In a world increasingly dominated by corporate business, as you say Hanniel, we need to reexamine our ethics and values and our relationship with nature. We are more ‘in touch’ with more people than ever before, indeed some people seem to be unable to sever the umbilical cord that connects them to the affirming presence of the www via smartphones even for a few minutes.
But are they actually connected to anything, friends, communities, nature, literature or music, or are they just casual consumers.
Technology and a consumption based society have blurred the lines between what is real and what is propaganda.
Take for example the way we have all been told electric vehicles are the future. Critics and cynics point to the cost (often 50% or more higher than a comparable conventional car,) poor battery range, reliance on rare and expensive materials (cobalt for the battery packs, in short supply in relation to the volumes needed to make batteries for the (estimated) 1.4 bn cars now on the road, and most of the known reserves are controlled by China, and a problem rarely mentioned, they are absolutely no good in hilly terrain. My daughter, who lives in the French Alps told me of a friend of hers who bought an electric Golf and can’t use it because unless the batteries are on absolute full charge, it can’t get up even moderately steep hills.
There are many other problems with EVs such as the highly polluting manufacturing processes, yet we are bombarded with propaganda saying they are ‘the future’, governments make unrealistic promises about when internal combustion engines will be banned, and many people are prepared to believe that.
The motive of course is profit.
How about genetically modified (GM) crops. I’m not afraid of eating blue tomatoes or shrimp flavoured potatoes, though aware that there are scientific debates going on about long term health risks I’m not qualified to comment and at my age (70) long term, i.e. decades, is not much of a consideration. I do however have very grave concerns about handing control of the world’s food supply to big agriculture corporations whose record on ethical issues is, to say the least, dubious.
Consider though the way GM crops have been sold to us, all that sentimental drivel about feeding the poor and ending famine in the third world. Who could disagree with that? Well some scientists can, peer reviewed studies have shown fertilizer and water are more important than DNA in improving yields. Unfortunately studies that challenge ‘the narrative’ are seldom reported in mainstream media.
These are just two examples of how easily consciousness can be manipulated and perceptions skewed. There is much more to be written on both these issues and on the need to challenge the ‘perpetual growth’ model for the global economy in a world of finite resources, but it would make far too long an article for a comment thread. I will return to it and I hope others will pick up on the theme. Meanwhile let’s all try to be a little more conscious of our world and less conscious of the propaganda.