Dec 042009

There is good information in this posting if you have time to scroll through.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is holding public meetings on very short notice.  Please help get people to the meetings.  See items #2 and #3.  Thanks!

UPDATE, thanks to Herman:  Expert panel recommends new isotope reactor

Good grief!  We need to respond and find out why the much, much less expensive options for producing isotopes weren’t recommended.  Someone needs to answer. It’s our money.

I apologize for this email.  The information is needed; I am not editing it as should be done, no time.


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I cannot find the information:  I think that the decision on the first phase of the high-level radioactive waste disposal plan (ostensibly for Canada but most likely for North America) is December 31st. I think that is why there is a flurry of activity.

It’s clear the decision on where the “willing host community” will be located has been made:

– The NWMO (Nuclear Waste Management Organization) met in Saskatoon last spring.  They wanted a private meeting with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations with no media in attendance.  The FSIN said the meeting is open and there will be representatives from “the other side”.   (INSERT:  later, in 2010 the NWMO gave $1 million to the FSIN.)

– The NWMO came here again in September, this time for closed-to-the-public “stakeholder” meetings.

–  I saw reference to a meeting they held with the Metis Nation in October.

– They’re back again now in December for “public information meetings” and another meeting with the Metis Nation.

– Cameco is simultaneously running like mad around northern Saskatchewan.

If these activities of the industry fail to make clear that a decision on the locating of “the willing host community” has been made, add this in:

– the Government of Saskatchewan’s Uranium Development Partnership Report includes high-level radioactive waste disposal

– the University of Saskatchewan’s Canadian Centre of Nuclear Studies contains in its mandate “safe storage”, a euphemism for high-level radioactive waste disposal.

Public consultations were a sham.  I guess we have to do something more to reinforce our 84% “no” vote.

We are inundated.  We need to increase our numbers.  Please invite more persons with connections to South Asia into the network. Stephen Harper’s recent nuke sales to India are related and reason.

For item #3 (NWMO meeting), please spread the word: request for Saskatonians to attend the NWMO meeting with the Metis Nation, Saturday Nov 5th, 8:30 am, Saskatoon Inn.

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Radio-active waste disposal HERE.

Stephen Harper’s sales of nukes THERE (to India).

If you know the connections and care about other people, you will want to share the nuke information from our network with more Canadians whose origins are in South Asia.  We need to find them.

It will be mutually beneficial.

Item # 11,  THE ROAD BACK TO COMMON SENSE, SHARED KNOWLEDGE  is an aid to understanding the false foundation upon which the NWMO meetings are presented.  There is no context, no memory, no experience, nor ethics factored in.

Decisions on high-level radioactive waste are being made by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.  They are the industry.  Corporations “sell”.  They use advertising which is essentially propaganda.  It is entirely inappropriate to use a corporate sales job on high-level radioactive waste disposal.  Sound decisions need to be made by citizens.  The public should not be misled.

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We want a transition to renewable, truly clean, non-destructive energy supplies that are locally owned.  We do not want private large corporate ownership of electricity — this is all headed in that direction as explained in earlier emails.


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High-level radioactive waste is generated by nuclear reactors. Saskatchewan is in line to receive all the ACCUMULATED radioactive waste from North America.

India is in line to receive 25 to 30 new nuclear reactors, thanks to Canadians (Stephen Harper).  We don’t want them here.

We banned asbestos here, or so we thought – turns out we didn’t, really. It didn’t kill the industry:  we merely contributed tax-payer money to exploit and ship to markets in India.

In Saskatchewan and in Alberta, the nuclear agenda is a wrong response to resource depletion.  It is also a corporate response at public expense. It seeks to assert centralized control and to extend large private corporate ownership of energy.

Think hard.  WHO do you know whose heritage lies in South Asia?  Or, google and find some organizations.  Send them this email.  We have some representatives in our network, but not enough.

Stephen Harper is courting ethnic Canadians and their votes.  Following his recent visit to India, “They’re both just fascinating spots,” Harper said. “It really is just overwhelming. So this was just a tremendous opportunity to see and experience the roots of so many Indo-Canadians.”

