Friday, March 23, 2012

Our Perpetual Duty

“The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants.  Throughout the land that you hold, you shall provide for the redemption of the land.”

Leviticus 25:23-24

Vincent Van Gogh, Die Ernte (in Provence), 1888,  National Museum of Amsterdam

A few weeks ago, guest blogger Kienan Mick made a few observations regarding the relation between capitalism and sustainability  (HERE).  Among other things, he pointed out that the economic  cost of anything needs to include its cost over the long haul, for future generations.  A calculation of value that fails to include this cost does not reflect the true cost of a practice.   Writer Haruki Murakami (HERE) similarly pointed out that it is a moral error for a society to pursue “efficiency” without regard to more fundamental values that guide our choices about how we want to live and what we want to stand for.   He points out that what is “right” is not always what is expedient or efficient.  In fact, to do the right thing may sometimes be downright unattractive.

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