Monday, November 17, 2008

Being a Capitalist II

"Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate."

--Bertrand Russell

While I respect the great thinker Bertrand Russell, capitalism need not be defined as such. The "sacred principles of liberty" need not include "tyranny over the unfortunate." There is no sanctity in that. The "sacred principles of liberty" must be infused with the power of love and this will make the difference.

4 comments:

Catvibe said...

I wrote on this to some extent in my blog post called What's in Your Cup? based on my documentary research done in India with the women who pick the tea we all love to drink. What good is our success if we are subjugating others to get it? How does this translate into loving your brother as your self? It doesn't. Those kinds of questions asked and solved are the kind of global outlook we need to have I think, to solve the world's economic crisis.

judith ellis said...

I agree, Cat. Love does away with subjugation, and fairness must be a part of all of our policies. But the fact that there is a demand and it is supplied does not inherently make the system bad.

I shall continue to drink my herbal teas guilt-free. But what needs to be explored are ways that all people can be elevated and all work honored. There is no dishonor in labor. There is a necessity, though, for fairness. Again, love is key here along with the will of the people for change. Without the latter, not much can be achieved.

Equitity is important. Equally essential is how it is garnered. Evolution is sometimes slower than we like, but it will come. In fact, the evolution of our global financial systems has come. How we move forward from here will be crucial. This includes the necessity of equitity and ethics.

While I believe that the people within their various global communities must arise and demand change, where there are atrocities anywhere in the world, including famine and mass murder, the global community as a whole has a responsibility to respond.

In thinking a little further regarding the women in India, what would you propose the global community do? Ban the import of tea? That will stop my enjoyment and what little income the women in India receive. Insist upon our sense of ethics? Should we also demand civil rights for the Chinese who hold our treasury bills? There is much to consider. Any thoughts?

Catvibe said...

Good lord, let us NOT ban the import of tea! No, there are many fair trade organic tea companies that are working to make a better life for their workers while improving soils. I think supporting fair trade is a good start. It is important to move beyond our system of, well, slavery beyond our borders. Insisting on living wages and human rights would be a very good start. Medical care, hygene, family planning education and quality academic education are sadly lacking in most of the tealands of India, and the lack of caring by even their own people is actually quite morbid. I think this can be carried across most of the board of our cheap imports from around the world. It is something to consider as much change is needed within our own borders to inspire the change needed within others.

judith ellis said...

Your response to the ban of tea is funny and I second it! :-) Thank you for your thoughtfulness. There is goodness there.