Stephen Harper, salesman for the nuclear/uranium corporations, has just “signed a memorandum of understanding that will let Canada play a role in India’s planned building of 25 to 30 nuclear reactors. …  India’s reactor demand for uranium may triple in the next 15 years, according to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Cameco Corp.” But note that it’s not a done deal.  It still has to be ratified by Parliament, as I understand.

People living in India should insist that their Government KNOW where the high-level radioactive waste is going, BEFORE these new reactors are built.  The Bangladesh Times says that some of the radioactive waste from current reactors is going into the sea – – see item #10.

We work hard to make things better here at home.  I, as a Canadian can have dignity internationally when we work to get the same things for other countries, as we have for ourselves.

MORE people in South Asia need to have the information we share in the Nuke networks here.  Stephen Harper will have swept the issue of high-level radioactive waste under the carpet.

To stop Saskatchewan (or Ontario or New Brunswick) from becoming a dump site for the fifty years’ of accumulated radioactive waste on the North American continent we need help.  (Quebec has already passed a resolution to stop the importation of high-level radioactive waste into Quebec – smart them! Manitoba did it a long time ago, in 1987.)

Canadians have worked hard with people in India (e.g. Vandana Shiva) to stop corporate ownership of seeds.  Maybe we can work together on this nuke topic, and add more.

In Saskatoon there is a vibrant group of public-spirited people in the East Indian and in other South Asian communities.

(ASIDE:  I am forever grateful.  My number one hero in history is Gandhi.  There’s a sculptured bust of him in downtown Saskatoon at 2nd Ave and 21st Street.  From 2000:

“Some people find it a bit odd that a statue of Mahatma Gandhi should join a group that includes Gordie Howe, Gabriel Dumont and Ray Hnatyshyn.

In the spirit of friendship, and at the request of the Indian community, the Government of India has given a bronze sculpture of Ghandi to all the people of Saskatoon.

Dr. Prakash Sulakhe is the chairman of the Gandhi Statue Committee. “The influence of Gandhi’s philosophy has transcended geographical borders,” he says.”

Back to business:  Yes, the NWMO ran large ads in the main newspapers (page A9 of the Saskatoon Star Phoenix) so they can claim broad public consultation.  One weeks’ notice. One weeks’ notice is abuse-of-process, of course.  But never mind.  It takes more than that to stop us.



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PLEASE help to get as many people as possible to these meetings.  Whether we become a repository for the accumulated high-level radioactive waste from the whole continent depends on it.  There are OTHER WAYS to approach high-level radioactive waste.

PUBLIC MEETINGS – Thanks to Elaine:

(NOTE:  see the links. You can also provide WRITTEN submissions to the NWMO.  I would suggest that you cc these to Brad Wall and Stephen Harper and the President of the University of Saskatchewan, Peter MacKinnon.)

The NWMO is looking for a “willing host community”-  folks who want to live with a high level radioactive waste dump.  Saskatchewan targeted.  This is storage for North America’s nuclear waste.  One-time construction cost:  $24 billion, trucking costs $200 million annually for 30 years of operation.

Costs recovered from public:  electricity bills or from government handouts.  What do you think?

Find out what they are up to.  Share your thoughts on whether the proposed process is appropriate and what changes, if any, need to be made.  They say they want to hear from you.

(From Sandra:  Item # 6, COMMON SENSE  is an aid to understanding the false foundation upon which the NWMO meetings are presented.)

You are invited to information sessions (from 2 – 9 p.m.)

REGINA:  Monday Dec 7th:  Delta Regina

PRINCE ALBERT:  Tuesday Dec 8th:  Art Hauser Centre

SASKATOON:  Dec 9th Delta Bessborough

For maps and additional info see:

For a copy of the document under discussion copy & paste this web address into your browser:

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Thanks to Vi by way of Elaine:    SENT:  Thursday, December 03, 2009 2:15 PM

I am invited to attend a meeting with the Metis Nation in S’toon for Saturday Dec 5th  from 830 am to 2  at the S’toon Inn.  The Invitation reads

Information Session

You are invited to attend NWMO Roundtable as phase two of discussions about the NWMO site selection process. This event will be to follow-up the 1st phase of engagements that occured in October of this year.

