Posts Tagged ‘social responsibility’

In my view, the answer to the question, “Why should one culture destroy another?” is short and simple: It should not. Why do humans repeatedly destroy the diversity that exists in this world? We kill off entire species of animals. We kill off entire human cultures. We commit genocide and ethnocide. We replace diverse crops with mono-crops. The picture that this creates is nightmarish. Are we really that apathetic that we continue to do these things day in and day out, year after year? What is at the heart of this evil?

In every instance named above, the answer points to power, money, and human greed, lawlessness, and injustice. Species of animals like the buffalo were nearly all killed for their hides–dolphins are killed at incredible rates today in Japan. Native cultures were consciously killed for their lands. Cultures are still vanishing today for land and resources; for instance, indigenous groups in Ecuador are being displaced by oil firms. The Nazi’s killed millions of Jews; the Jews now displace the Palestinians. Monsanto and other agricultural giants make mono-crops replace crop diversity. All these things relate back to a desire for power and money by a relatively small group. Meanwhile, the rest of us allow it to happen. We complain about over taxation; complain about the prices of goods and services; complain about unemployment and poverty; complain that minimum wage is not enough. The whole time, the majority allows the minority to rape the earth in the majority’s name.

We need change. We need to learn to respect. We need just laws and just people to live up to them. The time has come to re-evaluate our collective actions and reorient ourselves. Capitalist globalization threatens world diversity. We cannot have more of the same. The Earth’s diversity is vanishing because we allow it to happen. An alternative to Capitalism and its exploitative methods MUST be peacefully appropriated. The rich must not be allowed the fortune of excess; and the poor must not be allowed to die for our inaction any longer. The time has come for humanity to awaken and evolve. We need to realize who controls mass public opinion and how they do it. We need to learn to ignore what the most powerful responsible for the rape and pillage are saying to us; but we need to stop ignoring what they are doing to our planet and it’s inhabitants. The time for change is now. But how can we do it safely? How can we do it without violence? How can we do it and still remain safe from harms way? What type of system must replace the flawed one that now has hold of the world? These questions need to be answered first or the project is futile; greedy in and of itself; meaningless and dangerous. But to go back to the question that started this blog posting: I answered that we should not allow one culture to kill another. We must find a way to allow capitalism and capitalist culture to exist as well. However, we must not let it destroy everything in its path along the way.


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Probably the most disgusting things I see in this world all end in -ism: racism and ethnocentrism, sexism, and extremism. In my ideal world, none of these things would exist. But, lets face it, we are nowhere near this ideal. We must strive toward it, nonetheless. We must all want to shed our ignorance. Unfortunately, some people pretend to like being ignorant.

All of these -isms I have just mentioned are socially constructed falsehoods about the world that we live in. Race doesn’t actually exist, no one ethnic group is superior to another, no sex is superior, no extremism serves a virtuous purpose. We live in a time when we have more than ever been able to witness the brutality that these -isms bring, and have brought, to this world. We are intelligent beings; capable of growth and understanding. We should all know and accept that playing along with people who espouse these -isms does no one any service.

In fact, when we choose to embrace a racist, for example by listening to a racist joke, we are responsible for perpetuating racism as much as the joke teller; especially if we tell one as well. But, this is not about ignorant jokes; it is about willingly choosing to be ignorant human beings. Acting in this way does not change the world in any positive way.

While it is sometimes hard to stand up to thugs, bullies, and lowlifes, sometimes taking advantage of their ignorant moments to teach them how they are wrong can put a good seed within them. Change can happen. It does happen. People can learn. People do change. It is not an easy project, because people have to be willing to learn. Next time someone tells a racist joke, tell them you are not impressed that they willingly choose to be so ignorant. Heck, make a point of showing a documentary on Martin Luther King Jr. next time the person comes over. Next time you hear someone ranting about how the west is better than the east, call them on it–then show a film like Gandhi when they least expect it. Next time you see a man or woman talk badly about the opposite sex, name a few people that do not meet their stereotype.  As for the extremist, maybe steer clear for now since they can get violent to try to prove their point (even though being violent does just the opposite). Find out how to reach the person, send them a copy of Schindler’s List and show them where extremism leads.

