This forms part of series of posts about cultural questions, and paradigm shift.
Click on the link for Martin’s fascinating article. ‘Wetiko’ is an indigenous term, used in this context to refer to modern neo-liberal capitalism, and the principles of the growth economy and exploitation of ‘resources’:-
‘…the Algonquin word for what they termed a cannibalistic spirit, and we might also call a thought-form, that manifests as greed, excess and selfish consumption. It deludes its host into believing that cannibalising whatever energy it can lay its hands on (including that of other humans, animals and other forms of life) is a logical and morally upright strategy for a successful life.
Wetiko short-circuits an entity’s ability to see itself as an enmeshed and interdependent part of a balanced environment and raises the self-serving ego to supremacy. The false separation it creates between humans and the rest of nature means those infected cannot see what is inherently cannibalistic about certain types and levels of consumption. It numbs them from being able to sense the ultimately self-consuming nature of its actions, and commands them to consume far more than they need in a blind, murderous daze of self-aggrandizement.’
Wetiko arises in, and perpetuates, a sense of entitlement and a lack of empathy: what James Hillman calls ‘ the anaethetised heart’, which has no response to what it sees.
We also tend to think that fighting/arguing with Wetiko ideas is likely to be ineffectual. A more useful response lies in a sensitivity to and awareness of Wetiko ways of doing/relating, and giving energy to creating alternatives (in which this service and this blog have a part to play, as we all do).
Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter
Counselling in Exeter since 1994