I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but the world we live in today is kind of ridiculously unfair. No I’m not talking about racism and racial inequality, although that is still rife in a multitude of places, I am talking about world-wide inequality that more often than not involves a multinational corporations and corrupt politicians.
If you had to assess the concept of democracy today you would think that you live in a free and fair society whereby you have the personal freedom and space to be unique and make the decisions you wish to make. You would be wrong. The very concept of a capitalist society undermines the notion of a free society, because those at the top of the hierarchical chain of wealth know that with their extreme wealth comes enough power to get whatever they want. Thus politicians and officials take bribes, legally, in the form of campaign donations along with the promise to make reform to policies or even put a specific person in a particular position of authority. Which I am sure many of you have seen with our Presidents large and particularly unnecessary cabinet.
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those that believe they are free”. So now we have these immensely wealthy people with enough money to run a country independently and the people at the bottom of the hierarchical system? Well they live on less than R10 ($1) a day. Thats where the inequality comes in, but my frustration is not so much in that concept (albeit immensely wrong). My frustration comes from the fact that MNC’s believe that they can do just about anything they want, and merely dress it in a nice video or advertising campaign and then people will go folk out their money to buy it. Don’t believe me?
Apple does this extremely well, they dress their products in this blanket of advertising that almost creates the type of atmosphere that if you buy this product you will have the type of lifestyle you’ve always wanted, you can have purpose and meaning. They then say in their reveal videos that this product is ‘the best product they have ever made’ and ‘the design and hardware redefines the way in which people will see technology’. Sometimes its true, sure, they have some amazing products that have truly helped people. But this modern day form of indoctrination we call advertising has created a culture of constant want and pointless consumerism to the extent that we never have enough, we are never content with what we have, we always want and want and want.
It is the media that paints these pictures. If you had to look at the news media today, we see that they truly only report on the news that gets ratings, 90% of the time. Look at ISIS, the news have been milking this terrorist and radicalism society that ultimately leads to people wanting to know more, but the fact is ISIS and terrorism in general has resulted in a mere few deaths in comparison to the likes of a serious topic that affects the entire world – climate change. 13,288 people died from terrorism last year (Source: http://blogs.cfr.org/zenko/2012/06/05/how-many-americans-are-killed-by-terrorism/) and climate change killed 300,000 (Source: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/may/29/1). But why is climate change then not as highly emphasised and made an everyday concern like terrorism is? Well that simple.. the effects of climate change are more greatly felt in under developed countries where lives aren’t as valued as the ones that are from first world countries. Also, had the media companies have to publicise climate change as much as terrorism, then energy companies (MNC’s) who profit billions in dollars would have to stop doing what they do best – making money and damaging the planet.
Russel Brand argues that in order for us and our planet to survive we must ditch the capitalist system. And I have to agree, this notion of continuous pointless consumerism and the increasing rates of production and industrialisation is leading to the destruction of the planet. Yet we are doing nothing about it? Are we so far up our arses that we are going to continue to ignore the fact that we are destroying the planet, that by the fact we live on, just to get the new phone or the new watch that will in no way improve our lives?
If that’s not bad enough guess who are the people and companies that evade tax laws and use loopholes to pay the minimal tax possible. Google, Apple, Amazon, Adobe, Microsoft. Yup, they use tax loopholes to pay taxes that are as low as 2% whilst you fork out 41% on you personal income tax…how does that work?
At the end of the day we have to ask; when will enough be enough…when will we stop and say,’iv had enough’. Are we ever going to put the place where we live before deciding to buy a watch which sole purpose is to get you to want more. So stop participating in pointless consumerism and being a victim of mass indoctrination and wake up – we either continue like this and our grandchildren will most likely have to vacate to another galaxy in search of a new home or we stop this foolery and save our beautiful home. You decide.
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