Last week, I watched the ‘The Corporation’ with my students, a documentary in which the role and behaviour of modern corporations in our society is examined as if it concerned a psychiatric patient. According to my students, only a new generation of business people is able to perform more ethical and sustainable corporate behaviour. Their intuition of the necessity of a new generation makes clear that education (paideia) can no longer be understood as maieutics; it presupposes a disciplinary intervention of the earth itself. I agree that we are desperately in need of a new human ‘ethos’ which enables us to take care of the future of our planet, although no signs can be found of such an earthly intervention today. As a consequence, future education programs should embrace new forms of geomancy.
‘And when I say we’re alone, we’re alone. Life is only on earth and not for long’ (Jusitine)
Yesterday I saw von Lars von Trier’s Melancholia. The question remains whether the destructive potential of Melancholia (the planet) is embraced by Justine because of her private melancholia, or because of her conviction that we are alone in the universe. According to Justine, we shouldn’t grieve for its… loss because nobody will miss it. At the same time, we shouldn’t grieve because life on earth is fundamentally evil. For me, the assumption that life on earth as such is evil is shocking and unacceptable. Nevertheless, the question remains whether we need to assume ‘life somewhere else’ (Claire) in order to be really able to grieve for the destruction of planet earth in our time. As long as it is conceptualized as a post-modern version of God’s all-seeing eye watching over us, I’m reluctant to assume ‘life somewhere else’. What we are in need of is a new concept of the ‘outsider’.