[Being masters or possesors of nature] has no meaning – except to enslave society to an absurd project and to the structures of domination embodying that project.~Cornelius Castoriadis
The debates surrounding climate change almost always contain a certain urgency, and, it couldn’t be otherwise as it is an issue that, if left unattended, will develop into a catastrophe with existential consequences for humanity. So, of course, there is need for a well-coordinated action on a global scale so as to avoid the grimmest of projections.
This is where things get complicated: there are several approaches to thinking how such much needed steps towards tackling climate change can be initiated. The sense of urgency that surrounds this issue plays a crucial role in the framing of our thinking about the issue.
There is a certain danger that arises when translating this urgency into political projects, because it can easily be equated with the temporality of domination. The temporality of centralized and bureaucratic structures is supposedly the one of quick decision-making, unburdened by mass deliberation, that, according to some, is what we need in such dire situations.
The Temporality of Domination and Bureaucracy
We can already see proposals in this line of thought surfacing in the debate around climate change. Anatol Lieven, in his book “Climate Change and the Nation State” advocates that the drastic action required to resolve this crisis can best be carried through the current governmental, fiscal and military structures. French climatologist François-Marie Bréon goes even further by suggesting that the fight against climate change goes contrary to individual freedoms and democracy, leaving us with no other option but some sort of “green” authoritarianism.
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