Tag Archives: Post-ecologist condition

Green politics in the era of the post-ecologist paradox

This is the era of ‘post-ecologism.’ On the one hand, we have:

“a general acceptance that the achievement of sustainability requires radical change in the most basic principles of late-modern societies.”

And yet, on the other hand, there is

“a general consensus about the non-negotiability of democratic consumer capitalism – irrespective of mounting evidence of its unsustainability” [1].

This crazy paradox is, undoubtedly, an accurate summation of the societal self-deception we live with: “a realm where the management of the inability and unwillingness to become sustainable has taken centre ground.”  And so the disturbingly ambiguous politics of unsustainability holds sway [1].

Well over a year ago now, Barry wrote about how irony is the only sane response to a world of paradox and ambiguity. But it is a response that is easier to manage at a personal level than at the level of organised politics. So how are green parties coping with this situation?

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Passion, compassion, and irony: finding solid ground for activism in a world of unsustainability, injustice, complicity, and paradox.

A summary of and brief response to: “The Post-ecologist Condition: Irony as Symptom and Cure”, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Environmental Politics, Vol. 16, No. 2, 337-355, April 2007.

It seems at first a most unlikely thought: irony as a basis for environmental politics. But according to sociologist Bronislaw Szerszynski, irony as a way of being in the world could – and should – take on such a role. In this post I will present Szerszynski’s argument, reflect on a couple of doubts, and look at how passion and compassion might intersect with irony to form a solid ground for environmental politics and social change activism in a world of unsustainability, injustice, complicity, and paradox.
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