Spin, Nonsense Language and Propaganda in Safety
It wasn’t that long ago that the latest trend in safety was to label someone a ‘thought leader’ or a ‘disrupter’ (https://safetyrisk.net/safety-and-the-spin-of-disruption/ ). Of course this was meaningless language because tradition, orthodoxy and zero wants no disruption, compliance is the god of Stasis (zero). Even when safety declares it is ‘different’ it uses the same language as safety orthodoxy and tradition to spin the idea that something is different, when it is not. It still remains anxiety about: measurement, quanta, objects and numerics. There can never be leadership, imagination, creativity or inspiration in zero, the global mantra for the safety industry.
Oscar Wilde once said that: ‘society forgives criminals but never forgives the dreamer’.
I wrote recently about the visionary imagination and visionaries:
We see in these women what the visionary imagination is. These women are the real ‘thought leaders’ and disrupters’. Each one running against, the addiction to power, technique (Ellul) and the ideology of zero.
When it’s always a number (https://safetyrisk.net/its-always-a-number/) personhood comes second. There is nothing on personhood, ethics or fallible humans in either the AIHS BoK or the safety curriculum. Indeed, regardless of label in safety, it’s always about hazards, controls and injury rates.
The strongest consistency in language in the safety industry is the favourite claim to the word ‘professional’ (https://safetyrisk.net/data-cannot-drive-professionalism/; https://safetyrisk.net/professional-challenges-for-the-safety-industry/ ). The label doesn’t mean you are professional in ethical conduct, it just means you like the word. Of course, helping and care are essential to the act of being professional and zero can only end in the brutalism of fallible persons.
Visionary imagination starts by rejecting the ideology of compliance. Visionary imagination emerges from the Faith-Hope-Love-Justice dialectic and most often is articulated through Poetics. Visionary imagination stands in contrast to the accumulation of power, dehumanizing or persons and orthodoxies vest in masculinst power.
An Ethic of Risk (https://safetyrisk.net/tackling-ethics-in-risk-a-philosophical-challenge/) and Transdisciplinarity (https://safetyrisk.net/transdisciplinary-safety/) are the starting point for re-envisioning new ways of tackling risk (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/envisioning-risk-seeing-vision-and-meaning-in-risk/) that respects persons (https://safetyrisk.net/zero-is-unethical/) and rejects the tyranny of zero.
The next book in the series on risk (https://safetyrisk.net/traditional-safety/) to be released soon demonstrates: how this can be done, why it works and gives case-study evidence of its success in a large global organization.