May 01, 2008

Orr's world

David W. Orr writes in his article At the End of Our Tether: the Rationality of Nonviolence (in Conservation Biology):
If we intend to preserve civilization, [...] we need [...]: (1) first in wealthy nations, and eventually everywhere, a transition from economic growth (creation of more stuff) to development that genuinely improves the quality of life for everyone, (2) the transformation of the consumer economy into one oriented first and foremost to needs, not wants; and hardest of all, (3) summoning the compassion and wisdom to fairly distribute wealth, opportunity, and risk.
Some definitions are in order.

Genuine: true to Orr's taste.

Need: something wanted by Orr.

Want: something not wanted by Orr.

Summoning the compassion and wisdom: exerting violence.

Fair: partial to Orr's biases.


  1. Ouch. Puts me in mind of the following quote, in a similar vein, via the ASI:

    "Need" now means wanting someone else's money. "Greed" means wanting to keep your own. "Compassion" is when a politician arranges the transfer.