Sola
beta
10 months
Photo #1 from Lübbecke, Germany by Hans Bauer made on 2018-05-31 08:51 for Sola

"Welcome to Starbucks, you fucking bourgeois pig"

661votes
0SOL earned
Vote
Share
Vote
Share
53
151
661
Germany, Lübbecke
53 comments
Gesithan
Pro Creator
The joke is that coffee culture is still exploitative as fuck and nobody cares because our economy depends on coffee as much as oil
Hans BauerAuthor
Depends. If we all went on cold turkey, they'd have we'd have bit of withdrawl symptoms, with people being even more demotivated than usual, but after a week or two it's all doing just fine again Buying coffee from African and or South American countries isn't inherently "colonialistic" in any way.u Those workers are just being treated like shit there, that's the problem, just like almost every worker there. I'm for a Marshall Plan for Africa, investing in their and infrastructure and boosting inner-African trade, in order to make them less dependent on trade with Europe. While about 30% of European trade goes to non-European countries, about 80% if African trade goes to non-African xountries. That makes them very dependent on trade deals
Gesithan
Pro Creator
Hans Bauer, they're being treated like shit because we deliberately undervalue their effort in the supply chain. We credit the roaster for coffee, not the farmer....this is why you buy French roast and Italian blends. There is no Marshall Plan because, whether you got the balls to own up to it or not, our economy depends on the exploitation of other economies.
Hans BauerAuthor
Gesithan, If Africa was richer, they'd also buy more European "luxury" goods, and more European goods in general, which would boost the economy. I think it may not actually save us money in the end, with the increased prices of African goods for us, but it probably won't destroy our economies
Gesithan
Pro Creator
Hans Bauer, I'm not optimistic an imperial society can exist having abandoned it's imperialism...
Viqueen
Gesithan, look at us in Estonia (and Latvia and Lithuania). We were milked for hundreds of years, much longer than any other place. And then we had an even worse blow with the Soviet shit. Yet we are doing fine these days. Great actually. So it is certainly possible.
2
Gesithan
Pro Creator
Viqueen, I mean from the point of view of the imperial power, not the oppressed territories. I mean of course you guys are doing better not getting milked dry! But it is easy to get used to doing the milking.
Viqueen
Gesithan, but I think we have a mote balanced and optimistic point of view in Estonia, and dont view the contemporary economic relations as milking so much. Because they also contain opportunity. In the 1990s we were the ones providing all the subcontracting labor. But this has changed, and rather quickly. So we can perhaps see both sides a bit better.
Gesithan
Pro Creator
Viqueen, if the coffee trade isn't exploitation, than nothing is though. The largest portion of input costs come from the grower, but the roasters add the largest markup?! The problem we actually have in many many agriculture sectors is monopsony, single buyer markets. But hey I have a personal sympathy for all independent primary producers of the world.
Tyler Anderson
Viqueen, Hans Bauer, I don't think you can really reason with him, im pretty sure he identifies himself as an anarcho-communist. Everything is exploitation to them.
Gesithan
Pro Creator
🎺doot-doot🎺, pretty sure we were having a pretty reasonable discussion before you came along. I mean really if you can't feel at least a little guilty about where your coffee comes from, and desire at least in some small way to actively work to change the situation, you just plain suck.
Tyler Anderson
Gesithan, i dont drink coffee, why should I feel bad about where that comes from? And even if i did drink coffee, why would I have to feel guilty about someone else doing something bad? And even if i was to feel bad about someone else doing something something bad, why should I feel bad that they are being treated the same way everyone in their country is treated?
Gesithan
Pro Creator
🎺doot-doot🎺, youre repugnant. I don't give a fuck what you think about anything.
Tyler Anderson
Gesithan, thanks for proving my point about how unreasonable anarcho-communists are.
Hans BauerAuthor
🎺doot-doot🎺, I'm sorry but "I just buy, I'm not responsible" is not a good argument, you have to prove that there'd be little we as western countries could do to stop the local exploitation, which grants us cheap products and our companies large profits. BDSing South Africa worked to get rid of Apartheid, meaning not BDS-ing South Africa (aka just normally trading with them) kept up the system of Apartheid. Everyone who didn't boycott South Africa while they had Apartheid was responsible
10
bruise
Hans Bauer, the boycott along with the armed and labour uprisings.
