Nancy Huntting, Aesthetic Realism consultant, writes:
Ethics: how powerful is it—and how beautiful? Has it been undervalued, misunderstood, seen wrongly? And is the true success or failure of the US economy dependent on ethics? You will be thrilled by the logic and courageous honesty of “What Do People & Things Deserve?”—the latest issue of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known.
The commentary by Ellen Reiss begins:
Dear Unknown Friends:
Here is part 2 of the landmark lecture Where Ethics Is, which Eli Siegel gave in 1974. In it Mr. Siegel—with his scholarship, and down-to-earthness, and depth, and kindness, and humor—looks at important writings on the subject, and he explains what ethics truly is. We see: Aesthetic Realism shows ethics to be much bigger, more powerful, more everyday, more organic, more beautiful, more mandatory, more inescapable, than people have taken it to be.
In this section, Mr. Siegel gives three definitions of ethics, the first of which I’ll quote now: “Ethics is the study of what the outside world deserves from you.” And he explains something shown by Aesthetic Realism, that ethics is aesthetics, in keeping with this principle: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” Ethics, if it’s the real thing, is always a oneness of the opposites self and world. Unless we feel taking care of our own self and being just to the world-not-us are the same, we’re not fully ethical, nor can we be truly at ease.
On What Should Economics Be Based?
In Where Ethics Is Mr. Siegel refers to the Goodbye Profit System lectures he was also giving at the time. And in this talk he presents the way of seeing ethics that was at their basis. Those lectures, and this one, have in them the means of understanding what’s taking place in the world’s economy today. He showed that profit economics, because of its unethical basis, had gotten to the point at which it no longer worked and never could again. In 1974, one form this economic failure took was an unmanageable inflation, and Mr. Siegel speaks of that here.
In the Goodbye Profit System talks, with vast and diverse evidence, Mr. Siegel explained that the only way our economy could now succeed was by being based on ethics. And the profit motive, by its very definition, is unethical: it’s the seeing of people, not in terms of what they deserve, but in terms of how you can use them to aggrandize yourself financially.
As to that word deserve, so central to ethics: there is more feeling today than there ever was about what people deserve. Men, women, young persons are much more aware of, and outspoken about, things deserved by every human being—including enough food to eat, a good place to live, healthcare, a chance to be educated….Read more