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Our title, the self-diagnosis of the Captain Ahab, applies just as fittingly to the US led corporatocracy says Chris Hedges in his allegorical reading of Melville's Moby Dick. A variety of material, including an unread chapter of Charles Eisenstein's Ascent of Humanity and an interview with gift economy pioneers Vic Button and Frank Bowman point the way to a more optimistic end for humanity than that of the Ahab's doomed whaling voyage.
After an introductory quote from "Apocalypse Now" to set the tone, we begin the show gently with a perspective on the Financial 'Crisis' from Professor of Econometrics, David Harvey. Rejecting the usual suspects such as 'Human nature', 'Institutional Failure', 'Mistaken Theories' or 'Cultural Values', he says that a fundamental rethink is needed.
Next we read the last remaining unread section of Charles Eisenstein's Ascent of Humanity, "Humanity Reconsidered", which questions the widespread assumption of human depravity. The first section of the last chapter was omitted by Lyn Gerry in her first reading of the show, but nevertheless strikes a fairly familiar chord for anyone who heard the original readings.
As an example of how simple it can be to pioneer the reunion, we hear a lightly cut interview with a couple of Gift Economy pioneers, Vic Button and Frank Bowman on how they got started realizing their moneyless world with a Give and Take stall in North Wales in 1989.
Our longest piece this week is by one of the most regular speakers, Chris Hedges. Speaking in October 2013 he paints a bleak picture of the future ahead, using Hermann Melville's Moby Dick as an allegory of the modern fascist kleptocracy. "All my means are sane", he quotes the maniacal Captain Ahab, "my motive and my object mad". The ship's hierarchy echoes the hierarchy of the time, and Ahab's monomaniacal control over the crew of the doomed whaling ship Hedges parallels with the ever tightening grip of the technological control grid used to perpetuate the murderous program of imperial exploitation. Nevertheless, he urges us to fight fascists regardless of whether we stand any chance of winning, but because they are fascists.
As an antidote to his bleak picture, we hear a few timely words from Bill Hicks, reminding us that the beautiful world our hearts tell us is possible is just a change of heart away. Does humanity have what it takes to realize the dream and beat swords into plowshares? Not, I suggest, while we still worship the insane God of money. The last word this time goes to this show's founder, Lyn Gerry, speaking from way back in Unwelcome Guests episode 123, articulating the kind of society she would like to live in.
This episode rebroadcasts content from episodes 123 and 517.