Monday, 13 September 2021

How the Other Lot Think


I thank the goodly god of Gold

Who has denied me nought,

Who has increased me fifty,fold,

Because I have not thought.

I thank the god that gave the lie

To what the Saviour quoth,

And made it possible that I

Serve God and Mammon both.

Eimar O'Duffy

Thoughts to conjure with. Since those words of Eimar O'Duffy were published in his 1933 dystopian novel Asses in Clover.  Since that time, following the money has become the sacred rule of thumb across the corporate world. A job is only registers as 'work' if you are legally paid a wage or salary to do it. In 1933, the world at large was still recovering from the shock of a World War fought by servicemen conscripted in law and paid to fight. O'Duffy was part of the broad church of the guild socialist movement that encompassed the work of John Ruskin, William Morris, Clifford Hugh Douglas and so many others. Included in that movement were many 'anthroposophists', individuals, men and women who had studied the teachings of Rudolf Steiner on science, philosophy, farming, politics, economics, spirituality and education. Found in all walks of life throughout the English-speaking world, they sought to understand how the financial system was permeating and distorting all three spheres of the social order - the political, the economic and the cultural spheres.

Over the decades of the 20th century, individuals came to be defined by their earning power. Furthermore, the trade or profession through which an individual's income was obtained determined their relationship with the world at large. Increasingly, as the century rattled on, powerful corporations determined the shape of the social order, offering 'employment' in the profitable industries, or in the research, education and training necessary to provide workers for those industries. Thus, in addition to the massive infrastructure of modern times, the employed produced highly profitable arms manufacture, nuclear fuels and weapons, information technologies, banking, pharmaceuticals, bioengineering, agribusiness and so on. As the lands of the world are commandeered by the corporate world, local farming and indigenous populations are forced into waged and salaried slavery as the only alternative to starvation. Small wonder the god of gold reigns supreme. Seemingly, millions have little choice but follow the money and ask no questions.

Nevertheless, throughout the two centuries of industrialisation, questions were being asked by thoughtful farmers in particular and women in general (see ). Alternative lifestyles have been developed by those endowed with the skills and foresight necessary to step outside the comfort zone of paid employment. However, especially in the last two decades, ignorance about the basic facts about what makes the social order tick, who makes the laws, and so on has become endemic. Taught to follow the rules through a schooling system that now exists purely to turn out workers for the global corporate machine, so many simply cannot hear what the thoughtful farmers, mothers and activists are saying. This is where creative listening, as introduced in the last Blog, can come in. We need to listen carefully, in order to understand how the other lot think. Only in that way can we begin to move towards sharing and caring for our common home.

No comments:

Post a Comment