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Alan Levy


By Alan Levy, October 13, 2010

The New York Times today, October 10, 2010, reported that the wife of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiaoba, was allowed to meet with her husband on Sunday at the prison in north-eastern China where he is serving an 11-year sentence. But she was then escorted back to Beijing and placed under house arrest, a human rights group said. I have often wondered why we in the west care so little about those who need our assistance so badly?

It is sad that we eagerly purchase cheaper products from China on the backs of those who are imprisoned wrongfully. Discount stores have become our new idols of worship. We would rather not know where the goods in these stores come from. There is comfort in our ignorance. Ignorance is praised today. Just look at Sarah Palin. Look at the majority of entertainment these days to see how we have defined our lives by meaninglessness. When we see wrong doing in an organization or in our families, most us would rather just turn our heads the other way. We justify it by saying, “It is not my problem.” Is it alright to say “to hell with the next guy”? Or does that attitude further the downfall of our civilianization? Should we not think about the people suffering under fascist governments?

When we recognize wrong doing in our society, we must correct it. It is staggering how many people just chose to disengage from the world around them. I was talking to a friend who I grew up with. He is a brilliant social science scholar and he told me that he doesn’t watch the news anymore because it upsets him. “Good,” I told him. “It should make you upset. That means that you care. And if you care you should try to make the world a better place.”

The importance of democracy is eroded by our comfortable affluent lives in the West. Our wealth has inoculated us into a state blindness for those who cry out for our assistance in our own society and internationally. Sadly we have become stone deaf to these cries for help. See no evil. Speak no evil. We revel in our ignorance. Critical thought is the last exercise we wish to engage in. We love our effortless one dimensional perspective. Besides, we do not rock the boat! 

How much is that ipad made in China?

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

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