Edward Goldsmith – en Grön Traditionalist

Ekologi, Metapolitik, Okategoriserade, Samhälle, Traditionalism

Inledningsvis ett stort tack till snus för detta fynd. Edward Goldsmith är vad man närmast skulle kunna beskriva som en Grön Traditionalist. Han ställer sig därför bortom modernitetens ideologier, och visar på en väg tillbaka till balans, både ekologisk och social.

Tao/R’ta/Maat/Sedeq – den Rätta relationen till Kosmos och Naturen

Goldsmith visar på hur olika traditioner haft en syn på hur man ska leva i rätt balans med naturen och kosmos, och hur de även gett detta ett namn. Detta är en viktig punkt, eftersom många, både ockultister, postmodernister och andra, drivs av vad som kallats en titanisk inställning till naturen och kosmos, där den ses som något som bara ska underkuvas. De historiska traditionerna såg det inte så, utan de insåg att det fanns en Väg när det gällde relationen till kosmos och att det fick konsekvenser när man struntade i denna väg :

Mircea Eliade, and other great students of religion have shown how most of the rituals performed by traditional peoples served above all to maintain the cosmic order. In many societies in fact a word existed for the path that had to be taken in order to do so – the Tao of the ancient Chinese, the R’ta of the Vedic Indians, the Asha of the Avestas, the Maat of the ancient Egyptians, and as Father Murray and Margaret Barker make clear in their writing, the Sedeq of the ancient Hebrews. By following this path one maintained the harmony between heaven and earth – the original meaning of shalom – cosmic order in fact.

This was also the path of justice and it was by following it that one observed, at the same time, the moral law, the divine law, and the cosmic law. There was seen to be no distinction between the law governing society (the nomos of the Greeks) that which governed the natural world itself, (usually referred to by the Greeks as dike) and that which governed the all-embracing world of the gods (usually referred to as Themis).

What a contrast with modern man’s view of law! It is worth noting that today our law serves above all to protect private property, and one could destroy the living world and make our very species extinct without violating a single one of the laws that we enacted. What an indictment of the world-view, that our law so faithfully reflects!

Socio-politisk arkaism

Goldsmith återknyter även till de traditionella samhällen som ännu finns i världen, främst stamfolk, och visar på hur deras sociala former är mer lämpade för människans natur och behov än vad det moderna samhället är.

Ekonomi – embedded markets

Goldsmith påminner exempelvis om Polanyi när han beskriver hur traditionella samhällen underordnat ekonomin under sociala och kulturella värden:

In tribal societies, it is only when dealing with complete strangers that the laws of the market are allowed to operate free of social constraints and exclusively market transactions are allowed to occur. For Bohannan,

”A ’market’ is a transaction which in itself calls up no long-term personal relationship, and which is therefore to be exploited to as great a degree as possible. In fact, the presence of a previous relationship makes a ’good market’ impossible. People do not like to sell to kinsmen since it is bad form to demand as high a price from a kinsman as one might from a stranger. Market behaviour and kinship behaviour are incompatible in a single relationship and the individual must give way to one or the other.”

This is very much in keeping with the Old Testament precept that

”unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother, thou shalt not lend upon usury.”

Sahlins shows that it is possible to distinguish between the economic relations within different sectors, such as the house, the lineage, the village, the tribe and those outside the tribe. As we proceed from the former to the latter, so reciprocity and solidarity are slowly replaced by haggling and profit-making, and so do economic relations become increasingly commercial.

That is why the development of the market system within a society could only occur once solidarity and reciprocity within the inner social groupings had waned and the essential difference between social relations within and without these groupings had become sufficiently blurred; in other words, before economic wealth could become man’s principal preoccupation, he had first to be deprived of his social wealth.