MN-S staff will be providing a re-cap of the 1st phase of engagements and opening the floor for a roundtable discussion and opportunity for further questions and feedback.

I just received the  mail yesterday (INSERT:  December 2nd)  — they said to call and comfirm by Nov 20th — I called this morning and am registered to attend — I have a room booked for Friday night and they are paying our accomdations and travel and meals — they are providing lunch and breakfast.

if you can pass this on to others it would be great — I am not sure as to what will happen there it was only people from NWMO last time giving their side and there was no one against — and so it was all onesided — if there was someone there in S’toon who could come and maybe be able to answer some of our questions From the other side it would be great — see NWMO is paying the shot here  –

so of course they would not have any negative comments

anyway  see what could happen

Thanxs Vi

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I was talking to one of the Metis Guys and he said to ask if there was anyone in t the anti-nuke group who were by any chance metis  – as these are the only people who can  ask questions there  – it would make it easier for me  if there were. Thanxs Vi

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The CNSC (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission) office in Saskatoon has the details.  Or, I can forward an email with jpeg attachments to you.  I don’t have time to find a web link just now.

We are being overrun by meetings organized by the nuclear/uranium industry.

The overwhelming “no” registered by the public consultation process this summer, as reported by Dan Perrins (chair of the public consultation process) clearly means nothing to the Government, the industry and the University’s plans.

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Thanks to Gordon Edwards:

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization is wholly owned by the Canadian nuclear industry. Its Board of Directors consists of appointees from Ontario Power Generation, Hydro-Quebec, and New Brunswick Power — the three utilities that produce almost all of Canada’s high-level radioactive waste (otherwise known as irradiated fuel).

Most of the Board members are executives of these  utilities.

For a critique of the NWMO approach, see

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Some additional sources of info on the NWMO in case anyone would like:

Sierra Club:

Nuclear Waste Management Organization:

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If anyone would like the chronology we just circulated, please ask me.  It shows the connections.  The American energy strategy is a north-south “Canada – U.S. Western Energy Corridor” to move nuclear electricity and tar sands oil (which needs nuclear power for mining, heating and processing).

The industry already has a large, 5-decades’ accumulation of radioactive waste in the U.S.  Barack Obama effectively shut down Yucca Mountain in Nevada as a repository for the waste.

Instead of halting the production of MORE radioactive waste, they have developed a slick sales job.

Understand the tactics. They assert something that is “inevitable” or “the only option”, which is not true.  There ARE other options; it just happens that those options are not attractive to the corporate make-money interest. Their options are hugely at our expense.

They are big-time manipulators:

–  “high-level radioactive waste” is now “used nuclear fuel” or “irradiated fuel” or a “used fuel bundle”.  Challenge them on their euphemisms.  “Spent fuel” is much more radioactive than the original “fuel bundles” which are not radioactive at all, not until after they are used in the reactor!  Refuse to use their sanitized and manipulating language.  An example we have used in the past:  tar sands is tar sands, not “oil sands” as they are now billed.

– the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) comes to us speaking sweetly of how they are not going to use government (our) money.

Yes but, they have basically one product (electricity). And one market – us.  What they don’t get from the Governments (tax-payer and resource revenues) they will get out of our pockets on electricity bills.  Ask the people in Ontario how it works.

–  The NWMO waves MONEY:  “This is a $16 – $24 billion project that will be implemented in phases”.  They also assure the “willing host community” that “operation of the facilities” would continue after construction .. would involve hundreds of workers .. Spending during this phase would be in the order of 200 million dollars each year for a period of 30 or more years.  … Depending on the host economic region, wealth creation in the form of business profits and personal income throughout the host region during the operation phase is expected to be billions of dollars.”

This is clever but again, fails to mention that a corporation has to pay for its costs.  Waste is a cost it has to cover.  In this case it is a mere $16 – $24 billion FOR THE CONSTRUCTION and then $200 million a year for 30 years or more.  ALL THAT MONEY will come from us, one way or another.  And it will mean that there is nothing left for investment in alternative and locally-owned energy.  Don’t kid yourself, Bruce Power, nuclear reactors and privately-owned electricity come along with high-level radioactive waste disposal.  I like Doug’s analogy of the salesman who gets his foot in the door, whatever way he can.

