Bad Faith

A breakdown of common presence, conversation and common interest. It can take several forms:

1. No common presence: My approach to interaction is to appeal to abstractions and rules which allow me to avoid noticing or recognising anything about you or your situation (Hyperbole).

2. No conversation: Language is disconnected from truth in any of its forms. The other person (the victim) can have no idea whether the information he is getting from me is true or not. Every statement is a ploy, a tactic.

3. No common tolerance: I relish your misfortune; what is bad for you is good for me, and I may go to the lengths of damaging my own interests in order to cause you harm. Example: a regulatory system that, having lost touch with what it is there to do, switches from its duty to sustain best practice to the pleasure and profit of catching you out.

Bad faith is, in one sense, rational. It is what remains when the exacting task of dissolving and liberating loyalties, implicit contracts, traditions and common narratives has been accomplished. But there may be still a little way to go before then.


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David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was a cultural historian and economist, based in London, England. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a pioneer of post-growth economics, and a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, 'Lean Logic' and 'Surviving the Future', published posthumously in 2016. These in turn inspired the 2020 launches of both BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong's feature film about Fleming's perspective and legacy - 'The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?' - and Sterling College's unique 'Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time' online courses. For more information on all of the above, including Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

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