Sunday, January 9, 2011
On morality and individual action
After meeting with Professor Victoria Johnson on Friday, I have been thinking about the role of individuals in being able to drive organisational change surrounding the environment. And so I apologise if this post, as well as yesterday's, seem out of place, and unnecessarily weighty. I do want to emphasise that I have experienced only positive energy since starting this project, and that is unequivocally encouraging. Yet at the same time, it is hard not to notice the constant lethargy and inaction on scales larger than those I currently operate in and influence. I am hopeful for action, but that does not mean that I do not speak out against what I see as a continuation of behaviour that has inevitably led to the dire state and inertia of society today. As I mentioned yesterday, the failures of government to protect its people and the Earth that feeds them are plain to see. The almost invisible walls between government and private corporations have allowed governments to advocate for the legitimacy of existing large, environmentally destructive corporations. At the same time, corporations have used the minimal (and appeasing) governmental regulations that do exist to operate without consciousness. Consequently, they have been successful in degrading, polluting, and wasting away the precious and mystical gifts nature provides for us and all else. Corporations have defined the details of acceptable ways to live, only to serve themselves, their hollow egos and deep pockets. What is lost through corporate mentality is the understanding of nuance - of place, of people and of feeling. But here we are, in a world of ever-increasing "knowledge" and ever-increasing environmental degradation. It is easy for me, and for us, to blame large corporations and politicians for the situation that faces us at the steps of the future. What we forget is that it is us that lend legitimacy to these organisations, institutions and corporations. The moral fabric upon which they operate is defined through the collection of our moralities. However, in the process of the weaving of the fabric, individual moralities are averaged out, resulting in a destructiveness that was from the outset unthinkable. Regardless, our continued patronage lays the foundation for their continued existence. While I do not argue for violent anarchy, I do stand for action according to the highest moral ideals. These ideals may never be reached, yet we should never be satisfied with where our moralities currently lie. Such action, introspection and self-exploration will allow us to present ourselves as "whole before the world."