Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. A young adult thriller rated by mature readers who hunger for some serious controversy - The Biocide Conspiracy' is a story about two Australian Teenagers who find wreckage from the International Space Station and evidence it has been used to manufacture a deadly biocide - the most lethal weapon of mass destruction in the history of the world.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published first published February 9th More Details Other Editions 2. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Biocide Conspiracy , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Biocide Conspiracy. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Sep 10, Bill Ward rated it really liked it. This is a fun adventure which features two teenagers and their attempts to save the world from a terrible biological weapon, which has landed in the outback of Australia when the space station crashes back to Earth.
The boy - Mo, has a chequered past and the girl - Beth, is very different and wouldn't dream of doing anything criminal, so we have all the ingredients for an interesting relationship and the potential for young romance. There is plenty of action and both Mo and Beth find their lives This is a fun adventure which features two teenagers and their attempts to save the world from a terrible biological weapon, which has landed in the outback of Australia when the space station crashes back to Earth. There is plenty of action and both Mo and Beth find their lives in danger and have narrow escapes.
The characters are well described including some bad guys who are suitably evil adults. The author does a great job of describing the Australian Outback, which made an unusual and interesting setting for a story that is aimed at young adults but will I think appeal to most people. Jun 27, Rose rated it really liked it. I won this book thru the Goodreads First Reads program and I really liked it. I found it full of action, with that hint of romance, and was well paced.
Beth is really described with her different colored eyes and red hair. Having this book set in Australia was refreshing but the Aussie slang had to take so I won this book thru the Goodreads First Reads program and I really liked it. Having this book set in Australia was refreshing but the Aussie slang had to take some getting used to. It was a fun read, I found myself reading most of my Sunday afternoon and night away. Apr 27, A. Shepherd rated it really liked it.
Gripping and fast paced this novel tells the story of two teenagers from vastly different worlds who hate each other on sight. The two must somehow come together to save not only their own lives, but the human race. The novel is chock full of suspense, intrigue, even a little romance, and is not so far fetched.
It has a satisfying ending, yet left this reader wanting more. I couldn't put it down! Jun 14, Dee Bibb rated it really liked it. I love this book by Ann Massey. I truly enjoyed reading about their adventures from their first meeting as adversaries to becoming friends in the trying times they are facing. This book is set in the Australian outback and is about the International Space Station crashing to earth with biological weapons aboard.
Mo, a teenage delinquent from the city, and Beth, a girl from the outback, must work together to stop the weapon from falling in the wrong hands. I think this book would appeal to both boys and girls. There is a lot of action, with strong teenage characters. Mo, is basically a good boy who had made some bad decisions. He has been sent to the outback for rehabil This book is set in the Australian outback and is about the International Space Station crashing to earth with biological weapons aboard.
He has been sent to the outback for rehabilitation because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He has a strong sense of right and wrong, and tries to do what is right. His growing feelings for Beth are dealt with in an age appropriate manner. I liked that the story was set in Australia. It is a fascinating country and I enjoyed reading about life on a "station". The main characters were likable, and probably relatable for a younger reader. I received this book for free from the goodreads first reads program.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. We cannot challenge the legitimating basis of the power structure because we think it cannot be otherwise. Thus, since power relationships are preordained, militarism can be justified as unavoidable or necessary, regardless of its patent irrationality. Likewise, if humans will always compete for a greater share of resources, then the "rational" response to the environmental crisis would seem to be dog-eatdog survivalism.
This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy in which nature and community simply cannot survive. Ecofeminists have mounted a challenge to this Patriarchal essentialism, or the idea that so-called "masculine" traits are the essence of human nature and that power structures are a necessary concomitant of human Society. First, of course, it would seem from human beings' relative physical weakness that human evolution must have depended on cooperation in its early stages. Second, if women are fully human, then it cannot be argued that humans are innately aggressive, given the Patriarchal conception of women as passive.
And even if it is conceded, for argument's sake, that the power drive is intrinsic to all humans, the majority of humans, women, have largely been socialized to suppress it, so men can be too. As Salleh has pointed out, an alternative model to Man exists, but has been backgrounded. A gender-blind prism hides problems centering on power, dominance, and masculinity, and consequently backgrounds certain realities with an impact upon the environment. Although radical environmen26 Ecofeminism tal theories contribute important insights into the multifaceted nature of the environmental crisis, their usefulness is therefore limited.
I emphasize, of course, that environmentalists, being well-rounded people, do not fit well into square theories: many activists are anti-theory, which means that they are unaware of the extent to which their thinking has been shaped by theory. Finally, this critique applies only to First World environmentalists. We will begin with the least "green.
However, their critique of capitalism is an important component of environmental theory. For Marx, to become free was the ultimate goal of Man's existence, and freedom was to be achieved by mastery of nature through labor. That is, Marx saw human nature in terms of male norms: Man's essence was in "doing" masculine rather than in "being" feminine.
