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Friday, July 19, 2024

Mother earth or corporate greed: A departure from the capitalist creed

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With the rapid increase in the destruction of the good earth by the forces of greed, it becomes a binding responsibility upon the earth to question itself, and when it does, it comes in many forms but usually through an accident of nature, the formation of a cyclone or the approach of a tsunami.

The human being, as I usually remind readers of this column, is a representative of the Divine on this earth. He is the embodiment of the divine names and attributes, understanding that this earth is the interaction of the names of the divine. Some sacred cosmologies affirm that the human being is indeed a microcosm of the cosmos, thereby containing whatever is on the outside. With this knowledge clarified for us, we should be looking at the earth and the entire planetary system as a reflection of our existence and not otherwise. 

But it seems this fact has escaped us or better still, we are ignorant of it with the rise of ecological destruction and the constant devastation of the good earth by the forces of capitalism, represented foremost by the gigantic corporations whose only goal is the multiplication of profits and nothing else. The ecosystem with its vastness and apparent power through the innocent eyes of the child, now stands at the mercy of the few elites who have made the pursuit of profit the ultimate goal of their lives. The very nature of their aspirations shows us that they will stop at nothing but the ultimate destruction of the planet. 

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When we question ourselves about it all, we are many times left in a paradoxical puzzle. How is it that the earth being the source of the survival of all species is being the target of such destruction? What will happen to all the profit that is garnered when the earth becomes unfit for our inhabitation? Questions such as these fill the mind with circles of ironic wonder. How foolish man can be, is one of the many thoughts that cross the mind. Yet it’s a pity that man has stooped this low in consciousness. While there are many beacons of light among us, who are constantly reminding us of our duties towards all that exist, the majority continue down that path of self-destruction perpetuated by the wicked few generated by modern advertising, which is a part of the bigger machine of capitalism to ensnare us all into gullible and consumerist lifestyles.

Industrial capitalism started out with the rise of the industrial revolution in England around the 16th century, which catapulted mass suffering in its wake, some examples being the rise of child labour and other forms of injustices and maltreatment of workers. So from the beginning of its story, capitalism has always been a force that thrives on the weakness and suffering of the human being creating highly polarised societies, wherever it takes root; a society of polarity, through the concentration of vast amounts of wealth on one side of the spectrum and mass poverty on the other. The world before the rise of this industrial form of capitalism, had never known slums, ghettoes et cetera. And with the mass secularisation of its societies, it was able to make the human creature look like a tool for profit-making and not one endowed with a soul and spirit to reach the highest dimensions that were meant for him.

The pursuance of capital and profit doesn’t stop with the exploitation of the abilities of men and women alone. It went on to usurp the very right of the earth. The planet polluted and the atmosphere dangerously poisoned, the greedy corporations, which represent the ideals of capitalism, continue to put the planet under ever-increasing pressure to produce for its maximisation of profit. This led to the destruction of rainforests and the imminent devastation of the ozone layer which protects the earth from radiation. While experts warn of the depletion of oil and other natural resources, the corporations seem not to heed the clear warnings, and instead continue to pursue their interest with renewed vigour.

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However the tendency to wreck everything is symptomatic of a greater disease, which is pervading the inner landscape of modernity. The psychodynamics that define the ideals of modernity is deeply flawed. Advocating a paradigm that is designed to make the human live at the periphery instead of spiraling at the centre; for when the human being lives only to gratify the impulses of the self or the ego, he ceases to live at the diametric centre which is his rightful place. Because the ego which is within man is an enemy to his higher self, that is connected to the divine beloved. Modernistic ideologies which are defined and promulgated by the consumerist culture of the West, are deeply secularised ones that deny that aspect of man as nothing more than the mythic claims of ancient religions.

Secularisation thus gave birth to a type of thought pattern that is based on giving the ego a throne to reign supreme. Education became another avenue to indoctrinate the masses as to the so called necessity of making wealth the goal of life. Yet when one revisit the scriptures one is inundated at the inversion of the purpose of instilling meaning into the human being. The ancients saw education and the process of imparting knowledge as something sacred, because it was a means of imparting meaning, for they knew the human being is a rational being that subsist on reason and meaning; and it’s these qualities that separate us from the other animals. However with conception of the modern industrial capitalism, education and knowledge is increasingly being desacralised and use as a means to advance the agenda of the capitalist and the profit making machine.