–  reassurances replace common sense.  In earlier emails we worked out how it is really a “ponzi scheme” – a few people make huge profits, but only if they can dupe you.

–  Ask the NWMO where the Americans are going to dispose of their radioactive waste now that Barack Obama has ended Yucca Mountain as an option?

–  the NWMO says it has set aside money to build the deep geological repository for the high-level radioactive waste.  Ask them what percentage of the cost they have set aside.  And how much that fund is worth in the wake of the economic crisis.  Don’t fall for assurances that hold no water.  And a container so small that the excess will soon overflow.

–  the NWMO is going to find a “willing host community”.  Be familiar with the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP)’s plan, ” with leading nations storing all the high-level waste from the entire group”.  Canada is a leading nation and Saskatchewan is the leading place for nuclear/uranium, the “Canadian Centre of Nuclear Studies”.

Feb 27, 2009  “Work on disposing of radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain (Nevada) has all but stopped after President Barack Obama’s budget blueprint.  The move remains in line with Obama’s pre-election statements that Yucca Mountain was “not an option.”  America must now set a new course for long-term management of high-level radioactive waste, ….

“Obama’s position on the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), which would see a community of countries share nuclear power technology with leading nations storing all the high-level waste from the entire group…

“Modern long-term strategies usually involve a step-wise reversible process that starts with an invitation to communities nationwide to express interest.”

(Precisely the process that is being used by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) in Canada.)

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In addition to the suggestions in item #5, Mark offers this:

a.  Plutonium.  The official document does not mention reprocessing of spent fuel taken from the repository after 50-60 years – but we know this to be the intention of the nuclear industry, as it is the only way that they can secure a longterm future for themselves.  We should be clear that we find this unacceptable because of (i) weapons proliferation risk, (ii) added contaminant leakage risks.  I suggest that, rather than calling it reprocessing (let alone recycling, as the industry has begun to do recently), we call it plutonium recovery, because that makes it clearer what it is.

b.   Indigenous rights.  Specifically, an acceptable consultation process does not include bribes and it does not include blackmail.  And the “information” should not come exclusively from the industry – opponents of the proposal should receive sufficient funding to put their case.

c. Transportation risk.  All of the communities through which nuclear waste would be transported should be specifically consulted as to whether they find the risk acceptable.  Again, no bribes, no blackmail, no pro-industry bias.

d.  Why Saskatchewan?  This waste comes from “central” and eastern Canada, mostly from Ontario.  We can see no good reason why it should be given a home by communities in Saskatchewan, which has not benefitted from the electrical generation of which it is a by-product.

e.  Why Canada?  What guarantee is there that waste would not also come from still further afield?

f.  Jurisdiction.  As it is not just the “host community” that would be affected, decisions should be taken at a provincial as well as a local level.

g.  Turn off the tap!  The stuff has got to go somewhere, but first put an end to the production of more of it.

I think anyone going to the NWMO Public Meetings should try to get round to reading Gordon Edwards’ paper on the subject (  ): it explains the process well, and the fact that it’s a few years old doesn’t matter overmuch.



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From: Stefania  To: Bill

Date: Thursday, December 3, 2009 4:28 pm

I reviewed the video which you so kindly forwarded to me.  However, my scepticism remains intact because their reference to 90% recycling is rather misleading; they are referring to being able to reclaim 90% of the uranium oxide that is left in the spent fuel bundle for re-use in reactors.

However, they skillfully avoided addressing the issue of the fission products which are the real danger in the spent fuel and will continue to present the physical, radiological and toxic risk to any and all living things which they encounter/ expose themselves to for the next 250,000 plus years.

The fission products created in a nuclear reactor by the splitting of the uranium atom are the same fission products created when a nuclear bomb explodes.  The radiological hazards last 10 times as long as the half-life of any radioactive isotope.  Thus, for example plutonium has a half life of 25,000 years and it presents a radiological and toxic risk for 250,000 years.  Other fission products have shorter or longer half lives.