This is perhaps why Marx failed to appreciate that Man's freedom through labor and technology are made possible by the expropriation of a surplus from women and nonhuman nature. In other words, solutions to environmental problems are dictated by "masculinist" terms for example, control, choice, and change , rather than the "femininist" concerns of relationship, communication, and caring that are requisite for living in harmony with nature.
Thus, eco-Marxists share the approach of mainstream capitalist environmental management, which does not prevent environmental problems but rather predicts, monitors, and mitigates them. Critical Theorists such as Jiirgen Habermas, Max Horkheimer, and Theodor Adorno have challenged that desire to control nature and engineer Society which characterizes both capitalism and Marxism.
However, they have retained the anthropocentric idea that Man's highest purpose lies in His ability to achieve progress by transforming nature. Generally, the Critical Theorists have failed to appreciate that the reductionist scientific method, instrumental rationality, and bureaucratic institutions that have colonized the human psyche are grounded in, and legitimized by, a Patriarchal construction of reality. Quite reasonably, they locate the root of social and ecological problems in the control of resources and accumulation of wealth by the few. Their platform is to restructure society and redistribute power to those who will presumably conserve and manage resources in the public interest.
Socialists therefore share with liberals the view of social reform as a question of rearranging external social relations. Class relations, however, are better theorized in terms of the underlying logic of oppression-the Power Paradigm. Socialist critiques do not adequately theorize the personal dimension of power. They fail to link the masculine psyche with the power structures themselves and to recognize that "the personal is political. Whoever is in power will be subject to corruptive influences because of personal insecurity and the need for status and power engendered by a Patriarchal culture.
Mainstream Greens, the vast majority of environmental activists, are those who recognize the fundamental interconnections between social justice, peace, democracy, and environmental quality. They have developed policies and programs that would be consistent with an ecologically sustainable society, such as appropriate small-scale technologies and recycling, participatory democracy and decentralized communities, redefinitions of work and job sharing.
However, the mainstream usually accepts the given political system as adequate, relying on building numbers to bring about better policies. In theorizing the causes of our irrational, lemminglike charge toward biospheric collapse, they, like Leftists, assume that Man is rational. Therefore, they hope to achieve social change by appealing to reason: raising the level of public awareness, lobbying, and promoting an appreciation of the intrinsic value of nature. This strategy tends to reinforce the credibility of their opponents, who still, by and large, believe in a flat earth.
Further, it does not address what really motivates people. In other words, the strategy does not look behind "self-interest" to the underlying desire for sex, love, and admiration. For example, Greens implicitly credit parliamentarians with an interest in pushing a particular policy orientation or getting reelected. Thus, they fail to take into account the fact that when parliamentarians "have the courage 28 Ecofeminism to make unpopular decisions" as dictated by corporate interests, they can escape via the "revolving door" between business and industry.
Acceptance by the big boy's club can be more important than reelection. In short, despite voluminous tomes of mainstream theory to the contrary, Man does not tick by reason alone. But even were it so, numbers games cannot succeed in the long term in a system where the crucial decisions are made outside the political arena. Deep ecologists reason that Man's failure to identify and empathize with the rest of nature results from the way He experiences or visualizes the world rather than from power relations.
They believe it is human chauvinism or anthropocentrism that has led to our separation from nonhuman nature. Thus, deep ecologists also rely ultimately on reason to persuade people to take up deep ecology. Once realizing that to harm nature is to harm Himself, Rational Man will then presumably change His ways. While sharing a biocentric perspective, ecofeminists have criticized deep ecology because of its masculinist bias-because it is abstract, aloof, impersonal, and gender-blind, and it ignores power. By subsuming women under a gender-neutral model of Man, they paradoxically exclude women and set them apart.
A gender-blind analysis that centers on Man's relationship to nature also does little to explain power relations within societies. Therefore, deep ecology cannot adequately theorize or remedy the abuse of power. I will discuss at length below this Liberalist approach to social transformation the strategy that relies on changing individual values. Social ecology in contrast, does address the issue of dominance relationships.
Social ecology is a school of thought that follows the work of Murray Bookchin. Social ecologists reason that dominance relationships among humans lead to the objectification, control, and manipulation of others, and hence similar attitudes toward nonhuman nature. As with deep ecologists and ecofeminists, they advocate radical social transformation in the direction of nonhierarchical and more communal, decentralized societies.
Fundamental to Bookchin's theory, however, is a rather masculinist con29 Janis Birkeland ception of evolution. As humans are integral to nature, their conversion of the nonhuman world is seen as a natural part of an evolutionary progress toward differentiation and complexity to which all life forms subjectively strive. From a scientific standpoint, this view of evolution is rather dated.
Each of the above "Manstream" environmental theories makes important contributions in analyzing determinants of the environmental crisis. They theorize industrial technology, instrumental rationality, capitalism, anthropocentrism, narrow identification, class, and social hierarchywhich are essential components of any environmental problem analysis. However, these determinants have something in common.
