Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Of Albatroses and Threads

It flies.

It's big, it's white and blue, it has lots and lots of wheels. It has impossibly long wings. It's so huge and heavy it shouldn't be able to lift from the ground, and yet there's a strange feeling of grace to it. A feeling of reverence as you watch it win free from the runway's asphalt. I watch the pictures and, taking the measure of the quiet awe rising inside me, I find I'm happy there's still so much left of the child within.

The Airbus A380 is a wonderful success, and never mind analysts--astonishingly enough all of them from the US, and all of them speaking only now, when the maiden flight is taking place (no, Boeing doesn't look like the grumpy stepmother frustrated at how well her daughter in law is doing in the world)--claiming the very existence of the A380 is all a strategy mistake on Airbus' part.

What's even better, is that Airbus is European. It's a union of the knowledge, investment, faith and expertise of several countries which made it possible. I find comfort in that fact. Yes, Europe can build things. Beautiful things. I can only hope the range of what Europe can build will expand with time (this is a subtle hint that I'm in favor of the project for a European Constitution, by the way :P)

Threads are another matter, and much less satisfying. China is now free to export fabrics into Europe without any limitation. The consequences of that change have been quick, and deadly: companies are closing everywhere. Fabrics are being imported into Europe at a price impossible to beat--oh, right, let me be fair in this matter: those prices would be beatable, if only European employees accepted to work for wages that wouldn't allow them to even _EAT_ during the month.

Ever heard of social dumping?

I hate the globalization of economy. It serves a single purpose: make the very rich even richer, and never mind the less pleasant consequences of making the poor poorer and the destruction of the middle class. Economy and its "laws" should _SERVE_ humanity, not the other way around. We are no ants. We are people, and we have the most absolute right to decent work conditions, wages and decent lives. This is the first principle those fucking laws of economy should bow to--not the ever increasing short term profit margin of stock holders. Ever noticed how communism and neo-liberalism have so much in common? How both work on the hypothesis that the people who work are just there to serve the system, just tools, just ants?

We're going nowhere with the current model, and we're going there fast. I think about how my grandparents and great-grandparents fought for their social rights, and I feel like vomiting when I listen to people telling us on TV or everywhere that there's only one way: globalization of economy, rule of economy. In a single generation, we're going to destroy what it took centuries to gain. Because we're too selfish, too blind, too bored, too stupid or a bit of all the above to care, to move and to stand up for what was achieved before us. We don't care about politics. We despise politicians. We refuse to move our sorry asses to vote at elections. We bow to the will of lying bastards. We listen to their honeyed words. We give up. We refuse to burden ourselves with taking our fates into our own hands. We can't be bothered, you know. After all, there's something on TV right now, that's way more important--not to mention agonizing over the latest fashion trend.

Yay for us.

But then, who knows? Maybe we'll sink down the abyss of poverty and misery so fast that we'll find ourselves forced to move, to rise and to fight for our rights. Maybe there's hope. Maybe we can one day convince those who win millions of Euros a month to give up a ten of a thousandth of what they win by just exchanging virtual hords of money. Maybe we can convince them to do this greatest of sacrifices for the stability of our world, so that we can remain good consumers who'll still have the means to buy the products they sell, and so allow them to remain the grotesquely rich people they are...

Maybe one day we can denounce the dictates of the allmighty god of Economy.

Maybe someday we can even stop bowing to economical dogma.

Mr. Tobin, where are you?

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