Just Protester talks about environmentalism, egocentrism, and NOT being the change you want to see in the world in his 7th Alterview
Just Protestor Trevor, we congratulate you here and now! How have you been?
Oh yeah, I’m great.
Yeah, for sure, totally.
Well how come?
Y’know, I’m really into environmental stuff now. I kinda always kept a distance from these environmental movements, thinking they’re somehow too, y’know, narrow, naïve, I dunno, like, I guess when you get the real big picture… anyway, yeah. How can we talk about capitalism and consumerism or any social or political theory really, without addressing the cold facts of what’s happening to the earth we live in?
And this is making you feel totally great?
I just feel like I’ve found the right spot for me, y’know? it’s like I understand things better, for myself even, y’know?
Have you read the last Alterview I had with Anarchist Philosopher?
For sure, yeah. I mean, yeah. the A.P has a point. But I’m not into pessimism or nihilism, that’s not me. I’m not into optimism either. I’m into activism. and change is possible. I mean, sure, I mean yeah, we’ve past a crucial point, like in our resources and with climate change and everything, but I believe we can still turn things around.
I think, first of all, education, y’know? I mean, I know it sounds obvious –
It sounds dumb.
Yeah, coz it’s obvious. And I mean you can educate people to recycle, to take the bus to work, to store food properly to prevent waste, to save water, all that. But that’s meaningless comparing to the carbon footprint of major industries, which aren’t properly regulated; of huge corporations that aren’t held accountable for the damage they’re causing. So yeah, we need to educate people to demand accountability from these massive institutes, but also to live and consume responsibly themselves. It’s not about “be the change you wanna see in the world” kind of thing. It’s more like “see the world you wanna change”. Coz you can’t decide to change something you don’t fully see, you can’t change something you don’t understand. And we need to understand that even if we don’t shower for a year, never use a car for the rest of our lives and eat out of trash cans, that still won’t cut it.
Perhaps it’s easier for some activists to act on a smaller scale, like recycling, because once you realize the magnitude of things, it can get a bit despairing.
It’s not about things getting despairing, y’know? that’s exactly the problem with the “be the change you wanna see in the world” mentality. It’s fragile. Once you’re discouraged, once you lose a battle, you just wanna fold in and quit the war. it can’t work that way. Like, if you had lung cancer, you wouldn’t just take cough syrup coz chemotherapy is despairing, right?
Yeah, fuck, bad analogy. What I’m trying to say is that recycling and being vegan and being totally puritan about your own carbon footprint, that’s like, that’s the cough syrup. It’s not enough to cure you, y’know?
So the chemotherapy would be?
Well, you know, at certain stages of cancer, cannabis can be even more effective that chemotherapy. So maybe we don’t need chemotherapy.
My point is, I’m not gonna nag people about recycling and thinking about their carbon footprint every time they use toilet paper. I wanna educate people about what we’re facing for real. About how urgent it is.
I think whole communities, municipalities, and nations, eventually, would have to come to life changing decisions about how we’re going to live here on this earth.
We already have scientists informing and warning us about being past the crucial point.
And change is starting to happen. But it’s not about separate individuals taking action, you can’t expect individuals to be held accountable for what’s happening on a global scale.
So you’re saying we shouldn’t recycle and be environmentally aware and responsible until major corporations do?
No, no. I’m just saying it’s not enough. We can’t throw bottles in the recycle bin and think we’ve done our part.
Well that’s obvious.
That’s what I said, it’s obvious.
So what are you so happy about?
I didn’t say I was happy, just that I’m doing well, yeah. coz I’m like, I have a direction, y’know?
A sense of purpose?
You can call it that, yeah. but no. I always have a sense of purpose, y’know? it’s not like… for sure I have. it’s more like something to believe in, I guess.
What if you were to believe that things are just alright?
What if you believed capitalism is alright, that it amends itself? That there will be no climate catastrophe because soon humanity will find new energetic solutions; that the society you live in could be better, but isn’t so bad after all?
What if I believed that?
Yes. What would that be like?
Fuck, I’d be fucking stupid if I believed that.
But still. If you were to believe that, where will you get your sense of purpose then?
I uh… what kind of question is that? I dunno. I mean are you asking what if I had nothing to protest about? If things were that good, I guess I would just fall right into my spot, y’know?
And what’s that?
How can I know? I’m not… I can’t know that. Because I don’t know what my spot is in this, uhm, world.
Y’know this psychologistic bullshit it totally beneath me, beneath our altersation.
Coz it’s like you’re trying to find out what’s wrong with a person just because this person thinks there’s something wrong with this world. I mean sure, I have my fuckups, but that doesn’t make me wrong. I honestly don’t know what I would be if I saw the world differently. All I know is that I can’t look away from what I see. And yeah it dictates the way I act, the way I live, the way I think.
But that can’t mean you can’t imagine what you would be if you could have seen things differently.
No. but maybe I just don’t wanna imagine myself as a total conformist loser, as a dumb father of a dumb kid or as someone’s ugly boss or whatever.
Some would infer you’re describing your father.
OMG you’re so full of shit, I swear you’re the most full of shit person I ever met.
You can just say I’m wrong.
Of course you’re wrong. I mean yeah, we should know ourselves, y’know? we should know why we act the way we act, we should have an understanding of our motivations and inspirations, we should be aware of our blind spots. But. That’s not everything. There’s something bigger than ourselves. That’s what I’m saying. That’s what should be obvious. That’s why I can’t fucking “be the change” I wanna see in the world. Coz it’s not about me. And it’s fucking too easy to think it’s all about you and to talk about your relationship with your father like the world revolves around that. It doesn’t! shit happens to everyone! We’re all fucked up in one way or another! We’re all unique in some way! That’s obvious! But if you never get your head out of your ass and look around, you can’t even see that, you can’t even see other people, you can’t even see the world you live in.
You make a solid argument.
Well obviously! It’s obvious!
We congratulate you here and now, Just Protester.
Thanks, yeah! fuck.