They have been embedded and germinated in a Patriarchal construction of reality. To recap, then, some of the shortcomings of Manstream green theory are as follows. First, these radical theories share androcentric assumptions with the dominant paradigm and therefore fail to demystify the ideological props that support the exploitation of nature, such as the idea that humanity is by nature "masculine.
Second, they fail to explore the implications of the fact that the pathologies identified as "causes" of environmental problems stem from the elevation of values that have been central to "masculine" identity for centuries in Western culture at least , such as competitive individualism, instrumentalism, and progress as increasing freedom from natural constraints. Third, their problem analyses are one-dimensional in that they reduce social and environmental problems to specific pathologies within Patriarchal Society, while seeing Patriarchy itself as a marginal, coincidental phenomenon.
This linearity also leads to a competition among superficially incompatible ideas that can divide the environmental movement. Fourth, because they are gender-blind, they cannot theorize the abuse of power on both personal and political levels. Figure 1. They offer either spiritual strategies concerned with perception and values or rationalist strategies concerned with structure and process. Thus, they fail to satisfy the apparent need for a holistic, integrated approach.
Ecofeminism encompasses both the psychological and systemic manifestations of the androcentric value system and the personal and political expressions of insecurity and dominance. It therefore provides a holistic framework that can draw upon and integrate the 31 Janis Birkeland insights developed by Manstream radical critiques. Diversity of theories, views, and approaches is important to preserve, but it is also nice to have a perspective that can weave the threads together.
And while internal consistency and comprehensiveness are satistying, an environmental theory must also provide a framework that can help us to find solutions to specific issues. We now look at the implications of Manstream green thought with regard to the analysis of environmental problems.
Problems ofManstreamAnalysis If we want to get to the bottom of a psychological problem, we must uncover our "blind spot," or what we are denying. The same is true on a social level, and today our crucial blind spot-what we are trained not to seeis the sociopolitical significance of gender.
Let us take some examples of how gender blindness limits our understanding of pivotal environmental issues: inappropriate technology, Third World planning and development, population growth, and militarism. Technocracy Gender imbalance and the devaluing of the "feminine" are reflected in all areas of our male-dominant institutions, including those that impact most directly on the environment: science, economics, and planning.
Intuition, feelings, and empathy, being "feminine," are considered naive or irrelevant. One upshot of this narrow, reductionist method is the alltoo-familiar tendency to monitor and record environmental crises, rather than find social solutions. This technocratic approach militates against the holistic understanding of social and ecological interrelations so urgently needed today. Also, technocratic norms and practices create the dangerous illusion of "rationality" and "objectivity. Moreover, as I have argued elsewhere, these methods are also inherently biased in favor of the existing distribution of power and against the preservation of such meaningful, essential aspects of life as community and nature.
Tangible economic goods and human productivity alleviate physical, impersonal needs and are therefore subjects of public policy. However, when psychological or emotional needs that involve personal relationships-congenial work environments, recognition, and so forthhave been addressed by mainstream theory, it has been basically for manipulative, instrumental purposes, such as increasing worker productivity.
This partly explains why, for example, in the name of meeting "human needs," even well-intended development projects have deprived people in the Third World of community, self-reliance, and natural, sustainable lifestyles by displacing them into the consumer economy. Third World Development The interconnection between feminist issues, institutional systems, and environmental desecration is illustrated by the impact of the androcentric international accounting system.
Feminists have shown how the fact that "women's work" is not counted in international economic balance sheets impacts upon the environment. The accounting system is thus biased in favor of large-scale capital-intensive projects and the replacement of indigenous forests with cash crops, which in turn destroy the local ecology and the self-sufficiency of the population.
Marilyn Waring establishes that there is no logical or practical reason for excluding "women's work" from what is measured and therefore counted as contributing to GDP. Only male chauvinism can fully account for it. Aid and development programs in the Third World have been disastrous for similar reasons, including the failure to consult when planning for development or conservation. In brief, agricultural demonstrations were set up to teach men to grow soya beans, while home economics classes were given to teach women to cook them.
In the end, the women could not use the recipes because only women did the farming for home consumption and they did not know how to grow soya beans. They put forth the same answers as the mainstream, like "self-discipline," more economic equality, control of women's reproductive cycle, or naive and paternalistic policy statements like "we must educate women to have fewer children.
While it will certainly be necessary to redistribute resources and provide for birth prevention, these measures will be insufficient until women have real choices about procreation. Many leading greens still ignore the crucial fact that in most countries women are treated literally as chattels to be bought and sold. While it is not necessary to recite the atrocities against women in, say, India, Pakistan, Romania, and Iran, it must be recognized that women in most "developed" countries are also regarded as property to varying extents.
Hinari - Lista de libros
Even in Australia, for example, one person in four condones violence by husbands against wives, and approximately half the murders of wives occur when they try to leave their "owners. It is no coincidence that the Catholic Church, a misogynist edifice, is a proponent of population growth. If women had physical security food, shelter, health care and control over their own bodies, and were not subject to androcentric cultures, then population and child mortality would both decrease. Few would have large families-if only because pregnancy and childcare are simply too much work.
