Thursday, December 1, 2022

Beyond individual self-interest

"Acknowledging dependency as a condition of who any of us happens to be is difficult enough. But the larger task is to affirm social and ecological interdependence, which is regularly misrecognized as well. If we were to rethink ourselves as social creatures who are fundamentally dependent upon one another—and there’s no shame, no humiliation, no “feminization” in that—I think that we would treat each other differently, because our very conception of self would not be defined by individual self-interest." 
"What do we owe those with whom we inhabit the earth? And what do we owe the earth, as well, while we’re at it? And why do we owe people or other living creatures that concern? Why do we owe them regard for life or a commitment to a nonviolent relationship? Our interdependency serves as the basis of our ethical obligations to one another." 
"what would it mean to live in a world of radical equality? My argument is that then we cannot kill one another, we cannot do violence to one another, we cannot abandon each other’s lives."  (emphasis added)
"If I think of myself not just as this bounded individual but as fundamentally related to others, then I locate this self in those relations. In that case, the self I am trying to defend is not just me but all those relations that define and sustain me, and those relations can, and should be, extended indefinitely beyond local units like family and community."
"we don’t need a new rational justification for nonviolence. We actually need to pose the question of violence and nonviolence within a different framework, where the question is not “What ought I to do?” but “Who am I in relation to others, and how do I understand that relationship?”"
"We have to be able to identify institutional modes of violence, including prisons and the carceral state, that are too often taken for granted and not recognized as violent. It’s a question of bringing out in clear terms those institutions and sets of policies that regularly make these kinds of distinctions between valuable and non-valuable lives." [e.a]