"Profit from Food Price Rises
Food prices are soaring. How can investors get a piece of the action."
Whilst the sentiment from this headline reflects the basics of Free Market Capitalism, the latter of which I hasten to say that I agree with up to a point, it also highlights a serious flaw, and what a previous UK Prime Minister referred to as "The unacceptable face of Capitalism"
We have taken the financial tool of "supply and demand" and converted it into a weapon of abuse, encouraging people to enter a rising market for gain, thus further fuelling price rises which will assist in increasing the numbers of people dying from starvation.
Following a traditional free market discipline in this manner is resulting in either the murder or manslaughter of the worlds poor on a vast and increasing scale – I leave you to decide the intricacies of whether the abuse in this case is premeditated or not.
As a civilisation we seem to have got really good at abuse. You name it we abuse it – Corporate Profits, Politics, Religion, the Planet, each other – and the more we abuse the more chaotic and stressful our lives become as moral integrity evaporates in a sea of self satisfying excess.
The scale of the problem is most dramatically evidenced by its effect upon the natural world, which is now being driven to make adjustments to try and compensate for what we are doing. But these powerful reactions are lost on us because of the blind obsession with which we strive to satisfy our demands for more and more.
Climate change is calmly discounted by those who have the most to lose – the most powerful – and they too are blind in their belief that they can manage and control those forces that will eventually wrest back this planet and restore the balance of natural order that has prevailed for millennia.
Inherent within integrity is "balance", the key to managing abuse and excess that seems little understood or respected today. Balance is like taking a bath; excessive hot or cold water makes the process unpleasant at best and untenable at worst – with the correct mixture comes stability, comfort and order.
As we have travelled through the latter part of the 20th century and into the new millennium we have increasingly come out of balance as a civilisation, as our moral integrity is continuously eroded through our demands for material satisfaction.
Like children let loose in a sweetshop we have gorged upon all of the goodies we can lay our hands on but, like the sugar rush from candy, the satisfaction is short lived and so we enter another orgy of overindulgence.
In an environment where personal gratification increasingly rules, addiction takes over as the need for satisfaction overrides rational thought and responsible decision making, leading to abuse. We are no longer concerned when our own money has gone because we can easily get more from elsewhere in our struggle for happiness.
And it is here that the seeds of our self destruction lie, because human addiction is also prevalent on the other side of the fence – that which provides the means for us to continue buying more sweets.
Retail "therapy" pales into insignificance as a fix when compared to "making profits" in the new global market place, where millions of pounds, dollars or yen can be made in less time that it takes us to buy a pair of shoes - with competition adding further fuel to our compulsions.
Whether it is a "better" car/holiday/television than our neighbours or personal recognition as the "best trader" in the room/city/market, that competitive instinct drives us to take greater and greater risks, which are accompanied by continuous and dangerous levels of personal stress.
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