Similarly, the liberation of men, an important part of the feminist agenda, would also help to solve the population problem. Patriarchal societies that equate personal worth with success, and success with masculinity, place pressure on men to produce many offspring. Women and colonies are objectified as natural resources. When in Malaysia in , for example, I heard the prime minister on television urging women to produce more children!
Such culturewide blind spots as the political significance of gender and the invisibility of the values and experience of women exist because they serve the interests of the powerful. And, as we shall see, these blind spots exclude viable common-sense choices from consideration.
As 90 percent of violent crime is perpetrated by men,45 and nuclear weapons are a product of the male mind, a gender-blind perspective can only mislead us in our efforts to put an end to militarism. More will be said later about the Manstream analysis of militarism generally. For the moment, it is interesting to note that whereas most discussions of militarism are studiously genderblind, the military itself understands and manipulates sex roles to benefit the war business, and does so very well indeed. Let us take some examples of how notions of femininity and masculinity are used by militarists to manipulate both soldiers and citizenry.
First, in training, men are taught to despise and distance themselves from their "feminine" side, or their emotions and feelings: "The experience of basic training traditionally implants Patriarchal values by reviling women as a foul and lowly class. As Carol Cohn notes: "Both the military itself and the arms manufacturers are constantly exploiting the phallic imagery and promise of sexual domination that their weapons so conveniently suggest.
In raising armies, citizens are manipulated by conceptions of masculine and feminine stereotypes and sex role expectations. Men should be macho and reckless; they should go to war to prove themselves. Women should be submissive and unquestioning; they should raise sons to be brave soldiers. In quelling dissent, peace activists are characterized in derogatory read feminine terms such as "wimps," "sissies," or "poofters.
Finally, in strategy, masculinity is used to manipulate the enemy. For example, the West insulted Saddam Hussein's masculine pride to induce him to stay in Kuwait so they could attack: it could hardly have been by accident that President Bush told Saddam Hussein publicly that if he did not get out by a certain date, they would "kick his ass. His masculinity was at stake, and that is often more important to power-addicted men than life itself-or at least the lives of others. In short, there is little question that the military uses sex and gender, if only for mischievous purposes.
More to the point, the behavior of world leaders, in both personality and strategy, reflects all-too-familiar patterns: building barriers and distancing oneself from the enemy, denying the worth or humanity of the other, attempting to establish dominance and create dependency, and winning at all costs-"sterotypically" masculine forms of conflict resolution. Preventing war by promoting world peace, rather than arms sales, subversion, and belligerence, has not really been tried.
Perhaps this is partly because the armed forces really exist as an icon: they "represent and defend the masculine ethic," rather than life. This is one reason that although militarism is probably the biggest threat to the environment-even in peacetime-it seems to be put in the "too hard" basket by most Manstream green theorists, or at least treated as a separate issue.
Perhaps it is also because the connections between war and the blueprint for masculinity are too uncomfortable to accept, because it means that the causes of war are "in here" as well as "out. Books such as Exposing Nuclear PhaJlacies, Missile Envy, and Fathering the Unthinkable make the link between militarism and polarized masculinity clear. For example, the focus on individual identification and the implicit assumption of rationality dictate the conclusion that the problem underlying world conflict is misplaced self-interest, narrow identification, or nationalism, which in turn leads to distrust or "fear of others.
In other words, if the Soviet Union had not existed, someone else would have been created to fill that essential role for political and business interests. Here in Australia, for instance, the response to the easing of East-West hostilities was to whip up fear of Indonesians to justify an increase in defense spending. The male-driven militarist complex and weapons trade-the world's largest business-has little to do with narrow identification or anthropocentrism; it is simply organized crime. Even in its public face, it operates outside the public purview. There was no public debate on the issue, and public awareness of the potential harm to themselves and the environment was irrelevant to the outcome.
In short, to treat fear of others or individual perception alone is to treat a symptom of psychological warfare. The focus on anthropocentrism, or "them versus us" thinking, conceals the power drive. The arms trade is, for all practical purposes, a global extortion and protection racket. It operates just like that other male enclave, the illegal drug trade, only the damage is far greater, affecting not only immediate lives but the global ecosystem. It is no coincidence, for instance, that drug trafficking was mixed up with arms deals in the U.
Of course, fear and "them versus us" thinking indeed need treating, but treating them as the root problem can be counterproductive. Ideologies that pretend to subsume gender and other differences under a Western model of Man only reinforce the false dichotomy between Man and "Other. The masculine model of Rational Man is also a barrier to sound strategy. To illustrate this, let us again look at militarism.
Problems ofManstream Strategy As said above, androcentric green approaches assume, at least implicitly, that Man is rational and will therefore change if He realizes that to harm nature is to harm Himself. While Liberalists focus on the narrow self, many non-Marxist Leftists would maintain that "them versus us" thinking is a result of wealth accumulation induced by life in a capitalist society, and that capitalist imperialism is the major force behind militarism. One cannot argue against the notion that capitalism is integral to military adventurism and the arms race. However, the Leftist green approach, in the West, is to describe the fundamental irrationality of militarism and capitalism and posit a more rational world order.
