Somehow a whole year has flown by since I last posted. A combination of professional and personal satisfaction – life is good inside my bubble – and the imperative to contribute to our collective betterment subsides. Contentment has a mellowing effect.
But I still want to be active in re-imaging a fairer world.
Because we still have huge problems to overcome. Run away climate change (1). Burgeoning gaps between haves and have-nots (2). Global displacement (3). The general failure of capitalism to deliver a high quality of life for everyone.
Yes I am still aware of these problems, but evidently I’m not riled up enough to be actively involved. Comfortably numb as Isabelle put it yesterday. Or villa villains as other colleagues describe themselves, knowing full well the consequences of a consumerist lifestyle, one nevertheless indulges in everyday luxuries like cars, imported food, summer houses, international travel…
It’s not that I’m seeking a paranoid state of constantly finding conspiracies and pointing out evil masterminds behind everything. More that I want to be aware of the different elements in our social system. To see not just my own individual challenges, but also the challenges faced by less privileged groups. To deconstruct the mechanics underlying our social system. To understand how inequalities are perpetuated. To image better modes of existence. Making poignant arguments. Being active in debates.
Perhaps doing well-considered social critique from a space of comfort is more sustainable than an reactionary tirade to every micro-injustice. As long as one in involved.
Apathy is the real villain.
1 Klein, Naomi. This changes everything: Capitalism vs. the climate. Simon and Schuster, 2015.
2 Piketty, Thomas. Capital in the twenty-first century. Harvard University Press, 2014.
3 Sassen, Saskia. Expulsions. Harvard University Press, 2014.