The Ostrich Republican Convention

I know I have been absent, but I am trying to catch the last of the summer’s warmth and air. Today my inspiration comes from the Republican Party nominating convention. There’s plenty to write about, but I will focus on how the goings-on relate to my list of sustainability opposites. The pair I have selected is communitarian versus individualistic. I have recently written a couple of [posts](http://www.johnehrenfeld.com/2012/08/deluded-individualism.html) on this subject, but it is well worth adding to. There is a myriad of positions that were incorporated in all the rhetoric that is contrary to flourishing and, hence, to sustainability, but this one stands out. The primary message coming through beyond… Read More

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Misconsumption

Mayor Bloomberg’s initiative to ban super-size, sugar-containing sodas has gotten a lot of press recently as it approaches a vote. Public opinion seems to be against it, according to a NYTimes story. The arguments against it follow a familiar pattern arising every time some governmental body attempts to regulate consumption in one way or another. It took years and years to put a warning on cigarettes and raise the taxes to act as a disincentive. But cigarettes are still out there. Some of the voices captured in the story railed against the “nanny” state, claiming that individuals can make better choices that some authoritative body. Others argue that the data… Read More

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Deluded Individualism

It’s reassuring to discover, from time to time, that I am in good company. One of the central ideas in my analysis of unsustainability and in my structure for sustainability is that of interconnectedness. Interconnectedness goes hand in hand with the key model of Being as manifest through caring. When we can recognize that our being depends on the way we take care of everything to which we are connected, that is, everything that becomes present in our world, then and only then can we act authentically and subsequently flourish. It’s rare to find a conversation in the mainstream media that explicitly argues this point, but today in the Review… Read More

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Spiritual v. Secular

The last post on the contrasting sets of concepts, interconnected v. autonomous, drew a few comments. I find it very satisfying when my posts draw comments whether pro or con. Today, I will work on a similar pair, spiritual v. secular. Unlike the above pair, these are opposites; secular is defined as denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis. So secular has no meaning without a definition of spiritual. And this poses a serious problem for me. One online dictionary defines spiritual as 1. relating to the spirit or soul and not to physical nature or matter; intangible. 2. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) of,… Read More

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Saint-Exup�ry’s Businessman

I accompanied a couple of my grandchildren to a performance of an adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exup�ry’s, *The Little Prince*, this afternoon. Published in 1943, while Saint Exupery was living in the US while France was occupied by the Germans, his “children’s” story is as or more relevant today. One of the many scenes jumped right off of the stage, as it is so prescient of today’s greed and hedonism. I am putting it in the post in its entirety. > The fourth planet belonged to a businessman. This man was so much occupied that he did not even raise his head at the little prince’s arrival. “Good morning,” the… Read More

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