This strategy relies on enlightened selfinterest to bring about change, an approach that history has proven futile. It is losing ground everywhere against the more "creative" approach of the capitalist press, the intoxicants of the market bazaar, and the glitz of show biz. Of course, Leftist critiques are certainly useful in describing the "mechanics" of militarism.
Like sports commentators, however, they know the rules of the game and can follow the action, but they cannot determine the outcome. What I am suggesting is that both Leftist and Liberalist strategies rely upon Rational Man to act differently once He realizes that militarism and its roots human-centered or capitalist-engendered greed are not rational. Ironically, then, they ultimately bank upon traditional forms of pluralist political action in the hope that the majority will change the system in the market, the ballot box, or the streets. In short, both rely on reason to persuade Rational Man to act rationally: that is, to think ecologically, end war, and create a just Society.
If the cause of militarism were simply narrow, human-centered but rational self-interest, then militarism would bear some rational-if misguidedrelationship to defense, or some economic or other human benefit. But it does not. Let us first examine the "rationality" of world leaders as reflected in military policy and thus whether rational arguments will persuade them to change. Second, we will look at the green assumption that the populace at large can be persuaded to change their way of thinking and then in turn persuade world leaders to do so, through rational or spiritual means.
Ecofeminism Influencing Leaders To begin with, militarist policy makes no economic sense. The Worldwatch Institute estimates that IS percent of the amount spent on weapons in the world could eradicate most of the immediate causes of war and environmental destructionP Further, world leaders know that military spending creates devastating economic problems through the diversion and waste of resources and inflation, and that the spillover costs of domination can never be fully calculated.
For example, most global trouble spots today are in areas that were colonized by outside powers. Yet virtually nothing is spent on peace making or eliminating the causes of war. In fact, the United States spends less than one percent of its military budget on either peace making or environmental protection. Since World War II, many Western governments have become the marketing arm of private arms dealers on alleged economic grounds.
Yet this "military Keynesianism" has taken a great toll on the taxpayer as well as the earth. In Iran, for example, billions in U. Yet the United States later sold weapons both to the Mghans, who in turn sold them to Iran,58 and to the Ayatollah via Israel, while supplying Iraq with weapons to fight Iran! Thus, apart from a handful of corrupt arms merchants and their puppets, everybody loses financially. Nonetheless, some assume that warfare is rational, in spite of its costs to the taxpayer, because it is supposedly a means to acquire useful resources.
However, the recent war with Iraq cost U. Eight hundred oil wells burned for months in the aftermath of the war. World leaders should know all this, so that the unwillingness of many to negotiate before the war suggests that they do not care about the costs of war or the resources jeopardized in war. Despite the end of the cold war, militarism and threats of violence are still basic to foreign policy. The alleged defensive reasons for militarism are fallacious. Deterrence and containment, usually of communism, have been the main arguments used to defend the arms race-rather than life.
These stated aims, however, are not served by a militarist policy: they are simply rationalizations for dominance. Let us first take nuclear "deterrence. It is actually a euphe39 Janis Birkeland mism for a deadly form of aggression-psychological warfare. To most people "deterrence" evokes the idea of a a retaliatory second strike b in response to a nuclear attack c on one's own country.
Yet, from the beginning, nuclear deterrence meant threatening a nuclear first strike, not retaliation. Second, deterrence was never limited to a response to a nuclear attack, but rather was to be used in retaliation for a Soviet encroachment using conventional weapons in Western Europe, or for the prevention of indigenous communist movements elsewhere. Third, it was not, therefore, "self-defense"-a means of defending the territory of the United States.
In other words, deterrence was, at best, a tool of foreign policy. Even if deterrence was a defense strategy, rather than a euphemism for arms sales, psychological warfare, and dominance, deterrence ceased to be U. With the new "counterforce" capability came a strategy of "limited nuclear war.
This is apparently what Ronald Reagan had in mind in I98I, when he said that the United States could contain a nuclear war outside its territory. Deterrence, in this context, meant a strategy, not to prevent the other side from using nuclear weapons, but to prevent them from hitting back on U. But even if taken at face value, deterrence theory was also totally irrational: it meant having more weapons than were needed to destroy the planet at least twelve times over, and it meant frightening enemies into building up more arms.
Furthermore, deterrence never prevented conventional wars, it increased the risks of nuclear war and terrorism, and it legitimated nuclear proliferation-hardly a human-centered policy. If this excuse were valid, then arms would be used to contain communism, Islam, or whatever. But the West has sold weapons and nuclear technology to Muslim extremists such as the rulers of Iran, to communist countries such as China, and to unstable, unpopular dictatorships that could become communist overnight, such as Marcos' Philippines-with taxpayer subsidies and bailouts.
