what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hedonism as the new default system?

A banker with links to the oil industry has commented that my blog indicates that I wear a rather large “hairshirt”. I would like to think that only someone with such an exploitative background could make such a comment.
But I fear that the notion that individual pleasure is the default style and that those concerned with social injustices are strange aberrants has become much more widespread than we think.
I’m actually as hedonistic as the next person in my pursuit of good experiences - be they good wines, blue sea or mountain landscapes.
But I’m old enough to know that selfish behaviour (in whatever form it takes – injustice, exploitation etc) destroys lives and has to be fought. Otherwise this becomes (as it is becoming) the default behaviour.

Martin Niemöller, prominent German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor, put it very eloquently 70 years ago
In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.

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