3 Responses

  1. Simon Butler February 22, 2014 at 12:46 am |

    Greg Albo’s essay The Limits of Eco-Localism is great on this topic. PDF version here http://www.arts.yorku.ca/politics/albo/docs/2007/sr-eco-localism.pdf

  2. dave riley February 21, 2014 at 6:29 pm |

    I think the dichotomy is a bit forced in this post. Inasmuch as you have conscious localists, such as the Transition Town Movement here in Australia, then there is a very clear counterposition of perspective.

    I think the Socialist Alliance here defers to and works with many seemingly localist campaigns but deploys that engagement as a stepping stone to a broader battle.

    Two examples are an election campaign that advocated taking a whole town(Newcastle) off the grid and creating a solar/wind farm in Whyalla (a regional rust belted industrial centre). On top of that many localist movements can be viable networks that congregate many different people into organised environmental activity on a scale that would put campaign politics to shame. So you gotta relate…somehow. Having a presence at ‘community markets’, logging contact time at your local community project, fostering election campaigns that advocate a sharper anti-capitalist platform…hyper polemicising against localism is both not enough and, in the end, rather pointless.

    Engaging with it. Fostering a broader commitment. Adding issues to the mix….dialoguing.

    Two pieces on TED TRAINER are useful in this regard as it underlines ‘localism’ inherent pessimism :

    Ted Trainer: The problem is consumer-capitalism
    https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/49371
    ‘Abandon affluence’ — 25 years on
    https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/45108

    And in that sense what localism reflects is the long term debate over anarchist ‘solutions’ rather than something novel — while fostering a insular pessimism.

  3. Frank White February 21, 2014 at 4:14 pm |

    Sharzer says: “localist schemes for change, such as community gardens, local currencies and transition towns become pieces of the broader capitalist economy, no matter how sincerely their participants may wish to change it. Because of these problems, I think localism is a way to avoid, rather than confront capitalism.

    As far as the Transition Movement is concerned, Sharzer is advancing a straw dog argument — TM founder Rob Hopkins has never said confronting capitalism was or is one its goals. The title of his latest book sums up what TM is all about: “The Power of Just Doing Stuff.”

    Maybe the best transitioners can do in our dysfunctional cultures is to ease ourselves out of being victims of cultural collapse and carve out some freedom and sanity in the space around us.

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