– apologies to Karl Marx
So, what do we have to change, why do we have to change it, and how do
we change it?
The problem of course is materialism- the pursuit of happiness through the accumulation and ostentatious display of wealth and the consumption of a mind-boggling array of luxury products.
We have to change because it is obviously unsustainable. A philosophy based on meeting the ever increasing desires of an ever growing population via the extraction of more and more resources will inevitably run slap bang into the finite nature of the planet itself. Crunch! This, of course is patently obvious to anyone who gives it more than a passing thought. So what can we do about it? Who will volunteer to give up their creature comforts? How will we keep our enormous brains amused if they are not filled with the dreams and the schemes for amassing our personal fortunes?
This is where the artists have a vitally important role to play. Ultimately it is only the monks, the poets and the artists who are happy to feed their soul and leave their pockets empty. It is the artists who are enthralled and fascinated by the world around us, in all its detail and its immensity. It is the artists: the writers, the dancers, the thespians, the musicians, the filmmakers, the sculptors, the potters and the painters who are pushing the boundaries of our consciousness. If we are to succeed in dismantling materialism as our raison d’etre, art is what we must replace it with , art that celebrates every aspect of existence. Surely then we will be so rich we won’t need money. The artists we see around us in the community are the (barely) living proof of this hypothesis.
Economic Growth, Development and Progress are the mantra of the modern world, but the more successful we are at achieving these goals; the faster we approach our ultimate failure.
On the other hand, creative growth, development and progress are limitless!
Ben Laycock 2005