Agricultural protectionism means $300-billion a year in subsidies to shelter the richest parts of the world. That dwarfs the $50-billion spent on aid for the poorest
Archive for December, 2005
I have been wondering the last few days about how absurd modern life is, to some extent. There is just such a frightening distance between reality and the platform that society is built on, that it is almost difficult to believe. But we have to, we are confronted with it every day.
While the human race is engaged in some meaningful activities, to a large extent most of the time spent by humankind on this earth is a massive, sad, waste. Just look at the so-called entertainment of these times. Real art is almost dead, but fortunes are made from the most insipid assortment you can imagine, produced by conveyor belts driven by marketing and empty of creativity. Pop music devoid of all musical skill but jam-packed with consumer-aimed-attitude. Films that reflect nothing of life but are filled with explosions or silicone. Books where the author repeats formula after formula. Soapies that are a condensation of gossip, a putrid habit in itself. And tabloids that glorify humans to star-status, and then ridicule them for having human traits like a saggy bottom or unhappy relationship. And people soak this rubbish up, they can’t get enough of it.
The distorted view of reality is accepted as fact when it has nothing to verify it, and alternative conceptions of the fundamentals of life are considered crackpot. Lets quickly look at some significant aspects of modern life. I did so in the shower, and came to the conclusion that a lot of it was created by the Western Media, especially in USA around the 50′s, till today. I used to jokingly refer to the “Evil Empire”, but I am afraid that history will show this to be an accurate description of a society that destroyed mindlessly the precious reserves here on Earth for humans to use.
25% of the Earth’s population uses 75% of the resources, and causes a similar proportion of the Earth’s pollution. If that does not strike you as grossly unfair, there is something really wrong with you. And it is the way that these resources are used too, that is such cause for dismay.
I live in Africa. Every day, there are millions of people dying from starvation. In USA, most people are seriously obese. This is due to complete weakness of character, ignorance of the principles of healthy living and life itself, and also to being blind as to the nature of food (more about food in next post). These obeasts then spend billions on diet drugs to try and make themselves thin. I have yet to find a single person who eats healthily, exercises regularly, and has a weight problem. I doubt there is such a person. Yet while they wallow in their blubber, people starve.
These people are in countries that can not access global markets because of trade barriers. Africa could grow the agricultural products of Europe at 1/16th of the cost that it costs them, but they are excluded from the market and European consumers have to pay massive taxes so that their governments can subsidise the farmers. Why? Because the farmers are powerful politically. They are strong lobbiers. So much for political leaders working for the good of the people then.
We hear all these wonderful things about globalisation, but it is not being allowed to operate properly. Only where it benefits the developed countries. In situations where a global market should allow Africa to compete, because it has an advantage in terms of resources and labour, it can not because artificial forces manipulate the market. And it is the entire developed world that is still clinging onto this. They shine glory on themselves for giving a handout, while their other hand is slowly throttling our continent.
The entire planet agrees on the Kyoto protocol. USA pulls out because there is no proof that greenhouse gasses cause global warming. They say this with a straight face while ice caps melt. I hope that they enjoyed their tornadoes, made worse by the higher sea temperature that they passed over. Gaia strikes back. Don’t forget, nature is a dynamic system that adjusts where necessary to restore equilibrium. That adjustment could just be wiping homo sapiens off the face of the planet if we are not careful.
Lets look at energy. Fossil fuels are by definition, of limited supply and therefore a scarce resource, They should be handled as the precious items that they are. But, instead the president of America believes the extravagance of the American people is part of their lifestyle, and they have a right to defend it.
A logical person would say – OK, fuel is short, we use a lot of it. Lets change the way that we operate to use less fuel. America says – lets live far away from the cities in suburbs, the least energy efficient form of “civilisation” in human history. Lets drive SUV’s that use double the fuel of normal cars, but never go off-road. Lets identify countries with oil, find some flimsy pretext, attack them, and take their oil. Lets put American companies in charge of that oil. Lets be completely blatant about it, because no-one can confront us, we have the military might.
They don’t care about the rest of the world. The president doesn’t even know the names of the leaders he visits. 50% of Congress don’t even have passports. Many Americans don’t even know where Canada is.
Not all Americans are bad people. But there is something sick and dangerous about that blinkered society. Its driving force is wasteful consumerism, they are a lesson for the world on materialism gone wrong. They remind me of an aggressive drunk, you just can’t reason with that kind of animal.
I really hope that there is some kind of turnaround. The next few decades can see humankind starting a level of co-operation that sees us rise to a level of living that was undreamt of before. Or, it can see inequality and oppression and waste and hatred grow, until we are in a very sorry state indeed.
I see the root cause of all of this as being a lack of spirituality. If you do not have a spiritual basis upon which your life is built, there is nothing to guide you but your ego and desires. If you do not understand the connection between yourself and the rest of life, you feel nothing at their suffering. If you do not know the purpose of your life, you spend it emptily.