In the modern day, much is made of ethical consumerism. Deidre Shaw and Ian Clarke ethical consumption as ‘the degree to which consumers prioritise their own ethical concerns when making product choices’. For most, this means supporting an organisation such as which (in its own words) works ‘to secure a better deal for farmers and workers’. Support of Fairtrade is based around the egalitarian principle of fair wages for fair work, and essentially acts as both a co-operative for the producers, and a sign of ethical virtue for distributors. It is a quick and easy method of ensuring that you, as a consumer, are living congruous to their morality. This is to the benefit of moral egalitarians.
What about ethical consumption for moral capitalists? Imagine you are at a local fruit shop. You see the usual: strawberries and blackberries, apples and oranges, plums and pears. You even see those typical mangoes that are hit and miss in texture and flavour. After a moment you see a box of beautiful yellow and red mangoes. You reach out to feel one. It’s ripe. They all are. They cost 50p more than usual, but you’re too curious to turn down your chance to try one. You buy it.
You take it home. You cut it open. Your knife glides through the fruit, splitting it in two, the blade left gleaming with the sugary goodness of the fruit’s juices. Underneath its jacket lies a moist flesh of unprecedented flavour and texture. You bite into it. You consume it. You need more. You go back to the fruit shop. What was once a small box is now a medium sized crate. The normal mangoes have been entirely replaced by this crate of wonderful fruit. With the increased container you also notice a change in packaging. Gone is the handwritten sign, replaced with the crate the mangoes arrived in:
“BY AIR – Mc MANGO – SELECTED TROPICAL FRUIT – PRODUCE OF VENEZUELA”.
How do you, as a capitalist, morally consume fruit from one of the most abhorrent socialist regimes on the planet? On the principle of a producer and a consumer freely trading? No, there is no telling where your money will go. While some may reach the producer, in Venezuela these days it seems that no production is safeguarded from the . How much of that mango is the farmer’s, and how much of it is President Maduro’s? I will not buy Maduro’s Mango. No self-respecting ideological capitalist should.
This is what I advocate: ethical consumption based on ideological capitalism. Venezuela continues to exist as the classic example of socialism gone . As long as Venezuela maintains its ideological self-immolation, we as individual consumers must refuse to support their economy. Turn off the tap, and boycott this nation. In essence, I am advocating for a Freetrade certification for goods produced in capitalist countries, to ensure that your pound doesn’t support Maduro with 94,000 bolívars. Refuse to drink rum from Cuba. Reject mobile phones made in Vietnam. Drink tea from Japan and not from China. Abstain from drinking beerlao from Lao. Buy your minerals from somewhere other than North Korea. Most importantly, no matter how tasty it is, refuse to eat one of Maduro’s Mangoes. Egalitarians have Fairtrade. Capitalists should have Freetrade.
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