Tyler Anderson
Hans Bauer, I am an individual. Why would I be considered responsible for someone else's sins? If i feel strongly enough about such things, I would buy from somewhere else. For instance, contraband coffee is an agorist coffee company, they grow organic coffee and i can guarentee it is 100% more "ethical" than the major coffee companies most people buy from. But that isn't the point. Are you guilty of your fathers sins, simply due to an association with him? Furthermore, are you guilty of a strangers sins, simply due to a very very loose association? For myself, I say no. If you would like to subjugate yourself to such, then be my guest.
Hans BauerAuthor
🎺doot-doot🎺, My point is that if you buy from someone, and you know full well that they treat people like shit, you're literally paying them to exploit people. If you didn't do that, they'd be forced to change those practices. You're not guilty by living in the same country as the CEO of an explotative corporatoin, but you're guilty IF you buy from them. Since you don't drink coffee, as you said, you're not guilty of that specifically, although there are of course similar stories in other industries, that we all are guilty of. Since decades of talk about those topics hasn't done much, my only solution is that the government in Western states just sanctions businesses that exploit foreign contractors too much (for example all that give the coffee producers below 10% of the revenue, or something like that)
Tyler Anderson
Hans Bauer, if I dont buy from them the workers then do not get paid either
Tyler Anderson
Hans Bauer, im not guilty of someone elses sins no matter what. I do not hold the whip, I did not force them to pick the coffee beans. Are you guilty of eating the forbidden fruit simply because youre related to adam?
Hans BauerAuthor
🎺doot-doot🎺, That's clearly not the same, genetic and behavioral. If you were the only buyer of a company that exploits people, then you'd be 100% the reason it exploits people, because they literally only work for you. You would have the power to say "I only buy from you if you don't exploit people", and they'd have to do it or go out of business
Tyler Anderson
Hans Bauer, if i were the only person that bought from a company they should find a wider industry. But no, even in the rediculous hypothetical, I am still not responsible for their actions. I may provide them money in return for a good or service but I do not manage payrolls for them. You are not reaponsible from other peoples actions, Hans, no matter what. Now, if you feel strongly about something then I would argue that you should do something about it, buy from another company for instance. However no individual is responsible for another individuals actions. If we take the idea that paying for something makes you responsible to its logical conclusion, then anyone paying taxes in the US is responsible for innocent people being drone bombed in the middle east. But we aren't. The taxpayer didn't make that decision. And furthermore we didnt pull the trigger. The blame rests on the one who is controlling the drones. That also means that if I buy something from someone and they then use that money to hire a hitman, i am to blame for the hiring of a hitman, but that simply isnt the case.
Hans BauerAuthor
🎺doot-doot🎺, If the taxpayer didn't make the decison, then it's not a democracy. Besides, it's not like you have much of a choice, except maybe emigration, but that has a lot of very serious difficulties and most people couldn't afford to do it. But those who voted for the politician who started the war, they're at least partly responsible. If you buy at a company named "We exploit our workers horribly for profits", you'll sanction that exploitation, and are responsible, because you're "voring with your wallet". If you buy at a company that you think is not exploiting workers, but it turns out they did, and you could have found out but didn't, then you're partly responsible. If you buy something from someone and later they do something bad, and you couldn't expect they would do that, then you're not responsible because what else should you have done, just not buy anything from anyone? If there's easy alternatives, then in your mind the benefits must outweigh the financial supporting of exploitative companies
Tyler Anderson
Hans Bauer, it isnt a democracy either way. It is a republic. The people who voted for the politicians are responsible for placing themselves into subjigation but not for the actions of the politicians decisions, nor is the politician responsible for the soldier deciding to follow orders. Collectivism has no basis in reality. You can only be responsible for your own actions
Hans BauerAuthor
🎺doot-doot🎺, It's not supposed to be moral collectivism from my part here, though. I'm saying actions have consequences, and saying "technically I didn't do it myself, but I made it happen, but I'm still not responsible" is just morally wrong. In morals, thinking in absolutes often leads to people being contend with their morals but they don't actually have good effects at all. If you give a terrorist nukes, you may not literally be as responsible as the person who decides to use them, but you ENABLED him to do it. If you don't fight against slavery in the early 19th century, then that lack of action is immoral. Whether it's humans that do the exploiting or whether it's some alien or mindless robot species: Not doing something against immoral actions is immoral in itself It's not realistic to always do something against every ill in the world, but then we should just admit to ourselves that we as humans aren't wired to always do the most goods, and that we all are kind of immoral, in part. That is not to say other actions of ours aren't very moral, but some just really aren't. But we still do it and nobody can say of himself that he fights against every ill in the world.
