Everyone is good, yet somehow the product of our civilisation is often pain and suffering.
More people are becoming aware that something needs to change and are even doing something about it. Simply talking about the challenges is a start, while others initiate changes in behaviour such as what they eat or wear. But engaging a big picture perspective is difficult and can seem futile because the system seems dysfunctional.
The text below is from a blog about morals (personal) and ethics (system) which is a short read offering insight in to the nature of the problem. Perhaps having read it you might contrive ways in which you can contribute to system enlightenment in your work and life, before this civilisation implodes like all those before it. Enjoy …
Our current ethical system requires politicians to act unethically, to do great harm to people they don’t know, while protecting those they do. This can hardly be denied, and was on display in the 2007/8 financial collapse and the bailout after. The millions of homeowners and employees politicians and central bankers did not know were not helped, and the people the politicians and central bankers and treasury officials did know, were bailed out. Austerity, likewise, has hurt people politicians don’t know, while enriching the corporate officers and rich they do know.
The structure of our economy is designed to impoverish people we don’t know. For developed nations’ citizens this means people in undeveloped nations. For the rich this means cutting the wages of the middle class. For the middle class it means screwing over the poor (yes, the middle class does the day to day enforcement, don’t pretend otherwise.) We are obsessed with “lowering costs” and making loans, and both of those are meant to extract maximum value from people while giving them as little as they can in return.
We likewise ignore the future, refusing to build or repair infrastructure, to invest properly in basic science, and refusing to deal with global warming. These decisions will overwhelmingly affect people we don’t know: any individual infrastructure collapse won’t hit us, odds are, and global warming will kill most of its victims in the future. The rich and powerful, in particular, believe that they will avoid the consequences of these things. It will affect people other than them.
To put the needs of the few before the needs of the many, in public life, is to be a monster. But even in private life if we all act selfishly, as our reigning ideology indicates we should, we destroy ourselves. If we all put only ourselves and those we love first, and damn the cost to everyone else, our societies cannot and will not be prosperous, safe, or kind.
The war of all against all is just as nasty when it is waged by small kin groups as when it is waged by individuals.