Wonderful interview with Alexis Shotwell

A taste:

In her book Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times, Alexis Shotwell argues that “personal purity is simultaneously inadequate, impossible, and politically dangerous for shared projects of living on earth.” Focusing on maintaining your own innocence or goodness is counterproductive, she says, to actually fixing the world’s problems.

Instead, “if we want a world with less suffering and more flourishing, it would be useful to perceive complexity and complicity as the constitutive situation of our lives, rather than as things we should avoid,” she writes. We can’t help that we’ve inherited these problems—a warming Earth, institutional racism, increasingly antibiotic-resistant bacteria—nor can we help sometimes perpetuating them. Better to stop pretending at purity, own up to our imperfections, and try to create a morality that works with them.

One thought on “Wonderful interview with Alexis Shotwell

  1. https://kpfa.org/episode/against-the-grain-january-23-2017/
    “We on the left find ourselves in a world that seems sullied in at every level — the air we breathe, the water we drink, the unequal social relations between people, and an exploitative relationship with the natural world. Our answer, not surprisingly, is to struggle for more purity, both in our environment and in our political practice. But, Alexis Shotwell suggests that, in our fight against the ravages of capitalism, purity is not the best way to come together collectively and change a damaged world.We on the left find ourselves in a world that seems sullied in at every level — the air we breathe, the water we drink, the unequal social relations between people, and an exploitative relationship with the natural world. “

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