À qui la faute?

Le "discours du
blâme" m’intrigue.
Ça me rappelle
jusqu’à quel point
notre vision est
limitée par notre
langage et par la
perspective de
notre culture.

Nous avons été
conditionnés à
percevoir le monde
d'une certaine
manière et cela
nous donne
l’impression que
nous avons une
adéquate de
l’ensemble du
tableau. Je pense
qu’il y a bien plus
que ce que l’on
perçoit. Le monde
est plein de
subtilités et de
L’ensemble des
subtilités est
nécessaire pour
qu’il puisse y avoir
un sens. Sans
d'endroits sombres,
les endroits
illuminés n’auraient
plus de sens.
Nous ne pouvons
pas percevoir les
formes sans les
ombres qui les
définissent. Peu
importe votre rôle
dans le système
patriarcal, dans
lequel une personne
prend le pouvoir
au-dessus des
autres ou bien une
abandonne son
pouvoir à d’autres,
tout le monde finit
par en souffrir.
Alors, quand il
m’arrive de me
demander : 
"À qui la faute?"
(le blâme), la
réponse me paraît
peu importante.








Whose Fault is it?

Karen Townsend
Fundy Environmental Action Group
October 1999


ecent discussions I have been involved in about the environmental messes people have created asked if the "language of blame" should be dropped. This question of "the language of blame" intrigues me. It reminds me how limited we are in our vision by our language and our culture's perspective. Our culture is built on either/or: winner/loser, right/wrong, good/bad, innocent/guilty, light/dark. Our government runs on either/or. Our justice system. Our personal relationships tend to mirror the same type of thinking. We've been trained to see the world only that way and it feels as though we are seeing the whole picture.

I think there's more to the picture. Yes, either/or is there and so is both...and. The world is full of spectrums and gradations. The whole spectrum is needed in order for there to be meaning. Without dark places, light places have no meaning. We are unable to perceive shape without the shadows to give definition.

(photo: Christa McMillan)

We are unable to perceive shape without the shadows to give definition

We cut off possibility so quickly when we perceive things as conflict where there will be a winner and a loser. "Yes, but..." fills our conversations, brainstorms, idea-exploring. Listen to yourself and you may be amazed how easily and often this springs to your lips. (I am!) Our minds are trained to look for objections, things that won't work, wrongness in every idea offered to us. Once we find an objection then we don't have to consider it any more. It can be dismissed as invalid. The way to build a new paradigm is going to involve saying "Yes, and..." until enough is added together that we have built a new way of being.

I loved this bit from an essay by Thomas Berry called "The Viable Human" (in Deep Ecology for the 21st Century):

"...The industrial establishment is the extreme expression of a non-viable patriarchal tradition. Only with enormous psychic and social effort and revolutionary processes has this control been mitigated with regards to the rights of serfs, slaves, women and children, ethnic groups, and the impoverished classes of our society. The rights of the natural world of living beings other than humans is still at the mercy of the modern industrial corporation as the ultimate expression of patriarchal dominance over the entire planetary process. The four basic patriarchal oppressions are rulers over people, men over women, possessors over nonpossessors, and humans over nature."

(photo: Low Impact Forestry)

No matter what your role in this patriarchal system, one who takes power from others or one who gives up power to others, everyone gets hurt. We behave differently in the face of our hurt but it's all quite irrational. So when I get to this point of thinking and ask myself "Whose fault is it?" (blame), the answer seems fairly unimportant. (Who were those Original Ugly Patriarchs that schemed this system into being?!!) My grieving heart just wants to heal those wounds of everyone. The question that seems important is "Who can do something to stop the hurting so we can hope to behave somewhat rationally in the future?" And the answer is "Me." A million "me's" refusing to prop up the patriarchal system will cause it to wobble and change. But being able to see the ways I presently support the current system and what I could do instead and feeling the million other "me's" around me for impact---that's the hard part. If I'm immobilized with guilt about it, I'll likely not even get to the second question that can spring me, hope filled, into action.