|The Golden Gate, by Albert Bierstadt|
If we believe the universe is a living organic reality, and all things are interconnected, the way we treat all creatures will be affected. Our current milieu, being based on a dualistic materialistic capitalism, acts toward all things with one thing in mind: profit. Its most vocal proponents pay lip service to the Jesus of the Gospels. But the Jesus of the Gospels wanted nothing to do with those who greedily manipulated the people. He spoke out against it time and time again. We should too. If we are related to each other and to all things, as we are, animaterialism necessarily infers we treat all things with lovingkindness, respect, empathy, and magnanimity.
One example of how our current capitalistic culture is bringing great harm to our world is in the area of health care. It is a business for profit; not just a “fair” profit, but tremendous profit! In an animaterialist worldview, it is ethically and morally wrong. It is an assault on humanity! Millions of people have their already meager incomes and savings threatened on a daily basis by something as simple as seeing their doctor and having a few tests. Many of today’s health care insurance plans pay very little toward anything, it seems. This is done all in the name of a small number of privileged individuals getting rich at the expense of others. It is wrong, plain and simple.
Capitalism is based on a deeply fragmented worldview, where the haves rule over the have-nots. There is a yawning abyss between the two. It is hierarchical, and thus anti-immanence. It is mostly patriarchal, where women are paid much less than men. The upper class rules the lower class and what’s left of the middle class. Capitalists see Nature as something to be exploited for profit, therefore it is perfectly fine to drill for oil anywhere and everywhere; it is perfectly fine to pollute our oceans; it is perfectly fine to pump toxins into the atmosphere, as long as the corporations continue to make a profit. It is wrong, plain and simple.
I don’t know yet what an animaterialist politics would be like. Socialism has failed so far to make any progress in the battle for ethical treatment of Nature and its creatures. I don’t really think the answer lies in politics, but in a particular mode of consciousness. A majority of people must come to a certain awareness concerning the universe and how it should be treated. This will come with the next evolutionary leap of awareness.
Typically, we think that humans will be the only creatures that will enjoy such a leap of consciousness. I think all things will increase their modes of consciousness. If all things are interconnected, why should everything but humans be omitted from such blessing?
Animaterialist ethics views all things as possessing value. We are laterally interconnected; we grow toward each other. We respect each other. We do not seek to take advantage of each other, and we certainly do not seek to profit financially from each other.
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