Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pathological Consumption

People in eastern Congo are massacred to facilitate smartphone upgrades of ever diminishing marginal utility. Forests are felled to make "personalised heart-shaped wooden cheese board sets". Rivers are poisoned to manufacture talking fish. This is pathological consumption: a world-consuming epidemic of collective madness, rendered so normal by advertising and by the media that we scarcely notice what has happened to us.

In 2007, the journalist Adam Welz records, 13 rhinos were killed by poachers in South Africa. This year, so far, 585 have been shot. No one is entirely sure why. But one answer is that very rich people in Vietnam are now sprinkling ground rhino horn on their food, or snorting it like cocaine to display their wealth. It's grotesque, but it scarcely differs from what almost everyone in industrialised nations is doing: trashing the living world through pointless consumption.
 Read the rest here.


Examinator said...

But Jon it's
- Legal
- their entrepreneurial Right
- and it's not here
- without consumerism the Our economy would fail
- I don't do it
- what are you suggesting we all go back to living in grass huts.

Chad, see we DO note your arguments... did I miss any?

What can you say is simply Obscene and will come back and bite all of us it always does.
Look up the stories about the US dominated Grasberg Mine in Irian Jaya (west Papua) Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold (67.3%), Rio Tinto (13%). Then look up the number of native deaths in which Freeport is involved. It too is shameful.
Or the Aus run Ok tedi mine in PNG
Or the Panguna mine on Bougainville. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Bougainville .

Chad said...

Your missing -

- What do Rhino's offer other than dust from their horns?
- Aren't they a natural enemy threat to humans?

Could you imagine a Rhino strolling down Main Street?

Examinator said...

then again Rhino in main street would cause less damage the current 'elephants' and their Mahouts shitting on common decency, congress, the people, democracy and the constitution like now.

Chad said...

Kudos! Kudos!

Examinator said...

Heh heh ;-)

Examinator said...

what do you think of this?http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-nonprofit-groups-battle-over-charitable-deductions/2012/12/13/80e67400-43f2-11e2-9648-a2c323a991d6_story.html?hpid=z1
Personally I agree in the logic of Chad et al why should I pay 35% of his charity ... to his church et al?
Where's my free choice in that?
BTW I went through some old Chomsky videos I think I 'm tending towards his idea of non government anarchist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAGtExCOudo

Examinator said...

jon, just found this vid preview of 7.5 cubic Kilometres( equivalent of New York) of ice coming off a glacier in Greenland talk about awesome!

Jon said...

The thing is, Ex, in the US in my opnion our deficits are not that high. Something like 1% of GDP. Yeah, long term you should do something about it. We might as well tax the rich a bit more, but I don't think it's critical. All this talk about the deficit and overspending is a sham, as if employers will immediately starting hiring people only if the government starts laying people off. It's absurd. The private sector isn't hiring because of the lack of demand. Reducing the deficit isn't going to do anything to improve that.

But yeah, I also tend to agree with Chomsky's anarchist views. They sound a little bizarre for those that are unfamiliar with them. Obviously there's been a lot of anti-anarchist propaganda. By who? Who would oppose anarchism (that is a society without hierarchy and where the strong can command the weak)? Takes about 2 seconds to figure that out. The powerful and wealthy want to be able to dictate, so naturally they portray anarchy as if it is some sort of nightmare, everyplace getting burned down all the time. Closest thing to anarchy in the US is probably the Amish. About the opposite of what is portrayed. That's another illustration of how effective propaganda can be.

Examinator said...

If you want pathological consequences of the nature of consumption one only needs to look at Newton 18 defenceless children 5-10 years olds and 7 teachers more specifically the longer term consequences (collateral damage>.

Say what you will about right to gun control but without guns freely available one has to go back almost 40 years an pre gun control there to find an equivalent in Aust.

Sure the gangs and criminals will get guns so long as the manufacturers are able to sell them so readily.
Notwithstanding gang wars and the odd family shooting. Few countries with gun control have either a government out of control in terms of violent suppression of its citizenry or mass exterminations of young.
Put it anyway you like but only a corporately desensitised (see the Chomsky posting) person wouldn't consider how much MORE wide spread the consequences of this type of shooting is as opposed the Aus gangland shootings are.
I can tell you authoritatively (and back it with Science) from my crisis intervention counselling days how a tragedy like this in a town of 20 thousand and a school of 600 has far more wider negative effects on the society the effects are not dissimilar to that of a war zone. Mexico and Congo are extreme examples where the damage is far wider than the direct victims.
Conversely a few crims shooting each other in say Aus tends to have a limited collateral damage effect (this is because Bikie gangs are usually a fairly closed non a group the public can identify with easily).

When it goes big time like in Newton and say the list of others that the consequences effect the wider community adversely. In many way the effect is a cumulative one desensitising the public to this type of violence breaking down COMMUNITY COHESION. But the media and the weapons manufacturers don't want this to be discussed in MSM. Nor do they want people to focus on the real REASON for the conditions in both Mexico and Congo Profit in this case Drugs is simply the product not the reason. This may effect their profits.

FYI there are gun clubs and 'hunters'(sic and sick) in Aus. Gun control doesn't mean NO guns (prohibitions NEVER work) just really controlled access. The only thing that would be demonstrably curbed are:
the death rates by this type of occurrence
the decay in social cohesion
the profit from extraordinary pathological consumption of guns.
What it has done is highlight the real reasons for such violence by reducing the “noise” .

The pro gun people with any sense of objectivity (hmmm) should watch Chomsky vid I posted here. And specifically how the plutocrats actually “control today” through PR maintaining the ignorance of the general population ...aided by BOTH PARTIES.

It should be noted also that Chomsky makes the point about the REAL meaning of Anarchism as a political concept... It doesn't mean lack of organisation/ structure but quite the opposite.....WHAT IT DOES DO IS *INCREASE* THE CHOICES (freedoms) OF PEOPLE. Not just those in an elite minority i.e. 1% ers as now. It also means there are no Slackers they all have an opotunity to have a meaningful life.

But then again it would require the likes of Chad etc to get over their prejudices and actually read/listen and think, something the 1% don't want.
NB the republicans talk about the “efficient use of capital” yet the truth is that 'capitalism' as it's practised today' ISN'T the most efficient way to manufacturer etc.
This is well know from studies as far back at the mid C19th. In fact many companies have been saved from bankruptcy by going 'industrial democracy' i.e. the bottom up control. And NO that doesn't mean that the janitor runs the business. One has to read more to understand it I'm not here to teach people anything merely point out the *provable * FACTS. In fact the 'father' of Capitalism actually warned against the probability of the current dominance by the 1% and their tendency towards exclusionary autocracy.

Examinator said...

I forgot to include the vids

Also check out my comment on what to do about global warming