I wrote this post a while ago, but didn’t publish it because it seemed too negative. But then again it is facing the truth, they are coming thick and fast…
Disasters are in the nature of things. Life is evolution and change. Galaxies collide, solar systems merge, orbiting objects crash into each other, storms and subterranean events cause cataclysmic events on planets. So however stable things might seem, it is inevitable that disasters will occur.
So is it any surprise that disasters are also caused by human beings. However, we do seem to be particularly good at creating the conditions for them, e.g. we:
invest in new sources of fossil fuels that we know are not sustainable, thereby exacerbating the global warming we know is happening – and continue to prevaricate on taking effective action to minimise and mitigate its effects.
degrade our soil and food with chemical-based farming, when biological and organic methods are the only sustainable way.
base our economic system solely on growth, regardless of the quality of that growth and its ecological non-sustainability.
propagate increasing inequalities that history tells us are not sustainable and result in conflict, yet refuse to contemplate alleviatory measures, such as taxes on financial transactions, wealth and land.
elect those who base their campaigns around separation and collective illusions, such as making countries ‘great again’, standing above others.
fill our seas with plastic, to the extent that our food coming from the oceans includes increasing residues of it.
cut down forests to create more land to feed animals for food or grow more oil, thereby removing the planet’s lungs (analogy).
globalise everything such that (with climate change) diversity of species is drastically reduced.
invest in escalation of arms including nuclear, chemical and biological weapons that no sane person would wish to see ever used.
The entrenched status quo appears to be manipulated by the main beneficiaries (the rich and powerful) such that any rapid change of direction is not possible.Read More »
These sex and money scandals – it’s all about the misuse of power, with money as its ally and enabler.
The power and will of the undeveloped ego does not move beyond selfish impulses, empathise with others or reflect upon the consequences or morality of his/her actions. Some such persons become capable of sexual aggression or rape; others take their own wealth to be of supreme importance at the expense of others, some consolidating their position by dictatorial politics or gangster rackets.
Money is the enabler that pays the lawyers and accountants to ensure that their actions are legitimised or not penalised. How often have you heard the words ‘I haven’t done anything illegal’?
It is interesting that the worst corporate offenders in terms of avoiding their obligations to the wider society seem to be the young (and still rapidly growing) IT companies – Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon etc. – entities still essentially in their adolescence, when a sense of balance and fairness is often not yet achieved by the ego.
The developed ego strives to continue to grow and move beyond these primitive influences, leading ultimately to ego transcendence and spiritual being. For these people, power and money give responsibility for their wise use, in the situation in which one finds oneself. Exploitation of others and personal aggrandisement are no longer part of the game.
Our challenge today is to raise the level of everyone’s game (ego). The bringing to light, to public awareness, of what was previously hidden, is an encouraging part of that process of change. I salute all involved in this cleaning of the inner stables, particularly those with the amazing courage to speak out the unspeakable things done to them and those journalists whose efforts shine that light.
In my days of working in IT at a big international company, I eventually rose to a moderate level in the hierarchy – such that I was once even given the title of vice-president of something or other, to impress some Americans. One thing I did observe during those years was that, in general, the higher level managers were more unpleasant and lacking in empathy than people lower down the scale – not an invariant rule, as there was indeed the odd relatively human high level manager (yes, I probably mean you, if you’re reading this). Also, it was often the more unpleasant and pushy characters who got promoted more quickly.
I was therefore not surprised to read Oliver Burkeman’s review of Dacher Keltner’s book The Power Paradox: How We gain and Lose Influence in Saturday’s Guardian Review. Read More »