Can you stand a little talk of revolution?
It’s simple. You’ve seen or heard about the protests in the Mid East. You’ve seen or heard a little about the labor issues in China, Pakistan, Egypt. People are uprising and the tides will shift.
In short? You know those sources of cheap labor that have made modern manufacturing possible? The get-your-maximum-profit-for-least-expenditure method, where you keep shifting constructing to the cheapest labor force so you make the most money? That cheap labor is fighting back.
We will be losing that cheap labor force. That slave labor force. Strong language? Yes. If you’re paid so little that all you can cover is your food and maybe shelter, and have no other options? Those are slave wages. It’s working your life for the company store. It’s what modern slavery has become. It may take a couple of generations to run out of new places to take over… but you’re losing that labor. There’s suicides in computer part manufacturing companies, children sickening and dying from the pesticides on the cotton they’re picking- and we’re hearing about it now. Once the labor knows it can be heard, it will be talking. And fighting back.
Why does that matter to you, today? How does this affect you ?
What does this mean? Prices will have to go up. Businesses will go down, not being willing to operate on lower profit margins. Resources are being exhausted. And we will have to change our approach to manufacturing. We will run out of the seriously cheap labor and cheap new resources. It is already happening. It’s not just a matter of what we’re leaving for our children, our young friends, our professions. It’s more of what you want to be remembered for.
So why not make the revolution positive?
Take a look at what you have and start re-making yourselves. This takes you off the grid, opts you out of the mass market culture, gets you out from under the wo/man. When you make your own from your own, you keep that landfill clear for that much longer. You don’t buy into commercialism.
Each thing you make is your own little revolution.
I’m told my views on this sound like scolding, like accusations, like anger. I can only say that if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.
Of course people want to get bargains, to make the most out of their money, to have their businesses succeed. I want us all to succeed. I am only suggesting another approach.
And yes, it’s ridiculous. Save the world by making sculptures? Fairy wings? Stapling people into stuff? Yes. Make the ridiculous things. Make the fun things. Those are the things that you’ll keep and share and maybe hand on down to your kids or friends. It’s the fun, human touches we remember and save. Those things we make ourselves are the things our folks saved for years. That 15th new computer? That newest phone? Landfill. The eco-friendly bags? We forget them in the car.
No one said the revolution couldn’t be ridiculous.
A. Laura Brody
I re*make mobility devices and materials and give them new lives. Sometimes I staple drape.