In photography, I strive to highlight moments of beauty, to remind myself of the ugly compromises of the modern world which we have helped shape. This seems like an unfortunate contradiction. Yet I recently learned of the dialectic method from inspiring professor Jeff Schultz: By digging out each contradiction and sitting it next to its appropriate THING, we can all come closer to the truth.
What is truth?
We all search for beauty in this world and enjoy those moments. They seem as truth. This is because BEAUTY is a reminder of the way we know the entire world could be, and those moments allow us to briefly escape and imagine the whole of the nature of society as something as equally beautiful as the fleeting moment.
Moments of beauty give me faith.
They each contain their own contradiction, a reminder of the sacrifices. Sacrifices like demanding satiety while allowing hunger, wasting measurable resources while wasting the technology we developed to fight nature– a brute force we once feared with legitimacy would swallow us whole– these sacrifices are evidence we are still a result of our primitive instinct to survive. With the developments of the modern world, our DNA has not adjusted to apply the fruits of our labor–technological advancements–to solving the problems we once claimed was the reason for creating our technology.
We market what is profitable, in an exchange for a few benefits (health, financial gains) for massive losses (health, morality).
I know first-hand that people are inherently good.
Only, the way we’ve constructed the pressures of commercialism and consumerism has trained many of us to sell as an instinct to survive the “harsh” world. But LET’S REMEBER, the structure of our society–the world we have created–is only as harsh as we make it. We are not victims, but producers. We have the power of choice. Knowledge is King, but Knowledge does not come easy.
Then again, neither does a six pack or a college degree, but people pursue those daily. We accept, and learn to find comfort in, repetition, even if what is being repeated is wrong.
“Abstraction, the instrument of enlightenment, stands in the same relationship to its objects as fate, whose concept it eradicates: as liquidation. Under the leveling rule of abstraction, which makes everything in nature repeatable, and of industry for which abstraction pre- pared the way, the liberated finally themselves become the “herd” (Trupp),
Hegel identified this as the outcome of enlightenment.” ~ Adorno & Horkheimer, from Dialectic of Enlightenment