Imagining

Despise not the day of small things

Naomi Klein has rightly said that confronting the climate crisis “not only requires a new economy but a new way of thinking.” (“The Change Within”). Bruno Latour’s latest book, Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime (2017), is a magnificent, path-breaking reconnaissance into the wilderness of that new way. It is no inspiration-of-the-moment magic bullet. Rather, it is the work of a scout who has been making forays into unknown terrain for over thirty years of single-minded, relentless labor at the grassroots-level as well as the highest levels of theory. The provisional, partial map of the wilderness drawn in Facing Gaia, based on the surveyor-detail sketches accumulating over the past decades, makes one of the most compelling cases I know for the kind of grassroots, experimental egalitarian organizing going on today. Latour’s work from the beginning has been a collaborative project on a heroic scale committed to reimagining democratic politics.

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