Mapping regions bio and cultural
Regions in a time of breakdown
The Raven is increasingly focusing on the concept of regionalism, the idea that, as urbanist Lewis Mumford put forward many years ago, there is a “regional framework of civilization.”
Mumford’s thinking, to which The Raven devoted a series beginning here, is that regions are the basic units through which the world is connected. He wrote, “Real interests, real functions, real intercourse flow across (national boundaries): while the effective organs of concentration are not national states . . . but the regional city and the region.”
This is more than an abstract discussion. In focusing on the regional dimension, I am pointing in a direction to cope with and eventually rebuild from a time of national and global breakdown. As the tagline of this web journal states, to plot a path for “living beyond empire.”
Breakdown is increasingly in the foreground. Conflicts and divisions are growing within nations and between them. Supply chains are snapping. Climate chaos is intensifying. National and global institutions are increasingly incapable of responding to the interwoven crises facing us. In fact, national and global elites continue to pursue models through which they have gained power and wealth, even as the destructive consequences of those models escalate. Whether it is continuing to expand the production of fossil fuels and arms, or perpetuating a profit-oriented capitalism heedless of social and ecological impacts.
Elites insulated in their bubbles will be the last ones to feel the consequences, which is why they will continue to prolong them. As historian Arnold Toynbee determined from his study of civilizations, this is the dynamic that causes civilizations to collapse.
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