Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Cultivating a self-managed planet

Time magazine of August 31 2009 has a cover on The Real Cost of Cheap Food. It shows a package of ground beef with a sticker that reads: “Warning: This hamburger may be hazardous to your health. Why the American food system is bad for our bodies, our economy, and our environment – and what some visionaries are trying to do about it.”

Our bodies, our economy, our environment, our, our, our… Nothing about “the others”, those beings who actually are suffering the most because of “our” food system: the billions of animals who are abused, and also the nearly one billion persons who suffer from unfair agricultural trade. From an algonomic point of view, they are, presently, those who are paying the major part of THE (not 'our') real cost of cheap food.

But there is no algonomic culture yet for considering our problems of food, health, economy, environment, etc.

John J. Pilch has an article, How We Redress Our Suffering, in which he looks somewhat at how different cultures across time respond differently to pain and suffering. He quotes Mark Zborowsky’s classic study “People in Pain”:

Each human group has its own moral and ethical criteria, which are a part of its cultural legacy. They are part of its religious system, its social organization, or its economy. They might be absolute and universal in terms of the society that accepts them, but their nature is relative and even parochial when seen in the light of the diversity of human groups and cultures.

In our new peculiar planetary context, most solutions to our painful problems now require the adoption of an algonomic culture, a culture that, hopefully, allows us to deal with suffering within a global framework. The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential offers the right frame for algonomic work, for choosing which elements, among ‘all’ relevant elements of the world problematique and resolutique, we may want to take into account. See in this connection the recent article of Anthony Judge: Reframing Global Initiatives for the Future.


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