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Erik Lindberg's Blog (91)

Why I'm Not Devastated

Why I’m not Devastated

Actually I am a bit devastated, but not nearly as much as most people from my liberal neck of the woods, mainly because I am lucky enough to have stumbled, about eight years ago, into a world of political activism that lives beyond the current political divide.  Around 2:30 last night when I rolled over and emerged from my safe world of dreams, I made the mistake of rousing myself enough to check the results.  When I had gone to bed Trump was giving…


Added by Erik Lindberg on November 9, 2016 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Earth Church is Not Cool

The Handholders

Suppose you were organizing a group intending to take political action on some pressing local issue, like new development projects in your neighborhood; or suppose you were running a meeting of the local Democratic, even Green, political party.  What would happen if you opened the meeting with Yoga stretches or mindfulness breathing, or suggested, at some point, that everyone circle up, hold hands, and sing a song?  You’d…


Added by Erik Lindberg on October 2, 2016 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Thoreau's Luxuries

Thoreau’s Luxuries: An Interlude-


In times of difficulty, when I need to remember who I am and what I am about, I often turn to books and poetry.  From my bookshelf I feel my patron saints watching over me--or at least I feel the closest thing to that possible for one who subscribes to the natural supernaturalism of the Earth Church.  Sometimes its Wendell Berry or Wallace Stevens; other times its Hegel and Marx; sometimes I’m buoyed by some Adrienne Rich or uncle…


Added by Erik Lindberg on September 14, 2016 at 9:23pm — No Comments

On Surplus, Part 3: How Surplus (Wealth) is Created

On Surplus, Part 3: How Surplus (Wealth) is Created

Good Behavior

The ethos of the previous two installments of “On Surplus” might be summed up with a few lines from Thoreau: “The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of any thing, it is very likely to be my good behavior.  What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?”

 What demon indeed?

I have…


Added by Erik Lindberg on August 19, 2016 at 5:00pm — No Comments

In Defense of Difficult (and Why Hegel Matters)

A Defense of Difficulty 

From time to time readers complain that my essays and posts are too long and too difficult to follow.  They are long and difficult, I agree, but I do not agree that length and difficulty are a fault of the writer.  I would even suggest that readers have become lazy, expecting new and complex ideas to be delivered with the brevity and wit of a good twitter post (were such a thing to actually exist).

I’m going to illustrate my point of view by describing…


Added by Erik Lindberg on July 30, 2016 at 5:11pm — No Comments

On Surplus Part II--What is Wealth?

Great Expectations


I want to start with a couple of images. 

In late autumn of 1620, the Europeans we now celebrate as the Pilgrims stumbled on to shore near what is now Provincetown Massachusetts after over two months at sea.  Were it not for the additional stumbling that led to fresh burial mounds festooned with maize, the settlers would likely have starved to death right there and then.  But a little grave-robbing is always justified under extreme conditions.…


Added by Erik Lindberg on July 9, 2016 at 1:59pm — No Comments

On Surplus-Part I

This is Part 1 of a 2 or 3 part series on the concept of surplus.  Surplus is one of the most central features of modern industrial and democratic societies.  In fact it is so central and its permanence so taken for granted that it is scarcely noticed and even less understood.  The following installations are my attempt to discuss several of its facets, for the slow disappearance of surpluses, I think,is the cause of great bewilderment.


A few weeks ago I came home…


Added by Erik Lindberg on June 5, 2016 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Lived Crisis vs. Systemic Crisis: Notes on a "New Narrative"

A New Narrative?

I’ve been thinking a lot about cultural narratives and, especially, the call for a new narrative that might guide modern society through a transition to a sustainable culture.  This narrative, we are told, needs to be compelling and, it is often emphasized, not too depressing or negative.  Be positive, keep it simple, lead with the good news and prospect of hope—and so the imperatives fly.

There is some good advice, here, but some problems as well.  These…


Added by Erik Lindberg on May 22, 2016 at 4:00pm — No Comments

America's Story

Politics in the United States subsists on a single myth whose narrative is central to all positions, even most of the ones located at the fringe.[i]  This dominant political narrative pretends to be historically accurate, as if it explains where we have come from and where we can go from here.  But the explanation it offers is neither accurate nor helpful for our current predicaments.  There may have been a time in which the cheerleading the myth encourages and the unifying…


Added by Erik Lindberg on May 7, 2016 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Remembrance of Things Yet to Come


Remembrance of Things Yet to Come: A Response to Ted Trainer

I’m going to make divert slightly from my previously anticipated track to respond to Ted Trainer’s valuable critique of Leigh Phillip’s much-maligned…


Added by Erik Lindberg on April 18, 2016 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Ecotheology, Limits, and Freedom


Ecotheology, Limits, and Freedom

. . . a limitless technology, dependent upon a limitless morality, which is to say upon no morality at all.  How did such a possibility become thinkable?