Tyler Anderson
Hans Bauer, but I didnt make it happen. As I said, I am not in control of their compensation, that is up to their HR department generally. It is a much different situation to your nuke example as well, however i should point out that the main people known for giving weapons to terrorists is the biggest terrorist organization there is- the US government. And another issue is that which you coin as good or bad. For you, someone being paid less than they are here would be considered bad. But, most sweatshop workers for instance are paid more than most people in their country, and the alternatives are often even more safe than the other jobs in their country (see: in defence of sweatshops) and so someone may think that it is good that they do that. But thats the thing. Morals, and good and bad, are subjective. A libertarian will tell you it is immoral to initiate force, while you (through government) support the initiation of force to a degree. This is just another example of the subjectivity of morals. Why is it subjective? Because it is a simple phantasm of the mind. Morality is not reality. In reality, everyone simply goes for their self interest. Now, the first time I heard that as well I was in disbeleif. However the more I thought about it the more it made sense. A man gives money to the homeless, not because it is moral, not because it benefits him in any particular way, but because it makes him feel good. A soldier jumps on a grenade, not because it benefits his health, but because he knows he couldnt live with the psychological trauma of his team dying. It goes on to every interaction in your life, however you may not realize this, you may masquerade your actions as being set through one of these phantasms of the mind, be that morality; the state; religion; society; etc. You are likely what I would call, an involuntary egoist.
Hans BauerAuthor
🎺doot-doot🎺, Oh, no, I (almost) entirely agree: People generally do moral things because they feel good, not because they solved some mathematical formula in their heads and "obviously" they have to obey by the inherent logic of some system of thought. There's narcissists (commonly called "sociopaths") who have little to no empathy, and to them helping others just sounds like a horrible waste of time and ressources, and it would to everyone else too were it not for emotions. Peoe usually regard narcissists as "robotic" for not feeling empathy, but really it's just another set of engrained emotions, be it one that harms other people a lot. I love listening to other people and payin full attention to them. For one because I genuinly want to engage with ideas I disagree with, but even if it's just every-day stuff I still like to listen because I know everyone loves being listened to, and that makes me feel pretty good. I've read somewhere that it may have something to do with the fact that my parents didn't show me a lot of affection beyond the age of like 6 and my mother used to constantly spur any conflict and anger in the family she could find, likely because she actually was a narcissist. Perhaps precisely because I didn't get much affection or positive attention in my childhood and youth and I'd have loved being given attention like that, perhaps that's why I especially love giving that to others because I kind of imagine myself in that position. I don't blame people who don't like helping other people, I imagine I wouldn't do it myself if I didn't enjoy it Anyway, about that thing with responsibility for slavery: If there were two identical products on the market, one produced with slave labor, the other one without, and everything else about the production process is also identical, would you bother to just choose the one produced without slave labor?
Tyler Anderson
Hans Bauer, in this hypothetical situation where everything is the same except for the use of slaves I would probably question why the one made with slavery isn't cheaper, and purchase the other one. However as I already pointed out, I wouldn't buy either general store brand, I would opt for the agorist alternative made without slavery and not subject to government exploitation.
