Compassion Fatigue

the degree of human disapproval, the philosophy of censure, reveals a proportionate and equally natural tendency to decline. Were this not so, the experience of witnessing mounting misery would soon overtax our compassion and kill us. In fact, the greater our decency and ability for compassion, the faster we would succumb.

breakdown-of-nationsp. 31

But once we broaden our scope to regions beyond the horizon, and extend our affections to vast multitudes such as nations or humanity, everything begins to elude our grasp. What was ours in our ponds has been lost in the oceans, and our previously undisturbed emotions are now forever subject to the disturbances occurring on these vaster scales at every moment. In our villages, there may be an upsetting murder once in a decade. The rest of the time we live in unruffled peace. In a large community, on the other hand, there is murder, rape, and robbery every hour in some distant corner. But since we are linked with every distant corner, every local incident turns into an issue, a cause, a national calamity clouding our skies not once in a decade but all the time. From our local newspapers we learn that none of the massive misfortunes depressing the world ever happens in our own town. Yet, we must suffer because our unifiers have forced us to participate in millions of destinies that are not ours. This is the price of modern vast-scale living. Having drawn the entire human race to our anxious bosom, we have to share in all its miseries.

breakdown-of-nationsp. 170–1

But what are issues? Sparks kindled by some spontaneous combustion of ends and flitting aimlessly through people’s brains which act as involuntary conductors because in modern crowd life we stand too closely together to escape infection. They are uncontrollable phenomena of large-scale existence, transmitting themselves across the entire surface of the globe and creating the necessity in those they brush of participating intellectually in whatever movement may arise in whatever corner of whatever continent. [...] In the intellectual oneness of our world community, we react to every force like the interlocked springs in those old mattresses. Even if we are not immediately touched, we are depressed by them. Every damn thing in this world has become everybody’s issue.

breakdown-of-nationsp. 111

vs the global Black Lives Matter movement?

This is also as much a function of the profit motives of the media environment as the scale of the society it operates in (and they operate in lockstep). Bad news sells papers.citation-needed

(Im)Personality & (Un)Reality

A small-state world, by dividing our universal, permanent, impersonal miseries into small, discontinuous, and personal incidents, thus return us from the misty sombreness of an existence in which we are nothing but ghostly shadows; of meaningless issues, to the bliss of reality which we can find only in our neighbours and our neighbourhoods. There alone, love is love, and sex is sex, and passion is passion. If we hate a man, it is not because he is a communist but because he is nasty, and if we love him it is not because he is a patriot but because he is a gentleman. In neighbourhoods everything becomes part of our personal experience. Nothing remains an impersonal issue.

breakdown-of-nationsp. 111

~ simulacra-and-simulationch. 1 on the Precession of Simulacra and our reacting to projections of events onto our ideologies, not to real events themselves. 9/11 theatre according to Said.

As relates to climate change



citation-needed “Citation Needed”. “Citation Needed”. ↩︎ 1

simulacra-and-simulation Baudrillard, Jean. 1994. Simulacra and Simulation. University of Michigan Press. ↩︎ 1

breakdown-of-nations Kohr, Leopold. 1978. The Breakdown of Nations. Dutton. ↩︎ 1 2 3 4