have told us something was wrong, something we had to do something about. But we did not. Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Confucius and many others up to King and Ghandhi tried to work against the ruins created by empires. We must join them. The proposal here, Gardenworld is an idea. That we can return to the road not taken.

2208. Size of effort?

Do we need a Manhattan Project plus the Apollo Project plus the Marshall Plan plus Hoover’s rescue of Europe in WW1 plus Roosevelt’s New Deal – a major project of common sense, people given lots of resources, to deal with those three curves COVID, climate, economy – simultaneously? Would this require a new transnational group of leaders with unlimited powers? We need economic, political and health innovations simultaneously. Perhaps a new culture of political ecology.

2207. Conflict in economics

We are so nice to each other economics. That’s good, but how can we handle more conflict so we can explore critical differences? Economic ideas are mostly silently embedded in political perspectives such as 

“More for me less for you” vs 

“More for us less for you.” 

Economic vocabulary appears to be sanitized. Macro vs micro means no need to discuss social class. But this clearly supports an elite that doesn’t want class issues to intrude into economic discussion. 


Looking at the Chinese/Lapanese origin of jing li, Mandarin for economy. 

Wasei kango]( (和製漢語), orthographically borrowed from Japanese 経けい済ざい (__keizai__, “economy”), which was in turn a semantic readaptation of Chinese 經濟经济 (jīngjì, “to administer the state to relieve the suffering of the people”).[[provocation]]

2206. Cut fossil fuel, or substitute?

Fossil fuels must be cut. CUT. Now. I truly think that the problem is that nobody has an idea as to how to begin the process. Thee are lots of initiatives but none that require cutting, all are replacement. Or don’t scale. Is there a quantitative analysis of the possibility of scaling solar panels to the requisite level to stay under 1.5? I don’t think so. Keep the plane flying while changing the engine.  But cutting?  Any cut in  fossil fuel use will be disruptive,  with cascading affects. I would like to see a narrative on how the process would start. I don’t mean the innovative phase of creating new technologies and policies, but the phase of implementation of actual steps, oh, like stopping airplane travel,  or cutting off fuel for heating schools. The orders are not drafted and there is no one who could issue them, much less enforce them. Any serious talk of the future of work probably has to start here.