John Cobb is one of the world’s most important thinkers. The leading light in process philosophy/theology, he has authored over 40 books and edited 16 more (including 9/11 and American Empire v.2, which I co-edited).
Andre Vltchek is one of the world’s most important journalists. Long ago he left the Western “comfort zone” and never looked back, traveling incessantly, observing trenchantly, and reporting on places that the mainstream correspondents never get to or never really see. Since meeting John Cobb on a bus in North Korea, the leftist-atheist journalist and the eminent theologian have been engaging in a dialogue that deserves our attention.
Together, Cobb and Vltcheck have just issued China and Ecological Civilization: “As the world is possibly heading for yet another catastrophe and the West is flexing its muscles, antagonising every single country that stands in its way to the total domination of the Planet, one country—one of the oldest cultures of earth, China, stood up and said ‘No! There are different ways to go forward. We could all benefit from the progress, without cannibalizing and fully destroying our Planet.’”
Really!? China—believed by readers of Western media to be the most polluted and polluting place on Earth—is our best hope for ecological sustainability? Why haven’t we read about this in The New York Times?
The amazing story of how an important group of Chinese intellectuals embraced Whiteheadian process thought (which David Ray Griffin dubbed “constructive postmodernism”) and applied it to the goal of creating ecological civilization— thereby changing the course of their nation and the world—has not received the attention it deserves. How many Westerners, including those who try to keep up on world events, realize that Chinese President Xi is a strong supporter of ecological civilization? How many know about China’s stunning progress in improving its stewardship of the environment? (I discuss some of the details in my recent American Free Press article “China’s Amazing Renaissance.”)
Given China’s inexorable rise to global leadership, there is a real possibility that John Cobb, who (following Whitehead) founded process thought and brought it to China, may be viewed by future historians as a major benefactor of humanity. And if we do manage to survive by learning to care about the common good, Andre Vltchek, one of our most fearless critics of the current greed-based bankster capitalist system, will also deserve a share of the credit.