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The Opposite of Evil is No Longer Goodness


The Opposite of Evil is No Longer Goodness

Frances Moore Lappé

My headline is provocative, so let me quickly explain, starting with a huge claim about what’s unique about our world in this moment. Then I ask, What, right now, is most required of our species?

Our era has been dubbed the Anthropocene because for the first time we humans are making our mark on the entire planet. Isn’t it high time we nail down the most basic traits of this master species—traits that will determine how it might handle responsibility of such magnitude…a whole planet?


One has to be willing to experience failure to make the attempt, even when it’s successful.


" Whatever it takes, let’s fortify our backbones as part of a rising Democracy Movement."

I went to the democracy movement site and wish it the best success with its chosen task. Maybe I missed something, as far as I could tell, there was nothing there discussing democracy itself so I ask this question.

Can anyone name a representative democracy that is not attempting to grow its economy as fast as possible? My point is that representative democracy is part of capitalism and is designed to mainly represent capital.

How can there be a democracy movement that does not discuss what democracy is? Although representative democracy involves voting, it is not democracy.


It all depends on how you define courage and in what context. Politically, I could, for instance attend a Trump rally and stand up and scream at Trump, telling him what a scumbag he is. That’s not courage; it’s insanity. Likewise, I could have discussions with Trump supporters and hit them with a mountain of facts and figures, but to what avail? Been there, done that one, plenty, and have yet to change a single mind. Made me feel, better, for having tried, but that’s more akin to political self-gratification than courage.

For me, personally, courage in a political context has been joining a third party movement (the Green party) and sticking to my convictions when I am constantly blamed by liberal friends for their favorite Democrat losing. Even here on CD, I sometimes get the same treatment from harpies who tell me that I’m throwing my vote away. Still, no matter what others say, I know in my heart that I must break away from the duopolistic thinking and find another way. For me, political courage has been daring to believe that voting doesn’t have to be the same old D versus R trap. Going on almost two decades, now, as a Green and nothing either the Democrats or Republicans have done has made me feel any different. I refuse to be coerced into the Democratic fold out of fear. That takes courage.


Courage can bring consequences - even dire ones

But whatever may come, we will know that in that moment we were at our best, our most transcendentally human

And that can never be taken from us.


HI unlikelysource: You are sooooo correct!
I have lost several jobs due to asking the right question----but to the wrong person. But I never regretted asking the question. : )


Isn’t the most salient question whether we can do what our courage demands, and our conscience allows, always striving to stretch the limits of both?


Hi unlikelysource: YES. : )


What an empty thought. Do you think Rosa Parks was backed up by power? Of course she was not. She was empowered by her own courage – which powered her action. Do you think Ghandi was backed up by power? Of course he was not. He empowered himself through action. You seem to misunderstand how the balance of power changes – it comes from courage and the action that empowers.

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It’s not a matter of opinion. It is a matter of collective action, and of strength in numbers. It is well documented that most individuals are afraid to speak up against a blatant wrong when other people are present – as was Ms. Lappe, who is one of our strongest and best – or more accurately, they are afraid to be the FIRST to speak up. It is called the bystander effect, and its archetype is the Kitty Genovese murder.

But I would say – and I think Ms. Lappe would agree --that the point is not whether the day is carried but whether the effort is made and the challenge to our morality accepted and engaged.

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Please recognize that democracy, a political system, is NOT capitalism, the economic system prevailing in most so-called “representative democracies,” most of which have long since been co-opted by those with the most capital.

Neither do I accept your implicit definition of “representative democracy” as an oxymoron. That is a fatuous argument favored by the right wing to sow confusion rather than clarity.


Rocky, I totally agree with you, and would add MLK to the examples. I disagree, however, with where the source of power resides. In all these cases, courage gave each the moral power individually to act. The true power comes from the people that courageously join/take action/follow these courageous individuals/leaders.

Just my two cents…


I agree. The point is that the power doesn’t come from some external force, as implied by the original comment by Dubet.


The current culture is the problem, it’s emergence from cultural stories and myths without being seriously challenged is the main problem.
Two of those fallacies that create misery for Humanity are ; Humanity is inherently evil we are separate from the divine and each other.
Life is about Survival of the Fittest.
Humanity must write a New Cultural Story with guiding principles that serve life as opposed to the possible end of our experience.
Two of those would be ;
We are All One
There’s enough to go around for everyone .
Implimenting and creating this New Culture Story would have the most impact on humanity’s evolution than anything else, taking us onto the next loop in the spiral

The culture from which we emerge is causing the demise of the culture .

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I’ve started reading “Ten Myths of Hunger” and appreciate it enough to temporarily set aside “How to read Donald Duck,” which I already set aside for “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Brief Answers to the Big Questions.”

I like the readable size and color tone print and big ideas in Francis Moore Lappé’s book and recommend it.


Democracy and representative democracy are two different subjects.

Representative democracy mostly represents capital. It is a tool of capitalism used to manage citizen morale with the illusion that occasional voting for representatives is democracy.

Real democracy is not a win or lose voting scheme. It is an ancient organic tool used by cosmic powered biology manifest as human to focus distributed intelligence.

Evolution is accelerating at an accelerating rate and what comes next after representative democracy cannot be seen by one person or organization. We are a mature species facing self-inflicted extinction.

My perspective is nonpartisan independent green socialist; Totalitarian military empire cannot possibly find a solution for it is one of the prime causes of impending extinction.

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Good and evil are human artifacts that nature doesn’t recognize. These definitions lend themselves to manipulation: “Good” is turning the other cheek, dying in wars of choice, being poor, meek, etc. “Evil” is birth control, atheism, people of color, other religions, etc.


Money is power.