Nipawin -Thursday, November 1, 2001 - by: Mario deSantis


"If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today."--Mahatma Gandhi


We read in our school books how the Christian crusades were established to take Jerusalem from the Muslims. If we are fortunate enough we come to know only later that the crusaders, in the name of God, killed, stole and committed atrocities along their way to Jerusalem especially against Jews and Muslims.




Times have certainly changed for the better and now we have our democracies founded on the principle to make money in the name of God. One metaphor to describe this founding principle is found in the American tradition to have the motto IN GOD WE TRUST on their coins.




But now as we have been developing a sophisticated social and economic system founded on the supremacy of corporations over people we have newer metaphors describing our democracies such as "ONE DOLLAR ONE VOTE" and the "COMMODIFICATION OF GOODS AND SERVICES." That is our aspiration to freedom is pursued by purchasing the commodified goods and services of the big corporations in the so called Free Market.




Social life is dominated by this Free Market and everything has a price, including lives. In fact, corporations have intellectual copyrights on our lives and we put a price on the civilian casualties caused by military interventions to defend the Free Market around the world.




This is what bothers me the most, the hypocrisy of political leaders in commodifying the price of civilian casualties of military interventions. So the Taliban have been saying that so far the bombing in Afghanistan has caused the death of some 1,500 innocent civilians while military commanders are disputing this figure as to high for the collateral price of the war against terrorism.




I only hope that the price to protect our way of life is not going to be greater than the one experienced in Iraq when the US Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright stated that the deaths of half million children was worth it.


  Pertinent articles published in Ensign
  Commodification. Term used by New Historicism and Cultural Materialism
  US Intensifies Bombing, by William Branigin and Doug Struck, Washington Post, November 1, 2001
  60 Minutes segment, Punishing Saddam (airdate May 12, 1996)