The other item missing from the video is the nature of the wastes remaining from the “recycling” process.  In France they currently “recycle” spent fuel bundles/waste in order to extract plutonium for their nuclear weapons and for the plutonium breeder reactors.

The wastes from this process are in liquid form and in a greater volume than the original spent fuel bundles.  According to various sources the liquid wastes are more difficult to manage than the original spent fuel bundles and they contain the equally dangerous fission products plus acids from the recycling process.  Spills and contamination hazards tend to multiply when the wastes are in liquid form.

The process employed by the US lab is more properly referred to as uranium fuel extraction than recycling.

I will forward the video to Dr. Gordon Edwards in Montreal who is an expert on such matters and ask for his assessment as well.

—– Original Message (to Stefania)  —–

I had mentioned a process that can potentially recycle 90% of nuclear waste. Please see links below

*Video excerpt:*    Please follow link here

*Original bulletin*: Sustainable Nuclear Energy.pdf   (Link no longer valid )

*Organization:*     Argonne National Laboratory  <  (US Government)

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“India has 17 functional nuclear reactors and five are near completion.”  Bangladesh Times.

EXCERPT:  (just the health part)

“In India, health hazards from nuclear power plants have always been swept under the carpet. In 2007, physicist V Pugazhendhi of the Doctors for Safer Environment released a study on the incidence of autoimmune thyroid disease among women in and around Kalpakkam, where the prototype fast reactor is under construction. It showed the disease affected 24 per cent women within a radius of 5 km from the plant. It reduced to 6 per cent within a 40 km radius and to 0.8 per cent in 400 km. . . .

The reprocessing plant at the site segregates the spent fuel into plutonium and uranium, and radioactive waste is diluted for disposal in the sea. A retired nuclear scientist from Kalpakkam, requesting anonymity, said uranium and plutonium, which need to be stored in secure underground repositories, are kept in temporary surface facilities at the site. Health surveys conducted by physicist Surendra Gadekar between 1989 and 1991 at the Rawatbhata nuclear plant in Rajasthan showed high incidence of tumours, miscarriages, still births and congenital diseases. DAE denies radiation from nuclear plants is affecting people’s health.”

From email sent Nov 29:

November 29, 2009.  “Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada signs a nuclear co-operation agreement with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan as way to trade uranium and nuclear technology with India”  . . .  on whose behalf?

(Link no longer valid

“. . .  The deal is likely to be signed when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh goes to Canada to attend the G20 summit in June next year where he will also hold bilateral talks with the Canadian leader (Stephen Harper) on the sidelines.” . . .

“The minority government will require the support of parliament members from one opposition party in order to pass the agreement.”

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I said item #11 ” is an aid to understanding the false foundation upon which the NWMO meetings are presented.  There is no context, no memory, no experience factored in.”

We have a corporate sales job, inappropriate for sound decision-making.

We have to figure out why things are going wrong, in order to transition to something that serves us better.

I don’t know “how not to go wrong”!  But we can figure out SOME of it, at least.  With help from each other and thought-ful people (like John Ralston Saul).

I sometimes talk about using “common sense” but every time I write it, I am uncomfortable because I don’t really know what common sense means, how I can legitimately lay claim to knowing what it is.

A phrase I’ve used much more frequently than “common sense” is “the commons”. It never occurred to me that the two might be related, in spite of coming to the realization that “the commons” includes our knowledge base.

Through working with you in this network I developed a better understanding of “sustainability” and the necessity for “protection of “The Commons””.  It became evident that our knowledge base is a critical part of “The Commons” and it too, has to be protected if we are to transition to a way of life that the planet can support in the long term, for our grand children’s children.

We share and are collectively responsible for The Commons.  You might understand my delight when John Ralston Saul’s 2004 book, “On Equilibrium, Six Qualities of the New Humanism” made the connection between common sense and “the commons”, specifically the knowledge commons.

Ralston Saul’s insights are helpful to our work, to understanding the WHY of our dilemma.

I haven’t time to weave it together just now (it’s more important to get people out to the high-level radioactive waste disposal meetings)!  Some quotes from “On Equilibrium” will have to do for now.

(NOTE:  “Plain text” doesn’t come with italicized print.  I translated italicized words into capitalized letters.)

