Saturday, December 02, 2006

The World is a COMMUNITY. We are all brothers and sisters.

I realize my hands are very bloody. I can no longer ignore the plight of the third world human and their struggles. When they make the shirt I wear, or food I eat, we are then brothers and sisters. The world is a community. Before communities were on a village, city, and or maybe even a nation but these days with global communication and global trade, we are all neighbors. So when I buy goods that were produced by people who were are being taken advantage of, even to the point that they suffer and risk their own health and therefore lives, my hands are bloody. From the Mexican that tries to cross a desert so he can pick my bell peppers and tomatoes, to a garment worker in Nepal or Africa, to a factory worker in China making circuit breakers, they are all being taken advantage of. Why? So I can and others like me can have cheaper goods. If we refused to but such products then they would not be taken advantage of but we don’t.

It is out of my weakness that my hands are bloody. If I was stronger and others were with me, we could say no. The corporate types exploit the weakness of the masses that are willing to buy and the weakness of the masses that feel like they have no other option but to work in a factory. But if we the consumers were not weak and demanded better working conditions for our brothers and sisters, they the corporate types would oblige us. The power ultimately rests not with the factory workers making the goods or the corporates who enable the process but with the buyer.

Some argue that a life in the factory in which a person can work to buy some food and some medicine is better than a life in the village with little food or little medicine. This argument might be true but is still very flawed. This is like saying being half a slave is better than being completely a slave. Slavery is wrong in any amount and so is exploitation that takes place by the first world on the peasants. The only real solution is to allow the people from the countryside to have good jobs. That will only happen when the masses of consumers demand that their goods have been produced by people who have been fairly compensated. Yes, this would affect prices but I think not too much and I also believe that if consumers did demand better conditions for workers that such conditions would indeed arise.

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