Sunday, 11 August 2019

A Reminder From The Not So Distant Past.

      Five years ago I wrote up the following piece, that's another five years of slow painful death to the people who live around the River Citarum, the world's most polluted river. There is a sort of attempt to clean this long channel of death and disease, but it will not put a stop to the polluters, there is too much money and profit involved. Western consumerism must still be fed, no matter the price to humanity, no matter the slow and painful deaths of the innocent who never see those luxury goods that poison their lives.
       "You walk through the air conditioned shopping mall and are surrounded by an array of colourful shiny shops, all displaying a kaleidescope of goods. They are all there, H&M, Gap, Adidas, and others, it all looks so innocent. However, a lot of the merchandise of these companies is manufacture in Indonesia, along the banks of the once beautiful River Citarum. A river that for centuries was the survival line for millions of people. They fished the river, they drank the water, it slaked the thirst of their animals, and it watered their fields of crops.
        Now thanks to the manufacturers of cheap goods for Western corporate names like the three mentioned above, the River Citarum is now a running sewer, as factories along its banks pour in a cocktail of toxic chemicals such as Mercury and other noxious poisons and waste. In spite of this the River Citarum, now among the dirtiest rivers in the world, is still drinking water to approximately 35 million people. Now the local trade has changed, instead of fishing, the local villages along its banks try to salvage rubbish from the river to sell, it's a living.

      Why should these people have to endure a range of horrific illness and the destruction of their way of life and livelihood, because corporations want to maximise their profits in the West? This is a form of slow mass murder, people will die from avoidable illnesses, others will live a life of poor and deteriorating health, all in the name of corporate profit. You kill somebody and steal their belongings, that's murder. You slowly kill thousands of people and steal their way of life, that's mass murder. It is not done through ignorance, these corporations are fully aware of the damage they are doing, fully aware of the consequences on the lives of those caught up in their greed driven quest for ever more profit. Not an impassioned murder, but cold blooded murder with intent."
       How long will it take us to accept we are complicit in this mass murder, our choices set the stage for the death of others, we can't continue with our capitalist dominated greed system and shrug our shoulders at the consequences to others. As we shape our lives, we shape the lives of those less fortunate. Under the present system our comfort and variety of choices, is dependent on the misery and death of others.. We can no longer say, we didn't know. We have to destroy the capitalist illusion that it brings prosperity to all, we know it doesn't and we know the results, unless we do something, we are complicit in this mass murder.
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