Rosa Koire’s work both stimulates and troubles me. I have a hard time looking at what appear to be her polarized options: either “individual liberty” or a global “turnkey tyranny.” At least that’s how it appears on the surface. That word “liberty,” frankly, makes me want to vomit, since it’s constantly used to justify self-serving attitudes of one kind or another.
I do think she’s correct, however, that Agenda 21 can be used as a poison pill, hiding corporatist intent to lock in the worst kind of technological total control of everything and everyone behind the phrase “sustainable development.”
In other words, once again, it’s how we use language that counts; and it’s up to us to be sensitive to the usually unconscious associations that various words in common use magnetize to themselves. For, once again, just like “liberty,” the phrase “sustainable development” can morph into a jingoistic rant, meant to automatically trigger lock-step obedience to the mega-state.
Driving through downtown Bloomington this morning, as usual I was struck by all the new four and five story apartment buildings (with commercial development below), outgrowths Agenda 21’s “smart growth,” in Bloomington. (“Yes,” one city councilman responded pugnaciously, when I asked: “Bloomington IS a member of Agenda 21.”)
And of course, the worst part, the very worst part of her dystopian vision of what might lie ahead if we don’t get and stay local, if we don’t get and keep our sovereignty, if we don’t recognize and enact our power, always, from the bottom up, and refuse to fall for what she calls the “fly-paper” effect of Agenda 21 — is that, once fully enacted, when we’re all crammed into tiny cubicles in cities, we won’t even have access to, much less control the “resources” that we need to survive — food and water.
So, even though I have misgivings, and want us to continue to realize an alternative vision of people everywhere rising to their full capacity, joining with each other like mycellium in self-organized networks to remember our connection to the natural world; though I want to see power moving from the bottom up rather than the top down — each of us feeling fully responsible — each person, each household, each block, each neighborhood, each town, etc., for how best to integrate with the whole — I still feel that it’s essential to listen to and learn from Rosa Koire, who has seen Agenda 21’s draconian effects first hand in her Northern California town. She is much more aware than most of us as to the Orwellian twist that has already torqued that innocent-sounding, indeed utterly righteous-sounding single word, “sustainability” into something none of us who are environmtally aware would want to touch with a ten-foot pole.
May 12, 2014