Page 6:  “talents and characteristics .. The unpredictable way in which these things have been ‘handed out’ to us, the unexpected places in which they appear, produce a remarkable mixture of individuals; one which cuts wildly across all lines of class, geography, race, even education.  This is precisely what creates the richness of any society.  And being able to tap into all of this becomes the great test for a successful citizenry.  That is part of the strength of any more or less democratic and egalitarian civilization.  Because its legitimacy is based in the citizenry, it can give itself access to as great a percentage of these talents as its efforts can manage.

And so the disordered, messy, inefficient world of democracy can release a surprising percentage of society’s genius. A meritocracy, on the other hand, is so busy concentrating on efficiently identifying who is the best and pushing him to the fore that it shuts down its confidence in the rest of us – those of us who are turning our door-handles (INSERT: going outside) and willing to contribute, each in her own way and at her own level. The whole idea of a society of winners – a place known above all for its best – leads with surprising speed to a narrow pyramidal social structure.  And then to division and widespread passivity.  This in turn leads to false populism and mediocrity; to a world obsessed by bread and circuses, Heroes and the need for leadership.”

Page 7 – 8:  ” There could then be no society.  Only a utilitarian contract between specialist groups and a Manichean (INSERT: things are either good or evil) division of the whole, with each side claiming the truth on each particular issue.  What holds them together?  The answer over the last two centuries has been a gradual move towards a civilization of structure and form over one of content and consideration.  The way we come at every question is structural, managerial.

Much of the last two decades has been taken up by precisely this view.  The idea, for example, that we are driven by self-interest is the natural outcome of believing in competing certainties. (INSERT: ideologies)  And so the greedy are simply one version of self-interest, the benevolent another.  Everything is self-interest.  The only difference is what separates our idea of our own interest.  The very idea of society seems to slip away, so that even those who struggle for the greater good – whatever their particular view of it might be – do so free of society and on their own group’s tangential path.  Society, they feel, slows them down in their quest for great solutions to the problems that interest them.

Take a very specific example.  In 1997 the World Trade Organization ruled that the Europeans were wrong to ban American beef raised with hormones because there was no convincing scientific case that the hormones represented a health risk.  Put aside what you might think about hormones and beef.  The central question is elsewhere.

It begins with an absolute certainty:  that social policy in a democracy must be based not on popular will – the legitimacy of the citizenry – but on proof;  in this case scientific proof.  In other words, that our choice must be based on science.  But in fact the science in question is not exactly science because it is limited by an initial question formulated in the context of commercial interest.  In other words, food should be considered first as a commercial object, second a scientific object and only third a matter of social, health, cultural or, indeed of personal choice.

Hormones or no hormones.  Health or sickness, sickness or health.  The question on both sides is commercially constructed.  . . . .  This is curious.  We know that the central question ought to be social.  That is part of our shared knowledge – our common sense.  … “[Human] nature has this principal property: that of being social” …

But a choice without a context is not choice.  How can we be judged on our actions when the options are presented without memory, without an ethical foundation, without the opportunity of imagining a broader uncertainty?

It is as if we believe that power creates all relationships.  …

Page 19.  “What is common sense if not shared knowledge?

It is not understanding.  Many may find this a difficult idea to accept – that we can know something we don’t understand.  Not only can we know it, we can use the knowledge.  We must simply be careful not to slip into superstition.  . . .  Shared knowledge or common sense lies at the core of any successful society.

In fact the importance of our ability to use it (common sense) continues to grow as that of structure and technology grows.  Why?  Because these structures interfere with our ability to use our common sense.  They are linear, interested in control, essentially simplistic.  Common sense is essentially complex, lateral and disinterested.

It demands a very unusual form of intellectual concentration during which the implications or reality are digested.  This is not analytic.  It is tied to our sense of society – our sense that society exists.

Page 20:  (re Australian history):  “Thanks to the farmers’ energies and support, the movement succeeded in 1848.  There is a revealing detail here.  They were obsessed by the need for public education, a very expensive service.  And their obsession was not primarily to train their children to make money.  Their desire was to equip them to participate as citizens in their society.  Self-interest and wealth would follow behind.   . .