                                                                                                                                --Wendell Berry


Pope Francis’s critique of the technocratic paradigm in his…


Added by Erik Lindberg on April 7, 2016 at 7:24pm — No Comments

Pope Francis's Ecological Vision: A Sojourner's Guide to the Closed World

By Erik Lindberg

A Sojourner’s Guide to the Closed World

 This is fifth in a series on the future of freedom.  Previous installments might be found here:

Suppose you lived on a finite planet—say a sphere or…


Added by Erik Lindberg on February 28, 2016 at 8:00am — No Comments

To Paris and Beyond: Climate and Freedom

To Paris and Beyond: Climate and Freedom

by Erik Lindberg


For the modern radical is as confident in the moral expression of his stances and consequently in the assertive uses of the rhetoric of morality as any conservative has ever been.  Whatever else he denounces in our culture he is certain that it still possesses the moral resources which he requires in order to denounce it. …


Added by Erik Lindberg on January 27, 2016 at 7:30am — No Comments

Geo-Physis of Freedom

Geo-Physis of Freedom

At the end of my last installment I proposed that freedom requires an open system and that it is incompatible with a closed one.  This hypothesis of course needs some clarification and evidence.  As a first step in clarification, I should explain that I’m talking mainly about political freedom (though some of the same…


Added by Erik Lindberg on January 7, 2016 at 1:30pm — No Comments

The Closed World and the Infinite Universe: The Metaphysics of Freedom

The Closed World and the Infinite Universe: The Metaphysics of Freedom 

by Erik Lindberg

[this is a follow-up installment to "Selective Anti-Modernism and the Shape of Society…


Added by Erik Lindberg on December 13, 2015 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

Selective Anti-Modernism and the Shape of Society


As far as the individual is concerned, each individual is in any case a child of his time; thus philosophy, too, is its own time comprehended in thoughts.  It is just as foolish to imagine that any philosophy can transcend its contemporary world as that an individual can overleap his own time or leap over Rhodes.  If his theory does indeed transcend his own time, if it builds itself a world as it ought to be, then it certainly has an existence, but only within his opinions—a…


Added by Erik Lindberg on December 3, 2015 at 8:30am — No Comments

Sending Them a Message

My jaw has been hurting.  I blame TV news, which I have been tuning into more frequently since the attacks in Paris.  Or rather, I blame the people who they parade across the screen to explain our current strategy for fighting ISIS, and to assess its effectiveness.  These people—senators, the President, the Secretary of State, and various military and security analysts—seem so serious with their suits and ties, and the air of authority and confidence they emit.  Watching them, though, I…


Added by Erik Lindberg on November 21, 2015 at 4:46pm — No Comments

21 Stories of Transition and the Great Imagining: Why Transition Matters


21 Stories of Transition and the Great Imagining: Why Transition Matters

Rio, Kyoto, Copenhagen, and Paris

In December, representatives from governments from across the Earth will descend upon Paris in hopes, once again, of hammering out a global agreement to limit carbon dioxide emissions to the point where human civilization might expect a reasonable chance of survival.  

Although there is greater urgency that ever and…


Added by Erik Lindberg on November 12, 2015 at 7:04am — No Comments

What Does Climate Change Look Like? (or a Prayer for Syria)

What does Climate Change Look Like?

By Eriik Lindberg


“Our goal is not to amass information or satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it”

                                                                                                                --Pope Francis



Added by Erik Lindberg on October 30, 2015 at 10:00pm — No Comments

One and a Half Cheers for Bernie: Decision 2016 and the (Deep) Sustainability Agenda.

Recently a friend asked me what I thought about Bernie Sanders, especially with issues of sustainability in mind.  This is my answer.


The 20%


I want to start with Bernie Sanders’ opposite--an opposite in policy, temperament, intellect, and integrity: Donald Trump.  Trump is a menace, no doubt; but his sudden rise in popularity deserves our attention.  One of the most pervasive themes of his campaign message, it has been noted, is that the decline of America…


Added by Erik Lindberg on September 17, 2015 at 4:00pm — No Comments

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