Abstract ~ Love and ecology as an integrative force for good and as resistance to the commodification of nature and planetary harms: Introducing Fluminism.


Shiro of Hyphae, by me.


Key planetary boundaries are being exceeded by anthropogenic impacts, and at some pace (Rockstrom, et al). Climate change and biodiversity decline, consequences of hu- man/nature discordance, are impacting all aspects of human and non-human life and in all places on the planet. Human dominion has extended in the form of socio-political orientation towards the globalised, capitalist economy, and in particular to the ‘tragedy’ of limitless growth (Plumwood, Castree). In the UK, the principal approach to nature conservation from the scientific community is now hegemonic financialisation and Nat- ural Capital accounting (Daily, et al), a glove to fit the neoliberal ‘invisible hand’ (Adam Smith). Depersonalisation and reductionism persists as non-human nature is simply deemed utility to humans ~ Natural Resources ~ when in fact nature is an ever dynamic and complex matrix/flow, of individual lives and supporting elements, forming inter- connections, of which we are a part. I present Fluminism, a new love ethic and philo- sophical position, alternative to biocentrism (Taylor), ecocentrism (Naess) and anthro- pocentrism (Passmore), and innately insubordinate to the consumption patterns of a di- visive and distorted socio-political and economic value system. Emotion and rationale are inseparable (Milton), and in terms of axiology, love is largely incommensurable with commodification and, therefore, I propose Fluministic love serves to resist the debasing of nature by market force. I defend the use of neologisms and introduce Spring Theory to help redefine human language as evolutionary and part of the flow.


Ginny Battson, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter.

31 January 2018.

MA Applied Philosophy.


Eco-Feminist? Notes.


Female mallard, by me.

UK nature, animal and conservation charities ~ some founded and inspired by courageous Victorian women such as Octavia Hill, Beatrix Potter, Anna Sewell, Alice Drakoules, Emily Williamson, Eliza Phillips ~ have been increasingly dominated by a patriarchal economy and scientific reductionism.

I’m here to say that emotions are absolutely vital. Cast off as irrational, the domain of the inferior female mind, weak, unreliable, emotions are far from it. They are evolutionary drivers of change. Lest we forget.

As humans, we are part of nature. The love we humans feel is a also a force in non-human ecological relationships (I argue via my soon-to-be-submitted Masters thesis), and a powerful one; a force that is inherent in life’s positive, generative interconnections and processes (Fluminism).

This is my secular perspective, based on ecological studies of mycelium/tree biosemiotics, cross pollination and the microbiome (within to without ourselves). I propose there is, and always has been, more relevance of co-operation over competition.

Biocentrism, Ecocentrism and new Anthropocentrism are cited largely by men in this field (Taylor, Naess, Fox, Sessions, Attfield, Passmore, et al). My work contributes to the academic field of enviroethics, in that it is the interconnections that are of primary value, ulitimately preserving both individals AND the whole, co-operatively, as opposed to a competitive-based fabrication of choice.

“Male-centredness (a good parallel in some ways to human-centredness), can be damaging to men as well as to women. It makes men insensitive to dependencies as interconnections, as well as devaluing women.” Val Plumwood.

Does it matter now that I am a woman, particularly a British woman, presenting fluminism? I think so, though I am yet to explore this in detail and, hence, vigorously defend. What do you think?

What I am sure of is that love, as a doing word, and an ‘ethic of care’ (Carol Gilligan), ensures continuance & proliferation of natural relationships, interactions and processes.

Everything merges, overlaps, blends, co-exists. Boundaries once thought impenetrable are now being found porous. Even taxonomists are finding this out. Life is complex; cosmological to quantum, and our values need to catch up with that reality.




Poem for Buzzard



We played the common land this evening,

dipped the bumps: the hawthorn pits,
while a buzzard observed our sport
from a noble branch of sloe.
Buzzard reserved her verdict as the aviary ceiling
closed above us, swallowing the stars.
When she had vanished, we strolled
far into the dark, hollow grove
recalling her quiet perceptions.


Poem and image by me.



But a tiny grain of protoplasm…


Woodland Edge, photo by me.

“As our mother earth is a mere speck in the sunbeam in the illimitable universe, so man himself is but a tiny grain of protoplasm in the perishable framework of organic nature. [This] clearly indicates the true place of man in nature, but it dissipates the prevalent illusion of man’s supreme importance and the arrogance with which he sets himself apart from the illimitable universe and exalts himself to the position of its most valuable element.”

~ Ernst Haeckel, The Riddle of the Universe

Prometheus Books, 1900

Fluminism: Summary of its place in epistemology of environmental ethics.

In correspondence with my tutor…

“The big point I am making, is that unlike holism, deep ecology, Naess, I am suggesting it is the interconnections/processes, the doing, the perpetuation of life, love as a doing word, not the overall ecosystem which require the vital protective emphasis and focus. The problem with holism is that it reduces the worth of the individual. For example, farming is a kind of holism, ecocentrism (Leopold), but species are worth killing for the good of the idea of what is ‘whole’ by the farmer. Instead, by valuing the processes, individuals are generally indispensible. I disagree with the main tennet of deep ecology that the whole, including non-organics, is worth more than the individual. I have been highly biocentric as a rule, but I also think that biocentrism does not recognise the dynamic nature of nature. So I have come up with something I cannot find reference to. It is new, I think. This is the reason for the neologism, fluminism.”


