The climate convention: a democratic challenge?

Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com

The debate about climate change and global warming has been around almost forever without any tangible worldwide change in the political behaviour or mindset. Clearly it is the endless conflict of politics versus life and this is how dangerous greedy politics has become. So, is the climate “convention” a democratic challenge?

It is unfortunately obvious that a leader who seeks popularity can’t work for the climate. Fighting for environment is fighting against economy, freedom, industries, consumerism, politics and the list is long. Some questions are to be asked for all climate enthusiasts: shall we give up using cars, trains and planes? The thought of it after 2020 the quarantine year can be a splash of icy water. At this point, happy few are up for this challenge of giving up cars, planes and trains but this is no big help. Consequentially, what should be done?

Two main acts, if done seriously, can make a difference. The first one is to have a new industrial policy for producing long term products just like big industrial companies made names to themselves in the last century for producing items that lasted for decades. The second act is educate people again to be sensitive to nature, to be awed by nature’s aesthetics so they will become its defenders. To learn it again requires reconnection with natural elements.

These two acts, especially the first one, are a democratic challenge for the decade to come.

Shopping is not the same as buying | Seth’s Blog

Seth Godin, brilliant as always, distinguishes buying from shopping. The latter has more to do with desire, fantasy and pleasure; whilst buying is simply the act of getting of what one needs.

This distinction between desire and needs has been the debate in philosophy for ages. From those who condemned desire as a dangerous futility leading to alienation to those who praised desire as a pure human energy, desire has been the drive of consumerism as an ideology.

For mass consumerism requires mass production and the latter gave birth to injustice, human slavery, economical clash, more class divisions, global warming and the list goes on.

As usual, Seth Godin puts it in simple words and deep thinking. Read its post down below for more food to the mind.

https://seths.blog/2020/12/shopping-is-not-the-same-as-buying/

We are tired of this blindness

Modern capitalism has ignored the lessons of history in the ignorant and short-sighted pursuit of individual wealth. See for example the article Economics for the People by economic historian Dirk Philipsen in Aeon magazine, from which I quote at length, due to its eloquence: In preindustrial societies, cooperation represented naked necessity for survival. Yet the […]

We are tired of this blindness

Classic Liberal Thought by John Stuart Mill

The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty In last week’s post […]

Classic Liberal Thought by John Stuart Mill

The invisible people

Street photography.net

Human history mentioned invisible people without mentioning them. The mass, the vast majority, the anonymous are mainly forgotten in all walks of life.

In Plato’s “Allegory of the cave”, the invisible people are left to their destiny, choosing between comfort and manipulation or the arduous journey of freedom made by Socrates, the only visible one.

The invisible slaves changed history with Spartacus, the visible slave.

Mandela, The King, Gandhi are still vividly visible men of salvation and justice.

The invisible people are the people we choose not to look at. Beggars and homeless are faceless and nameless people of the modern world.

History, ethics, philosophy taught us that ideals of justice and equality are to fight for. However, society is still based on hierarchy, on visibility and invisibility.

The real force lies in the invisible world!

Labour day or the modern slavery day

labor-day
photo by cute-calendar.com

Happy labour day! It is a controversial title especially for jobless people out there and for grateful workers who still have a job in spite of the lockdown. In fact, digging deeper to the concept of labour, one can tell that the alteration of labour in our understanding had led to an alteration in the concept of freedom. How did we become modern slaves?

The word freedom comes from libertas. In Ancient Rome, a liber meant a free man who is not a slave. So, back then, slavery and freedom were legal statuses. Fast forward many centuries later, with the outcome of the Industrial Revolution (19th century), labour became a social, legal, political and philosophical theme. Therefore, labour is a recent concept, born with the evolution of society. Since then, with the progressive abolition of slavery and monarchies in Europe, everybody was working. Freedom as a concept was understood as financial independence.

Alongside the new concepts of both labour and freedom, capitalism (especially in its industrial form) encouraged ambition conceived as wealth which was not a bad thing. The bad thing happened later, when capitalism turned to become consumerism and a financial capitalism. Simply put, loans and massive production turned the world population into forever indebted to banks and states. Freedom as a concept  both in its old and new understanding, became an illusion. Adding to this, the new virtual surveillance of online work.

Charles Bukowski said it better:

How in the hell, could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 am by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where you essentially made lots of money for somebody else and asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?

in Factotum, 1975

Happy labour day everybody!