Of course I am not exclusively talking about the established Green parties - but with "Green thought" in it's various forms you can argue very well against inequality, exploitation and many other "Leftist issues" in a very radical way without undergoing the usual Marxist dialectical twists. Left was the term of the 20th century, Green is the one for the 21st - that's how I'd like to put it.
|Is Green the new Left?|
|Please never wave a green flag.|
That's why I found the #occupy-movement - at least in its idealized form, for I am aware there have been quite some problems with it - so inspiring. To me, there was something novel in that movement, for its basic message seemed to be "We are discontent with the current situation - we do not have a solution to it yet - but hey, let's try to work on it - let's try to change the situation - let's try out other things and see how it goes - let's dare to do an experiment other than sticking to an old rotten system of which we all know, how bad it is." I liked this so much, because it seemed to have the courage to stop to cling onto some hastily postulated Marxist better-world ideals and admit, that we do not know how to save or better the world. It did not require all of its attendees to have the same ideology to be a part of the #occupy-movement, it was enough to simply say "I am discontent - let's try to stir things up."
In the early phase, #occupy has been criticised for precisely this reason, but I do frankly think, that this is its inherent strength. Because the problems of our time are so complex, that there is no solution at hand. Our institutions and we, who are stuck in between them, are so old and rigid - we need to shake them up, to become free of them first and then see, if a "solution" (tricky word) is at hand. To postulate that we do already have the solution at hand since it was first written down in a book by a German émigré in London some 150 years ago has too much of those Messianic traits that I have hinted at earlier. Life is a organic process and there is no solution a priori to it (a heaven), it is something that needs to be continuously reworked, rethought, redone....lived. This fundamental notion seems to me to be the (un-Christian, un-Monotheistic and un-Platonistic) realization of the #occupy-movement as well as a core of Green thought. And yes - I am idealizing things a lot here...it is required to envision some ideals to acquire some change.
|Green is un-Christian, un-Monotheistic and un-Platonistic.|
I am opposed to identities because they encourage people to gather in groups, install fronts and fight each other instead of the problem, they both originate from. A person without identity (Mann ohne Eigenschaften, corps-sans-organes, ...) can have empathy with every body, because we all are 99% the same, if our identities wouldn't get in the way of our heads. This is why I feel uncanny, when I go to a demonstration and feel I have to acquire a pre-given identity, where I only wanted to show discontent with and opposition to something. I don't want to be a part of some specific political or other group, I am part of humanity and believe we have to change quite a lot to maintain it. AND I believe many people feel like that and would like to show that but are scared away by those identities that are still dominant in almost every demonstration. So I believe that demonstrations would get more attendees, if they would be more open, if they would not advertise with red flags, banners and speeches so much. People would like to change something, but most people do not fall for the old-fashioned dogmatic bullshit any longer.
It took me a lot of effort to write this, for I know there are so many things in it to be criticised, which are only half-true and were quite painful for me myself to write. But I would like the reader to see this as some desperate attempt to postulate some idea(l)s of how we could improve the world - how (old term:) Leftist (new term:) Green values could reach a higher popularity. Because that is what they would need, for we do live in a democracy (or Ochlocrazy?) and we have just seen a terrible leap towards the Far-Right in the European election, with which the world will clearly be going to shit, if they keep on growing...that is...if we do not manage to postulate a much more attractive, progressive alternative to this conservative backlash.
1 the ideas for this article arose from a conversation with Alix Deneault - thanks Alix!