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Fragment 188, word count: 329.

tags: dystopia, wealth, capitalism, consumption, empathy, malaise, decadence, exceptionalism, 

It is delusional to think that people who use yachts and private jets have any ability to reduce their environmental impact. They have constructed that impact as an overt essence for themselves. People who devote themselves to that system of self-definition and personal evaluation can never abandon their holdings and privileged consumption, or membership in the club of exceptional beings that the trophies declare.

Dystopia is not an accident that befell humanity, nor is it the inevitable working of nature. Dystopia is the product of human factions taking macro-parasitic benefits, largely obscured behind veils of deception and patronage, and it has to be maintained by the work of legions of busy people every day, some of whom have decided to devote themselves to climbing some branch of the pyramid of social esteem, who choose to raise their public profile through celebrated competitive achievements to the full extent of their talent and energy for symbols and comforts that declare membership in a club of exceptional beings. This incentive and reward system of money-enabled lifestyles with high consumption, travel, and celebrity status calibrated by titles, honours, control, and trophy properties of various kinds, trophy memories, is inherently the catastrophic looting of the planet’s resources driving global heating and climate disruption. This is the built-in concluding detonation at the core of capitalist civilization.

Empathy and the Malaise of Exceptional Beings

The alternative is to come empathically into the company of all who find themselves embodied into the temporal drama of ceaseless loss and novelty. Living this is dramatic agency and drama is a personal time-vector, a tilting into anticipated openings through a partly predicted flow of conversation among multiple agents of emerging personal dramas, playing around the resistant inanimate world-structure. Empathy is the ultimate spiritual power and value. Every exceptional beings club shuts off the possibility, the legitimacy, of empathy for large numbers of our fellow beings. That is the spiritual decadence, the malaise of exceptionalism.

Copyright © 2022 Sandy MacDonald.