Sunday, May 9, 2010

Is consumption consuming its agents?

Michael Moore's Capitalism, a Love Story, prompts reflections about not only the disproportional distribution of the national/international income, weighted so heavily in favour of the already rich, but also the rather complete commodification of each act and each person in the economy.
As David Suzuki said, many years ago, "The economy should be working for us, not us for the economy. After all, we have created it, and we have to take responsibility for fixing it."
And yet, our media producers insist on including the daily stock numbers in every "significant" news cast, our governments are fixated on the needs of the corporate giants who provide most of the funds for their re-elections, our "model" for all other organizations, including our churches, is the corporation, with its legendary pyramidal structure and its culture of "profit" ahead of human needs and when the corporation betrays its trust, then it is the public/the government/the taxpayers who have to come to the rescue.
We have silently become a world of slaves to the persons at the top of the pyramid, as well as to the culture of their personal ambition, greed and the accumulation of their wealth and our collective voices are or have been silenced in the board and committee rooms where the decisions about products, about prices, about taxes and about social and ethical values are made.
The colour of our skin is not the sign of our slavery; it is the sleep of our mind, and the silence of our larynx and the unconsciousness of our conscience that makes it possible for personal greed and ambition to pass as normal and desireable, as we vainly attempt to climb the most slippery and deceptive "ladder" ever imagined...into the 5000 square foot hollow mansions in the vacuuous suburbs of our urban exec-bedrooms, and our jammed "Beemers" onto the jammed freeways, each Friday and Sunday evening to the "lake," in our headlong pursuit of our image of a successful identity that we have "arrived".
If personal greed trumps the social contract into oblivion, how will we even begin to grapple with the gaping hunger, poverty, disease and pollution...the effluent of the rich that will choke and starve and dispossess us all.
One has to wonder if personal greed is even compatible with a social contract.

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