Perhaps shared knowledge is the relationship which carries us above self-interest. …

Economic forces must take their appropriate place as dependents of humans; more precisely, as dependent upon human characteristics in order to be shaped appropriately to our circumstances. …

What history tells us is that economics – commercial activity, production, trade – usually falls in importance about halfway down the list of human activities, far off the radar screen of our desire for society.  So the complexity of shared knowledge reminds us that, if one globalization model claims to be the voice of inevitable forces, a dozen other models will appear which don’t.  If humans deal with their superstitions and ideologies in an unpanicked manner, then the sensible not-inevitable models will predominate in the long run.  All of this is tied to common sense as shared knowledge.

Page 23 – 24:  So long as we accept the idea of self-evident and therefore inevitable truths – for example, that we are driven by self-interest or that technology leads society – our passivity will prepare us for ideological manipulation.

(INSERT:  I relate ideology to “black-white”, “my way or the highway”, “there is no other way” which leads to the inevitability, for example of “globalization”.  The body of doctrine, myth of some political idea, along with the procedures for putting it into operation. The ideologue cannot see past the ideology to acknowledge bad outcomes.  There are no alternatives.)

Look at the interpretation of individualism common today:  our successful assertion of our identity is to be measured by our ability to distance ourselves from commitment to society.  There is no denying that it is a tempting idea – that each one of us could fulfil ourselves by walking away from the others.  This tantalizing thought has always been with us one way or another … We need a percentage who stand on the outside.  But if all of us, one by one, walked away, the whole would collapse.  Society does not exist in the abstract.  Our shared knowledge exists as a continuation of citizens and their recognition of the OTHER.  . . .

Page 25 – 26:  “And so this sense is something we hold in common.  It is shared, which does not make it ordinary.  There is no such thing as “plain common sense”. …

Common sense as a quality does not lie in self-evident truths or plain self-evidence or the citizens’ backwoods’ sharp eye seeing through the sophisticate’s double-talk.  These approaches merely undermine the importance of ‘shared knowledge’ as a characteristic of all societies and therefore of healthy, responsible individualism.  …

The very idea of plain common sense has become a crutch for pretensions of self-evidence and inevitability.  (INSERT:  the road to “ideological manipulation”)

The partial answer is that we must try to see common sense in the context of our other qualities.  In those mirrors, it will take on its real shape.  And so there is instinct, which does have an element about it of the common man’s sharp eye.  There is our sweep of memory, which reminds us of what shared knowledge has meant and can mean.  There is reason, which provides a counterweight of conscious analysis.  Imagination, which allows us to give shapes to what we are not certain we know.  Ethics, which can protect us from destructive conclusions. …”

Page 28:  “democracy only exists as a reality inside the nation-state.  That is not an accident.  Democracy is an expression of calm, long-term relationships between people.  It is an expression of shared knowledge.  So if the nation-state is dead or dying, so is democracy.

Page 37:  “.. the voice of the democratically structured common good, instead of evoking real choice and real internal public debate, has slowly fallen into the error of worshipping and defending the smooth inevitable truths of expert public management, as if this were the core of public policy. ”

Page 45:  “Our experience over the last quarter century – for example, in repeated environmental crises – suggests that Vico was right.  Highly professional, indeed experienced understanding has been used repeatedly to justify increasingly destructive behavior.  The tendency is to break reality down into a multitude of factors and then to make decisions on the basis of one or two of these factors at a time, without asking basic questions about the whole.”

(INSERT:  the reaction of the University to the need for wholistic approaches is to laud the “multi-disciplinary approach”. BUT the multi-disciplinary approach in a corporate model still undermines the public interest.  The words become rhetoric or propaganda, nothing more than a sales pitch.)

… “the practical effect of common sense is best described as prudence.  To take care is neither conservative nor radical.  It is a form of consciousness – conscious that we are part of SOMETHING which precedes us and, if we are prudent, will follow in as good or a better state.  We are both reliant upon it and indebted to it.”

Page 46:  “prudence “… is the power to anticipate experience by means of the recollection of what has gone before”.”  (INSERT:  Memory and experience.)

Page 47:  “Insanity is the loss of our sense of the OTHER.”

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