10 January 2012

Our American Dream is the Nightmare of the World

The bipartisan American mantra about needing more jobs is nothing but a continuation of the ecologically and socially destructive paradigm that leads to increased monetary wealth for the already profligate, and increased enslavement for the 99% and for the rest of the world's organisms.

Photo courtesy of This American Life

While I hope to soon reiterate the many reasons why our current modus operandi of American life cannot be maintained ecologically, here I'd like to share a piece about why it is immoral and unethical socially.

A great storyteller named Mike Daisy is currently performing a one-man show, part of which is airing on This American Life (for only a short time - so listen now!) wherein he shares the horrors behind the production of all of our gadgetry. Many of us already know these horrors and are met with contempt and disdain when we attempt to acknowledge them among company; many of our friends and family seem to feel that we are so deserving of our consumerism and technology, no matter what the costs. "These modern gadgets are just things we simply cannot live without!"

Of course, Mike's story is just one piece of the puzzle and does not quite go far enough. It does not touch upon the human exploitation and harms in  obtaining the resources for the products, nor the ecological harm in all steps of creating our products. Nevertheless, it reveals our racism and ethnocentrism. It is a piece of importance and worth a listen:

This American Life - Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory

* Well, by now we have all heard about the "poetic license" that Mike Daisy took in the recounting of the Foxconn factory stories. It is a shame that one person's hubris should discount the importance of knowing about the horrid labor conditions in factories throughout the world that produce our products. Nevertheless, I leave this post here because unlike the countless accounts of  horrendous labor conditions reported in decades prior, this was one of the first to finally touch a mainstream audience, perhaps because it involved one of their most precious gadgets ...

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