Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Consume Therefore I am

It is the very word that is spoken everyday, by everybody. Consume, consume, consume. We are surrounded by advertisement to tell us to buy more, eat more, drive more, watch more, wear more, more.. more... more... You even have to spend more to gain less, less weight, for example.

Why are we so futile against the barrage of advertisement?

There is a hole in our soul, whether you realize it or not. A hole that left us empty. When we are young, we run for our parents to fill that hole. It makes us safe, when we are near them. When we grow up, we begin to fill that hole from the society, to find something that makes us feel safe, and good. Here comes the moral standard. We feel good if we behave up to certain standard. We feel accepted. The modern world create more standard, beyond traditional ones. The traditional ones will include religion, attitude in society, and common decency. But now it is not enough.

The new standards are education, lifestyle: body-shape and facial, dietary, entertainment, etc. We feel not safe and not good if we are not educated. If we don't watch the same movie as others we feel left behind.

Marketing people simply manipulate our natural tendency. They make us to identify ourselves with our consumption. Consume more, you will be better. So we toil everyday just to consume more and more.

Unfortunately, no matter how much we consume, we cannot fill the hole in our soul, and it is even a better news for the marketing. It means, we are going to consume more and more, it will never be enough, until we realize that we are heading on the wrong direction.
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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Rich Getting Richer

This posting is written by Ashok, as a reply in the topic, in Global Justice Movement mailing-list.

Bulk of humanity has no mean of acquiring surplus funds and I see thousands of people personally as live admist them, barely able to meet their both ends meet.

When richer people save, in most cases, they do not eliminate any poverty but instead they make their own folks more richer and they swell with proud when they see their own personal graphs of richness further going up. On sidelines, they also enrich their vested interests in corrupt governments. With due respect to a few who consider their richness as God given boon to help the millions of poor people in ample measures, generally all other Rich have no regard to the plight of poor around them. In this age of Globalization and privatization now the Corporations, Transnational Companies and MNCs or in short the Corporate world is in league with Governments and both are happy making a big loot.

This all is your and mine money and this planet belongs to people and not a few individuals. Even the cost of a Gas cyliner and salary of gateman of a country leader is paid from the public money and they are hired to perform their job while actual owners of the country are our People who are being exploited by present Capitalist system that breeds more and more corruption and becomes more and more greedy to devour everything with no regard to how the bulk of our population lives.

The governments today are busy cooking the record books and have become adept in creating deceptions through bought up and irresponsible media when they say the country is fabulously marching with good growth but the real Truth is something else that media would not tell to people that growth is happening only in a few metros while millions of people are being stripped of even their bare survival needs.

So when rich people become rich they enrich their own clans and no benefits come to most of suffering populations that reel under deprivation, want and live a life of poverty through decades. The nations are led to believe in the false notions-as you also write that " Sooner or later those riches will reach the poorer lot..." A country of over 1 billion has been in wait for over 60 years now and riches have not reached the poor people. Nor will they reach in my life time.

I work with resource prone communities in remote Himalayan villages now after I renounced my lower middle class comforts while in Delhi. I try and do every best to make their lives better and have written to scores of rich people to provide support to villages and to the projects that can improve their life conditions. But None of them ever replied and no support ever came for hapless lots. I have seen elders in our family not making rich because they did not resort to unethical practices that becomes the trends of these days. During past few years now I have also become resource starved as all my own meagre resource and savings are totally sucked up in small projects and unpaid volunteered work carried on for more than 10 hours over a decade now and I barely survive now. I did not see any rich person coming to help...nor the government. That is another matter that as a matter of principle, I did never seek any help from the state government, who are corrupt to the core..

I am not advocating any socialist or other model but feel that we need a new system of governance and a new mode of economy to sustain society as all Isms have failed now and we have not tried simple Humanitarian-ism yet..We have to find ways to end this era of unrestricted consumerism, massive material exploitation by capitalist forces, amassing of huge wealth by few and end an era of enheritance of property and estates through bloodlines. Sensitive thinkers and intellectuals who are dismayed to see the widening gulf between riches and poor conclude today that this Exploitative Consumerism and Self Centred massive development has been achieved at the cost of excessive exploitation.

This 'Self Centered System' is dangerous and destructive to the interests of human society and is against Nature and our environment. This is presenting a spectacle that is not at all reassuring for human race on earth. Recent Global Agenda for Developments is inspired and extracted from whatever is considered suitable by the consumerists, Capitalists western powers. Intellectual class is recruited by them accordingly to their capability, to implement this Global Agenda. Contrary to the interests of all other nations, the consumerist powers have lined up and hired capable section in poorer countries to register their planned Victory over the others. Even MDG goals of United Nations are proving failures in most countries as these are being implemented by the corrupt governments and by those capitalist who only want to enrich themselves and throw dust into the eyes of millions. Do we not see who enriched in Iraq?. Has the country, that they devastated and converted to rubble has been rebuilt and normal life returned there or the plans have only siphoned billions to selected already rich oil companies and few chosen contractors.

Do our transnational compies, MNCs, billionare families fulfill the basic needs of 7 billion people on earth? No, as bulk of humanity suffers today. In such conditions, society or the government, even otherwise, have no moral base to punish the criminals and crontrols the crimes. Could we stop one from begging, tricking or from committing a theft or a crime when a hungry belly needs frood? Without fulfilling the minimum needs of starving poors, who are also helpless, sick, resource-less,support-less and in millions in most countries, shall we be able to stop one committing a crime? Can any talent bloom or life flourish in such conditions? Can we assure ourselves of a safe tomorrow for our future progeny? Is our future secured? Is not the very same accumulated wealth, assets and affluence which the elite created for the sole purpose of living a secured future, poses a grave danger to the security of their very future?

We are a planet of scores of millions of Prostitutes, a billion beggers, more than a billion as child labour or captive slave, 500 million unemployed youth, yet another more than 2 billions condemned to telling lies or cursed to sell their honesty. We shall be seen as smart trickster or committing a grave moral crime if we discuss the issues like moral values, religion, nation building or development plans. Is not such present situation ready to deliver chaos, cruelty and evil forces?

Except the Eternal Law of Genetic Inheritance, we do not find any other law of material or cultural inheritance in Nature- in entire Universe. Whatever material, cultural or learning skills and talents we gather during our life time, get dissipated with cessation of our physical bodies. These cannot be transferred naturally or genetically, as inhertance fo next generations. The Law of inheritance was created to eliminate the feeling of insecurity during old age when one is rendered support less. With the passage of time, this has firmly established, as an all pervasive and most poverful tool of exploitation. What we see around us today, is a dance of unbridled lust and a habit to acquire more and more of assets and wealth. Contrary to the Eternal Natural Laws, law of inheritance in our society is against the natural system of justice and is creating much imbalance in human society by misuse of material, power and position. Upper limit is necessary. I also strongly feel that it is time to do away with Law of Inheritance.

Loveful regards

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