I think that when we talk about philosophy we often think of something that is immaterial and somehow distant from everyday concerns, or that it relates to deeper ideas than those that we do encounter within the daily progress of our lives. Yet philosophy is about our very ‘being’ in the world. About who we are and what we do whilst we are here. We live at a time of deep crisis in the world and need to stand by what we believe. We may feel like Frodo when he says “I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
For Atelier 88 here in Galicia we wish to live our philosophy, we have decided what to do with the time we have been given, for us Praxis is the word that comes to mind.
Praxis (from Ancient Greek: πρᾶξις, translit. praxis) is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, embodied, or realized. “Praxis” may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, or practicing ideas. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praxis
How do we wish to live our lives? How do we want that life to be in terms of the bigger picture? ‘Disaster Capitalism’ is killing our world and the world for those in the future, all for monetary profit in the short term.
“In The Corporation, Joel Bakan asked a leading psychiatrist to examine corporate behaviour (externalising all costs onto society) using standard diagnostic criteria. The doctor found he was looking at the profile of a psychopath.” 1
The idea of “corporate psychopathy”, that corporations are psychopathic seems extreme but what else can they be called? When our oceans have vast swaths of plastic the size of a small country, when people in Flint USA are drinking poisoned water, when to extract gas from shale they use fracking that undermines our houses, they pollute our rivers and seas, they expel toxic gases into the atmosphere and are happy to see very young children working, or workers in Indonesia living on 30 dollars a month living in squalor to satisfy our need for Nike trainers. 2. And watch Behind the Swoosh https://youtu.be/M5uYCWVfuPQ The list goes on but the term psychopath now seems to be a fair description of the corporate mindset and practice. To think that even our universities call themselves corporate. That art departments have corporate management! Academic institutions are not friendly to something that eludes the control of narrowly-defined disciplines, close concepts are tautological and any attempt at open conceptual learning is to be opposed.
Edward O. Wilson, an Evolutionary biologist asked in an essay: ‘Is Humanity Suicidal?’ Wilson a Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvard professor who has devoted his career to ecological and environmental studies. https://studymoose.com/edward-o-wilsons-is-humanity-suicidal-essay
Here are three quotes from Edward O. Wilson:
Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.
Sometimes a concept is baffling not because it is profound but because it is wrong.
Where is this apathy and blindness to the real possibilities of human extinction leading us? Why do we become complicit in this inhumanity? Why do we continue to live as if the world around us is not courting disaster? It would seem that the population has been reduced to a state of stupidity and infantilism.
What we wish to achieve here at the Red House is an example of how we feel we should live if we take into account the serious issues facing us and our world. We have no wish to impose our views on others but if by example we can show others an alternative way to live, if we can provide a place of creativity, dialogue and debate, of learning and self-awareness then perhaps we make a small difference and give hope where there seems to be none. If we can awaken the minds of those who are sleeping toward disaster that would be our greatest wish but to share and build the collective of those who share our thoughts is our principle mission.
We will speak more in the future on,
Living Systems Theory: A general theory about how all living systems “work,” about how they maintain themselves and how they develop and change. By definition, living systems are open, self-organizing systems that have the special characteristics of life and interact with their environment.
Goethe’s Science of Wholeness:
see Daniel Christian Wahl https://blog.usejournal.com/goethes-science-of-wholeness-55282a462bbe
I have deliberately appropriated from those who are trying to awaken us the likes of, Joanna Macy, 3. (b 1929) is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory & deep ecology.
Also works by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Metamorphosis of Plants) https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/metamorphosis-plants, Daniel Christian Wahl, the works of Rudolf Steiner, Carl Jung, Arne Næss, ‘The Voice of the Earth’, by Theodore Roszak, Murray Bookchin,’The Ecology of Freedom.’ 4 and many others.
We also encourage others to contribute.
Pedro and Lottie Nevin 2018
- Joel Bakan, professor of law at the University of British Columbia, and an internationally renowned legal scholar and commentator. A former Rhodes Scholar and law clerk to Chief Justice Brian Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada, Bakan has law degrees from Oxford, Dalhousie, and Harvard. His critically acclaimed international hit, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power (Free Press, 2004), electrified readers around the world (it was published in over 20 languages), and became a bestseller in several countries. The book inspired a feature documentary film, The Corporation, written by Bakan and co-created with Mark Achbar, which won numerous awards, including best foreign documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, and was a critical and box office success. Bakan’s highly regarded scholarly work includes Just Words: Constitutional Rights and Social Wrongs (University of Toronto Press, 1997), as well as textbooks, edited collections, and numerous articles in leading legal and social science journals.
In 1998, Keady was conducting research about Nike’s business practices at St. John’s University, the school signed a $3.5 million deal with Nike, forcing all athletes and coaches to endorse Nike. Keady publicly refused to support Nike and was forced to resign his position as a soccer coach.
After resigning, Keady continued to research the conditions in Nike’s Sweatshops. He traveled to Indonesia and for a month lived among the Nike factory workers, surviving on the $1.25 per day wage the workers earn. Keady’s efforts were recognized on many media outlets, including CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, HBO Sports, ESPN, the ABC, the BBC, NPR, WBAI, as well as in the NY Times, Newsday, Sports Illustrated, the Daily News, Daily Kos and many other local radio programs and print outlets. He offers educational workshops called “Beyond the Swoosh” where he shares his experiences living with Nike’s factory workers and his decade-long effort to end sweatshop abuses.
After a decade of activism, Indonesian Nike supplier PT Nikomas Gemiland repaid 4437 production workers for 600,000 of forced unpaid labor.
In September 2018, Nike and Keady were in the news again over a controversial ad campaign with Colin Kaepernick, famed football player and social justice protester. Keady was asked to voice his views regarding Nike’s stance on social justice in the United States while the company has a history of social justice controversies globally. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Keady
‘The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy’, is a 1982 book by American libertarian socialist and ecologist Murray Bookchin, in which the author describes his concept of social ecology, the idea that ecological problems are caused by human social problems and can be solved only by reorganizing society among ecological and ethical lines.