So the disease itself is not wrecking but the loss of meaning. The real disease is when we left the path of nutritious meaning and advance the cause of materialism. Once the earth was seen as a living being that was imbued with the sacred, it was revered by both monotheists and polytheists alike. Part of the cultures and traditions of the ancients was reverence of the earth through rites that show the connection between humans and the earth. In so doing the earth was preserved for many generations, including ours. However, our time is defined by machines, materialism and none of them is helping in the preservation of good old mother earth. But ours is not a hopeless case either; for even the worst communities in history were reformed with the return of prophetic restorations. A case in point would be the barbaric Arabian society that became a place of illumination through the rise of the prophetic mission of Muhammad. So all hope is not lost. But that can only be if we can revive the sacred story of our human experience.

Before we can revive the sacred dimension, we must accept that damage has been done, and from that point of acceptance can we then proceed at a steady pace. The path to healing for us and the entire cosmic system starts with acknowledging that economic growth, for example, has become anti life.  Our lives are threatened by our desire to accumulate more. The wars alone are a testimony to what human greed is capable of doing. With billions being spent on wars and the military industrial complex each year mostly for looting resources, has become a monster that have grown exponentially and out of bounds. So the beginning of our saving mission for the earth starts with a call to end the madness. To directly confront the elitist wicked few who pull the strings in the corporate world. The earth it must be recognized is an intrinsic part of the life web that sustain us all. 

The sense of separation from each other and the universe is a common feature of modernity, through the alienation of man from his very soul. The very pollution of the earth points to a discreet from of alienation –man’s alienation from beauty. Unless we realise we all are connected to each other and everything else in the cosmos –like the many sacred cosmological traditions points –we will be further alienated and thus continue the self destruction. That would not only be a betrayal of our present times but of the unborn generations, that should inhabit this earth long after we are gone.

Corporate greed is the perfect antithesis to the growth and fullness of the human being. The subdivisions of this diabolical problem is of course the modern day advertising which have increased the rate of consumerism and catapulting the poverty of a very many people the world over. But consumerism is not just one little problem amongst a bag of problems, it’s in fact the foundation to many others. If the western hemisphere alone can consume half of the earth’s resources and leave the rest of the world competing for the other half, leaving many naked, hungry and improvised, then its only appealing to our sanity that we should not underestimate its power. So in our fight to end the greed of corporations, we should never forget to identify its child: consumerism.

We also should understand the metaphysical implications that underline our obsession with material well-being. Inasmuch as we crave material wellbeing, we should understand the needs of our souls to graze in the meadows of spirituality. In truth the human being is a spiritual being before any other definition advanced by modern secular culture. It’s through affirmation of this metaphysical and spiritual dimension that we can come to a holistic healing for us and mother earth, anything else is secondary.

In the end, we either submit to the truth of stemming the tide of greed or watch our planet wither away to oblivion. The choice remains ours. 

“Open your eyes. Your world is an illusion. From the day you were born, you have been conditioned. Your schools taught you to be quiet, neutral and numb. Your media desensitized you to the suffering of your fellow human beings and the system slowly isolated you until it somehow felt normal to feel alone on a planet with 8 billion other people on it. You worked hard for the future with your reward always just around the next corner or just up the next step. Everything was tomorrow but tomorrow never came.

And you realized too late that you had never lived at all. Something was missing and no matter how much you worked, partied or paid you could not disguise it. You accepted it as natural for one to be wealthy whilst another is poor, or the absurd notion that we must pay back the debt of our own existence.

We traded community culture for corporate comfort and our most precious resource, our time, as a commodity. We need to move beyond revolution and into the next stage of human evolution. A time marked by unparalleled compassion and peaceful co-existence. The shape of which we can not foresee as it must be created together.

We will take no power back as we shall empower ourselves and we shall say: We are the humans. We are awake now. We reclaim our destiny.”    ―Anonymous 

With Alieu A Bah (Immortal X)


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