The Next World War

This rant sprouts from the documentary film “Supermarket Secrets“, a strong piece of investigative journalism concerning the UK food retail industry that came out a few years ago. I watched it with disbelief and tears in my eyes, disgust, then anger. This poor little apple that is not perfectly symmetrical like the snobby faces of its sick consumers and the supermarketeers who rationalize their system by pointing at the “demand” of these consumers. This one misshapen apple, thrown to the pigs or left to rot while a billion people are starving, should enrage billions. And once they are enraged they might start to see that it is not only this apple. It’s everything. The entire food production and the entire non-food production. Wasteful, environmentally disastrous, unsustainable, disgustingly “efficient”. The whole system should be taken down. Not “dismantled” but blown up, carpet bombed, nuked into oblivion.

Two misshapen apples, courtesy of Africanseer.com
This is a somewhat emotional reaction.
What would that world war look like? Let’s try and imagine. One fine day one of us consumers is indeed so appalled by the sight of an apple like this that in his mind, a tipping-point is reached. He declares war (let’s assume it is a male consumer as they tend to be more easily enraged and have more aggression in their toolbox of conflict resolution). This apple, he feels, is reason enough for all-out war. No more questions, no more considerations. He reproduces the photograph of the little apple and distributes it to millions of people, who are all equally in dismay and desire to strike. The picture of the apple is forbidden by governments around the world but it’s too late. Wikileaks and similar public services step in and it spreads like a wildfire. Soon, a billion people are mobilized and awaiting the command of our initial outraged consumer. And the command comes. Supermarket windows are smashed. Massive strikes, complete disruption of air traffic, power plants, mines, factories, dams, roads, trains, stores, military bases quickly ensues. The world economy grinds to a complete halt. The apple people have won, the system is down.
The initial outraged consumer, let’s call him Adam, walks the scorched earth and sighs at the sight of the destruction. He doesn’t feel as certain about the apple war as before. Was it the right thing to do? He feels a little bit guilty. Or had he been seduced by some dark force that had used the apple to spark his rage? He is confused and goes to the site where the supermarket once stood, the place where he had seen the misshapen apple being thrown away. Ironically, the name sign was among the few items not devoured by the fire and the looting. “Paradise Whole Foods Ltd.” it read. Adam sits down next to it and…and…and…and let the poor feller just sit there dammit.
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Kamiel Choi

Dutch philosopher and poet, sometimes sharing thoughts on the internet.

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