New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
23 A poor man’s field may produce abundant food,
but injustice sweeps it away.
“Date of Writing: Solomon’s proverbs were penned around 900 B.C. During his reign as king, the nation of Israel reached its pinnacle spiritually, politically, culturally, and economically. As Israel’s reputation soared, so did King Solomon’s. Foreign dignitaries from the far reaches of the known world travelled great distances to hear the wise monarch speak.” http://www.gotquestions.org/Book-of-Proverbs.html
I noticed this quote on a poster that hangs in the Church rooms in Hartland, Devon. The poster stated that the church was in favour of Fair Trade.
Imagine this statement from nearly three thousand years ago in a country known the world over for emphasis on the one true God, the God of Israel. And yet, as we speak, hundreds of thousands of people are on the brink of starvation largely [not totally, however because over-population is a huge factor also] because the well-to-do own the land and till single crops for export or to feed cattle for meat that the poor cannot afford to purchase.
[“Already 35 percent of the world’s grain harvest is used to feed livestock.” Charles C.Mann http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/7146/]
Steinbeck revealed atrocious economic exploitation and cruelty as California fruit growers lowered and lowered their fruit picking wages to nearly starvation wages for the unfortunates who lost everything as a result of the dust bowl. Even the dust bowl incident was the result of exploitation and fraud as thousands of newcomers were encouraged to plow up marginal land as a result of a slim, few years of just barely enough rain.
So what? Why do I raise this issue? Well, it seems to me that the message: Peace on Earth and Good will to men [women may have been included, I’m not so sure] has not ensued nor seems likely any time soon.
Most important to me is the question: Why, with the millions of believers in various religions, all preaching peace and love, do we still find injustice?
As an aside, I am reminded of the myth surrounding justice. To the establishment, justice means abiding and supporting the law. But we must not forget the golden rule. Those who have the gold make the rules.
There is a colossal difference between the justice meted out from upholding the law and the unjust laws that lead to injustice. Perhaps it is all about who is making the call. If you are a millionaire or billionaire, then it is unjust for the government to eliminate the injustice in laws that allow them to pay little or no taxes.
Where am I going with this? So far, despite our religions and morality, we behave like other life-forms and expand our territory towards maximising our growth and well-being. The Law of the Jungle as some put it. Animals expand their numbers until they eat out their environment and then the population collapses. Can we really expect that this will NOT happen to us? Of course, this would have happened centuries ago had we not chosen to enslave other animals, pen them up and then chop them up for dinner as we pleased. Within perhaps decades, the millionaires will eat and drink and the million will starve and die of thirst. Do you really think this cannot happen? Do you really think that your God will intervene and smite the wicked?
Update 15:37 28/10/2012
“Not only is the task daunting, it’s strange. In the name of nature, we are asking human beings to do something deeply unnatural, something no other species has ever done or could ever do: constrain its own growth (at least in some ways). Zebra mussels in the Great Lakes, brown tree snakes in Guam, water hyacinth in African rivers, gypsy moths in the northeastern U.S., rabbits in Australia, Burmese pythons in Florida—all these successful species have overrun their environments, heedlessly wiping out other creatures. Like Gause’s protozoans, they are racing to find the edges of their petri dish. Not one has voluntarily turned back. Now we are asking Homo sapiens to fence itself in.” [Mann as above]
Dealing with global warming calls for actions requiring political/social/economic cooperation – global cooperation. This has never been achieved. Not only global cooperation is required, but we are asking corporate structures built on a model of endless growth and profits. Grow or die. Of course most corporates don’t just die, they get swallowed up by other giants. Some lose their jobs and others bank a huge nest egg. A multinational corporation has no provision in its ethos to scale down, shed staff, limit production, retool – all of the very actions necessary for society to prepare for what lies ahead. We desperately need to decrease our population. Few agree with me here. Why? (1) Lots of folks think God has given them special privileges – privileges harmful to Gaia, our higher self. (2) Corporate growth depends on an ever increasing market. Fewer babies, fewer cases of formula sold etc.etc.
Update 16:14 28/10/2012
“Our record of success is not that long. In any case, past successes are no guarantee of the future. But it is terrible to suppose that we could get so many other things right and get this one wrong. To have the imagination to see our potential end, but not have the imagination to avoid it. To send humankind to the moon but fail to pay attention to the earth. To have the potential but to be unable to use it—to be, in the end, no different from the protozoa in the petri dish. It would be evidence that Lynn Margulis’s most dismissive beliefs had been right after all. For all our speed and voraciousness, our changeable sparkle and flash, we would be, at last count, not an especially interesting species.” [Mann as above}