The joke is on you
The cost of a given basket of goods is rising and the impact on our privileged western industrialised lifestyle seems significant…in comparative terms. Regardless, many of us, most of us, are still better off than our southern global counterparts who in effect pay for our taken-for-granted luxuries. Their lives, you can be sure, are getting a hell of a lot tougher than ours.
We have given up local production of essential goods in favour of globalisation. It spreads and captures all in its net. Production, manufacturing, and distribution have been centralised, and in this, we expose ourselves to greater risk which is twofold as I see it;
Reduced Self Reliance: As production, manufacturing, and distribution are outsourced and we become less generalised in terms of skills and abilities, we lose the knowledge necessary for survival. We don’t know how to grow wheat, for example. And now that Ukraine and Russia are at war, 25% of global grain production is affected. In Ireland, we’re now asking farmers to grow wheat and many have never done it before. A remarkable situation. Europe’s reliance on Russian gas is another example of the lack of national self-reliance.
The Public Always Pays: Inflation is hitting the most vulnerable people in society yet corporations won’t give up profits. They will maintain their margins at all costs. Many food retailers where I live are not required to publish their profits, and some argue (rightly so IMO), that this allows them to take unfair advantage of ordinary people. The consumer always pays, even when the global supply chains fail–especially when they fail.
Globalisation serves large corporates primarily. It might give us fancy gadgets and make things cheaper for a while, but when the shit hits the fan as it has, the shit hits the fan. My family and I are fortunate in that we occupy the middle ground, so at worst, we’ll need to make adjustments. Others who are struggling already will suffer.
Think about that word, “consumer” for a moment. To be consumed is to be obliterated. From Etymology Online; late 14c., "to destroy by separating into parts which cannot be reunited, as by burning or eating," hence "destroy the substance of, annihilate," from Old French consumer "to consume" (12c.) and directly from Latin consumere "to use up, eat, waste,"
And so, we consumers are effectively consuming ourselves. We are too easily led and too easily sold. In our hunger for more enjoyment, an easier life, more satisfaction of desires and at an ever-increasing pace, we have forgotten our humanity if, indeed, we ever had it in the first place. Our pursuit is superficial always bringing temporary relief, and by it, we have become over-reliant on large corporates. We are fat and we are lazy and we are sickeningly privileged. Meanwhile, others with little or nothing lie all around us.
The joke is firmly on us, and we play it on ourselves.
Happy April Fool’s day