Originally posted by QueenofWeird
reply to post by EvillerBob
I am painfully aware of cheap prices being the product of inhuman working conditions else where. Yet when I buy products made in Holland, what's
worse? The 3rd world country people now loose just one customer, but what if we all just bought local stuff?
You see the problem? I won't buy Persian tapestries as the Turkish workers become blind due this kind of work. What happens when nobody buys their
So we need a totally different approach where the divide between rich and poor is much much smaller.
Yes, the problem is that we're talking about two different things. My argument is that we only see "starvation" in Greece because we have trained
ourselves to only consume and believe that we are too good to have to produce. Anyone with soil in the garden and seeds to plant will only starve if
they are too lazy to get off their backsides and grow something. That might not be an option in many places around the world but here we are talking
about first world countries - it would be ludicrous for someone in my town to claim starvation when every house has a garden or access to an
allotment. What they lack isn't potential but simply perspective. Money is a tradable equivalent to labour. If you can't pay the shop with money
then you pay your garden with labour. Access to seeds is needed, but once a garden is established then seeds can be saved, stored or even
I understand and largely agree with some of the points you are making, though I think the rich/poor divide is naive and a simple emotional flag for
socialists to wave when reason fails. There is no bottomless uncrossable chasm between these sections of society, not in the first world. Countries
have been pumping billions of euros/dollars into making the unemployed (poor) feel as rich as the employed. We have trained our poor and unemployed to
poor and unemployed through trying to force that divide to narrow, instead of providing opportunity and encouragement for them to cross
the divide on their own merit. We even have the British PM saying as much
in the news
this morning, stating that currently "...the system encourages people not to work and have children, but we should help people to work AND have
children ... The system currently sends the signal you are better off not working, or working less."
For you to have something, someone has to produce it. When you buy an apple, someone had to be outside in all weathers growing, maintaining,
harvesting that apple. While you say the whole world should be soft and fluffy, you seem to be ignoring the fact that the work is still there and
still needs to be done. Food still needs to be produced, floors still need to be swept, houses still need to be built, garbage needs to be collected,
order needs to be kept and crime punished. If somebody wasn't breaking a sweat on our behalf then we'd live in a world with no food or shelter while
swimming in our own garbage and filth, with any scraps we find being taken from us by people with no qualms about using violence for their own
The alternative, of course, is that instead of making one group work hard to support us, we all do our own bit - as individuals, families or even
local communities. We grow our own food, we build our own shelters, we clean up after ourselves, we protect ourselves and keep order. We take
responsibility for our own lives. We are all capable of doing that and, not too many generations ago*, that's exactly how we would have lived. If
something *drastic* happened tomorrow and we had to revert to that kind of lifestyle, how many do you think would die because they are completely
incapable of supporting themselves? We have trained that surivival instinct out of people, we have taught ourselves to rely on our society providing
all our needs. We have surrendered responsibility. We have made ourselves "soft and fluffy" because we can't imagine we will need those "hard,
dirty or dangerous" skills.
So no, the world shouldn't be soft and fluffy. We all need a bit of a hard edge in life to keep us motivated and to regain some responsibility.
Failing to do this leads to a world where a lack of microwave-ready meals is considered "starvation" while the garden is considered nothing more
than a place to have a barbeque and some pretty flowers.
* not too many generations on the global timescale, that is, though WWII showed what communities could achieve with the right mindset.