This thread is a spin-off of a discussion in another thread.
You presented a defeatist case explaining away the decline of the environment as inevitable, and I've been trying to refute it by explaining the difference in the use and abuse of power in our democratic societies. The problem when you refer to liberal democratic states is that the two words are contradictory. "Liberal" means individual freedom and power, and "democratic" means collective power. One must necessarily come at the expense of the other. The freedoms painstakingly aquired in European countries, democratic or monarchic, during the 19th century were all progressively rolled back in favor of collective power during the 20th century. It is not a coincidence that the environment has suffered retrogression in the process. You cannot make an introspection of this decline without touching the subject.
Your choice now is clear. Give up and accept the decay of civilization into nihilistic junkspace, or challenge the system all the way to its roots with a viable alternative. The current system can never end sprawl. Fifty years ago Lewis Mumford and Jane Jacobs were leading this fight, using the same arguments and strategy that you are using today. They lost
If not liberty, what hope is there for the future of our cities? How can you, one man with a vision, turn this around? Public activism has accomplished nothing since Jane Jacobs and Lewis Mumford. Things have gotten worse, and a few symbolic victories (saving New York) are all that the public sector planners have to rally around. The private sector planners are just marching ahead, fighting the bureaucracy and the system at every turn, and they need your support.
What's it going to be? Your belief in socialism, or your love of the environment? You can no longer rationally choose both.
Wars that kill a million people are fairly common in Africa. The one in Congo-Rwanda-Burundi just ended and nobody paid any attention. Another one took place in Algeria about ten years ago. States did not protect these people, in fact in Rwanda and Algeria they were interested in murdering as many as possible, and in the case of Somalia they are the cause of the fighting. So the fact that there was a war in Somalia is not evidence of anything. What is interesting is that they have made economic progress greater than any other African country, which is going to make it possible for them to deal with famine and disease where other African countries cannot.Originally posted by iamme