Posts by Vincent Mundy

I'm a photographer by trade with a thirst for knowledge for the world around us. I also like reading, writing and sharing what I create or collect across a range of subjects which interest me including the arts, philosophy, politics and the environment.

Delightful suffering

“I was gripped by the misery of life as Buddha was in his youth when he saw sickness, old age, pain and death … This world could not have been the work of an all-loving being, but that of a devil, who had brought creatures into existence in order to delight in the sight of their sufferings.” Arthur Schopenhauer

 

 

The Root Of All Evil

A couple of years ago I met a man who thought he was an angel called Lucifer. His neighbours thought he was evil and possessed with the devil. But I was intrigued to find out more. I started a photo project about him and at the same time began to ask – what is evil?

Two years later, and a year after Lucifer was murdered, I’m working hard editing my photo project and I’m starting to reach some early conclusions about what evil is. It is a very loaded word and, like some other words, it is overused and misused.

But evil certainly wasn’t this persecuted and misunderstood man who I photographed. He could behave strangely and unpredictably and he was certainly deranged but there wasn’t an ounce of evil in him.

Evil should be a word used very very rarely if at all; and only about the most premeditated forms of harm and destruction.

Evil is neither also found in the horny, winged demons of Catholic art from medieval times onwards.  Evil hides under our noses and eyelids, not in fantasy film or fiction. Evil are the forces that brought on Lucifer’s isolation, ridicule and eventual death. Evil are the same forces that are right now suffocating our Mother Earth to death.

So where does evil come from and has it actually created a global condition of mass psychosis so pernicious we can barely recognise it?

It seems to me, that Capitalism, Nationalism and Monotheism (Abrahamic religion) are the root of all our problems and together they make a deadly cocktail.

But Capitalism is by far the biggest culprit. No amount of green policies or technology can come close to solving the problems caused by capitalism.

Capitalism is the single overwhelming reason for the atrocious environmental and mental health problems in the world. It is the only reason why mass extinction and runaway Global Heating began. It is the reason why we have such an enormous and growing disparity of wealth.

To make matters worse we have our heads in the sand. We can see the devastating effects of capitalism everywhere and yet instead of grappling with the problem we expend our energy looking the other way. Watching and arguing about Game of Thrones, sharing video clips of cute pets, saving money for and watching reviews about expensive gadgets we simply don’t need. And so on.  We do anything but face reality because it so so bleak. We are tinkering around as the world falls down.

We have a global state of emergency that no amount of recycling, renewable energy or electric powered transport will come close to addressing. Capitalism is the giant hulking elephant in the room of our most existential problems.

And yet we stagger and stumble on like alcoholics who won’t admit their addiction.

But its not our fault.

We’ve been conned and brainwashed for so long.  A tiny clique of people now own and control the global economy. Even though the collapse of Earth’s life support systems is indisputable and possibly too late to stop, they will do anything to keep power. But it is coming to an end, sooner or later.  And surely in our lifetime.

We are slaves to capitalism whether we like it or not. Slaves to generate the capital horded by the 1%. But we will not remain in ignorance forever. Sooner or later people the revolt will begin and the low-paid workers in factories and offices will rise up. That, or the system will collapse in on itself like it very nearly did a decade ago with the Banking crisis of 2008.

We were a whisker away from Capitalism’s end. It was a harbinger of what is to come. Late stage capitalism is almost out of road. When it ends the Capitalists will be dispossessed of the show homes and status symbols they craved and fetishised. We will pity them for their vanity and greed but in the brave new world they will have a chance to educate themselves and try to compensate for their destructive selfishness.

Capitalism is a crime scene and proponents of this system know it. Which is why when they are not rewarding themselves ludicrously big bonuses, massively underpaying employees and avoiding taxes through complex offshore schemes, they throw money at charitable causes, greenwashing and parade in electric cars like Teslas. People are also starting to see through this lip-service to the terrible catastrophes caused by their capitalist greed and their insulting fig-leaf philanthropy.

It’s a charade that must be exposed at every turn from now on. The plundering of Mother Earth’s wealth must end now, along with the system causing it.

Nothing less than the overthrow of capitalism will save our planet.

We must replace capitalism with an economy and culture which is not based on perpetual growth but on the mental and physical health of all humans on a planet where other sentient and non-sentient creatures can thrive instead of being incarcerated, industrially farmed, modified, inbred, slaughtered, eaten or otherwhise destroyed or manipuated. Yes, that means we must stop eating other sentient creatures and move to a plant-based diet.

I’m not advocating communism or even socialism but an economic model which relies on and rewards entrepreneurialism while also guaranteeing a universal living wage and the provision of basic fundamental rights for all humans everywhere: food, water and shelter.

Science and technology, despite being quintessentially Gnostic, cannot replace religion or spirituality. However good our iphones and apps are and however much we are obsessed with computer games, sport, ‘light’ entertainment and low forms of culture, we cannot forever escape the crushing realities of this momentous time.

Our hopeless addictions, constant need for instant gratification and materialism are part of the reason why capitalism has thrived for so long. It has made us lose sight of who we are and prevented us from asking deep questions about the meaning of life and our place within it. Capitalism has partly replaced monotheistic religion while also working alongside it to nullify the threat of revolt. The best example of this today is the Russian Orthodox Church and the Kremlin. Evil working with evil.

Overthrowing capitalism is vital but we also need to reduce the influence of monotheism. If we must have religion we need to do away with the patriarchal monotheistic institutions which demand money and obedience in return for access to their God.

We must fiercely reject the idea that spirituality can only be obtained through authoritarian patriarchies and instead return to earth-loving paganism and polytheism (a spiritual pantheon of gods and goddesses representing the forces of nature, love and the great cosmos) or perhaps Scientific Pantheism. 

Perhaps a major revival of these ancient traditions and practices might be able to help us save ourselves so humanity can once again be wedded in harmony to Mother Earth – instead of the delusion of Capitalism and Monotheism – that says we can transcend it all on a wing and a prayer

Dear reader. My photo project about ecocide and mass psychosis is well underway, with book dummies being produced this Autumn.  But it is mainly self-funded and my limited resources only go so far. So if you like my work please consider becoming my patron for as little as 3$ per month. For more info, jump here: https://www.patreon.com/vincentmundy