Friday, January 13, 2006

Republican Garden Of Eden

The Great Wall of China, May 2005
From reading Republican bloggers and the redundant talking points from their pundits that they blindly parrot, it seems that, if they had their way, the Republican dream for America would be a nation with
  • a one-party state
  • a media controlled by the ruling party
  • morality defined by the ruling party
  • an all powerful head of the party who answers to no one
  • the ruling party defining the rights of all people
  • no constitution and a rubber-stamp judiciary
  • no dissent
  • an emphasis on militarism and a lust for war
  • businesses having greater rights than individuals
  • no protection for workers
  • no environmental controls, where toxins can be poured in the water and contaminants can be released into the air with reckless abandon

Well, it turns out that the Republican Garden of Eden does exist on earth. It's called China.

I took the photo at the top of this post when I was in China last May. The lack of clarity of the sections of the Great Wall in the background has nothing to do with my camera. Nor is it a marine layer similar to those we get here in Los Angeles (since the Great Wall is inland).

Nope, it is pollution. Pollution allowed by a government that puts business profits and economic growth above individual health; a government that says that, although the skies are shared by everyone, they can serve as the trash receptable of the chosen few; a government that refuses to acknowledge we all drink water from the same sources in order to turn a blind eye to its friends who dump toxins into the rivers.

I often wonder when will enough be enough? When is it okay to have a year that the economy maintains instead of grows? When will it be okay for share price to stay steady? When will it be okay to acknowledge that the air we breathe is an inherently public commodity that cannot be privatized for use as a trash dump? Must we wait until the part of the Great Wall that is clear in the foreground of the photo is equally obscured by pollution?

China is the future of America, literally and figuratively. We are looking at a crystal ball, but the pollution clouds the image.

16 Comments:

At 8:42 AM, January 14, 2006 , Blogger Reign of Reason said...

Capitalism – a system driven by individual greed. It results in market efficiencies and generally benefits the consumer by generating options. Market pressures also help select for those products with the most utility… However, as you point out, capitalism doesn’t consider long term implications (to society) of those profit-driven decisions.

When companies compete for profits and market share, market forces are very narrowly focused: there simply isn’t much consideration of long-term effects to un-related systems like the environment, public health, etc. e.g. - Why should Intel worry about generating toxic by-products and dumping them in a land-fill 50 miles away as long as they can meet profit expectations? Capitalism really doesn’t address these types of issues… hence regulation.

When will those that worship at the altar of unbridled capitalism realize that it’s just the core of an economic system… If society is to function you must regulate the behavior of individuals/corporations. If you don’t you’re saying the motivation for profit (i.e. – greed) will solve all our problems.

 
At 3:59 PM, January 14, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

This really isn't about capitalism v. communism as much as it is a question of what exactly the Republicans are trying to accomplish.

 
At 7:50 PM, January 14, 2006 , Blogger Boris Yeltsin said...

"Well, it turns out that the Republican Garden of Eden does exist on earth. It's called China." - Intellectual Insurgent

No, you're the astute blogger!! Right on!!

 
At 1:20 AM, January 15, 2006 , Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

01 15 06

I agree with Boris:)

 
At 1:08 PM, January 15, 2006 , Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

The key is that the Chinese people don't have access to a lot of information about pollution. Information is the key for people battling ultra-powerful corporations and businesses. We are having the same problem in America as well. People are uninformed. Thus, these same things happen here. It's a worldwide problem.

I read somewhere that the average Russian doesn't even know that there is a war going on in Chechnya.

 
At 1:17 PM, January 15, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

An uninformed and misinformed population is necessary for people to be deprived of their rights.

The story goes that when the British created the nation of Saudi Arabia as a gift to the thieves of the Saud Family, the British rep cautioned al-Saud that if he educated his people, they would become a thorn in his side. Bush seems to be operating from the same playbook the same way the Chinese government does.

 
At 8:36 AM, January 17, 2006 , Blogger Reign of Reason said...

II,

Yeah -- I realized your post wasn't on that topic (cap vs comm vs soc), but I couldn't resist the temptation to pontificate.

 
At 9:46 AM, January 17, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Fair enough. :-)

 
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