Sunday, August 3, 2008

Migrant Family Values

Dear George,

There are times when my stoner brain holds two disparate problems in its whorls and suddenly, like a bolt of lightning turning a mighty oak into a pile of smoldering kindling, a single solution to both problems appears.

So it was last night as I was waiting to be booked for some trivial offense I have long since forgotten. For some reason, both illegal immigration and family values had embedded themselves in my head.

First, there was the problem of what to do about family values. The problem is that we want to strengthen the family even as we geld it. We want a strong family, but not a politically active family. What we are looking for is strength in apathy.

Then there are the twelve million illegals that have poured over our borders, no matter how tall our walls or sophisticated our electronic detection devices. The dilemma is that we don’t want them, but we need their cheap labor to pick our produce.

Then it hit me! As we leach the illegals out of America, we fill the void with migrant family workers of Euromerican descent. Why should millions of pounds of pears and other fruits rot because of a labor shortage when we have a middle class that is tumbling down the economic ladder?

Think about it! What is the best way to build family solidarity? In a word, it’s labor! The family that slaves together stays together. Nothing encourages family closeness like dawn-to-dusk backbreaking labor in the fields before returning to a shack so rustic it is one with nature.

We must shed the 50s image of the well-coiffured family gathered around their Emerson television set. The family of the future is hard of muscle and calloused of hand. Childcare is no longer an issue because the whole family labors together. You solve the problem of childhood obesity because the little buggers will be thin as rails, living as they do on their daily bowl of gruel.

Because it takes a whole family to scrape together a sustenance living, you would effectively put an end to divorce. You can also kiss goodbye to same-sex marriage. The family’s survival will depend on the woman pushing out as many babies as possible. The more hands there are, the more crates of tomatoes can be picked.

George, I see a return to the days of pastoral glory when poets immortalized the peasant starving in his hut. What family in their right mind would refuse a life of hard labor and pastoral beauty?

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

1 comment: said...

If you were presented with a forced choice, which do think would collapse first: The Human Global Economy OR God’s Creation?

Never in human history has so much wealth been concentrated in the hands of so few people. A tiny minority of people in the human family have accumulated a gigantic portion of the world’s wealth. What could be wrong with this picture?

At least to me, a pyramid-like scheme is not a satisfactory system for organizing the human family’s world economy or for distributing the world’s wealth because such a “trickle down economy” is unfair, grossly inequitable and soon to become patently unsustainable. The limited resources and frangible ecosystem services of Earth cannot sustain much longer the way the global political economy is currently grown without regard to biophysical limits to its seemingly endless growth.

After all, the air, land and seas are being relentlessly polluted with human waste products; fresh water, fish stocks, food reserves, fossil fuels, and wetlands are being depleted at an alarming rate; the catastrophic effects of massive over-consumption and unrestrained hoarding of resources cannot be sustained much longer by our small, finite, fragile planetary home.

If the environment is being irreversibly degraded and natural resources are being dissipated recklessly, how can human civilization, life as we know it and the integrity of Earth as a fit for human habitation be maintained much longer?

Something new and different needs to be done. The wealthy and powerful leaders among us have unwelcome responsibilities to assume and duties to perform. If these leaders continue to adamantly insist that we keep producing endlessly as we are doing now and if we keep getting what we are likely to keep getting by overproducing as we are now, then the unbridled growth of the global economy, in all likelihood, will soon precipitate a colossal ecological wreckage unless, of course, the ever expanding global economy proceeds like a runaway train, barreling headlong into a sharp ‘turn’ called “unsustainability” where the manmade global economy crashes and destructs before rampant economic globalization destroys the Creation.

In the preceding paragraph I make reference to “unwelcome responsibilities to assume and duties to perform.”

Those “unwelcome” responsibilities and duties are only unwelcome to people who are idolaters of the global economy, who count its many material ‘blessings’ first, last and always. And what are these ‘blessings’ but products of avarice borne of greediness for personal gain and riches.

Leaders of human civilization have spoken loudly, clearly and often with one voice through human history about eschewing the insatiable passion for acquiring, consuming and/or hoarding every object of personal desire.

All this is to say that what is “unwelcome” in choosing to live differently is only apparently unwelcome…..not really unwelcome. Necessary behavior change is actually something to be welcome, I believe, because making needed changes in behavior is somehow the right thing to do. At least to me, it appears the leaders of human civilization have harmoniously exemplified for all of us how to live well… a way that is somehow right.

Perhaps there is another way, a better way to communicate what I am trying to say here.

It is the Creation that is being overwhelmed by the unrestrained over-consumption, unbridled overproduction and unrestricted overpopulation activities of the human species, which can be seen so clearly overspreading the surface of Earth in these early years of Century XXI.

In our time, sacrificing the Creation on the altar of the seemingly endless, distinctly human-driven expansion of economic globalization is what concerns me.

How can the human economy exist without the Creation? Surely we can agree that the Creation will likely go on long after the last idolaters of the global political economy have somehow determined to end their pursuit of a fool’s errand: dominion of the Earth and everything we derive from it.

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, est. 2001