TOPICS

The religion of Modernity and the global ecological crisis

The religion of Modernity and the global ecological crisis

By Horacio Machado Aráoz

We are living the ‘most advanced’ stages of a civilization that has been born, has grown and has become global by declaring war on Mother Earth, the source of nutrition for all species, including humans ...

We, to a large extent, have been ‘educated’ in that ‘civilization’. We have been 'taught' that the Human Being is above and outside of Nature; that we are ‘superior’, and that we are here to dominate and subdue it. We believe we are the Subject and we think of it as an Object ...


But even more so, we have become accustomed to believe (already feel) that "we live to progress" and that "progress" is achieved at the expense of the exploitation of Nature ... And thus, all our science and technology have been "developed" in a mad race for their conquest and exploitation. We have dedicated our intelligence and efforts to creating knowledge and tools invented by and for the 'best' exploitation of Nature, that is, of 'natural resources' (external nature) and of the 'workforce' (internal nature) ... Exploitation rationalThey tell him ... The war has been his "great laboratory", already extended to a planetary scale. Great 'inventions' and 'technological advances' have been born from the preparation for war, or on its battlefields, in the endless competition between powers for military 'superiority' ... It is that the military power depends - ultimately - the ability to appropriate Nature ... An indispensable means of conquest, war has thus also been the basic motive for the production of 'knowledge' and, ultimately, of the 'comfortable' world of 'progress' ...

And in truth, our knowledge and technological capabilities have expanded - like war - surprisingly ... They have created the world of ‘progress’ that we live in today; for some reasons of admiration; for others, frightening ... Like it or not, we live in this strange 'civilization of progress', no matter how 'developed' we are, if we are rich or poor, if we have been able to 'progress' or not ... "Everyone" (apparently everyone ), conservatives, reformists and even revolutionaries, right and left alike, all want and believe in progress ... ‘Everyone’ they are, in short, progressive ...

And what would progress be? How to define it? Beyond all philosophical and scientific complexity, this ‘civilization’ has produced a very elementary, objective and practical formula to define and measure it. It has ‘decreed’ that money is the unit of measurement real of progress; its synthetic and unquestionable expression ... The powerful of the world have been in charge of making this notion a dominant belief; still firmly rooted in ‘popular sentiment’… And, with remarkable efficacy, it has created a ‘civilization’ based on that belief…


To a large extent, ‘we are’ a ‘civilization’ in which we believe Y sorry that we live on money; that this ‘is not everything’, of course, but that ‘is what fundamental’… We have even come to have the conviction that we cannot live without money, and that, ultimately, money is the basis of life and even of happiness itself… It is about faith that, although it is denied in words, it is professed with practices ... That is the creed and the fundamental truth of this ‘civilization’. The practical belief that 'life revolves around money' creates a R eality in which, in fact, you live (and die) for money. For him and for him ... That is the main dogma of faith and fundamental commandment of the creed of this ‘civilization’…

For this reason, 'in his name and honor', we continue to sacrifice our sources of life ... In pursuit of 'progress' we resort to blowing up mountains, devastating forests and seas, polluting rivers, soils and Heavens… We give him our bodies and our souls; our subsoils and our dreams ... The entire biodiversity, in its complex existential unity, is torn apart and crushed in multiple ways because, it is said, 'we need to progress', 'get out of poverty', 'create jobs' ... Even now, we have become 'aware' of the seriousness of the planetary ecological crisis, that we already know 'for sure' that it has been precisely this path of 'progress' that has left us with global warming and the climate crisis, the alarming rate of extinction of species and biodiversity loss, the depletion of 'resources', the water and energetic crisis; and even so, we continue to believe that we cannot give up ‘progress’ ... For the most part, we continue to think that, despite everything, ‘we’ must continue sacrificing Nature until reaching the long-awaited ‘development’ ... We believe that the only ‘care’ that we can ‘afford’ to adopt are those that do not interrupt the growth rate; and thus we only invent palliatives that cover the problems without solving them ... Fallaciously, it is alleged that 'we must end hunger first' rather than 'preserve the planet', when in reality, hunger is the main symptom and the most serious resulting problem of the enormous ecological disorder caused by this 'civilization of progress' [1].

It is that, deep down, this ‘superior culture’ has been creating bodies increasingly accustomed to increasing levels of violence and exploitation… We have been ‘educated’ in that sacrificial logic: we accept 'naturally' that progress is destruction; that the 'cost' of growth is devastation; that 'well-being' is not 'for everyone', only for those few who know how to 'sacrifice' also themselves, to 'be competitive' and 'good entrepreneurs', those who have enough' self-denial 'to continue' in career 'and, finally,' succeed in life '...

This 'modern' creed has replaced older, 'primitive' beliefs that claimed that, we actually live off Mother EarthThat we cannot live without her, because because we are part of her ... that we cannot appropriate her, that we cannot buy or sell her, that we cannot be her 'owners', because rather we come from her and we belong to her ... that we cannot 'exploit' her or exercise violence against her, because by doing so, we end up harming ourselves ... that rather we owe her respect and care ... Much care, so that she continues to provide us with the fundamental nutrients that sustain our lives ...

'Fortunately', According to some people, 'Unfortunately', according to others, those old beliefs have not been able to be completely uprooted and today they begin to re-green ... Just with the emergence of an incipient but growing 'crisis of faith' in official worship, at a time when 'faith in progress' has begun to lose adherents ... From different corners and under multiple forms, often under the very ruins inherited from the official religion of the Empire, old and new communities of believers begin to (re) emerge who have turned their gazes, their minds and hearts, to the fundamental principles of those 'Primitive beliefs'… Thus they begin to walk new paths and new practices, seeking remember the rites of Care, of essential care, of reciprocity, complementarity and commensality ... In different parts of Our America, under different languages, they call him the cult of Good Con-Vivir ...

Whether we like it or not, we do not have time to 'practice' 'multiculturalism', nor any sophisticated postmodern skepticism ... We cannot be oblivious or indifferent to what kind of creed we are going to adhere ... It is not that there is one 'true' and another 'false' ... It is, more radically, that, on one or the other, it depends - if we will common future… D and those creeds depend on our hills… That is to say, our aguaditas; the essential sources - I think- of our lives… Ecoportal.net

[1] We have developed a well-founded analysis of this concept in "The inheritances of the West. Ecological crisis, colonialism and hunger ”. Published in Arenas Magazine N ° 3. Doctorate in Human Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, National University of Catamarca, Catamarca, October 2011. (Available at: http://www.huma.unca.edu.ar/revistarena/images / stories /…)


Video: Sebastian Kappen - Philosophical Perspectives. Sebastian Vattamattam. Talk - 1 (January 2022).