Thus, even if we accept deterrence and containment as sub40 Ecofeminism stantively rational, these aims have not been furthered by a macho foreign policy. Finally, the nuclear obscenity bears no resemblance to rationality. Nuclear weapons do not serve the interests of self-defense, deterrence, or containment, and have promoted proliferation, terrorism, global instability, and environmental destruction. Analyses that assume substantive rationality are therefore irrelevant to a useful understanding of Western military strategy-which is based on the notion that the one with the most toys left after much of the world has been destroyed wins.
In short, militarism is not a rational means to achieve security material, ideological, or territorial because it threatens all life on earth. Alternatively, if military means were indeed "rational," then the ends of military action would have to be power for the sake of power, rather than for the sake of resolving the problems cited as reasons for such exploits.
The same arguments hold for the rape of the earth. Yet the Manstream, because of its androcentric model of Man, uses "rational" arguments against the militarist position and for changing the public perception of the "other. Militarists are not moved by reason: they answer every rational argument with cliches about how Man is essentially aggressive and dominance is natural. Nor are they moved by rarified ideas about expanding our sense of identification to encompass all life forms, which they could see as "effeminate.
Even assuming that rational arguments were effective, they would presumably have to be more "rational" and convincing than the militarist's rationale for warfare. The underlying justification for "defense through strength" is that militarism, though itself irrational, is a necessary evil because of Man's "aggressive nature. If we accept an androcentric conception of Mankind, it is hard to argue with this logic. However, if instead we recognize the androcentric model to be a social construct, then it becomes clear that masculine identification is alterable.
Hence the basic axiom of the militarist's logic is undermined. Such arguments inadvertently give deference and hence credence to militarists and allow them to deny the emotional and irrational in themselves. Militarism cannot be adequately understood outside the psychosexual dimension, and reason alone cannot make militarists act rationally and abandon power-based modes of behavior. Finally, with regard to the efficacy of reason, it must be remembered that the substance of an argument is often not what is persuasive.
It is partly "how" it is said, but mainly "who" says it, that counts. For example, debates about the military are usually couched in technical and strategic terms. People are told that "these issues are very complex" and that they should therefore trust the specialists-the military experts. Moreover, people are conditioned to look down upon or to disregard those outside the power structure. This Patriarchal conditioning must also be addressed directly if activists want people to hear them. It is a value system that builds in and reinforces denial, distancing, fear, greed, and delusion.
It must be named if people are to see it. Since reason does not impress those in power, let us turn to strategies for influencing those who empower them. Influencing the Populace Radical environmentalists find much common ground with regard to the sort of societies they would like to live in. However, ecofeminism differs from Manstream theory when it comes to strategy, or how to get there. Put more emphatically by Sharon Doubiago: "Because of sexism, because of the psychotic avoidance of the issue at all costs, ecologists have failed to grasp the fact that at the core of our suicidal mission is the psychological issue of gender, the oldest war, the war of the sexes.
Ecofeminist strategy, in contrast, suggests that a deconstructive process is also necessary. Ecofeminists would defuse the ideological and psychological pressures upon the masculine ego that fuel the abuse of power. Manstream green strategy, on the other hand, often fails to deal with problems of politics-as-usual, liberalism, mysticism, identification, power seeking and 42 Ecofeminism sexism, and co-optation.
In the discussion below, I focus on the Liberalist position, but some points apply to Leftists as welL Again, "Liberalist" refers to strategies for social change that begin from the individual-it is not to be confused with liberal ideology. Seen as a strategy, it is essentially directed at changing people's values or belief systems rather than at psychological roots , on the assumption that more "aware" individuals will make better decisions or cast better votes.
In lieu of challenging the male-controlled system directly deep ecologists, for example, advocate developing the capacity to identify and integrate with nonhuman nature, or "Self-realization. Also, people have to want to change their beliefs and behavior, and rational arguments and religious exhortations do not carry people over this threshold.
Science – Videnskab – Forskning
People still need to be moved or persuaded to take up deep ecology or different values. This Liberalist strategy contains vestiges of the dominant liberal political and economic paradigm that, it says, contributes to the environmental problem. Mainstream liberals assume that simply changing people's values will lead to different voting and behavior patterns. Their reasoning is this: values make people prefer certain lifestyle or political alternatives; therefore, political change can be achieved by persuading others to adopt one's own beliefs.
This logic is perfectly reasonable-but only in a vacuum unaffected by the media, corporate advertising, a liberal orthodoxy, Patriarchal social conditioning, linguistic patterns, and so on. This is because mainstream liberal philosophy is premised on an image of Man as an autonomous individual, separate from His context. Many Liberalist greens eschew liberalism, yet share its context-free logic, which does not acknowledge the full extent to which our mental processes and values are shaped by the superstructure and infrastructure of our social institutions.
Thus, although many Manstream green writers are themselves political activists, the approach is essentially "politics as usual" because it relies ultimately 43 Janis Birkeland on traditional pressure politics and "numbers" for radical change. They are essentially only advocating public pressure for better goals and policies.
