Identity, Ecology, and Entanglement

Review: Timothy Morton The Ecological Thought Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2012 159 pp.

Joshua Paetkau

the-ecological-thoughtUnder the auspice of identity we write towards an indiscernible future that holds forth hope not only as vision or project but in reality and in truth. What is it to evoke a catholic commons but to signal an intimate entanglement with which we are never truly finished? Never finished because the commons is not something that belongs to us but rather the interconnectedness wherein we constantly find ourselves surprised by beings who fill us with wonder, delight, amazement, disgust, frustration and pain. To speak of the commons is always to speak of what is beyond private control; it is to speak of communion and camaraderie and at the same time the pain, isolation, and violence that come bound up in earthly existence. That the commons is catholic is a sign of its expansiveness, our locality is not protectionist. And what could it be to be seeking the kingdom except that we are on the road open to encounter with that strange stranger who just, just might be the Christ? Continue reading

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A Review of William Ophuls’ Plato’s Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology

Plato’s Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology, William Ophuls, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2012, 256 pp.

Joshua Paetkau

At the heart of every recent political discussion is an increasingly insurmountable problem; the challenge of ecological scarcity. At the heart of the ever-deepening ecological crisis is the uncomfortable reality that the way we live today, the consumptive choices we make and the way we organize ourselves socially and politically, may be denying our grandchildren a future. The fact that consumer/industrial society has so eagerly jumped on the “green” bandwagon makes our situation that much more ridiculous, as though slapping on a few eco-friendly labels could radically alter the destructive consumptive patterns to which we have become accustomed.

William Ophuls confronts this ecological challenge, in Plato’s Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology, with a powerful mixture of ingenuity and wisdom. Continue reading