Though all societies have possessed an economy of some sort, no economy previous to our time, as Karl Polanyi notes, ”has ever existed that, even in principle, was controlled by markets”. [5] This is not surprising, since only by resisting the power of market forces could ”the integrity of our social and ecological systems … be maintained for so long”. Once markets became more than incidental to economic life, the societies in which they operated, together with the ecosystems in which the society existed, were condemned to rapid disintegration.

Sann konservatism
När han påpekar att dagens ”konservativa” oftast varken skyddar lokalsamhället, familjen eller nationen, utan bara ekonomiska intressen, är han också mycket läsvärd (och påminner åtminstone mig om den gamle populisten Lasch; höger när det gällde kultur och normer, vänster när det gällde ekonomin):

On the other hand Mr Reagan and Mrs Thatcher and their respective administrations see themselves and are generally seen by others, as patriots and conservatives. They claim to stand for tradition, for religion, for the family and for traditional moral values.

But do they really? The main feature of their very similar policies is industrialisation at any cost. Industrialisation means systematically transforming traditional society into modern society, replacing traditional villages with huge cities and housing estates, artisanal workshops with vast factories, village schools with the factory-like compounds. It means in fact promoting change away from traditional society towards a brave new world of skyscrapers, factories, computers, battery farms, etc.

How can such a policy be regarded as conservative? How can a policy that by its very nature must lead to the systematic destruction of our cultural heritage, the annihilation of our forests, our hedgerows, the erosion of our soil, the extermination of our wildlife, the contamination of our rivers and of our groundwater, the transformation of a proud and self reliant people into a vast anonymous mass of increasingly alienated and unemployed people who are even more dependent for their very sustenance on the functioning of a massive centralised bureaucracy, be regarded, even by the remotest stretch of the imagination, as conservative?


Politiken – etnokratin som ideal
Även Goldsmiths tankar kring etnokratin i motsättning till den moderna staten är givande, särskilt i relation till de post-koloniala afrikanska staterna med sina artificiella gränser, men i stigande utsträckning även för Europa:

In Europe, people are now slowly beginning to see the light. In Belgium, for instance, a new project is being studied to divide the country into four regions, one Walloon, one Flemish, one German and one composed of the ethnically mixed population of Brussels. What is more, much of the power would be delegated to sub-regions made up of associated communes.

The Council of Europe too, is beginning to show greater interest in the concept of federalism. Recently, a meeting was held under its auspices to study the natural regions that cut across present state boundaries. A typical one is the Regio Basiliensis which includes Alsace, Baden and the Swiss Canton of Basle.

The inhabitants of these areas are ethnically related, being descended from the Germanic tribe of the Allemani, and speak a similar German dialect. They have recently been made aware of their common identity by the threat to their biological survival posed by the nuclear industry, that proposes to put up no fewer than 16 nuclear power stations in their midst; 6 in the French section of this region, 5 in the Swiss and 5 in the German – a nation is indeed made by its enemies rather than by its friends.

Another such region, at present being studied by the Institut Universitaire d’Etudes Europeenes in Geneva, is the Lemano-Alpine region, made up of much of French speaking Switzerland, the Franche Comte, Savoy, the Val d’Aosta and parts of the French departments of the Isere and of the Ain. Another is the Triestine region made up of the Friuli, Carinthia and Slovenia. In all, 15 such regions have been identified and it is hoped that they will slowly be allowed to become effective units for certain social and economic purposes at least.

It is only by encouraging such developments, and by generally decentralising power from the governments running the artificial countries of Europe, to those of the real nations that compose them, that stability and peace can be assured. In the meantime, it is very irresponsible to set up political structures in Africa and elsewhere in what was once our Colonial Empire, that do not reflect social realities, and whose eventual dismemberment into their natural regions is inevitable and, what is more, at the cost of a great deal of unnecessary human misery.

Kort sagt, Goldsmith är mycket givande för var och en som börjat fundera kring det moderna projektet och vad som kan tänkas komma efter det.

Mer Goldsmith här: http://www.edwardgoldsmith.com/page0.html