Postmodern Collage Poetry

A blog about writing collage poetry, post modern poetry, multi lingual poetry

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Slavery, Justice and our Lifestyles

Qingdao, China

I have been working in international business since 1997 that is for 8 years of my life and I have always been forced to face the challenges from my poetic brethern about exploitation and globalization. I have tried in my global dealings to be fair and to not exploit but today a conversation with a colleague here in China brought up all the issues and opened up questions for me.

First off I am in Qingdao which is a large city in northern China which was once the German concession before World War I, there are still some German buildings here. China as I have written before is a somewhat alien place for me. The new China that has developed is a place where money, power and wealth are revered China today is like Chicago in 1910, unfettered crony capitalism. We stayed in a ' new' hotel in Guangzhao amid a new community build among the rice fields and the thing that struck me was the fact that houses were huge, there were many restaurants, golf courses and shops but no theatres, no churches and no cultural places of any kind this is the China of tomorrow?

Back to the conversation, my colleague declared that " the truth is that all nations were developed and grew using slave and child labor and that this is ok because eventually things sort themselves out so we as a company should not worry" now we as a company have very strict rules on these issues which I intend to enforce but what I also realized is that it is this attitude that has created terrorism, poverty and violence in our world.

If certain people can be ' expected' to be inferior to be exploited then not all human beings have value-if all human beings are not of equal value why should someone in say Palestine or Afghanistan or Madrid care about the lives of their 'betters' who are getting killed by terrorist bombs? If we have learned anything over the past 50 years it is that exploitation, which by the way is rife and rampant today, leads to terrorism and to wars. I am not saying that companies should not look for better prices in cheaper markets that is natural and Capitalism, what I am saying is that we as Americans cannot build our prosperity on the terrible poverty of others, there is half a loaf that needs to be shared.

In China however what I see is a replay of Armour and Swift and Henry Ford and this is a great thing for China but when with China's Samuel Gompers, and Emma Goldman arise? When will America's arise again as well?