Big Earth, One Issue

12885702_10153326134170974_8055595850210932866_o.jpgAfter our weekend in western Massachusetts with the resisters to the Kinder Morgan pipeline, we feel that the our “issue” fighting Monsanto and honeybee-killing Bayer and the “issue” of the spreading natural gas infrastructure – are not separate. One issue is called “food” and the other “energy”. But how the two overlap is more important for our politics. 

Both industries feature toxic corporations that morph and market, evade regulation and constantly sue. Their tactics are the same with the press and the police. Neo-nicotinoids and glyphosates, Agent Orange and PCB’s and bovine growth hormones leave Big Chem with a trail of evil labels. The fracking tradition is newer and the cocktails of hundreds of toxins they pump into the water table - are still unknown. They even cover up their earthquakes. But at the end of the day both are at war with the natural world in remarkably similar ways.

And by fighting them as separate issues, on two fronts, with two groups of activists - we automatically place ourselves in the defensive posture of demanding the old solution of more big government. Big government instead of big god. But this is the weakest position politically. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren shouldn’t always end up there. Big government hasn’t been a good sell since the New Deal. 

The Right always proceeds from one point, the belief in a single God and His morals of purity and decency, anger and war. They don't really have have a single unifying issue hey but they act like they do because they have that militaristic god figure. Their right and wrong is so violent.

Now what is happening? We are discovering a more powerful supreme being. In our godless “Church of Stop Shopping” we’ve been teaching over-cultured agnostics to do this for years. It might hurt for a minute, but hold hands and take the leap. We pray to life. We pray to life on Earth. We talk directly at the condition of living as if it's listening to us and conversing with us. 

No matter what we say, the conversation ends up asking for the same blessing, which is the continuation of that life, our own survival. And that is a unifying politics.

Demanding that life flourish does the trick – it combines the defense of humanity with the defense of nature. This kind of freedom – to live – includes and creates justice. The combining of all issues this way is a spiritual practice with no-god-please-thankyou. We are admitting that something mysterious binds all life together. 

Then something else happens: Our activism becomes much fiercer. We aren’t split into scores of issues anymore. We aren’t in competing campaigns. It isn’t theoretical anymore. Right-thinking isn’t its only basis. Courage isn’t even the issue anymore. Fighting for life is a form of breathing, dreaming, and loving.