Watching the Sunset is Wonderful
By Walter William Safar
A few years ago, Deutsche Welle wrote about an Ethiopian restaurant in Berlin, where an Ethiopian woman worked nearly 24/7, thus earning all of 500€ in over a year and a half.
The African cocoa industry is experiencing a boom on the backs of children, in China they work in mines and on construction sites, in Vietnam they manufacture sneakers and shirts, and on the Philippines they work with dangerous chemical fertilizers... The world's greatest banks(HSBC…) became so powerful that they are able to create the systems in most of the world's countries. Over the last few years, they managed to obtain deregulation in different parliaments through their powerful lobbies, thus increasing a money flux through banking systems that cannot be controlled. Journalists have discovered that the world's greatest banks are laundering hundreds of billions of dollars of dirty money owned by various dictators, drug cartels and corrupt politicians. If you think that this is the beginning of a thriller novel with fictional characters and a fictional plot, you are wrong. This is about real events and real people. Yes, life writes the best novels.
iPhone,Nike, Coca Cola, McDonalds, Unilever, Walmart, Bacardi, Exxon/Esso, Baifour, Beatty... if you think this is a list of nominations for the corporate Oscar of the year, you are mistaken. This is about corporations that journalists have blacklisted as the biggest human resources slave drivers in third world countries. In the words of Wang Yua, a Chinese journalist, the conditions at the Foxconn factory, which has the duty to make the new iPhone model, are really inhumane. From cockroaches, garbage to a catastrophic hygiene level – the entire repertoire of bad working conditions is almost unreal. Workers are working for hours on an end, with no right to rest, and the windows are laced with railings, apparently to prevent suicides, which makes it mentally even harder because it looks like a prison. But what if this is not even that bad a situation, at least under Asian conditions? Many journalists wonder about it, but their questions never reach the ears of big corporate stockholders. Or perhaps they do, but they are deaf to misery and poverty in these horror factories. They don't say for nothing that life writes the best novels, don't they? Many people living in warm American homes might ask themselves, why should I worry about some third world workers? I believe that those who read this essay carefully and in its entirety will realize that this sad story does have something to do with every American. If not today, then certainly tomorrow.
Many well-respected economists write about the hypocrisy of corporations, who can't stop talking about 'visions' and 'prosperity for the American nation', but they are shutting down factories in America to start thousands of new ones in third world countries, where they have cheap labor, and where the governments of these countries (greedy and senseless politicians) allow them to keep slaves among their own people with a pagan smile. A short while ago, Coca Cola decided to invest 3 billion dollars in the establishment of a new factory in China, so anyone with a brain can easily understand how much the corporate owners care for creating new jobs in America. They do not care for the survival of those who have lost their jobs, or how these people will pay their bills or repay their debts. All they care for is pure profit. They use the free market to justify all the accusations regarding the exploitation of one group and firing the other. Who is to blame for the recession, the economists are asking themselves. There is nothing philosophical about it, it is quite enough to take a look at the glamorous advertising. After all, you can't escape it if you wanted to, there is but one mighty corporate ad chasing the other, and we are being bombarded by smiling faces and glances. In these glances, one can easily find his dream road and reach the enchanted land. Looking at all that glory, you are radiantly walking the dream road. It is only when you face the cold and calculating eyes of a bank employee that you realize you are but one of those who return from fairy land as an orphan to dreams. Of course, cunning corporate owners and stock holders know how to sell dreams, and this is why their marketing teams are their favorite staff. They are doing their jobs so well that they will – without the slightest shame or effort – convince you that their bosses are the perfect guides along your dream road, so that even greedy bankers become 'business visionaries' who plod for their clients' well-being. Because of this, it is no surprise to catch yourself smiling and posing for the bank employee who looks at you as if you were a lower entity. Wise people have long since said that greed is a disease deadlier than the pest and cholera taken together, and when I take a closer look at it, it's easy to conclude that the aforementioned corporations and banks do not serve their clients, but rather their common master, which is greed. Of course, these same corporations have long since conquered the media, so that a voice from deep within the soul cannot reach the public ear. But you cannot stop a voice, just like you cannot stop a human step, or the freedom that reaches into the real world from the virtual world (Amazon Kindle…Facebook). Cynics say that Facebook has also become a respect member of the corporate family, but life teaches us that there are women, and then there are women, just like there are corporations, and then there are corporations. Since life itself is the greatest of all teachers, we shall soon find out what type of corporation Facebook belongs to, just like all the other pioneers of the virtual world. I have always admired business visionaries who created material goods for both themselves and society, like the late banking wizard J.P. Morgan, or a living one, Warren Buffet. True visionaries don't need mega marketing houses to put make-up on their personalities. True visionaries can be told from false ones through their honor and compassion, faith and wisdom. Everybody knows that living the American dream takes deeds instead of words, and our own mind reminds us that faith is made of deeds, not words. Any self-respecting politician will endlessly repeat that 'we need new jobs'. If we know that for most corporations (even though there are exceptions) profit comes first, second and third, we can conclude that corporations will establish more and more factories in third world countries, thus shutting down their factories in America. They couldn't care less about the prosperity of third