When I first showed up in the States the official line on the New Left (emerged in the 60s) was that it was about including race, class, gender and environment in the intellectual mix.
Andrew Ross and I used to talk about it.
But over time I started wondering more and more, "Where did the environment go?" It certainly wasn't obvious from the way the New Left shook down in the late 80s academy.
So one day I asked my friend (another one) who writes for New Left Review (so he should know right?).
"How come the New Left dropped the ball on ecology in the Sixties?"
"Well, it was a hippie thing."
Not "It was perceived as a hippie thing." It was one.
Well, this hippie thing is now the Arctic Vortex that got drunk and slipped south thanks to a wobbly jet stream << globe warming. Humans have died. And so forth.
Best line on the Vortex, by a TV journalist: "It's colder than Mars." Love that. The sense of being on another planet and of thinking at a planetary scale.
What about it is a hippie thing? It's a question of style?
Or the "style thing" is masking an anthropocentric thing? You dismiss forging and acknowledging relations with nonhumans that way? (You use the "best of bees" vs "worst of architects" to cover your behind?)
Or "hippie thing" is pejorative code for "I too, the New Leftist, do not wish to ruin my trip by mathematizing relations at the scale of geological time"?
Scaling up to the level on which you can think ecology is a hippie thing? I really really want to figure this out. I'm writing a book remember!