Pretense Sustains Denial of Interdependence
"Because we cannot ever be totally adequate, self-sufficient, independent beings, the ideal of rugged individualism encourages us to fake it. It teaches us to be utterly ashamed of our limitations. It drives us to attempt to be superwomen and supermen not only in the eyes of others but also in our own. It pushes us day in and day out to look as if we had it all together, as if we were without needs and in total control of our lives. It relentlessly demands that we keep up appearances. It also relentlessly isolates us from each other. And it makes genuine community impossible."
|M. Scott Peck, The Different Drum (1987)|
Entire industries thrive on helping us fake it and on separating us into free-to-choose consumption units. To many, freedom has come to be synonymous with consumption-according-to-means. However, a great deal of pollution, habitat destruction, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions are correlated with the artificialities! Becoming whole people with our own local economies, our own distinctive give and take, we can get real as producers of what we need in order to be in communities.
When we've made genuine community possible, our wants will have a very different, and much less destructive, character. Having transformed the pretense and isolation, we'll no longer fill their emptiness with stuff.