world countries, which is easily proven by the fact that they are treating employees like slaves. All they care for is profit, tax relief offered to them by all kinds of dictators, cheap concessions that have nothing whatsoever to do with the free market. Corporate owners (major stockholders) will say that they are capitalist at heart, and that they are the greatest promoters of American society, the creators of the American dream. That could have been the case a long time ago, but these days these players are no different from various dictators who only ever care for power, and power is the worst kind of greed. And so, it is no surprise to see these corporate owners posing next to Chinese government members. Dictators and corporations understand each other. How can that be, given that some are communists, while others are capitalists, you may naively wonder. It's rather easy, as the wise man will say, it's because they serve the same master, which is greed. Many overlords will do anything it takes to achieve their goals. In Pakistan, both those on a local and those on the state level are ready to include religion in their dishonorable deeds. They don't care for the fact that their faithful are hungry, which is easily proven by this excerpt from the papers: „In a great tragedy that took place in Karachi, the capital of Pakistan, 289 people have lost their lives following this week's fire in a textile factory. Almost at precisely the same time, 25 workers were killed in a footwear factory in Lahore in an open shootout. The most shocking detail is the fact that people were burned to death because the „doors were closed so the workers wouldn't leave the factory before finishing their work.“ Once again, calculated interests are intertwined in this sad story. Far from the public eye, local political leaders work together with Scandinavian corporations, and when an honorable journalist discovers it, they distract the public with religion, and then they merrily rub their hands when the angry mob, blinded by hate, burns the American flag. All of the dictators across the world use the same tactics, and so do the Chinese. When a liberal minded minority in China started giving speeches in cities and villages, regarding the ties between massive capital and politics in these same cities and villages, the cunning 'beloved leaders' soon resorted to a known tactic. They ordered the media to stir up the passions and to wake national sentiments by accusing Japan of taking over the little archipelago. Of course, the uneducated people immediately got hooked. They all forgot about the violation of human rights, the inhumane working conditions of most Chinese people, the thousands of factories where these same Chinese jump through windows because of these inhumane conditions, the thousands of villages flattened by caterpillars in order to build new horror factories, all for the benefit of the chosen governing communist elite. Of course, the 'dear leaders' are fully supported by the corporations, because they can't do without each other. If they were in real trouble, I have no doubt that corporations would use the same tactic in the promised land too. There are many religions, but only one Faith, just like there is only one Creator. Each religion is as close to the Creator as it tends to the freedom in its adherent, because the Lord's greatest gift to man is freedom. Spreading hate in the name of 'higher interests' is to the greatest benefit of false 'spiritual leaders', and certainly not to true Faith. Righteous people who are spreading a synergy of all religions are closest to true freedom, and as such they will be understandable in all human languages, to everyone regardless of their race, gender or religion. They display Faith that serves people instead of ruling them, because the Lord serves people by giving birth to the light of all lights, the soul, within them. The most magnificent bridges connecting people were built in true Faith. Thanks to Faith, freedom is still alive. Thanks to true Faith, the Declaration of Independence was created. Many Americans will say that each person is the master of their own destiny, and as such they must make sure they have medical insurance, but Faith teaches me that it is one's duty to help your peers, to help the unfortunate back to his feet, because this is how you help yourself back to your feet too. Once every American is medically insured, that flag on the white dome will flutter in a much prouder fashion. For millions Americans without medical insurance, watching the sun go down isn't as pretty as for those who are insured. Is it so wrong to feel compassion for them, should such people be laughed at? Who is more faithful, those who laugh at compassion or those who are sincerely compassionate? This is a question every American should ask the person in the mirror. If we don't, the foregone conclusion is that we take God only at the face value of a greenback. Medical insurance for all, yes, but not according to the rules of greedy insurance companies. Those who pay for that medical insurance, American tax payers, should have a say too. An old professor, who was thrown out into the dirty street by the torrents of the recession, didn't just lose his job and his friends, but also his family and, what's most important, his dignity. I wonder how he looks, or whether he looks at all, at those smiling faces in advertisements?... How does he look, or does he look at all, at the sundown?... I'm asking myself, how is he supposed to pay for insurance?... Only yesterday, he was a person worth attention. Is he no longer worthy today?... In his sad look I see a combination of the reflections of many lives. Is my reflection present too, I ask myself passing him with my head hung down. Why should I be ashamed because of this, isn't every person the master of his own destiny?... I am trying to think as the master of my own destiny, but can I be the captain of my own soul that way? The heavenly answer arrives soon enough. I see a man in an expensive suit approaching the old professor with a warm gaze, placing a bill into his hands. Knowing that you are not invisible gives birth to hope. I am thinking of that as I look into the cold eyes of a bank employee. They say that major stockholders, major bank players, favor younger employees in whose eyes they see their own reflection, the reflection of a predator, because it is known since time immemorial that the person everyone recognizes best is themselves. They are creating a calculating and unfeeling army whose purpose is to serve their masters, and not their clients. The clients came first, the founder of the J.P. Morgan used to say.