Mental wellbeing, capitalism and fluminism. Notes.

  1. 27754913103_40a3c5cfe1_b.jpg
    Photo by me

    On social media, I read of a woman who recently experienced rejection from mental health services during a crisis of severe distress and suicidal thoughts. Seemingly, nurses judged she had been ill for so long and survived that she has developed coping mechanisms so did not need further support. How devastating must that have been for her. I know something of the absolute fear and isolation suffered during times of severe distress and suicidal thoughts. My heart goes out to her.

    What kind of society perpetuates this kind of distress? A society where so many are driven to desperation, then have no-one to turn to. Humans are biologically social beings, yet our social foundations have been shaken to the core. Communities, families and institutional service providers have been hammered by the pressures of a failing economic system ~ Neoliberal Capitalism.

    Competition or co-operation? Increasingly, evidence points towards the latter as dominant in human evolution, nay, many interconnected living species. The political Right would have you think otherwise. And a globalised machine based on competition rides roughshod over mental wellbeing. So many aspects to life are bleached-out by pressures to accumulate wealth and property (capital). Poverty, trauma, money stress, expectation to produce and buy…. tensions manifest directly upon loving and supporting relationships, right across the globe.

    Mental wellbeing is complex. Humans are biologically responding to internal and external stimuli. But the externals are largely ignored in our systems of care. Individuals who suffer from the fall-out of a broken system are, instead, expected to take full responsibility for their state. Meanwhile, the machine rolls on and GDP growth remains a deeply mistaken priority.

    The accumulators persist in power. Competition is perpetuated by our education system. Commodification seeps into so many aspects of modern life. Even the monetisation of nature is being forced at a pace, adopted by advocates of a growth-oriented market system dominated by corporate interests. Nothing seems safe. Nothing sacrosanct.

    People who advocate capitalisation and market force as salvation are either blind or callous to what this is doing to us all on a leviathan scale. Lives are worn down and snuffed out by competitive examinations, interviews, PIPS, job markets, mortgage payments, rents, bills, the weekly shop. It’s a machine.

    This is not what life could be. We don’t have to accept it.

    I will not accept all-out competition is the god-given ‘natural state’ of human existence.

    All is interconnected. All is flow. We can choose to be co-operative and compassionate. We can perpetuate and proliferate positive interconnections between all living beings. I call this fluminism. Love is life. Life is love.

    But the system is rigged and has been for a very long time. It is a form of entrapment. Baby-boomers, sitting pretty on their increased assets, have forgotten a deep sense of community responsibility. They are content with their pensions, when so many born since will have none. Their votes for low taxes keep centre right and rightwing politics in power, particularly in England, where the majority of elected MPs are seated in power.
    Trauma is now shown to ripple through generations via epigenetic changes in DNA. Positivity can help to reverse these affects, but life sometimes does not work out that way. Prejudice burns through a rich fabric of life. Some people never escape the proverty trap, a long, slow traumatic experience for many, and through no fault of their own. More are falling head-first into it. How hard it is to be single and afford such huge living costs.We can perceive and measure a wide array of symptoms of a broken society worsening ~ mental distress being just one, but critical. For the greater population, and down through generations, there will be a long process of recovery, even if all our socio-political systems changed overnight. It’s salutary.
    Positive relationships are so vital to wellbeing. Yet just how many are screwed by impacts of societal stress including lack of money, loss of money and debt.

    Mad? This makes me mad. It can be different. We are so on the wrong track in the way we live our lives together. I can’t tell you how much I want this to change. Vanessa Spedding  calls this a “yearning”. This is my truth. It is a deep, unequivocal yearning for society based instead on care and compassion.

    And yet, apparently, it is me who expects too much. My hopes for love and happiness fall flat. How terribly un-pragmatic am I, dreamily romantic, to want a better life for everyone, including myself, and not just a select few. To want true equality. How “blue sky’ to want a society cleared of such false constructs, to leave room for deep love and care, for one another and for all other life.

    Let me say this in reply. Pragmatic is now RADICAL change. Every day, I read the science on the state of this amazing planet upon which we depend. The Transilience Gap is huge. Cost? There is your cost.

    I cannot repeat it enough. Positive relationships are quintessentially foundational to our wellbeing. But how many continue to be screwed by the relentless instabilities, insecurities and unpredictabilities of an economic system based on material aspiration, accumulation of money and debt.

    @acathbrn Anna Biren says:

    “This is so true. Being forced to work for the majority of the day and coming home drained and exhausted also contributes to not being able to maintain relationships. So as we grow older, the more we work, the more alienated and lonely we become.”

         And alienation and loneliness is a killer. We can do better. We can be fluminists.