Hans BauerAuthor
🎺doot-doot🎺, You're exactly right: In reality, slavery-produced products are cheaper. So how much cheaper would it have to be for you to choose the slave product, if there is any threshold? My point is, regardless of how much cheaper of in fact how much better the product is, we should never buy goods produced in immoral ways if there is any alternative, including to not buy any product of that kind at all (like meat). That is to say, buying those immorally produced products is immoral because it is the only reason that those products keep being made, and we should admit to ourselves that through inaction we all are causing some harm in the world. For me, causing harm (especially to those who already have little) and immorality is closely linked If by "agorist" you mean like "small farmer", I'm all for supporting the little guy over large corporations that get government subsidies as well, sure, I agree
Tyler Anderson
Hans Bauer, as I said before, moral and immoral is irrelevant. It doesnt actually mean anything because it is so subjective and has no actual relevance in reality. And no, by agorist I mean bypassing state regulations, rules, and taxation.
Hans BauerAuthor
🎺doot-doot🎺, So you want to support people simply because they break the rules, even the good ones? If a company poisons the waterways and call themselves "agorist", would you be more or less likely to support them than if they hadn't? Of course you'd be less likely because you don't like people poisoning your drinking water, because it kills people including possibly you. Instead of picking up your pitch fork and gathering the neighborhood for a public hanging (Yeah, right, you'd all "just buy from their competitiors", peacefully), why wouldn't you just support a centralized system that largely prevents companies poisoning the waterways in the first place. And if they still break the law, of those basic rules, you then punish them according to a universal code of law, where everyone's punished equally for the same crime and it's not based on emotions so much as disincentivization and rehabilitation (in cases of personal crime). If you don't want to ban murder, then explain how you prevent mob rule. Because as we've seen throughout history, mobs don't like murderers, and they often like to murder them themselves. And no, that part of human nature was not invented by some distant king, mobs are rarely forced to lynch someone by the government.
Tyler Anderson
Hans Bauer, no, I want to support people because they help subvert the state. If someone is poisoning waterways they arent agorist, thus the rest of that doesnt really do anything to add to the conversation. You would have to look into agorist theory to know what agorism actually is.
Hans BauerAuthor
🎺doot-doot🎺, I'll maybe do that later. For now, does it basically just mean "someone who ignores the government and lives like he would without it but still doesn't exploit people"? Well, you could also call that "someone who breaks all the laws if the government except those that he thinks are supporting something he deems moral". Why don't you just support the abolishion of almost all the laws except those that are obviously prohibiting something nobody should ever do under any circumstances whatsoever?
Tyler Anderson
Hans Bauer, it isnt either of those actually
Gesithan
Pro Creator
Viqueen and Hans, if you have anything else to add or say, I actually was enjoying a conversation with people from the same planet.
Viqueen
I was going to say that isn't it the case with most brand products? That the creator of the brand name rakes in the lion's share of the profits.
10
Gesithan
Pro Creator
Viqueen, then in that case my question is why have we allowed middlemen to create the brands? Would it not make sense to encourage the part of the chain that has the most input, and therefore the greatest effect on the final product, to be the branders? I think monopsony in agriculture is a worldwide problem--the number of buyers is ever decreasing, and therefore their ability to name the price increases. The farmer is forced, both in African coffee and US beef, to sell their product at bulk wholesale, but the buyers--called "coffee collectives" or "packing plants" are the ones who are given to slap a brand, and therefore slap a value added markup, onto their product. I don't see this as justified by any inherent economic reality, but rather a deliberate act of exploitation.
Viqueen
There is actually nothing preventing the growers from becoming branders as well. Just that it doesn't always make sense economically. Like in the winemaking industry: there are quite successful small producers who sell under their own brand names, and then there are the big middlemen like Stellenbosch or Zonin or whoever. The only problem is though that with wines, consumers are always willing to try something new, different, and potentially interesting whereas with coffee people mostly just want what they are used to. So it's us, the consumers with our preferences that create the economic reality. We are the ones who put the pressure on the brands to give us always the same known quality and taste.