"I have ventured to frame a brief statement of my views on the subject of duties and uses of bankers.
The banker is a member of a profession practiced since the middle ages. There has grown up a code of professional ethics and customs, on the observance of which depend his reputation, his fortune, and his usefulness to the community in which he works.
Some bankers are not as observant of this code as they should be; but if, in the exercise of his profession, the banker disregards this code - which could never be expressed in legislation, but has a force far greater than any law - he will sacrifice his credit. This credit is his most valuable possession; it is the result of years of fair and honorable dealing and, while it may be quickly lost, once lost cannot be restored for a long time, if ever. The banker must at all times conduct himself so as to justify the confidence of his clients in him and thus preserve it for his successors.
If I may be permitted to speak of the firm of which I have the honour to be senior partner, I should state that at all times the idea of doing only first-class business, and that in a first-class way, has been before our minds. We have never been satisfied with simply keeping within the law, but have constantly sought so to act that we might fully observe the professional code, and so maintain the credit and reputation which has been handed down to us from our predecessors in the firm. Since we have not more power of knowing the future than any other men, we have made many mistakes (who has not during the past five years?), but our mistakes have been errors of judgement and not of principle.
The banker must be ready and willing at all times to give advice to his clients to the best of his ability. If he feels unable to give this advice without reference to his own interest he must frankly say so. The belief in the integrity of his advice is a great part of the credit of which I have spoken above, as being the best possession of any firm.
Another very important use of the banker is to serve as a channel whereby industry may be provided with capital to meet its needs for expansion and development. To this end the banker can serve well, since, as he has at stake not only his client's interests but his own reputation, he is likely to be specially careful. If he makes a public sale and puts his own name at the foot of the prospectus he has a continuing obligation of the strongest kind to see, so far as he can, that nothing is done which will interfere with the full carrying out by the obligor of the contract with the holder of the security."
Each employee saw himself in the client, while these days the client is but a way to achieve more profit, a mere statistical error. Bankers and corporations dance together, so it is no surprise that American banks are establishing affiliates in third world countries. It is no surprise that they are laundering hundreds of billions of dollars collected from all kinds of dictators and mafia cartels. Their first and foremost agenda is profit, and they are addicted to gambling like every greedy gambler, but instead of using their own money to gamble, they are gambling with the money of American citizens. They are playing an old card – if I go down, you're going down with me. They are not worried about losing, because they know that the country will support them with American taxpayer money, the money of people they consider to be some kind of annoying flies. Instead of supporting small entrepreneurship, they are gambling; instead of offering reasonable loans to honorable family companies that are into manufacturing, they gamble on Wall Street with the shares of those whom they should support. Instead of investing in new jobs, they invest in corporations who establish factories in third world countries... and so it goes on like a county fair carousel. My writing of poems and novels won't be credited by any bank, because it's not profitable enough in their opinion, but when I look at the man in the mirror, I can safely say: „When you think you have nothing, know that your pen can awaken many hopes and feed many a hungry soul.“ Yes, watching the sun go down is wonderful when you're the master of your destiny and captain of your soul.
Walter William Safar was born on August 6th 1958 in Sherman-Texas. He is the author of a number of a significant number of prose works and novels, including "Leaden fog", "Chastity on sale", "In the flames of passion", "The price of life", "Above the clouds", "The infernal circle", "The scream", "The Devil’s Architect”, "Queen Elizabeth II", as well as a book of poems.
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