( A Twenty minute read)
Does the common good exist? or has technology killed it for good.
I am sure that there are far more Aristotle, thinking minded people than me that can answer this question.
While the exploitation and degradation of the environment is set to continue, life as we know it will one day be impossible on this planet unless we come together to act as one.
It is rational for corporations to free ride, given the costs of individual action, which affect profits and competitiveness in an international economy. There is little incentive for individual countries or corporations to do anything other than free ride.
Yet, collectively, this is the worst possible outcome for the environment.
The problem is that for common action to work it has to start small and be appealing to thousands with incentives.
Global problems are seen as long-term, to be resolved by political decisions. These are world problems – problems that ignore the artificial frontiers which crisscross the globe, problems which concern the whole human race, are driven by the system to engage in a competitive struggle for profits against each other.
Were we expected to co-operate to solve ecological problems – problems caused by the competitive, profit-seeking system that Governments support and uphold we would not need the out of date World organisations such as the United Nations and the World Bank, the IMF, the WTO that all needs to be democratized abolishing the veto powers.
While it is clear that a question which concerns the whole world such as the possible consequences of global warming can be effectively dealt with only by unified action at a world level, it is equally clear that this is not going to happen under the profit system of capitalism.
The different countries into which the world is divided have different – and clashing – interests. At most, all that can happen under the profit system when a global problem arises is ‘much too little, much too late’.
On the surface, the changes created by climate change seem almost benign, or able to be addressed with common engineering and economic and technological solutions.
If we are honest about how much information we really possess at this time, politics would be more about than building an institutional framework for the narrow pursuit of individual self-interest in the essentially private domain of liberalized markets.
After all, whatever every human being is doing, whether it is pursuing money, or pleasure or God, he is only seeking his own well-being.
Sadly, however, most people don’t focus on what they have in common with others or on the recognition of our shared humanity.
As Einstein once said:
A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Today, with the tools of science and technology we have brought ourselves to a self-threatening situation that everybody in the society needs to turn spiritual, otherwise there is no survival for this world.
What we are now seeing is the other side of ego—greed, lust for wealth and power, exploitation of others for personal gain. This darker side of ego separates us. We become mean and judgmental. We become polarized, one against another. We misuse the power that accompanies money in order to get more money.
But now the intention—why we act—has corrupted itself into what’s in it for me. The scourge of debt-backed money.
Existing realities on the planet could be changed in a moment, because existing realities do not take into consideration people’s will, they do not take into consideration people’s commitment, they do not take into consideration the love in their hearts.
However I am convinced because human beings have a capacity for empathy that transcends boundaries of language, culture, skin color, religion, age, gender, and physical ability we can do so.
To engage the different voices and stories that shape human inequities and potentials.
The first and the foremost thing we need to do is to empower the people. Empowerment does not mean amassing of material wealth, or technology. Today our pursuit for these is so vigorous that the very life of the planet is being threatened.
So here are a few observations:
A thing’s nature is detectable not only in its external appearance, but also and more importantly through the natural inclinations which guide it to behave in conformity with the particular nature it has.
Participatory democracy becomes real when individuals, groups, and communities see the benefits of connecting their identities and experiences with those of others.
So why is it that we cannot act for the common good?
Is it because most beings in the universe do not possess the rational ability to act consciously.
Is it because we possess the power of free choice and therefore have a radically different relation to everything.
Is it that the simple requirements of doing good and avoiding evil fail to provide human beings with much content for pursuing the moral life.
Is it because the common good has been associated with the existence of an active of life rather than any narrow perception of the limited.
Taking care of the Earth is not just a responsibility– it’s a privilege.
Don’t ever let someone tell you that one person can’t make a difference! Making a difference for the future of Planet Earth doesn’t have to include huge life changing choices!!
Here are a few simple suggestion:
Make Train travel free. Have your bills emailed to you. Share what you care about. Ban Wooden coffins – cardboard coffin. Make solar panels grant able – Save Electricity. De-tox your home. Eat less meat. Eat and buy locally. Consume less chemicals, Conserve water. Stop using virgin paper. Paint you roof white. Make Florescent light bulbs free. Use refillable water bottles. Use your hankie as a Napkin. Recycle:
Every natural system on the planet is in decline.
If we all work together, we really can make a collective positive difference in the amount of damage we do.
Given the modern condition of American democracy, we need the arts and humanities more than ever.
It seems that if someone wants something, then it is good for them.
To define the good as ‘what all want’ is therefore a definition not of an effect by its cause, but just the opposite: a definition of a cause by its effect. The good is a cause. It is the final cause, the end or purpose.
There are, of course, some problems that you really cannot do much about on your own but these can be solved with a World Aid Commission of 0.05%. (See previous posts)
A different mirror” reflecting our connected histories and shared narratives–conflicting and complementary- is needed. Trump is just making darn sure it happens with a vengeance.
Our knowledge begins with sensation: with the things that we see and feel and taste and smell and hear. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has. Human nature impacts the rest of nature. We need to adapt to a changing world. We must organise to take the Earth back from those who currently own and exploit it, and must make it the common heritage of all.
Unless we invent the means with which we can practically colonize other planets and develop interstellar space travel. Without *both* of those, we are goners, no matter what.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks chucked in the bin.