One of the problems pegging many societies down is a lack of good teachers. In this situation, I think we have enough good teachers but not enough of them teaching the difference between right and wrong. Unless those that have woken up to smell the 21st don’t make some coffee for the rest of the household, they might just sleep all day. Wake up, make some coffee and stick it under their noses until they drink it. We should all be wide awake by now.

~Justin Allen Philcox

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Imagine this hypothetical scenario: Willy Wonka decides to make a chocolate bar, and one of the main ingredients he decides to put in the bar is shiny metallic razor blades because they look pretty and children like pretty things. Now, this scenario might at first seem a little absurd, nobody would knowingly put a product like this in a chocolate bar and then sell it willingly. Certainly, if this were to occur the company would be held accountable for the child’s unfortunate stomach ache.

However, by today’s trade industry logic, the child would be at fault for not proving the product safe before ingesting it. It is not up to the companies selling products to us to ensure that they are safe for consumers: It is up to the consumers themselves to ensure that the products they are buying are safe.

This has been established practice for some time now and we, as consumers, have still chosen not to do anything about it. It is proven by recent events that world governments do make decisions based on popular protest. A few recent examples: Egypt’s head of state will not run in the next election; Steven Harper will over overturn the CRTC’s ruling on new unjust internet billing schemes; the Province of British Columbia will head to the polls this year in an attempt to overturn the Harmonized Sales Tax that the Liberals unjustly enacted without our public approval.

It is time that the people of this nation began a mass campaign to hold industry accountable for product safety before it hits the shelves of our supermarkets. People should not have to wonder if a product is safe for human consumption before they ingest it: If a product shows up for sale in our stores, we should not have to, as consumers, verify that it is safe for us. Industry must be held accountable for the products that we consume.

While razor blades in a Willy Wonka chocolate bar is  rather outlandish, BPA in our canned goods is comparable. How about the safety of GMO’s that are on our shelves? What about that ingredient that nobody can even read on the label? While this story is old news, we ought not to allow it to be swept under the rug for later generations. We, as a group, should put an end to this nonsensical industry injustice. If you agree with this, please copy this letter, send it to your friends, and email it to your local MLA. Let us put an end to this madness.

~Justin Allen Philcox

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The first topic I chose to write on deals with quality of life in a community. One of my commenters put forth the idea that quality of life is connected to having avenues in which people can pursue and refine their talents. I feel that the Arts, and in particular, funding for the arts is a necessary part of creating a community of quality in this regard.
I also asked how we might deal with class inequality in the discussion about quality of life. Funding for the arts again helps in regards to equalizing the quality of life for individuals; regardless of socio-economic standing. Since it is the job of politicians to work for the people of this country, good government ought to entail the promotion of quality of life within our communities.

If arts funding adds to quality of life of people in our community, regardless of socio-economic standing, then Arts funding should be recieving more funding (not less); especially in times of economic turmoil when more people are forced out of work. If anything, politicians who recognize this, and add funding for the arts in difficult economic times,  are doing themselves a favor come election time. Are politicians who cut arts funding in economically unstable times commiting political suicide?

-Justin Allen Philcox

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One question we so infrequently ask ourselves is, “what is it that brings quality to our lives?” This question, if it is given the time necessary for response, has the potential to have lasting positive impacts. If people know what brings quality to living, it can have positive implications for individuals as well as for the greater community as a whole. Policies based around fostering quality living, and education directed at acknowledging what quality living consists of, can have the power to move society in the best possible direction.

A truly virtuous society is one in which a community ethic is based around acknowledging what quality living is in the general sense, and then striving as a group to obtain it whenever possible. Quality of life that is based solely in connection with capitalist pursuits (spending and buying things) is not the kind of quality life that everyone in society can share with  one another. It is becoming more and more the case that the rich are getting richer and the poor are growing poorer (and larger in number). While this is, in itself, a problem that needs to be rectified in this world, it is not  feasible to base quality of life merely in monetary terms; for this would result in saying that more and more people are not being granted the means to a life of quality. Quality does not need this monetary attachment; although, it might be argued that without money a life of quality is hard to come by.

Quality of life is something to identify for everyone in this community. If a general definition for quality of life can be universally accepted by the world’s people, we may all have the common ground necessary to foster positive human development everywhere. Can money be detached from quality? What does “quality of life” mean for you?

Justin Allen Philcox

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