TRAGEDY THEN FARCE

------------------------------------------T-R-A-G-E-D-Y---T-H-E-N---F-A-R-C-E----------------------------------------------

Welcome

Tragedy Then Farce is focused on constructively battling the illnesses our age through creativity, curiosity, and communication. If you want any higher quality copies of my photographs to download, just let me know and I'd be happy to oblige. Welcome.

A Philosophy and Photography Blog

--------------------------------P--h--i--l--o--s--o--p--h--y-----A-n-d-----P--h--o--t--o--g--r--a--p--h--y---------------------------

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A short circut

It is commonly accepted that, insofar as we are social beings living inside a community structure, there are two kinds of responsibilities we manufacture for ourselves. Pragmatic, need-based, consumerist responsibility is one of those kinds of action. Acquiring goods, furthering your job, this need manifests itself in the physical realm. The other kind of need is a moral or civic responsibility we feel we have for other human beings; the drive to do something 'more', the sense of duty to help those who are less fortunate.

A problem I see is that in the current socio-economic system in place, the two acts of consumerism and charity have been synthesizes into one all-included package. With our consumerism, we are also buying into the idea that every 5 cents in my cup of coffee helps starving children, and 20 cents goes to a struggling farmer, and so on and so on. The implicit charity embedded in our consumerist actions promotes a kind of moral laziness; your ethical duties come all included in your consumerist package.The system is designed to fufill the needs it creates. Rather than being an opposing force, a metaphysical check and balancing system, or a healthy backdrop upon which our pragmatic consumerism takes place, our moral responsibility has become completely absorbed by capitalism.

Capitalism has the uncanny ability to absorb everything that opposes it. This wouldn't be so bad if the kind of things we felt as human beings ethically responsible for, poverty, starvation, human suffering, weren't given conditions of capitalism. It is thus a short circui Capitalism gives us solace by assuring us that consumers are helping those left fortunate all the while propigating the disease;  in reality the system of capitalism itself  produces the causes that give rise to suffering it is supposedly looking to help alleviate. The 'charity' is a byproduct of profit, profit is the key factor, and yet we're feeding off this received charity by allowing it to excuse us of active moral duty.

Rather than addressing every issue and tending to every moral responsibility through the lenses of free markets and capitalism, first we must reexamine the way we think about the relationship between consumerism and suffering, because as the coffee shops try to market their salvation for 2 dollars a cup, we need to think about the system we are buying into with that two dollars first. Is it honest? Is it just? Is it sustainable?

71 comments:

  1. Wonderful 4th picture!
    Nice blog.

    Following.

    ReplyDelete
  2. like the desgin of ypur blog, wonderful :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. You have a really strong point there. I feel happy to say that though I have fallen for that "every 5 cents goes to a starving child" advertising, which it pretty much is, I have taken the liberty to do my own charity work and donations. It really isn't the fault of the system, in this case capitalism, but the fault of the people. Great opinion; thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree, charity and eco-friendliness has become dumbed down to a simple marketing-ploy. Capitalism is a dangerous beast :x

    ReplyDelete
  5. love the photography..
    and i like what you're saying in that post.. at least if my interpretation is correct. i prefer to see the results of whatever type of charity i'm handing out. i used to hold back cause of a strong belief that what they take on side a isn't what's given to the more needy side b..

    ReplyDelete
  6. ya, really digging your style. daily reader here

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree. Also, I really think your photos are amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love that photography man, im jealous

    ReplyDelete
  9. Keep the pictures coming and I'll keep on coming! I love your stuff man.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Using charity as a marketing scheme just doesn't seem that effective. Yes, it is fairly common now, but does it really swing people to make that purchase so they feel better about themselves? Advertisers will hit on absolutely everything possible, but to me at least that doesn't signal a flaw in the underlying economic system.
    Nonetheless, you have a thought provoking take on it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. @ Badd
    The critical systemic flaw isn't that it can be used as a marketing scheme as much as this kind of instant false gratification promotes a kind of laziness. I don't have to go pursue my civil ethical duty, I'm already 'giving back' through my consumerism.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Capitalism is shit, but hey, you have another idea?

