Smugosphere [sməɡ ō sfir]: 1. “the protective fog of (unjustified) self-congratulation and complacency that surrounds any ‘community’ of people claiming to be making the world a better place, but which lacks commonly accepted an utilised measures of success and failure”
Most of these kinds of lists focus on changing your consumer habits, and therefore leave the underlying structure of capitalist society unexamined. This list goes beyond the usual suggestions to change light bulbs or take shorter showers. Instead, the focus was on collective action working toward radical social change.
I think that, given the scope of the crisis that we are in and given the stakes, the dangers of reactive action are too great to just keep going, to just keep acting, to keep fighting. I think we need to have that moment. We need to slow down and have that moment where we really ask ourselves, “How do we want to move forward? What does it mean to be human? What kind of relationship do we want to have to the non-human world?”
I think there is a time and place for this model of activism. But it’s being overused, and on the whole, I don’t think it’s working. There have to be some alternatives. I don’t claim to have the answers. But I would really like to be a part of a conversation around this.
We need to start organizing–really organizing, not just mobilizing. Mobilizing is short-term, high-energy, and tends to focus on self-expression and symbolic action. Organizing is long-term, harder, and not as sexy. Mobilizing creates spectacles. Organizing creates community.
Michael and I talk about a post-doom perspective, living beyond both hope and despair, embracing death, mental health during collapse, and the power of gratitude and love.
Certain gardens are not retreats, but attacks—attacks on the kind of world that says it is meaningless to do something so small, so local, so specific.
On a scale not seen before, people are having an encounter with climate change not as a problem that can be solved or managed, made to go away, or reconciled with some existing arc of progress, but as a dark knowledge that calls our path into question, that starts to burn away the stories we were told and the trajectories our lives were meant to follow, the entitlements we were brought up to believe we had, our assumptions about the shape of history, the kind of world we were born into and our place within it.