Thursday, July 15, 2010

Us vs. Them (Part Two)

And here we go, again...

Value systems like the US patent system and capitalism bring with them their own baggage. You cannot integrate a patent system in a society that values community or communal wealth. Patents, in and of themselves, necessitate a drive towards privatization and personal gain. Imposing the "Western" mode of financial operation on other parts of the world consequentially changes the moral and social ethics of the area. In introducing capitalism through globalization and foreign investment to "non-Western/developed" areas of the world, standards of self-worth, beauty and the Earth are corrupted. For instance, when eco-tourism (the fastest growing sector of the global travel industry) has been introduced to Indigenous cultures, (often without prior informed consent of the native people) their land is regularly taken out of their control for construction of hotels, shops, and restaurants. After time, a once-self-sustaining community becomes dependent on foreign capital, and much of the original land has been converted from crop fields to hotels and bars; once foreign financial markets hit a rough patch, that once-independent culture is suddenly starving. Additionally, after exposure to "Western" culture, the Indigenous locals' perceptions shift to regard themselves as "poor" for the first time (Suzanne York, Mixed Promises of Ecotourism, Paradigm Wars).

Standards of beauty are altered as foreign ads plaster the mountains and countryside in Mexico. Billboards of tall, light-skinned, blond women with Cokes in their hands and Revlon on their lips don't need to be able to speak to tell Mexican women what they "need." Hollywood floods the cinemas dubbed in Spanish and Cosmo magazine is sold on the streets of Mexico City alongside shops selling appetite suppressants and fat-burning tea. Campesinos are disappearing as cities sprawl, t-shirts with slogans in English are more common than native dress, and "traditional" dances are more spectacle than ritual.

and so much more, but like I said, I have mush for brains.
And now to write my final paper...

No comments:

Post a Comment