Breakthroughs and the moral imagination.

Sunset in Provence
As if a crimson blanket had been hurled across the sky

We witness the horror of the burning tower. We learn that the cladding outside the block of flats was cheaper than the fire resistant cladding. This choice was made in the richest borough in the UK and some would say on earth.

This begs the question;

” What does one human being owe to another?’ We live now in a society which has lost religious values so what are we to replace them with? It is clear that we are unable to form our own. We have no moral imagination, we cannot conceive apparently that the rich have a duty to care for the poor, the vulnerable, the dispossessed the lonely and the sick. The rich only appear to have a duty to themselves, to their lifestyles and to their desire for more and more and more. This is at the expense of the helpless, the fragile, the afraid.

It is time I suspect for us to return to Rousseau and his masterpiece of political philosophy -‘ THE SOCIAL CONTRACT.’ Here we are asked to imagine ourselves not as individuals but as part of whole.  We are all interdependent upon each other and in the perfect society there is no separation. If that is the ‘perfect’ society then we must acknowledge that North Kensington is so far divorced from that ‘ idea of perfection than it can scarcely be imagined that any more morally bankrupt society can exist upon this earth.

Rousseau talks of the general will  ;

Each of us puts his power under the general will and as a body we receive each member as an indivisible part of the whole.’

For any society to succeed the general will must always be for the common good. This clearly not the case in North Kensington.It may be noted that when a rich person is wronged he is given the utmost attention by the authorities . However, when a poor person is wronged they have little or no recourse to either authority or justice. The poor in North Kensington have burnt to death, many children put to bed are never seen again because the cladding on the building in which they were sleeping was of the cheapest kind available. It was not fire proof. The decision to apply this cheap cladding was made by the wealthy of North, alcoholism, murder, matricide.


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