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love the pictures, but i dont fully agree with your view on capitalism.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I hate when companies try to guilt people into buying something because a very small percentage will go to charity.

    ReplyDelete
  15. A very powerful point.
    If you're going to do charity - real charity - it usually takes more than simply donating a few coins and hoping someone else will do something.
    Volunteer, befriend a person in need, go to Africa and teach for free. Those are things that are more likely to have an effect.
    Even though, ultimately, poverty is actively perpetuated for the benefit of our economies.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love so much the first ones and the last.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I hate the unfairness of the world, i buy fair trade items to help do my share,not saying this is enough but if everyone does it a significant difference will be made

    ReplyDelete
  18. wow you ahve some nice pics!

    ReplyDelete
  19. The whole charity thing is terrible these days, and I feel too mcuh is probably spent on their advertising. That could be going to a better cause.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Like the angles of the picture. Very well done

    ReplyDelete
  21. The castle photo makes me want to go on vacation badly! haha. Following!

    ReplyDelete
  22. lot to think about upon reading this post. great photography as well.

    ReplyDelete
  23. fantastic post, really... you're a good writer

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thats a very interesting way to look at it. I am beginning to distrust capitalism the more I learn about government.

    ReplyDelete
  25. "Capitalism has the uncanny ability to absorb everything that opposes it. This wouldn't be so bad if the kind of things we felt as human beings ethically responsible for, poverty, starvation, human suffering, weren't given conditions of capitalism."

    It's depressing once I realized "capitalism" is said best economical structure... But it's true. If there's a winner in the world, someone else is losing. If I make $100, someone just lost $100.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I hate Capitalism at times, but when I'm making money - LOVE IT

    ReplyDelete
  27. not bad man, not bad at all
    mc me

    ReplyDelete
  28. I agree with many of the things you said, especially the part about capitalism absorbing everything.

    ReplyDelete
  29. zizek is all over the place in this post. nice thoughts, jack. have you seen this RSA animation? basically talks about what you address here--really interesting stuff.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpAMbpQ8J7g

    -grant

    ReplyDelete
  30. These are some wise words my man, it is clear that you care. The biggest problem though is how do we change that system

    ReplyDelete
  31. Very interesting post,nice blog. Following¡¡

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wonderful pictures, blog and post! 1+ follower.

    ReplyDelete
  33. 1st photo great! One of best what i ever seen!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Awesome 2nd photo and the last one. Following

    ReplyDelete
  35. That was a fun read, I'll be sure to see what you do next. Follow me at http://floridaweddinginformation.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  36. I liked the 8th, nice blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Very interesting, while I think capitalism is by far the worst of the evils, its no perfect society..

    ReplyDelete
  38. Extremely well written. Nice pics too!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love the feel of everything here!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm not really into philosophy, but your pics are just awesome. Where is the castle in the last pic?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wicked pictures. The one with the basketball hoop is really top artsy. Is there no way to enlarge them ?

    ReplyDelete
  42. These are really good man, keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  43. @Manhood88. I have full sized copies of all of these pictures, give me an email and Ill send you whatever you want.

    ReplyDelete
  44. @Trolske
    The Castle is at Atlantic College, it is the second oldest Castle in Wales, and the third oldest in the UK.

    ReplyDelete
  45. i like your blog. keep up the good work

    ReplyDelete
  46. You do raise a very good point and I also love the photography!

    ReplyDelete
  47. that was rly deep
    you're getting a fallow for sure

    ReplyDelete
  48. Great post man, I'm on the same level (sorta) with my blog...we could RUN THE WORLD.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Looks impressive dude. Will follow.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I hate those type of marketing ploys. I'm not too into philosophy, but that was interesting to read.

    ReplyDelete
  51. capitalism conquered the soviet union and its about conquered the usa as well, great post

    ReplyDelete
  52. I think capitalism is taking everything over, nice pictures by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Really nice quality pictures, and I enjoyed reading your blog. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Great to think about. Love the art

    ReplyDelete
  55. wow, you're a great writer.
    don't ever stop

    ReplyDelete
  56. not sure there are just two kinds of responsibilities we manufacture for ourselves.
    for all i know may be an infinite list of responsibilities...and they just seem to multiply like rabbits on top of me the older i get.

    ReplyDelete