Living Well at Others’ Expense

Aren’t we told that if we work hard enough that we all can become wealthy enough to retire early – that it is well deserved because our model is built upon meritocracy – So if you are rich, you just did good job!

Unfortunately the reality says otherwise. As far as we can look back into the past the same scenario has played out . Without the cheap work force there wouldn’t be any powerful businesses at all . For those who religiously probe the arcanes of power, the mystery has revealed itself : while knowledge progresses, financial enslavement becomes more sophisticate.

And the servitude works both ways of course: we in the so-called rich West consuming is addictive, our brains are wired to feel pleasure and empowerment when spending. Just look at the TV commercials, they all are about that: an impression of freedom associated with money itself.

That’s because the design to enslave is the purpose of money. As long as the chase on value remains our model, our own self-destruction will get one step closer daily. We have to quit supporting consensuses… any consensus that does not DISSOLVE corporate power is a distraction

Life is meant to be lived like a beautiful dream empowering freedom and creativity but money morphs the latter into a nightmare!

Buckminster Fuller is correct on that: to bring about a meaningful social system change, changing the environment is key and in order to do this individuals must be able to access unbiased data.

We found the article below extremey valuable to spread the word about the system’s inner workings because there cannot be any system change without awareness. Moreover we even suggest if you plan to give away gift cards, please consider buying this book instead for any friends and relative willing to understand where our massive pollution and world poverty come from.

The battle starts at home…… remember?

Living Well at Others’ Expense: The Hidden Costs of Western Prosperity by Stephan Lessenich.

Living well at others’ expense is the modus operandi of modern capitalist societies. As this book’s title foretells, the author offers a view of the current world order in which the global north controls economic and political systems and receives the benefits of development, whilst the global south pays the price.

Stephan Lessenich explains how the daily dynamics of northern and southern countries are inseparably linked. Northern states and citizens satisfy their thirst for resources and commodities by impinging on the environmental and social boundaries of their southern counterparts, a process Lessenich calls “externalization”, “exploiting the resources of others, passing on costs to them, appropriating the profits, and promoting self-interest while obstructing or even preventing the progress of others”. Meanwhile, southern countries, prey to the rules imposed by the north, intensively exploit their own natural and human resources to try to keep up with the pace of demand.

Using ordinary language and clear examples, Living Well at Others’ Expense unveils the social dynamics of the global village as a “zero-sum game”. The high living standards of some are only sustainable through the suffering and degradation of most others – including non-human others.

Admittedly, many intellectuals have for decades been describing such an uneven and unfair distribution of wealth in the contemporary world. Even in the 1950s, the idea of the resource curse was popular among economists to indicate that countries rich in biodiversity are ‘cursed’ to experience war, poverty and exploitation; and since the 1980s, grassroots movements throughout the world have denounced the injustice by which the powerful enjoy ‘environmental goods’ while the marginalised cope with ‘environmental bads’.

Nevertheless, aside from exploring the northern exploitation of the south, Lessenich covers a topic that intellectuals have discussed much less: the societal denial of the unfair global allocation of opportunity. The American Dream and its associated idea of meritocracy currently dominate the universal collective consciousness, making us believe, first, that ‘successful’ individuals owe their privileges to hard work; and second, that anyone who works hard enough can achieve those privileges. However, as Lessenich shows, privilege is mostly inherited, either directly within a family or structurally within a nation, and hard work may not even come into the equation.


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