Advancing an Ecocentric Ethic
'The brute by nature knows no self-restraint. [The human being] is [ human being] because [they are] capable of, and in so far as [they] exercise, self-restraint'
―Mohandas K. Gandhi, An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth, 1925
As clarified in the section called The Institutions, Eco Pax Mundi Agora operates upon the basis of agoras. There are three broad categories of these institutions. Namely, the maturing agoras, the mature agoras and the bioregional steering agoras. The maturing agoras invariably encounter themselves at different stages of development and, accordingly, are variously called: seed agora, seedling agora, ecosystem agora. Once the ecosytem agora has received co-stewardship for 30 years it becomes a mature ecosystem agora. On the other hand, Eco Pax Mundi Agora coordinates its operations upon the basis of bioregional steering agoras, which simultaneously conform to role models for the maturing agoras, whilst also lobbying for payments for ecosytem services to the maturing and mature agoras.
Both the maturing and mature agoras, provide an ideal setting to instil and ecological ethic into their co-stewards and members of the larger community (settlement) where the agora belongs. As a matter of fact, co-stewards already receive literacy in ecological ethics in a theoretical form during the initial training period.
DECENT WORK FOR ALL
DRASTIC REDUCTION OF MEAT CONSUMPTION WITH A STRONG INVITATION TOWARDS VEGETERIAN AND VEGAN DIETS
AWAKENING FROM THE MATERIALISTIC SLUMBER: REDUCTION OF NEEDS TOWARDS SUFFICIENCY AND CULTIVATION OF 'BE' VALUES
Seduced by the many baits that capital deploys to secure its own survival, we have fallen into such a profound materialistic slumber that we conceive the transition towards a post-materialistic culture a 'sacrifice'. We consider that doing away with the numberless superfluous creature comforts that allegedly make our life easier will exert a great toll on our qualitiy of life. But that is just a slumber. Once we awake to the implications and attendant delights of living embodiedly upon a planet powered by a star called the Sun it will be easier for us to grasp that the reduction of needs will lead to a lighter tread upon the planet and therefore to a more direct encounter with the myriad sacred forms that inhabit it.
If I cycle, or even better, walk to work, I will far more easily notice that flowers, shrubs and trees that lie along the way and I will be able to appreciate the very beautiful sketch that the sun and the clouds paint on the skies.
Buddhists have alreadly long observed that any material goods that pile up on top of basic food, shelter, clothing and education are a source of personal discontent and social conflict. This observation is in line with the psychoanalytic findings of Erich Fromm, who in To have or to be? claims that industrial society has chosen hedonisitc 'have' values dazzled by the unlimited production and consumption that such society has promised (indeed, by way of externalising the ecological costs of such consumption which our disembodded economies afford, as ecological economists aptly argue). Yet the delight of moving to 'be' values (truth, beauty, creativity, morality) as the humanistic psychology of Abrahamm Maslow has also noted, can never be compensated by a larger pool of good, as the findings of Tim Jackson in Prosperity without Growth further attest.
In the context of the agora our embodied needs are fulfilled with an agroecological culture, superfluous needs are disposed of and community is rooted in the 'be' values of solidarity, companionship where the arts, the crafts and the humanities keep co-stewards and the larger community purposively entertained while requiring little more than the gentleness of the Sun.
Ecoliteracy is probably the cornerstone of an ecological civilisation. The community that develops from the establishment of an agora offers a very propitious ethos to instil these ecocentric principles, chief amongst which population control, a low-tech culture and the extension of love to all living creatures on the planet.
The relatively small community that is generated around an agora is a far more suitable setting to instil a culture of restrained human population than an urban sprawl. A human population whose needs are not met at the expense of those of the livelihood of wild species and simultaneously allows for rewilding. Relying upon literature on the field, Eileen Crist in Abundant Earth: Toward an Ecological Civilization sets this figure at 2 billion Earth citizens.
"worldwide access to effective and safe birth control, increased resources for education and girls and empowerment of women (in culturallyfitting ways) and men accepting their share of responsibility for family planning" 'Towards a Half Wild Earth' by John Davis
REWILDING HALF OF THE EARTH
LEARNING TO NURTURE PLACE
One of the ills of western(ised) civilisation is that we have created a consumer culture that to secure its survival must feed on novelty. As a result, newness is portrayed as the most valuable commodity. We pay to be given the latest mobile phone and fashion garment. Similarly, we are lured into constantly discovering new destinations. With this headlong plunge into new places, we fail to nurture the surroundings where we live and establish an emotional bond with place.
The agora, by contrast, offers us a nature-rich environment that not only feeds us phyisically but also emotionally and spiritually, thereby inviting us to lace our emotions to our living area.
EXTENSION OF LOVE AND RESPECT FOR ALL CREATURES
MEANINGFUL LIVING AND REALISATION IN COMMUNION WITH LOCI STANDI
RECIPROCITY AND INTERCONNECTEDNESS
SACREDNESS OF EARTH COMMUNITY