6
Hans BauerAuthor
Gesithan, BDS-ing (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) South Africa, which lead to them being forced to stop Apartheid, only worked because there were alternatives to buy anything South Africa provided. So we obviously can't and shouldn't boycott every coffe brand, that hardly helps the coffee farmers. So we should set up a rule, that every coffee brand who for example gives their planters less than 10% of the sales price they receive from the supermarket is boycotted in that country by law. Or something like that: Boycott SPECIFIC brands, and give them a way out, which would be to not treat their local producers so terribly anymore
8
Hans BauerAuthor
Viqueen, Blaming people for natural behavior rarely results in a social movement to archieve that goal you had in mind, "Let's try out new coffee to help poor coffee growers" isn't that catchy for instance. I'd prefer boycotting all but the brands that treat their local producers fairly, for example with at least 10% of the revenue going to producers
5
Gesithan
Pro Creator
Hans Bauer, that would be a very sensible immediate solution to some of the worst excess of the industry, although I would like to see also a similar protocol designed to give the local producing workers a more direct say in their own branding. Like say we demanded a producer share program for agricultural multinationals like Nestle, and required that an increasing percentage of ownership in the company was redivested towards the primary value makers? Can we even fathom a Nestle with a 60% stake held by African farmers? That's what I'd like to see in my lifetime.
Gesithan
Pro Creator
Viqueen, a large part of the shift in modern wine culture towards recognizing producers has been consumer education regarding the production process. If consumers were constantly made aware of the situation in producing regions, it's hard to imagine that no change would be demanded.
Hans BauerAuthor
Gesithan, In Germany, 50% of the board of large corporarions is mandated by law to be elected by workers. Since producers are technically private contractors as far as I know, it'd be hard to make this a law, you can't give private contractors a seat at the board whereever they sell to. Maybe demand that longt-term private contractor producers who sell all their products to one company get a seat at the board, and together with the workers of that company make up half the board.
10
Hans BauerAuthor
Gesithan, I think that thing about the production process is just that they think the production process changes the flavor of the whine, not so much that they want to help poor North Italian whine farmers
10
Viqueen
Well, there is already fair trade coffee being sold, even at most local supermarkets. Also, ownership in a big anything doesn't solve any problems. Who's preventing the farmers from buying stock in any large public company today? Nobody. But owning it won't help them. It's just an investment which may go up or down like any other. If you want better conditions for yourself, the impact has to be local. So in that sense, having representatives who help negotiate a better deal for you in a buying company makes a lot more sense.
Gesithan
Pro Creator
Hans Bauer, that goes directly back to my opposition to monopsonistic markets. Under the current status quo; a coffee farmer is de facto a bound employee of his/her local "cooperative"; being the only buyer to a host of legally independent actors gives them, for now, a vast and disproportionate ability to dictate the terms of that arrangement. And if we put pressure on these *very sketchy* wholesalers--the middlemen between the growers and roasters--perhaps by demanding that western roasters only buy from wholesalers with documentation that they are at least say 60% community owned, I think that'd mean very real progress for coffee farmers. Ultimately reducing the number of unnecessary middlemen (in Adam Smith's own words, 'rent seekers') will result in a better product at a price that is more fair both to consumers and producers.
Gesithan
Pro Creator
Viqueen, ownership in a big something absolutely solves problems. For example, I buy my electricity from a consumer-owned coop, the Harrison County REMC. In the north of Indiana, people buy their electricity from completely private corporations like Duke Energy. We in the state's south consistently pay 30% less than our northern fellows.
Viqueen
Gesithan, only if the ownership is in a small enough outfit that any member's decision can have an actual impact. Otherwise you are just another stockholder.
Gesithan
Pro Creator
Viqueen, how big is too big to be small enough? The REMC is a multi-million dollar operation. It employs thousands. I get what you're saying, but there are definitely enough coffee planters that, if given a serious economic and political platform, things would have to change for them.
Hans BauerAuthor
Viqueen, I'm not talking about stocks, I'm talking about electing the board. The coffee producers wouldn't own any stock, they'd just get half the board members while the other half is elected by stockholders. In Germany, workers in major companies by law get the right to elect half the board, which means the stockholders have to cooperate with the workers. Watch Michael Moore finding out about this in his documentary "where to invade next", the part I talk about begins at 4:10, but it's interesting in general https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NqIoxo29FU
7
Gesithan
Pro Creator
Hans Bauer, I like this. Giving consumers and producers equal space at the table. To me that is what economic freedom would look like.
1
The Other Jesus
Hear hear, The Other Jesus was guilty of mighty flatulence, and lo! A doot-doot appeared.
Write something...
Send