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Escaping the Iron Cage of Consumerism - Tim Jackson
In ordinary laymen’s terms, theodicy can be construed as the attempt to ‘make sense of’ our lives. Faced with persistent injustice, the prosperity of ill-doers, the persecution of the righteous, how should we seek to live? What kind of morality are we to live by? Confronted with our own mortality, the persistence of suffering, the sorrow of bereavement, where should we turn for solace? How are we to protect the authority of compassion and the promise of love? Where, in short, are we to find meaning in our lives?

The broad argument I am going to make is that consumerism, ironically, has become a kind of secular theodicy. In some quite precise ways, consumerism has grappled and continues to grapple with foundational questions about our destiny. About social progress. And if we want to counter consumerism, I shall argue, we have to understand that. And offer some other less damaging ways of grappling with them. But first I want to illustrate the problem of theodicy a little more clearly. And in order to do so I’d like to take you back to the middle of the nineteenth century – to the year 1851.
philosophy  anarchism  anticapitalism 
7 hours ago by firebird
Kierkegaard, D. Anthony Storm's Commentary on
"Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a nineteenth century existentialist philosopher, and arguably both the father of existentialism and modern psychology. He is a grossly misunderstood figure, whom some argue was a mystic, an anti-rationalist, or, as is more reasonable, an anti-philosopher. Often his overtly religious writings are overlooked or de-Christianized in favor of the pseudonymous authorship. An idiosyncratic style, along with a complex authorial method, go far in confounding the unwary reader. This site features a commentary on the writings of Kierkegaard. Information on every published work and article (including many unfinished writings and journal entries) is presented here with publication data, quotes, detailed commentary, and images. There are also supplementary materials to aid in your research. A good place to start is to go straight to the Commentary itself where you can view abstracts of the works before diving in."
philosophy  19c  commentary  religion  existentialism  faith 
9 hours ago by tsuomela
Consumerism as Theodicy - timjackson.org
"If consumerism is so profoundly implicated in world maintenance – a core element in the sacred canopy of modern capitalist society – any attempts to counter it through exhortation are bound to failure. If consumption plays such a vital role in the construction and maintenance of our social world, then asking people to give up material commodities is asking them to risk a kind of social suicide. People will rightly resist threats to identity. They will resist threats to meaning. They will ask quite legitimate questions of the motives of the moral persuaders.

Instead, we might usefully conclude, countering consumerism must start from more robust secular (or religious) theodicy: the building of meaning structures, communities of meaning, that lie outside the realm of the market; and that offer credible answers to the deep foundational questions that continue to haunt us. "
philosophy 
yesterday by magnusc
Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Wikipedia
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (/ˈtɑːləb/; Arabic: نسيم نقولا طالب‎, alternatively Nessim or Nissim; born 1960) is a Lebanese–American (of Antiochian Greek descent) essayist, scholar, statistician, and former trader and risk analyst,[1] whose work focuses on problems of randomness, probability, and uncertainty. His 2007 book The Black Swan has been described by The Sunday Times as one of the twelve most influential books since World War II.[2]
philosophy 
yesterday by benjekman
(99+) (PDF) Multiscale Localism: Political Clarity under Complexity | Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Academia.edu
Most of the tension is between
1) Embedded, complexity-minded, multiscale/fractal localism (politics as an ecology/complex adaptive system),
and
2)  Abstract one-dimensional universalists and monoculturalism (politics as a top-down engineering project).
philosophy  politics 
yesterday by benjekman
The Best Books on Marx and Marxism | Five Books Expert Recommendations
Few people have had their ideas reinvented as many times as the German intellectual and political activist, Karl Marx. Professor of political theory, Terrell Carver, takes us through the most influential books, in English, about Marx, Marxism and his friend, publicist and financial backer, Friedrich Engels.
philosophy  politics  history  biography  books 
yesterday by basemaly

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