ECOCLUB

ISSN 1108-8931

INTERNATIONAL ECOTOURISM MONTHLY

Year 6 - Issue 72

Sponsored by: Zante Feast Discovery Holidays, Purple Valley Yoga Centre, Hana Maui Botanical Gardens, Jorth Consult Limited, Pacuare Lodge, Ecolife 2005 Fair

ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS

Interview
Jan Telensky, Environmental Industrialist

Club News
ECOCLUB.com Ecolodge Award Projects under way

Eco Focus
Member Reports from: Guatemala, Laos, Dominica, Turkey, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belarus and Oman

New Publications
Saving Paradise

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Editorial: Barbarians, inside our heads

Following the ongoing violence against innocent commuters in London, innocent tourists in Cesme and Sharm al-Sheikh, and innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine - violence controversially linked to the same Frankenstein by London's Mayor - should we now be confident that the 21st century will surpass the 20th in terms of barbarism?

The barbarians, the Lestrygonians & the Cyclops, may be actually inside our heads. At educational and religious establishments worldwide, young minds are given daily doses of heroic acts and reasons to die, of the divine that divides, of heavy responsibilities to live up to, past heroic wars, enduring threats, unique customs, the fatherland, the motherland, the holy this, the holy that, how to be different, the best, more cunning, to be the winners. So that they then choose the right team, the right party, human herd, pyramid hierarchy, the good job, the good career move, the quicker backstabbing. For every winner, many losers.

21st century pessimistic scenario: Peddlers of the afterlife preach, glory mongers command, neurotic workaholics manage, abusive substances are promoted, pollution remains an externality, greed is "good", drugs that could save lives are unavailable, drugs that take lives are available, billions are wasted through arms races, graft, incompetence and indifference. While racism, social racism and all sorts of borders, boundaries and controls are making a strong comeback. Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, are violated each and every hour, in each and every corner of the planet, and basic human conventions like the Geneva one, thrown in the dustbin.

And who would be to blame? All of us. If we keep on blaming "the others", the "infidels", the "enemy", the "society", the "evil" something, following "new-born" leaders, trigger-happy generals, cheap sermons, gurus, prophets, martyrs, missionaries, dogmas, experts, crusaders, orders, uniforms, discipline, and assorted saviours, to our mutual destruction. If we do not resist the temptation to limit human rights in the name of "security".

And who can change this? Again all of us. Through rational thinking, knowledge and science, without excesses, without violence, by pursuing pleasure & happiness, in line with the Epicurean philosophy of Ecotourism, with open, inclusive societies, with fewer borders. As Epicurus said: "It is impossible to live pleasantly without living wisely and honourably and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely and honourably and justly without living pleasantly." Let's share, travel, communicate, enjoy each other, try to find true meaning in life by assisting the underprivileged - there is no greater satisfaction - in an intelligent, constructive, and not-imposing manner. Let's replace "divide and rule" with unite and pool. Sounds romantic & naive? Great! So did, just a few decades ago, universal suffrage, free speech, education, social security, pensions, the right to go on strike, paid holidays.

For related inspiration and some much-needed optimism, download Aristophanes classic but still contemporary, pacifist comedy Lysistrata

Antonis B. Petropoulos
ECOCLUB Editor

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