Sunday, January 4, 2009

Stiglitz and Matisyahu

A very weird converging point, one a nobel prize winning economist and the other an interfaith reggae singer, I assume though that Stiglitz is a Jew through his name I could be wrong, and if that was true then both of them have some common ground. Anyway, back to my point, I was reading Stiglitz's 'Making Globalization Work', the problem is clear, and the IMF is a jerkwad, of course tra lala, Washington Consensus bla3, but the thing is this, why is it necessary to push developing countries into a course that have marked and shaped industrialized societies? Local businesses and local handmade products are a beacon for trading with the outside world but they have no value amongst the Louis Vuitton and Prada bags. Both are handmade, what is the difference then? Both too could produce quality, but how is it one could cost 50$ (which less than a third would probably reach the maker, the raw material supplier and most pocketed by the seller) and the other, $5000? We live in a world of supply and demand, but it is missing a lot of things in between, the idea of man needing all of these things, these useless useless things that surround us daily in our lives. Consumerism is not deep down in your heart, its not as many economic anthropologists have argued, necessity (read Sahlins' classic), they are made up of the most useless, asinine things that man could think of, and yet living in this world I myself cannot help that they have been so ingrained to me that I find them indispensable (like the fact that I go out to lunch every single day and dinner too). Man is made up of different components of culture society, they are definitely shaped by it and there is no doubt of it, it grounds deep down to the way we see biology and science itself. A friend of mine was quite surprised that doing anthropology I understood some biological 'stuff' that was supposed to be her domain, she was surprised to know that the colour of water was subjective for example, through the eyes of culture that sees it and not through the actuality in itself. Like Philosophy, it seems that we return to the beginning of the question that we have posed, and not out of it.

On another note I would like to commend Matisyahu for his efforts on religion. At some point of my life, I thought that it could be the answer for all the social ills that were going around me, but now, disoriented and broken hearted from the ravages of what 'religion' and humanity bring, I want to break free of it. Other than that, Matisyahu, you rock ;)

1 comment:

david santos said...

Great work, Liyanat, great!!!