Long S. Le reports (Asia Times Online):
According to Phan An, director of Ho Chi Minh City’s department of labor, war invalids and social affairs, there have been more than 1,000 labor strikes in the southern commercial city since 1998. He said that around 98% of those protests were technically illegal and that most occurred at foreign-invested companies.
Who said our purchases and foreign investments didn’t matter? We with our rampant consumerism are partly responsible for the exploitation of the poor in countries that once denounced the “Western imperialists” and now have adopted policies aimed toward making profit at all costs. I believe the material profit we gain from this is blinding us to the massive injustice in these countries, which has failed to improve by mere “market reforms”.
Economic privatization may be some kind of reform, but without freedom for the poor as well as the corrupt it means absolutely nothing. Nothing. Not even if you stand to keep gaining from it. Ultimately such an appearance of greater justice is a sham, whether or not people’s material lifestyle is better than before. Don’t even start trying to defend a choice to ignore this inequity in terms of saving money for stewardship and offering to God, because God is not pleased with such offerings. Instead, this is the spirit of true sacrifice:
Then Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him. Here are the oxen for the burnt offering and the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God accept you.” But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. (2 Sa. 24.22–24)
Investing in unjust businesses without doing something about their wicked practices is not thrifty sacrifice: it is exploitation done under a wilful sloth in hopes that usury, not work, will bring us profit.
I am sick and tired of Asians exploiting each other and — for those who are affluent — encouraging their children and their friends’ children to learn Chinese for the sake of “usefulness”, which in reality means simply this: living a cushier life that depends on the exploitation of cheap labour. Such things I do not call “just price”, for there is nothing worth gaining from such detestable wrongs: in such things none of us should take pleasure no matter how much we seem to gain from it.