Citizens Papers image“The danger now is that those who are concerned will believe that the solution to the “environmental crisis” can be merely political—that the problems, being large, can be solved by large solutions generated by a few people to whom we will give our proxies to police the economic proxies that we have already given.  The danger, in other words , is that people will think they have made a sufficient change if they have altered their “values,” or had a “change of heart,” or experienced a “spiritual awakening,” and that such a change in passive consumers will necessarily cause appropriate changes in the public experts, politicians, and corporate executives to whom they have granted their political and economic proxies.”

“The trouble with this is that a proper concern for nature and our use of nature must be practiced, not by our proxy-holders, but by ourselves.  A change of heart or of values without a practice is only another pointless luxury of a passively consumptive way of life.  The “environmental crisis,” in fact, can be solved only if people, individually and in their communities recover responsibility for their thoughtlessly given proxies.  If people begin the effort to take back into their own power a significant portion of their economic responsibility, then their inevitable first discovery is that the “environmental crisis” is no such thing; it is not a crisis of our environs or surroundings; it is a crisis of our lives as individuals, as family members, as community members, and as citizens.  We have an “environmental crisis” because we have consented to an economy in which by eating, drinking, working, resting, traveling, and enjoying ourselves we are destroying the natural, the God-given world.”
“The folly at the root of this foolish economy began with the idea that a corporation should be regarded, legally, as “a person.”  But the limitless destructiveness of the economy comes about precisely because a corporation is not a person.  A corporation, essentially, is a pile of money to which a number of persons have sold their moral allegiance.  Unlike a person, a corporation does not age.  It does not arrive, as most persons finally do, at a realization of the shortness and smallness of human lives; it does not come to see the future as the lifetime of the children and grandchildren of anybody in particular.  It can experience no personal hope or remorse, no change of heart.  It cannot humble itself.  It goes about its business as if it were immortal, with the single purpose of becoming a bigger pile of money.  The stockholders essentially are usurers, people who “let their money work for them,” expecting high pay in return for causing others to work for low pay.  The World Trade Organization enlarges the old idea of the corporation-as-person by giving the global corporate economy the status of a super government with the power to overrule nations.”

“I don’t mean to say, of course, that all corporate executives and stockholders are bad people.  I am only saying that all of them are very seriously implicated in a bad economy.”