'There is enough on earth for everybody's need, but not for everyone's greed', Gandhi says.
That's the thought that came to mind when I was reading John Perkins' confession. I finished the book, 'Confessions of an Economic Hit Man' two days ago. I read it mostly at night before I went to sleep. I read 1 or 2 chapters perhaps, in the infamous early morning USJ-SS19 traffic jam.
I blogged about how I got around to reading this book here.
I must say, angered as I was by the blatant exploitations described in the book, I was not really surprised by what I found out about the state of things in our world. All along, I knew this world of ours is spinning out of control with a few powerful countries dominating smaller ones and extracting resources from them in the most destructive ways to enrich themselves. I know well how the big guys play the bully game on the smaller ones so that they can have a bigger share of the pie.
The world is about power and greed. Why should I be surprised?
I was looking at some commentaries over the Internet and someone said, the modus operandi of these 'neo-colonial masters' is nothing new. To seduce with the Economic Hitmen, or whatever you call them, to assassinate and neutralize the 'stubborn ones' with the hitmen-jackals and to send in the war machine as a last resort, these are well-known implements of our big guys.
Nevertheless, I am glad I read John Perkins confession. It was very good to know that not all of us are blinded by our greed and lust. That while the pull of material gratification is enormous, someone with a conscience can someday break out of the cycle of exploitation and raise the red flag on our human race.
But still, it is also a sad book.
Sad because you will find out that all our world leaders, despite their religious proclamations and preaching of the ideals of democracy, fairness and justice, are liars through and through with vested interests in all that they do.
And that politics and human enterprise at the global scale is about amassing wealth and protecting your access to resources to live a life of unhindered material gratification. No matter if that brings no happiness or joy to the people. No matter if the disenfranchised are bathing in their faeces and drinking their own filth.
All said, greed isn't a genetic defect suffered only by the Americans (there are poor Americans too), or their leaders, or the people of the First World.
We all are, with our culture of ruthless consumerism and relentless spending, playing our role in this unequal world, where the rich are grappling with the meaninglessness and hollowness of their materialistic existence while the poor are languishing in diseases and dying from starvation.
I remember a quote I heard, 'Be the change you want to see in the world.' Yes, its the humble teacher again, Gandhi.
Yes, we can all play our roles. Perhaps, as far as culture of excesses is concerned, we can educate ourselves and others about the need to refrain from waste.
ENOUGH, ANTI-CONSUMERISM CAMPAIGN
Yes, what didn't you buy today...?
I am bitten by the irony of this all.