Playground name-calling

July 15, 2010

Those of us who try to draw attention to the reality of what humanity is doing to the Earth, and what the Earth, in response, is beginning to do to humanity, get used to being called names by people whose world views are upset in the process. For this reason, being labelled "apocalyptic" by the likes of Clive Bloom would normally raise a wry smile rather than a letter to the editor (review of What is Radical Politics Today?, Books, 1 July).

I draw the line, however, at being labelled "totalitarian", with an "unthinking wish for non-democratic solutions". Quite where these accusations come from is anybody's guess, since anyone who has followed my work will know that I have consistently argued for a radical decentralisation of power, aimed at keeping both corporations and states off the backs of individuals and communities.

So my essay in What is Radical Politics Today?, which so needled Bloom, contains no paeans to autocracy. What it does contain - and I suspect this is his real gripe - is a critique of the green movement for allowing itself to be hijacked by the political Left. That Bloom cannot muster a response to this beyond playground name-calling demonstrates that his own politics are as stagnant as those of the writers he so sweepingly attacks.

Paul Kingsnorth, Ulverston, Cumbria.

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