Message - Re: Architect says, "Not In My Backyard - Thank You"

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Posted by  Manuel Oliveros on December 02, 2002 at 09:46:36:

In Reply to:  Architect says, "Not In My Backyard - Thank You" posted by Richard Ellmyer on December 02, 2002 at 00:41:29:

Indeed many changes would the world a better place. Architects, as everyone else remain imperfect in their own order. I think more or less, most architects would think there are better solutions than to create ghettos. I still think if not most, many anyway would take a commission like this if they had the opportunity. If a majority, and especially if thinking there are better solutions, they would be even in their own eyes unethical in doing what they themselves think has better solutions.

Now the question is that decisions are made according to standing orders. Standing order is that capitalism stimulates creativity and economy. Then, money is the worthier stick by which measure efficiency and goodness: this is what is implied by capitalism.

There are alternative ways to organize societies, but this is the western way. Even in the non western ways, even in those called more collaborative, the imperfections of the humans show as well: it is very clear communists, or confessional states can behave unethically not only in the individuals, but also in the government people and legislated body.

So happens with western states. A madness about money pervades western society. This being the case, lots and lots of individuals (but not all) lose the ethical controls to morally behave. Good and bad are but adjectives ... it is have or have not what is paramount.

And these elected and commissioned people are acting well within this the standing paradigm. They have been educated to so behave, at least many of then have. To them, even the mere description of different ways of organizing the world is simply madness, anathema, and cause of social exclusion. They live in a perfect world in which they vie in their ways and strength to be haves, for they know there is not going to be actual solidarity for have nots.

So, architects even at the humblest level of practice know some basic factualities about commissions, about the difficulties of having some, and living out of the profession. They, as the gangster you quote, "are doing this to live". Their ethical values were forced from the start to be abandoned if they wanted (and want) to live out the practice of profession. If this is true from the commoners, it is even more so of those heading professional institutions, out of the basic success needed to there get.

Again, Krier wrote, more or less: "I don't build because I am an architect". I was tempted, and in practice becomes true for a number (for there are architects that have abandoned the practice of architecture out of the mendacity and unethical ways ongoing in the field) to say: "I am not an architect because I am a man".

You and well ask for support against unethical behaviour. But as wars have usually many battles this will even if successful just only one. This is a system issue. Whatever you throw to upwards the river, the river fetches down. As an example, I had the opportunity to resign (and did after TOO much patience) from the directorship of some works where my instructions relative to the safety of the neighbor building were unattended for long time. I did in time, for in 1 week the neighbor building became ruined just by that lack of obedience to my instructions, fortunately with no victims. Do you think someone cared about my previous insistence in doing the things better? What they did is to deal with the owner and buy the property to make another development.

The world or the standing paradigm is not a world of ethics ... it is one of wild competition for money. In this world, even charity is business, this is what NGO and the developments you refer to are about: business. The ethics of business is no ethics, but the religion of earning money. And the ways of earning money are many times (but not always) unethical. To the capitalism view, as it is attributed to one Rockefeller to have said "competition is sin". What imports is to have captive markets, be them disgraced people needing food or shelter. Those providing will dance in the elegant places.

Now, if humankind doesn't change from a paradigm of utter wild competition to one of solidarity and respect for nature, it may still be a kind but no human, or keep being human, but no kind.

So my point here is that well, we need in the meantime address practical issues involving ethics, but the war for a happy humankind won't be won but after all come to the conviction of mutual support being the path. This may well be beyond the capacity of humans at least as they show to be at the time .... who knows if in the future.

Also, a lot of money is spent investigating everything. In my view, the failures of the social organization, of the moral nature of man, and of the insolidary competitive present western paradigm are so outstanding, that we better spend also a lot of money in how to get rid of money, for we may end succumbing to this tool of our creation.

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