Saturday, 12 April 2008
So I keep seeing people wearing these T Shirts around Lancaster, and every time it makes me want to slap 'em. "Make Music Not Missiles"? It wouldn't insense me so much if I thought the wearers actually believed the slogan rather than just using it as a fashion statement.
Where did this T Shirt come from? From a sweatshop in Taiwan? What is it made from? Inorganically grown cotton, farmed by children in Uzbekistan where the people are conned into growing crops for us to wear instead of feeding themselves? The kind of economic exploitation which leads to massive resentment against the culture making the most of such situations for its own shallow 'benefit' Do you know why missiles are made? Because of inequalities around the world leading to the kind of anger which can be manipulated by extremists into terrorism and outright war.
But the extremists - and the arseholes sanctioning environmental and human rights abuses in the name of capital - can only win if the people allow them, by not playing the game and thinking about the long-term consequences of their actions and purchases.
T shirt is from Top Man. I don't have any personal problem with Philip Green, owner and 7th richest man in the UK. I can't find any direct links between him and investment in arms companies (it would have been the perfect irony to end this blog with) - although that doesn't mean his money isn't being used to finance militarisation, either with or without his explicit approval. The passage of finance these days is so complex that it would be hard for there to be zero involvement. Probably, Green is a better bet than most multinational corporations. But this isn't a call to boycott one business and switch to another (which inevitably is what happens). It's a call to consider the implications of consumerism period.