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Ohmy.At last I managed to read through all of this (your diary and the comments). My head is overflowing with thoughts. And I agree with so much even in debating comments. Which means I'll and be able to comment only on a few things and be incoherent in that.

First, I have some misgivings because of reality, because of that faqlling tree. Myths may govern even our perceptions, but that doesn't mean myths are the sole mover of our perceived universe. If copper runs out or a 5-km asteroid strikes, then we are fucked no matter what mythology we are using - the mythology may make it worse (say the particular version of Athanasian Christianity propagated by the forces behind Theodosius blamed a plague on immorality, and proceeded to accelerate the internal disintegration of the Roman Empire) or mitigate it (say Christian aid workers doing disaster relief), but there is an outside effect nevertheless that is not in our direct influence.

Hence, saying that the new mythology is reality-based is not enough for me, especially if you felt important to require it to be centre-left (<-which in itself is bowing down to a mythology, one of political classification, I note). The new mythology will fail no matter what, even if it has as much power to get people deny reality as the current marketism, if it gives up too much reality. Or, you could say it in another framing: this could be the Achilles heel of the whole project, this idea of moderation could result in a failure at the very task of setting up a really independent mythology.

This moves me to another messy point. I think the broadly understood hard left is already ahead of the curve in the project you set out, partly by morphing and updating the older (Marxist) mythology. But the centre of this process may no longer lie in Europe and North America: it may be that we more should look at South America at how to turn leftism into a ruling mythology and a mass movement again, not tinker on with what we have from scratch.

A last convoluted point; the reality issue doesn't just meant to me that we should tell and 'predict' the right things - but also that from the start, the aim shan't be just to re-take the discourse and change minds. Also action. Whether it's going out for a protest, aid work, consumer choice, fitting out your home, support strikes, travel choices. Take clues (in different fields) from DeAnander and Ritter. (Even if one doesn't believe a single action saves the world, as if you live as you preach, that's good rhetoric too.)

Finally, though by experience I am not good at creating buzzwords, some scant contributions:

  • In the turn-theirs-inside-out mythology, let's talk about a country like a company, and as those do on their balance sheets, add depreciation to GDP. Depreciation of natural reserves, reduction of resource stocks, reduction of health and so on.
  • In the same mythology: holding down wages removes the incentive to produce more & better.
  • Again the turn-theirs-inside-out mythology: the State is inefficient - and least efficient in privatisation.
  • For our own mythology: Do you want to secure a better life for your children than yours? So do the rich & powerful. If we let them have more success at it, we'll have ever less success at it.
  • Paying foreign aid and integration of immigrants is expensive. Fighting illegal immigration is even more expensive - but futile.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 02:01:13 PM EST

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