However, corporate power is above governments and largely dictates who gets elected and what they do. The Liberalist strategy does not undermine the props or address the emotional "needs" of the powerful. There is a certain irony in a position that recognizes that the competitive global economic system creates environmental problems but then proposes a solution that is essentially market-based, relying on consumers to change their values and lifestyles. This is analogous to approaching the drug problem by persuading people to "just say no," when we are dealing with something that is profitable precisely because it operates outside the market.
The resource extraction and pollution industries do not pay the replacement costs of public resources. Like the illegal drug business, they are lucrative because they do not pay the real costs and they create markets. People have not actually been given these kinds of choices. Recent events illustrate that educating consumers is less urgent than retooling our technocratic, political, and corporate decision-making arenas. Consumers would surely not object, for instance, if their creature comforts were provided via solar energy.
In fact, public enthusiasm for recycling centers, environmentally friendly products, and recycled paper has outstripped the supply, yet recycling centers have had to close in Australia. Industry has not been buying the material simply because, in our distorted economy, live trees are cheaper than used ones. This phenomenon is a function of power relations that shape institutions, laws, and economic and planning methods, and only partly a function of chauvinism toward other animals. Cultivating consumer awareness through grassroots action is no big problem.
It has proven relatively easy to legislate to change consumer habits, especially when backed by the ethic-building activities of a diverse environmental peace movement. Car pools, speed limits, tax incentives for energy conservation, water meters, labeling laws, and litter fines are effective interim measures-at least when not blocked by industry lobbies.
Unfortunately, the packaging industry in Australia has invested vast sums Ecofeminism in campaigns against can and bottle deposit legislation. Thus, power, and not consumerism, is the crucial issue. A liberal paradigm may be adequate for resolving social justice issues, but not preservation ones. This is because it frames all environmental issues in terms of distributional claims among competing interests in resources. In this framework, responsibilities are construed as merely mutual rights. If social justice is simply transposed onto animals, however, we would "balance the interests" between humans and animals, or incrementally trade off nature to meet human needs.
This limited egalitarian conception of ethics is still commonplace in green thinking. Similarly, as in liberalism, much green thought has emphasized the self over community. Mainstream liberals devalue the idea of community as being a mere aggregate of individuals, whereas I use "community" to refer to a sense of mutuality and reciprocity rather than a parochial identification with a particular group. Mainstream liberals hold that Society should not impose a particular conception of the good life or of what constitutes human fulfillment.
Though few would quarrel with this proposition, it excludes the idea of community from its conception of what is essential to human well-being. It fails to fully appreciate that we are what we are because of nature, culture, and emotional bonds. Thus, liberalism reflects and reinforces the estrangement of autonomous Man from the feminine, community, and nature. Liberalist green thought does not fully escape this legacy.
It is also two-tiered-relating to the self and the biotic community-though it seeks to bridge this Man-made gap. While it attempts to reunite Man with nature, it leaves community and the women's culture in the background. Furthermore, this Manstream emphasis on the individual "at one with nature" distracts attention from structural and systemic issues. Institutions embody values, so they must be changed as well. Of course, some constructive institutional reforms have been put forth by Manstream theorists, and others: reforms such as bioregionalism, decentralized and direct democ- 45 Janis Birkeland racy, and the new economics.
The further we move in this direction, the closer we get to what has traditionally been thought of as 'woman's sphere'-that is, home and its close surroundings. The catch is that, in practice, home, with all its attendant roles, will not be anything different from what it has been throughout recent history without the enlightened perspective offered by feminism.
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Women's values, centered around life-giving, must be revalued, elevated from their once subordinate role. However, grassroots or hands-on community involvement is an important means of self-realization as well. For example, it has often been suggested that people "need to save themselves before they can save the forests. Personal development, I believe, requires the sometimes painful process of community participation as well as contemplation. Furthermore, the view of politics as a means to an end is corrosive.
When we implicitly suggest "we need power to make change," we have already begun to compromise. There is certainly nothing wrong with criticizing anthropocentrism in favor of biocentrism per se. The significance of ignoring the very real problems of building community and restructuring institutions, however, is this: an environmental ethic that does not offer a chance of saving the natural environment is not an environmental ethic.
The relationship between social change and individual perception or spirituality is, therefore, crucial to the relevance of the Liberalists' program for social transformation. Hence we now embark upon the politics of mysticism and transcendence. Similarly, mystical transcendent spirituality can be a head trip. In Starhawk's words, "Power-from-within must be grounded, that is, connected to the earth, to the actual material conditions of life. First, history does not bear out the presumed causal relationship between "spiritual" change and behavior. Most religions begin as spiritual movements, but they are eventually crystallized and institutionalized to become part of an officially sanctioned power structure family or state.
For instance, Buddhism shares a not too dissimilar spiritual base with much Manstream philosophy, yet does not alter social structures based on dominance relationships. Consider, for example, the position of women and the widespread environmental destruction in Buddhist states and societies.
