What will become of the slaves?       October 2, 2014

I have long felt that the trouble with even the best meaning health and poverty programs is that they get bogged down in “dealing with” the situation, not ending it. It is the old saying about teaching a man to fish but on a global scale where there will soon not be enough fish to feed everyone.

This morning my wife asked what will be done about global warming. My answer was “nothing substantive will be done.” A rotting edifice will be whitewashed … again. The cruel math is that the life style of the well off has depended upon the enslavement of many others under one name or another. But today fewer and fewer slaves are needed while the slave population continues to grow. Therefore there is no need to actually end their terrible conditions. Food handouts and TV are their bread and circuses.

There is much wringing of hands by the best people, those who refuse to turn their backs on the helpless like the levite and priest did in the story of the good Samaritan. They deal with the problem but even these saints don’t envision solving it. Meanwhile the elect contribute some cash and try to feel that they have done their duty. (Yes, there are a few who do more but they are in the minority and do not control governmental policy which is set to advance business, trade, and industry, ie: the wealthy.)

Those who have tried communism and revolution have only led their people into worse tyranny.

Despite the hard work of the well meaning and the cash sent by the wealthy to ease their consciences, millions of slaves will die from avoidable hunger, disease, war, and drought. There will be hand wringing but the life styles of the “haves” will not decline one bit.

Al Gore tried to warn of global warming but was sidelined by a campaign that depicted the one-time VP as alarmist.

The sad truth is that had we made a more conscious effort to limit births decades ago to perhaps half of what we had then there would be enough jobs for all. Of course every dad wants children. In some countries children are a parent’s only retirement plan. So that was an unpopular path and only China could effectively do it (though India did try.)

Bottom line? A hundred years hence there will be a warmer planet with a much smaller population but with jobs for all who have survived. Those who control wealth know this but either don’t care, are in deep self deception, or simply won’t face it.

For the record, I believe in capitalism. No other system has worked nearly as well on a large scale. I do not want Ralph Nader types running corporations for they would run them into the ground and that would help no one. Corporations must be run by hard headed businessmen who don’t think more than three years ahead. It is the second and third lines of executives who do the damage, for their jobs are to advance the profits of the companies and its highest executives without regard for anything else, be it their employees, the environment, the slaves worldwide, or any damage done today that will harm tomorrow. The most conservative of conservatives should therefore see the necessity of governments to regulate these profit-only leaders in the interest of the country as a whole. Business organizations on their own have shown near zero ability to make more than cosmetic changes. (Consider the mining industry for example, or the tobacco industry which fought regulation kicking and screaming in the USA and continues to promote smoking worldwide.) Unfortunately, the revolving door between industry experts and government regulators becomes worse the more complex industries become. With the best of intentions it is hard for a former mining exec (for example) to see the larger picture with new eyes.

It is the work of government to defend our national interests and promote the common prosperity. Yes, this means business but also the plebeians. These two bodies necessarily clash. Famously Walter Reuther of the autoworkers union could not make labor contract inroads at GM until he got that company’s CEO to admit honestly that the good of GM’s workers was not his chief priority. Likewise the worldwide horror that is upon us has only secondarily been the business of governments. For this they have relied upon the United Nations to dole out aid but the UN is famously bureaucratic, wasteful, and nepotist where each state promotes its own business interests more than they do common goals, or even the good of their own underclasses.

Futurists tell us there will be little real work to be done in the coming entirely electronic world, not that anyone gives a hoot about our descendants a hundred years hence. So people will die and then the world may get better for the reduced slave population that survives, as it did for medieval serfs in the wake of the black death.

This isn’t an upbeat post. If there is a positive note it would be that TV entertainment may yet improve millions of lives. Because of TV people do look to a better future for their children. In the past fatalism has reigned and it continues to reign in nations not in the European tradition. The very word Islam means to be reconciled to the Divine will, and despite the best efforts of the Indian government there is still discrimination against those who are assumed to have greatly sinned in some previous life. Fortunately this fatalistic attitude is becoming a harder sell. People in the developing world see another life on TV and want a piece of it. No, they do not want to be like Americans and give up their old ways entirely, but they do want at least a piece of the action and that piece is rarely delivered by their local oligarchs who relate more to other wealthy in other countries than to their own people.