It seems that a lot of opportunities lay ahead for those pursuing the burgeoning industry of sustainability. Much of the sustainability opportunities tackle things like environmental sustainability, corporate sustainability, individual and psychological sustainability and social sustainability. Isn’t this just another word for immortality? Staying alive for longer , staying relevant, living reasonably. Isn’t this the same thing that all religions and political ideologies have ever come up with throughout history? Haven’t we been looking for sustainability all our lives and all of our ancestors lives and their ancestors before them? Hasn’t war, diplomacy and trade been the recurring tragedy of the pursuit of sustainability and isn’t it true that war, diplomacy and trade are still is the result of national sustainability. Law and governance is about the perusal of social sustainability and that bureaucracy is the method (popularized by Nazi Germany) which enforces sustainability. So if sustainability is everything then it can’t be distinguished from anything and the result is that it is nothing.
I noticed that more and more artists are invited to send in proposals for projects that explore sustainability as a subject. One project was to be fixed at the sustainable learning centre in Tasmania. There are a number of problems with this for example sustainability is the kind of thing that very few artists explore because it’s a corporate fad only developed recently and because artists are concerned with arts issues which so often have their integrity polluted by interacting with business discourse not to mention jargon that dilutes the many political issues such as climate change and human rights that many artists engage in.
Sustainability really is just another word, which means the same thing as survival, responsibility, ethics and economics all in one. The word sustainability entwines all of these socio-political considerations with a prescriptive morality and ethics that is as universally interpretable and malleable as any of the big five world religions and implies that the appointed judgment of sustainable practice can be granted and withheld.
Corporate Social Responsibility, community consideration, business health, national security, pale in comparison to the righteousness of this new practice which extends beyond the realms of the individual, the family, community, the national and the global. Sustainability is another way of saying “the greater good and it’s a clouded throwback to the modernist ideologies which encourage passive submission on the part of the individual for the goal of the higher power – or should I say authority in the name of progress.
I had better not include this in my proposal at the sustainable learning centre in Tasmania.