Chapter

Conclusion: Dissident Thinking in Turbulent Times

John Barry

in The Politics of Actually Existing Unsustainability

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199695393
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738982 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695393.003.0009
Conclusion: Dissident Thinking in Turbulent Times

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Summarizes the book’s main arguments. It offers some hard-nosed reflections on the centrality of leadership, courage, and vision as key elements of the inevitable transition to life in a carbon constrained, climate-changed world. Much of this chapter is taken up with the thought of Vaclav Havel, interpreted as a thinker whose ideas are largely compatible with green republican politics. Havel offers a unique ‘dissident’ perspective and this concept offers an interesting and fruitful way in which to capture a variety of green forms of resistance, from the resolute and ‘can do’ pragmatism of the Transition movement, to those who question the sense of self and subjectivity given by the standard Enlightenment storyline which neglects vulnerability, illness, and death, and to others such as the heterodox economics movement. This chapter ends with a discussion of the importance of generating new myths and stories to live by and stresses the importance of creativity and imagination as essential elements of successful ‘coping mechanisms’ in which learning and experimentation, innovation, and deliberation are central.

Keywords: dissent; Vaclav Havel; creativity; narratives; courage

Chapter.  8279 words. 

Subjects: Environment

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