Nov 24, 2022 • 55M

Activism: The Moderate Flank | Rupert Read

What philosophy has to say about the crisis

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Rachel Donald
Planet: Critical is the podcast for a world in crisis. We face severe climate, energy, economic and political breakdown. Journalist Rachel Donald interviews those confronting the crisis, revealing what's really going on—and what needs to be done.
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“How do we challenge the hegemony and change it, and start to plan for a future for our children, for our grandchildren, for our great grandchildren? That is the great challenge. But as I've been implying, it's really something which is or should be an incredibly mainstream and commonsensical point of view. Everybody cares about their children having a decent life, and that means they care about their grandchildren and their great grandchildren and their great, great grandchildren having a decent life.

“So this is why perhaps this can be a hopeful moment that the kind of shift that we're talking about here, which is very, very far from where the UK government in particular is right now, is one which should be and can be and, I think, is deeply and widely appealing to a broad spectrum of people.”


Rupert Read is an ecological philosopher and activist. Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, Rupert has written over a dozen books whilst campaigning for the climate with the Green Party and Extinction Rebellion. His recent work focuses on the precautionary principle—examining how humankind often fails to act cautiously despite not having enough evidence to warrant our choices and decisions. This can be applied both to the climate crisis and the development of AI.

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Rupert joins me to discuss truth, counter-histories, chance, through-topias, and the moderate flank—the next branch of activism which seeks to recruit those resistant to the radical action which more commonly makes the headline. Don’t fancy throwing soup at paintings or shutting down roads? There are myriad ways we can all get involved in resisting the fossil-fuel economy and demand change. Rupert reveals the many campaigns happening in the UK for those who want to take action but don’t know where to start.

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