I have presented my case calmly. I have explained to you why your personal greed, your lifestyle, is hurting us on a global scale (although it particularly hurts some people, it also hurts all of us), but you people aren't listening. You just act as if the world stops at your nose.
I think we have to be a little pragmatic and look at the wider picture. First of all the wealth of the world is finite and the distribution has, since the beginning of time, been uneven. I think we can deduce that a part of human nature is to want things; regardless of how much you have, you want things. We can’t escape this, the empirical evidence stares us in the face.
To protest about greed (which, it has been pointed out, is more-or-less indefinable) is to protest about the weather.
Someone once observed that if all the wealth of the world were distributed evenly, within a year it would be back to the same position as before.
I’m sure that nobody is suggesting that we could all live on $5 a day. Getting used to that would kill 30% of the world within a year and most of the deaths would be in the West. If we are worried about death by starvation and exposure, are we worried who it is or is it a principle? And how does a lack of wanting things help the total – it would seem to be a zero sum game.
Not to put too fine a point on it, some societies are far more advanced than others, and the causes of poverty are more linked to primitive and corrupt societies devoid of education, welfare, infrastructure, and honesty.
Today we are privileged to see ascendant economies in Brazil, China, India, Mongolia and have the chance to compare them with North and South Korea. We begin to have an idea as to why it is that some populations starve and others feed fillet steak to their dogs.
It is as if countries progress at different rates – there are places still in the Stone-Age whilst we are passing beyond the Space-Age. Take a place like Afghanistan – it is existing in a virtual 12th century. If we accept this, then there is little or nothing we can do to drag them through 8 centuries and turn them into a prosperous society; societal evolution will have to take its blind course.
Imagine that you are beyond Bill Gates wealthy. Where’s your money? It is invested. What are the investments doing? They should be creating more wealth. Now one way or another those investments are going to provide money for someone else. Or you could donate it, or get taxed on it. The actual percentages don’t matter because money is no good unless you spend it.
We are not awful people, we are not causing the deaths of millions, our consumption (on average) affects most people positively – the majority win.
Christianity preaches that this is a shit world filled with badness. They do this to make death seem appealing. To some it is, but again, it is a zero-sum game. The truth is that the world is the world and nature cares nothing for anything that is on it.
Our behaviour is just what it should be, otherwise it would be different. Unfortunately, like all creatures that consume, eventually we humans will die in our own waste and through lack of food and water, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.
As I said, "To protest about greed (which, it has been pointed out, is more-or-less indefinable) is to protest about the weather."