R.K.: Well, wait a second now, I didn't give you that incredulous sounding voice when you talked about secession. It's a wild, crazy idea, but I like it. But it's" I could go" who is going to do this, you know?
K.S.: Well that's easy. The people can do that. People can get together on a small scale basis and accomplish secession and continue to govern by secession. But to take billionaires down, you're going to have to create a big government that has control over the entire economy that can decide who is going to be a billionaire and who isn't. In the first place. I wouldn't want to live under a government with so much power, but in the second place, that kind of government is not going to happen in the United States. Tell me that's not the way we run things in this country so far. I mean, in the way that it is.
R.K.: Absolutely true. You're right, it's not the way we do it now.
K.S.: How are we ever going to do it? That's exactly the point of secession. Is to say that given an array of problems, none is going to be settled at a federal level by the kind of people that inevitably go to office there. And you can imagine a whole bunch of reforms. They're offered every year and ignored, massively ignored.
R.K.: You know, I gave a talk last summer at the public banking conference on embracing bottom up values. Now the values that I talk about are decentralization and eliminating hierarchy and getting rid of authoritarianism and supporting, reconnecting people and things like an interdependence. Things like that. Now I think that in order for the big changes that you want and I think I want a lot of the same ones, it takes a value shift.
People have to start having a change in the way they look at the world and what they consider important. And sometimes that can happen very quickly. I don't think it'll happen with the electoral process as you've already said. That it's not going to. I think it's possible, but you have to talk about it and that's what you're doing with secession and that's what I'm doing with some of the things that I think are important.
K.S.: Well, you know I worked very hard at one point to get people to change their attitudes toward nature. Hoping to get a vast change of mind so that we regarded nature as someplace where we lived and had to deal with communally and regarded all of nature as part of our web and not something that we simply manipulated for our ends.
And I hope to have a change of consciousness and you could say that the environmental movement, that began in the 70's, had some of that change of consciousness, but it never got out of the material phase, materialistic phase of regarding nature as something to be used for human betterment.
And it never came to the ideas of deep ecology which were put out by Arne Naess and others in the 70's which limited human impact on the world in a variety of ways and tried to get people to think of themselves as part of nature, not rulers of nature. And I have to say that didn't happen and that the environmental movement became bureaucratized and became part of the system and as part of the system it's victories have been very limited and I think will continue to be very limited.
R.K.: Well, let's talk a little bit about that because I think you wrote a book, I think that relates to that, called, After Eden: The Evolution of Human Domination. That's the book that describes some of these ideas, right? I'm very interested in...