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- 28 08 2001 - 19:10 - katatonik

The stale, the pale, and the ranting whale

There are things – books, phenomena, observations – that just leave me disinterested. Or make me a bit angry, depending on mood swings influenced largely by whatever. By reading, mostly.
“No Logo” by Naomi Klein was one of these things. Actually, everything that has to do with changing your shopping habits to make the world a better place is one of them. Everything that discusses politics and social issues solely in terms of buying power of the individualized masses is one of them. Not because buying power doesn’t matter, and not because changing one’s consumer habits is utterly useless, but because believing that conscious consuming will make the world at large a better place is ridiculous. There, I said it.
Capitalism will not go away simply because we all buy fresh milk from the organic-food-shop, children in India will not stop working simply because we stop buying what they produce. When will they stop working? When social conditions in their environment change, when there’s enough work for their parents, when there’s enough food around, when there’s more education. When will that be? I don’t know. Will that ever be? I hope. But what are we to do about it? Nothing. I repeat: nothing. Just because all the sad news of the world arrive on your computer screen doesn’t mean that you actually have any power or means to do something about them. Access to information does not turn you into Jesus – just in case you thought it did.
Stop buying sports goods produced by child labour if it makes you feel better, and tell people, if you have to, that you do it because it makes you feel better. But stop believing it will make the world at large a better place, and stop bragging around with it. It’s ridiculous. There, I said it.
Oh, and there’s a nice rant about “No Logo” here (the German version is actually much better than the English one). Such rants occasionally have the power of turning my disinterest into slightly annoyed attention. But enough of that. Back to disinterest mode again now.

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