Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ward Churchill And Ayn Rand

Two writers that have been highly influential in my life were Ayn Rand and Ward Churchill. I came to the conclusion that both were part-right. Ward Churchill was right to affirm nature, wrong to attack the Western civilization as such. Ayn Rand was right to affirm the civilization, wrong to have no value for nature. They both had a part of the puzzle. The solution is to put them together.

Much can be said in favor of naturalistic worldview. Man has not created nature or anything approaching nature in intricacy or complexity, and it is wrong to see it as only resources for man's use. One does not have to be a “commie” to understand this. I am not a Communist, but I see it wrong for man to blindly pillage what he cannot recreate. This is not civilization. This is the worst of barbarism, and one that impoverishes the world.

At the same time, much can – and should – be said in favor of the civilization. It has produced the computer, the mobile phone, brilliant art and thought and philosophy. An anti-civilization stance is worse than unrealistic, it is blind, ignorant and destructive. The civilization has come up with many good things, and they are a function of people applying their talents toward making something of their lives. Doing which – may I say – is the best of liberal values.

The solution is to neither support nor oppose either nature or civilization. It is to arrange the two in a way that makes the most of both worlds. It is to support and contribute to the civilization while making the burden lighter on nature.

One part of the solution is clean energy. With clean energy, civilization fulfils its needs in a way that makes the burden lighter on nature. I happen to be privy to a technology that makes this possible. It is called the Hydrogen Transmission Network, and it is spelled out on That way the civilization continues to grow without being destructive to nature.

Many of the best technologies are brain-intensive rather than resource-intensive. There is not much material expended in constructing a mobile phone, but now even the rural people in Africa have ones. Intelligent technologies leapfrog the existing technologies. They deliver utility in a way that is less burdensome on the natural resources. They make the most of the mind and less of destruction. A truly efficiency-oriented mentality will support such technologies wherever they may be.

Neither nature nor civilization are either good or evil. Both are capable of both. Nature can mean anything from Yosemite Park to deadly bacteria. Civilization can mean anything from Oracle Corporation to fracking and predatory lending schemes. It makes no sense to side with one at the expense of the other. It makes sense to support both when they produce beneficial results – and check them when the results of their processes are for the wrong.

Both nature and civilization are essential; and both need to be in the best shape that they can be. This is very much an achievable goal. With technologies such as the Hydrogen Transmission Network, this goal stands to be fulfilled; and it becomes up to us to make such a thing possible.


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