The Ngara Institute, who present politics in the pub and larger events that attract renown speakers, say they will be devoting their entire 2020 program to the ecological crisis and asking the question ‘How shall we live?’.
The institute’s convenor Richard Hil said the organisation would It represents a significant shift away from Ngara’s focus on critiquing neoliberal economics and the banking system. The shift has received quite significant criticism from some sections of the community.
‘This is not about “giving up hope”, but rather a stark realisation that the damage has been done, and that it’s irreversible,’ Mr Hil said.
Mr Hil said this did not mean abandoning demands for political and behavioural change, nor ceasing regenerative, life-affirming ways of living, such as clean energy, sustainable forms of transport and industry.
However, it was ‘hard to see how the required global revolution could occur within the available timeframe’.
‘Urging us to remain hopeful won’t get us out of this mess,’ he said.
Ngara’s change of focus has brought considerable criticism from some quarters, with some suggesting the organisation had ‘abandoned’ its critique of capitalism.
Mr Hil disagrees, countering that the organisation was adapting to the crisis, while acknowledging that it was a consequence of capitalism.
‘What we’re dealing with is the most extreme effect of radicalised corporate capitalism that has caused this threat to human existence,’ he said.
Ngara’s first event of the year, on March 25 at the Mullum Services Club, will explore just these issues.
Entitled A time for Courage and Acceptance, it features Catherine Ingram, a renowned Dharma teacher and author who has produced a series of articles, pod casts and videos exploring the extinction of the human race in the near future.
March 25 event
In her striking essay Facing Extinction, Ms Ingram explores the rapidly accelerating environmental and social collapse we are facing, and the qualities we need to face this challenge.
‘My premise is that we now live in a time of exponentially dangerous crises, cascading upon each other,’ Ms Ingram told The Echo.