This week, the UN climate talks commence in Paris. The Letters to the Future project inspired me to write this post. Here is my letter to future generations:
Every generation has its unique oppression. In the past, the church and monarchy were oppressors.
In 1602, the Dutch East India Company was the first company to issue stock. With incredible political power, it ushered in a new era, rule not by monarchs or religions, but by economics. In the 18th century, physiocrats got an idea that if all agricultural land was owned, shares in it could be bought. This idea has been the driving force behind much of contemporary history.
The American Revolution brought ideas of freedom, all men are created equal; freedom of religion, of speech, of the press. The most influential idea: free trade.
Resulting in the multinational corporation. Now we fight for labor reform; food free of chemicals, pesticides and GMOs; products free of harmful chemicals; land uncorrupted by chemical waste. Your fight will be like every dystopian future so prevalent in pop culture—who will have access to the earth’s few resources? The wealthiest few who made their fortunes from corporate investments of today. The majority shareholders of BIG PHARMA, BIG FOOD, and BIG OIL.
These corporations must attract investors by showing not only high sales numbers, but also potential for growth. Corporations create new products, often creating the problems first, so they can then create the solution. The 19th-century carnie con of snake oil is the global economic standard so a select few make obscene amounts of money.
“Global crises have proved that economic decisions (promoting) permanent profit gains are unsustainable (and) inherently immoral,” Pope Francis told Turin Mayor Piero Fassino, in response to the Third World Forum of Local Economic Development held in Turin in October 2015. He added, “Local economic development seems to be the most appropriate response to the challenges of a globalized economy, which often has cruel results.”
Future generation, will you be alive? No one knows the long-term effects of GMOs, vaccines, electromagnetic waves on our bodies and environments. You are the product of the great experiment of economic world dominance. Are we the Age of the Corporation? We call ourselves the Information Age. Not the term that you will give us. Your world is the way it is because no influential body in my generation had the courage to act against its oppressor. We looked to our smartphones, tablets, TVs, and watched what was readily available. That’s why you named us the Age of Complacency, because as a generation, we didn’t fight the oppressor, we only consumed entertainment about dystopian futures, yours.