Alienations and Solidarities in Capitalist Societies:
Structures of Apathy and Compassion/Altruism
Dr. Ferdinand Dagmang
De La Salle University
This article sets the topics of apathy and compassion against the backdrop of alienations and solidarities in industrial/post-industrial capitalism. A socio-historical analysis is employed to identify distinct behavioral and social-institutional processes and practices as well as underlying structures which determine both persons and institutions.
The theories and practices of capitalism in different places and periods produced various theories and practices of welfare which have implications for the understanding and practice of compassion/apathy and solidarities/alienations as well as that of capitalism itself.
With the use of social-philosophical theories which aid in the understanding of the deeper structures of capitalist state of affairs and processes, this study further offers a groundwork and a stage towards a more developed ethical reflections on social suffering, compassion and behavior formation today.
Thus, Christian-ethical reflections may derive some principles from this analysis of compassion/apathy which is made more intelligible to a wider public that is usually beyond the Christian tradition's sphere of influence. The article also shows how Christian ethics may rely on the indispensable mediations of various disciplines which offer both methodological approaches and substantive finds.