Sunday, December 16, 2007

Capitalism Has No Conscience.

(Click poster to enlarge)

Well, the Bali Conference is over and the world is faced with some serious choices. We can continue to consume madly while proceeding on our merry way towards extinction or we can radically change the way the capitalist world operates while adopting a more sustainable lifestyle for ourselves. The choice is stark.

It's like the dilemma we once faced a few decades ago over smoking or over the use of asbestos only bigger, much bigger. Those making those death-dealing products were making huge profits. Of course, that is the goal of every capitalist enterprise not the well-being of workers making the products or consumers of those products. So those immoral companies entered into strategies to keep information about health risks quiet and to confuse people, to question any science that showed the risks, anything to keep sales up and the profits flowing. Of course the media, who made huge advertising revenue from those companies, were in no hurry to print stories that showed their advertiser's products in a bad light.

Now we have a situation whereby materialism is almost like a new religion and most of the manufacturing companies in the world are contributing to global warming in one way or another and we're now asking them to radically change their practices and reduce profits or even stop their mining activities all together.

That's a big ask and, given that capitalism has no conscience, it is hard to imagine that companies will embrace the steps necessary to save our world. After all, there are all those overpaid CEOs and fabulously wealthy individuals living in their luxury penthouses or on board their huge motor yachts to care about. And what about the poor...sorry, rich shareholders?

They reality is that most companies will do exactly what the cigarette companies, etc, did and lie and procrastinate and foot-drag. And given that media ownership is now concentrated in even fewer hands, the chances of media honesty in the debate are even less! And many people, like smokers, even when they know the downside, will continue to consume rapaciously and drive SUVs.

Of course, on a happier note, if Iran is attacked with nuclear weapons we may not have to worry about global warming at all. The world's ending will be short and quick!

Enjoy your day.

UPDATE: 18/12/2007. Please read this article here (although you'll wish you hadn't). It verifies my post but that doesn't make me happy! Betmo's position is the correct one. If you can't change things, then why not enjoy what life is left for us!

Photo Link.


Roverstar said...

Consumerism is a hard thing to stop - perhaps impossible. People like what they have, desire to have more of it and don't like to be told they can't have some more. Even children have a desire to have more things: the baby who always wants another toy even though they don't play with the ones thery already have! Perhaps wanting more and more is hard-wired into humans as a survival mechanism - the more you have the more likely you will survive. Problem being that in earlier times having more didn't seem to pose a risk to the planet, as some scientists are telling us today's consumerz and the polluters that support them are. It's the proverbial hard nut to crack.

Your last comment on Iran is curious. If Iran doesn't have a nuclear capacity yet then an attack by the US or Israel with nukes wouldn't seem to cause the end of the world. Even if Iran did already have nukes (and even the most hard core anti-Iran guys aren't claiming this yet) it would hardly seem to suggest the end of the world, would it? I would imagine the result would be devastating for Iran in either case and potentially devastating for Israel (shold Iran respond with nukes) but I don't see why it would escalate outside of the region. Even Russia's 'sort-of' alliance with Iran doesn't seem close enough for them to risk Moscow and St Petersburg for the sake of saving an Iranian city.

Daniel said...

Roverstar, if the U.S./Israel alliance attacks Iran then the Muslim nations will I suggest finally join together to fight the obvious enemy while Russia and China will do whatever needs to be done to stop American hegemony in its tracks.

With Pakistan nuclear armed and who knows who else it would all seem rather problematic to me! Cheers.

betmo said...

well, my solution is to hunker down and live the rest of my life out as best i can with a clear conscience. i live in the country that started rampant consumerism with wild abandon and while we no longer corner the market on it- we suck a lion's share of the world's resources. and we don't play well with others and we don't like to share- so- the planet is pretty much screwed. i am glad that i didn't procreate. bleak? yep.

Daniel said...

More practical than bleak, Betmo. I've blogged myself hard for 18 months and I can't find one thing that I can truly say I've achieved.

I can't beat human nature. No one can! It is our nature which will destroy us eventually, perhaps sooner rather than later.

That we will take so many other species with us and leave such a badly damaged planet is more the pity.

Take care! Enjoy the moment!

Mary Walsh said...

Well Daniel you still haven't learned the lesson that blogging is not about achieving an individual solution. It is about creating the thought processes in other people's minds, to believe that peace, tolerance, living simply and other anti war projects are worthwhile. You can't be expected to see anything for YOUR personal effort, but I am quite sure the ground swell of public opinion is changed because some people made the effort and took the time to present an alternative point of view to "shooting the enemy"...

What needs to be remembered is that sometimes the "enemy" genuinely believes we are all bad people and deserve to die along with them, so we'll go to hell and they to paradise!

When Mr Bush is replaced in America with a less confrontational president, perhaps a black man or a woman who can empathise with minorities....things on the world stage will improve. Already Australia is starting to breathe again in a gentler more reasoned manner and yet only the Government has changed. The Power of One to make THE difference!

Daniel said...

I agree with you about Australia, Mary, but couldn't I have just one recognizable convert please?

I seem to be preaching to the converted and I can't/won't claim that I achieved that!


Coffee Messiah said...

Too bad you can't hear the music on my blog. I will this week sometime put a very old song called: merry christmas you suckers by paddy roberts. I love that song.

My best to you and yours! Cheers!

Gadfly said...

Don't give up the ship, Daniel. There are some who paddle along with you, and some who are hearing the clarion call....

Granny Ann and the Old Woman get discouraged at times too but then they rejoin the fight.

GDAEman said...

Hey Daniel,

We seem to like the same themes. I wrote an essay, Why Capitalism Will Fail ,which gets a lot of internet traffic.

Maybe we're not alone! A hopeful sign for 08.


Daniel said...

Hey, GDAEman, thanks for calling by and making such positive comments. I agree, untied we stand! Cheers.

Daniel said...

P.S. Too much New Year Cheer! I meant 'united'. Silly me.

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