Friday, February 12, 2010

Love the Sea

Comment by Belle (a/k/a j. m. greysky) on Salon's Glenn Greenwald letters thread, 29 April 2007

A political sea change - towards what? What are we for now in our Brave New World?

Here is a quote from the visionary designer, William McDonough. He makes a lot of sense to me. The "old way" involves brute force. When brute force doesn't work you use more brute force (e.g., the "Surge"; harsh interrogation techniques; clamping down on civil liberties). We sense that more brute force is not the answer. So we yearn for a new approach. What is it?
[Y]ou have to design with positive principles and positive goals. Modern industrial culture doesn’t seem to have principles, except something like: “If brute force isn’t working, you are not using enough of it.” While its goals are unclear, its de facto goal appears to be to create ecological and human tragedy. If you play a game, you have to have a clear goal; in chess, you’re going to take a king. So we have an end game in mind because without this strategy becomes meaningless.

What we seek is a delightfully diverse, safe, healthy and just world, with clean water, air, soil and power, that is economically, equitably, ecologically, and elegantly enjoyed.
This seems to me to articulate a philosophical touchstone for what needs to take place as we go forward in the 21st century. (There is no undoing the 20th century, and there's no going back to the 19th.) All actions can flow from this principle. It suggests what America can stand for on a national and international level - in a nutshell - hope (once again), not fear. It also suggests a positive vision that ordinary citizens can have for their own communities, as they work for change on a local level.

Quote is from this link.

P.S. Thanks, Karen M., for your comment to me yesterday. I am trying to translating "talk" into "walk" (i.e., action) in my own life. But I agree that articulating ideas can have great effect - to the point of helping to create a sea change.

image: David Hornung, Bird on Branch:, mixed media, 2008
John Davis Gallery, 362-1/2 Warren Street, Hudson, New York 12534

(image obtained via google images - search olympic rings 12534)

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