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Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

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Seven Deadly Sins of Europe 2: Neo-Colonial Greed

As the election to the European Parliament gets closer, I want to highlight some of the biggest European sins that unfortunately are not very present in the political debates. 

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Greed, or avarice, is acoording to the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia the inordinate love for riches. Its special malice, broadly speaking, lies in that it makes the getting and keeping of money, possessions, and the like, a purpose in itself to live for… In so far asavarice is an incentive to injustice in acquiring and retaining of wealth, it is frequently a grievous sin.” Greed is of course the natural consequence of the economic envy that I see in Europe today. And its consequences are enormous, brutal and extremely sinful.

We’ve all heard about colonialism; how Europe took control of territories all around the world and exploited the indigenous people, took their resources and ruled their societies. And many think this is something that lies in the past. But let me introduce you to the neo-colonialism that Europe (together with other rich countries like the US, Australia and China) are practicing again to gain wealth and influence in a very greedy fashion. There are many types of neo-colonialism, involving politics, culture and even religion, but since we’re discussing greed here we will focus on economics.

1. The use of cheap, exploited labour in the globalized economy. It is no secret that the big, multinational companies of the West use cheap labour in the majority world – our coffee is made in Ghana, our toys in China, our clothes in Bangladesh, etc. There are countless examples of how workers in the supply chains for these companies are suffering due to horrible working conditions; mimimal wage, forced labour, long working days, health risks and environmental destruction. There are even examples of child labour, slavery, and child slavery. Surprisingly, it’s totally legal to sell goods in Europe that has been produced during horrible working conditions, slavery and by child labour, even if those practices are illegal within Europe. Furthermore, even if the working conditions would be decent the whole system of hiring cheap labour while enjoying big profits in the West only promotes global inequality and injustice. (more…)