I've always understood "anarchy" by its dictionary definition as a state of political or social disorder resulting from absence of government control. My layman's grasp of the concept was of some wresting of government control by a gang of, well, anarchists. But what if that loss of control is generated from the top down, not the bottom up? What if the loss of control is occasioned by those in whom control is democratically vested? What do we call it if they're too indifferent or cowardly or self-interested to exercise the control we have entrusted to them? Is that a form of reverse anarchy?
It's a fair question to be asked on this, the 2011 Earth Overshoot Day. How our world fell into overshoot can't be laid at the feet of our elected leadership but they are directly responsible for our failure to address this challenging dilemma. Global warming is not, of itself, their responsibility but they are directly responsible for our failure to acknowledge and respond to it. They share some responsibility for the unhealthy growth in income inequality that is beginning to plague our societies and our economies but they alone are responsible for failing to address the problem because they alone hold the levers of power needed for that job. They deserve a very big share of the responsibility for the degeneration of Western economies into the Casino Capitalism inherent in FIRE (Finance,Insurance,Real Estate) economies and almost total responsibility for failing to intervene to rectify this societal contagion.
The point is that on one score after another after another upon yet many others, our political leadership is failing to act and, in the result, abandoning us to an anarchy of their own making. They beseech us for the reins of power, the very instruments essential to deal with these challenges and threats, and then simply drop them to their feet.
We can't expect anything better from our current Ruler, an unproven bean counter and professional political place holder, the very sort of institutional hanger-on his party supposedly detests yet routinely flocks to. No, we can't expect much from someone handicapped with Steve's ideological myopia. His is a perverted, narrow path that can only be followed by actively rejecting science and spurning fact.
It would be nice to conclude this with an assurance that some time, eventually, we'll find the sort of leadership that will meet challenges head on, individuals who will use the reins of power for the purpose they're given. But we can't wait until 'eventually' rolls around. We simply don't have the luxury of whiling away the dwindling opportunities that remain to us to act.
Why do we keep electing a latter day version of the Easter Island municipal council?