Anime of Tomorrow
Suisei no Gargantia – Morality of Feast and Famine
Based on my own research into philosophy and my experiences on the subject, it’s clear that morality cannot be categorized into good or bad, black and white. It’s ever-shifting and depends entirely on the circumstances a society or even an individual finds him or herself in. The culture clash at the heart of Suisei no Gargantia illustrates one of the times in which humanity might be forced to put aside its notions of protecting the weak and that’s the emptiness of deep space.
The thought of euthanasia and weeding out those people deemed incapable of contributing sticks in most people’s throats, but I think the key thing to remember is that Ledo comes from a very different society than we’re used to—one based solely on the quantity of resources. In space, limited supplies and proper allocation would be paramount to survival and it shows that when backed up against a wall, we’re capable of making tough decisions that are necessary for the benefit of all. Food, water, electricity and even oxygen are as precious as life itself (literally the essentials of life).
Charles claims that Ledo is selfish and that humanity is inherently selfish, but as harsh as it may seem to us in a world of plenty, fundamental resources can’t be provided to someone who would weaken the human super-organism that even at its strongest has trouble fighting the Hidiaazu. I personally don’t think it’s selfishness to ensure the continued existence of your species. Being able to look out for yourself is how you live in Ledo’s world because each individual unit has to be performing at maximum capacity—the system can’t allow for even the tiniest weak link. But since arriving on Earth, there’s a more relaxed standard of moral codes and he’s coming to realize that in this place he doesn’t have to be on his guard at all times in order to survive.
Far from selfishness being the default instinct of humanity, I think as Ledo naturally realizes that this fleet of excess won’t crush him the instant he stops thinking about himself, it is altruism and humanity’s natural propensity to help each other that is truly at the core of our essence. Although Darwin didn’t say it exactly this way, “it is not the strongest of the species that survives, but the one that is most adaptable to change,” and Ledo is clearly showing that he’s capable of adapting to this new world he’s found himself in.