History and Historians, Our Glorious National Heritage, Uncategorized

Searching for Sustainable Sovereignty

Or, The Axes of Ideology Don’t Just Split Hairs


Sean Safford, one of the OrgHeads, has just put up a very astute post about movements in contemporary U.S. political ideology. Essentially, he thinks that the ideological axis in the U.S. has shifted away from an emphasis on “fairness” vs. “conservation” — CEO pay is far too high! 40 million are uninsured! v. the market works great! If it [institutions] ain’t broke don’t fix it!– to an emphasis on “sustainability.”

Here’s his description of the “sustainability” argument:

The argument goes something like this: We live in a highly interconnected society which operates within a series of interconnected systems. Resources (physical, material, social, and political) are not only scarce, they are extinguishable. The system is in place, not so much to keep social order, but to ensure the reproduction of the resources needed to reproduce society over time. Undermining any of the systems on which society depends threatens to have ripple effects on others. But importantly, the biggest threat to the system comes not from external threats, but from individuals acting in their own self interest in ways that could undermine the delicate balance on which interdependencies of the system depends. Government action is needed, not to ensure fairness, but in order to save us from ourselves.

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