The neglected will matter more and more
In February, at the Ithaca Ecovillage, I was walking toward the SONG (Second Neighborhood Group) Common House when I noticed a homeless woman camped out on the side of the pedestrian pathway. She had constructed a makeshift shelter from pieces of cardboard to shield her from the harsh winter winds. She had a little fire going but seemed in a daze. Maybe the acrid-smelling smoke was incapacitating her.
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The image, of course, is absurd. In a real community people are visible and familiar enough to each other such that empathy and affinity would never allow disregard. Individuals are subjects. Troubles, crises become acknowledged and responded to.
In mass society people can fall by the wayside.
In globalized mass society billions can fall by the wayside. Globalized capitalist mass society is characterized by neglect, exploitation, and irresponsibility. My estimation is that ten percent thrive, forty percent cope, and the rest either precariously manage to hang on or they fall by the wayside.
People can’t relate to billions of others subjectively. Nobody in particular is fully responsible — socially or ecologically.
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The waves of refugees from the system’s sacrifice zones will grow over the coming decades.
The consequences of the system’s neglect, hyper-exploitation, and irresponsibility will grow over the coming centuries.