Chronicles in Ordinary Time 11: they didn’t stop to think if they should

From the movie, “Jurassic Park”-
“I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power you’re using here: it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done, and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you, you’ve patented it, and packaged it, you’ve slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now you’re selling it. Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should. ”

I wonder if the Western World would be as excited to buy a new phone or a new computer device if they realized that a woman was raped in order for the device to be created; or that a child was enslaved; or a parent murdered in order for that electronic gadget to be created?

That’s what’s happening. Our modern electronic devices are made from minerals mined in places like Congo; and the mines are controlled by warlords who enslave their workers. You can view a video by Robin Wright [Princess Bride]:

Am I against progress, am I against computers and cell phones? No. I rely on computers to make my life [as I’ve currently defined it] work. I grew up before the personal computer did; I lived most of my life without them.

Do these electronic devices that serve us have to be built by the products of slavery? No.  Economic pressure can be exerted against the slaveholders to change the way they live.

William Wilberforce dedicated his life to the abolition of slavery in Britain. After decades of effort by Wilberforce and countless others, slavery was abolished. In the movie, “Amazing Grace,” the slavery being addressed was in the sugar trade–the life blood of British economy. Even if the wealthy businessmen of Britain were bothered by the abuse of human life [many did not consider Africans as human], they weren’t bothered enough to sacrifice their businesses. I haven’t studied the historical record to know whether the movie is accurate; what is accurate is that determined people can change society.

I hear the word “revolution” brought up more often when I discuss politics with people [something I rarely do]. I immediately think of arming bears [“the right to …”–think about it]; and of all of the unstable people I’ve met, holding AK-47s. A horrible thought.

“Revolution” does not have to come by way of weapons. Thanks to the internet, we live in a time of ‘instant communication’ and ‘social networking.’ Those who are alert have already seen how the ‘viral video’ can change policy. The “Occupy” movement has many detractors, but the movement has demonstrated that public policy can be modified, if those in power fear a danger to their pocketbook. Jesus said that our hearts will be where our treasure is found [Mt. 6:21]. We can change the hearts of tyrants by threatening their treasure.

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