Second, spirituality, belief systems, or world views do not necessarily improve individual behavior. This is because behavior is not solely a product of either rationality or beliefs. Behavior patterns are so deeply encoded that we often do not perceive them. Ways of acting and relating are ingrained from earliest childhood, a product of habit, role-modeling, social reinforcement, and institutions. This is one reason why there is often a gap between what people believe in and what they will do to get their own way, along the whole spectrum from personal to international relations.
I have seen religions reinforce and rationalize prejudice and cruelty, but not cure them. Third, individual moral behavior is constrained by power relationships and institutional corruption. We observed above that environmental and social problems are underwritten by the profitability of resource exploitation and the arms trade. Even if we had an ecologically sound environmental planning system, the pressures of our militarist economy would nullify any structures, plans, or programs designed to conserve natural resources over the long term.
Fourth, changing people's way of thinking through spiritual or educational persuasion would not reach the prime movers. Even the conversion of five billion people might not reach the top thousand in the transnational 47 Janis Birkeland resource corporations and the military. There is little point in beseeching the godfathers to adopt a new ethic: in real life, there is always someone to take their place.
A case in point is India today. Despite a Gandhi who inspired a mass movement to topple the powerful, one power structure merely replaced another. Fifth, getting more leaders on one's side would not be enough to change the rules of the game or the umpire's bias. Even the omnipresent game metaphor itself reflects a "masculine" bias.
More enlightened decisionmakers would only slow the rapidly increasing disparity between rich and poor, the plundering of the public estate, and the relentless drive toward market totalitarianism. Sixth, the insufficiency of spirituality alone to effect social change is obvious when the military industries and arms trade are seen for the international extortion and protection racket that they really are.
In this context, spiritual approaches in isolation from gender and institutional factors merely serve the power structure. Can we really expect to prevent institutionalized crime by cultivating inner peace and a mystical appreciation of nature, however important these may be?
Seventh, even if a new perception could change behavior, it is unrealistic to expect people to adopt a new way of "experiencing the world" within the given time frame. Many, for instance, have argued that Christianity, if actually practiced, would prevent the desecration of nature? O Perhaps it could, but it took hundreds of years for Christianity to take hold, and it did not work as intended even when whole societies were Christianand we have only a few years to stop the destruction of the nonhuman environment.
Eighth, many have invested heavily in the hope that the "crisis of life conditions on Earth" could cause Society to choose this new path. But crises cannot be relied upon as a catalyst to positive change, as we saw with the oil crisis of the early S and theU. Crises are, moreover, subject to manipulation, as when the nuclear industry uses its vast resources to promote fear of ozone depletion for the wrong reasons. In addition, as those in the peace movement know all too well, crises create fear and denial, which militate against the cooperation and planning that are necessary to save the planet.
Finally, despite their good intentions, spiritual movements set up a "them versus us" relationship between the believers and the less enlightened, and a conviction that there is one right orientation toward experiencing reality, however personalized it may be. Such movements run the Ecofeminism risk of creating a hierarchy of beliefs.
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For instance, some have implied that it is somehow "deeper" to perceive nature as an extension of the self, rather than, say, as a cathedral or an art gallery. As with some religions, we may begin to judge others by their beliefs, rather than by their deeds. However, we are what we do about the desecration of human and nonhuman nature, not what we believe in. In short, personal transformation may be necessary, but it is an insufficient condition for social change. Deep ecologists, however, focus on "identification," reasoning that if people learned to expand their sense of identity to encompass all of nature, they would realize that to harm nature is to harm themselves.
Paradoxically, this relies on a person's sense of "self-interest," as opposed to a sense of intrinsic value. Altruism implies that ego sacrifices its interests in favor of the other, the alter The motivation is primarily that of duty It is unfortunately very limited what people are capable to love from mere duty or more generally from moral exhortation. Unhappily the extensive moralizing from environmentalists has given the public the false impression that we primarily ask them to sacrifice to show more responsibility, more concern, better morals. The requisite care flows naturally if the self is widened and deepened so that protection of nature is felt and perceived as protection of ourselves.
Patriarchal ideology sees altruism in terms of a negation of self-interested Man, just as it defines women's feelings and experience as the absence of real thought and knowledge. That energy and good will should be affirmed and nurtured, not exploited and coopted. Deep ecologists are correct in appreciating that people do not change through reason alone. But would it not be more ethical to develop our faculty of caring for other life forms for their own sake, rather than because we identify with them?
Morality and gender are social constructions; if 49 Janis Birkeland women can be socialized to take pleasure in the happiness of others, men must likewise be capable of these sentiments. One does not need a new philosophy to realize that self-interest and the well-being of the planet are inseparable. Common sense indicates this, whether one is anthropocentric or not.
Some deep ecologists have argued that anthropocentric arguments are self-defeating, since they reinforce human identification and therefore could cause people to eliminate species that are not "useful. In fact, the environmentally concerned are being persuaded that the disruptions to natural systems to date have been so catastrophic that any further tinkering with ecosystems is life-threatening.