Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Which values do we support with our slogans?

If we want to build a better world, we can't use arguments which are supporting 
behaviors or values which were part of the problem to begin with. 

Just the other day, I wrote the post Talking the Walk. And now I just read the report Common Cause - the Case for working with Cultural Values published by Oxfam in partnership with; Climate Outreach Information Network (COIN), Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Friends of the Earth (FOE), Oxfam GB, and WWF-UK.

It speaks about the same things, but in slightly different way. It is about how the language we use can appeal to values that either support to cause or works against it. In the efforts to be more appealing, to "sell" the message. Environmental and social movements have learned how to adapt the message to the different target groups. So business people get the story of the triple win (good for business, good for environment, good for the people) and are told that it is profitable to care for the planet or for the people. But the underlying assumption in this is that it is only if it indeed is profitable that you will and should have to.

I have myself been part of so many studies and so many campaign where it has been discussed, "how do we make this appealing to policy makers, how do we make it appealing to business, or to the Jones in the street". The same goes for the much hyped Green Economy.
read more at UNEP, WorldWatch Institute,
The new green economy
Fueling our future (with friends like that, you don't need enemies!!!!)

I wrote myself about the Green Economy in two posts
Jackson's Cinderella Economy and
Green Economy a win-win-win?

Green economy is simply an oxymoron as long as the economy is ruled by profit-making. And to appeal to profit making as the thing to fix it is, ultimately, just aggravating the problems.

I have always had a gut feeling against that kind of reasoning, and slowly I start to understand why. This is again the old story about "The ends justify the means". But it doesn't and it never did.

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