Purchasing things made by slave labor

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Boomerang
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Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by Boomerang » Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:11 am

If you know that a popular commercial product comes from slave labor, is there a negative karmic consequence to purchasing it?

Malcolm
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:39 am

Boomerang wrote:If you know that a popular commercial product comes from slave labor, is there a negative karmic consequence to purchasing it?

It cuts both ways.

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kirtu
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by kirtu » Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:55 am

Boomerang wrote:If you know that a popular commercial product comes from slave labor, is there a negative karmic consequence to purchasing it?
Global selfishness has advanced to the point that in effect almost everything is made by, or at least touched by, slave labor.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

Caodemarte
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by Caodemarte » Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:00 am

You might want to make sure it really is made by slave labor first. Then the consquences of buying or not buying it next.

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kirtu
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by kirtu » Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:27 am

US Department of Labor List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor
PBS, 8 April 2015: You probably benefited from slave labor today
International Labor Organization: 21 million people are now victims of forced labour, ILO says - and they have databases that may contain more public information pertinent to the issue
How many slaves work for you? - A Slavery Footprint application
Listverse (okay not the most reliable source): 10 Everyday Products That Are Made With Slave Labor

It's like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon unless you bought something directly from a producer without a supply chain (like berries that a small farmer grew and harvested themselves and is now selling themselves at a farmers market).

The app is a little clunky but I apparently have 36 slaves working for me (must be the electronics and maybe some of the agriculture).

Kirt
Last edited by kirtu on Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

Caodemarte
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by Caodemarte » Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:51 am

Thanks to kirtu for posting that usefull info. Hopefully more awareness will lead to more consumer reaction and reform.

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kirtu
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by kirtu » Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:56 am

How many slaves work for you app methodology

May we learn how to restructure labor and demand and free all beings worldwide.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by Kim O'Hara » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:10 am

See also this thread from two years ago, "The Cost of Our Cheap Clothing" http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=12575

:namaste:
Kim

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by Fortyeightvows » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:12 am

Everyone should pay those who they employ fairly. Karma is real and the use of unfair labor is not the cause of wealth. We should know this to be true and strive to uphold pure precepts.

We do we have slave labor in our world?
The karma to have so many goods available but to see them coming from an impure source?

We have the karma to be able to fly..we just must buy a ticket and get into a metal box, etc...we have the karma to fly And have so many goods available but it is not pure positive karma...
Just my take

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kirtu
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by kirtu » Sat Jul 25, 2015 3:13 am

The New American Slavery: Invited to the US, Foreign Workers Find a Nightmare

The police brought the women, who were both in their twenties, to the station house. McGee told them they couldn’t leave West’s farm without permission, warning that they could wind up dead. To drive home the point, an officer later testified, McGee stood over Valdez and Gonzalez and pantomimed cutting his throat. He also brandished a Taser at them and said they could be deported if they ever left West’s property without his permission.


A little after 2 in the morning, they released the women to West for the 15-minute drive through the steamy night to his compound — a place where, the women and the Mexican government say, workers were stripped of their passports and assigned to sleep in a filthy, foul-smelling trailer infested with insects and mice. Valdez and Gonzalez also claimed that they and other women were imprisoned, forced to work for little pay, and frequently harassed by West, who demanded to see their breasts and insisted that having sex with him was their only way out of poverty.


These women were not undocumented immigrants working off the books. They were in the United States legally, as part of a government program that allows employers to import foreign labor for jobs they say Americans won’t take — but that also allows those companies to control almost every aspect of their employees’ lives.
A BuzzFeed News investigation — based on government databases and investigative files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, thousands of court documents, as well as more than 80 interviews with workers and employers — shows that the program condemns thousands of employees each year to exploitation and mistreatment, often in plain view of government officials charged with protecting them. All across America, H-2 guest workers complain that they have been cheated out of their wages, threatened with guns, beaten, raped, starved, and imprisoned. Some have even died on the job. Yet employers rarely face any significant consequences.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

SeeLion
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by SeeLion » Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:30 pm

Wondering ... if one doesn't purchase products of slave laborers, won't these people ... just die ?

theanarchist
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by theanarchist » Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:41 pm

This type of slavery goes hand in hand with human overpopulation, a generally unfair global economy and armed conflicts.

theanarchist
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by theanarchist » Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:49 pm

SeeLion wrote:Wondering ... if one doesn't purchase products of slave laborers, won't these people ... just die ?

Not if you buy products that are produced under fair conditions instead.

Plus, multinational corporations are in many cases the reason that these people don't have another source of income in the first place. For example people that get dislodged through land grabbing or through armed conflicts that can only happen because western nations export weapons to those countries, or because of conflicts that to back to the times of colonialism.

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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by Urgyen Dorje » Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:16 pm

This question is really no different than our question about the ethics of eating.

We admit that it causes suffering to eat meat, but then we concede that there may be times when it is necessary to eat meat. We admit that the suffering inherent in eating meat is not present in eating grains or vegetables-- but other sufferings. New horrors show up. I remember in a recent thread on DW somebody pointing out the special technology to get the rabbit heads out of the potatoes.

It's the same here.

We admit that slave labor causes suffering. It is exploitive. Then as we try to avoid that exploitation, and focus our attention, we realize we end up trading one form of exploitation for another. I gave up chocolate and coffee, which is an ethically dirty product in many cases, but I'm writing this on an iPad, and they have nets around the factory that makes 'em to catch the people jumping off the factory.

This is our economic hegemony. Somebody is being pushed around and exploited to keep the economy rolling. Some of that is done with a US Carrier Group in the Persian Gulf. Some of that is done by simply averting our gaze. I've found it's nearly impossible to escape ethical complicity, just as it is in eating food.

I have a little app on my phone, and I can scan the bar code on a product, and it links to a database of social justice issues. In the end I realized that was bullshit, and simply a way to placate the conscience. Consuming less is really the only way to mitigate complicity in economic hegemony.

theanarchist
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by theanarchist » Sat Jul 25, 2015 3:52 pm

Urgyen Dorje wrote:Consuming less is really the only way to mitigate complicity in economic hegemony.

Yep. I buy most of my clothes second hand, I buy only as much electronic equipment as absolutely necessary and only replace what is broken (my computer is 6 years old and I traded it for some work from a friend when it was fairly new and she didn't need it because she switched to a laptop). Now i don't have much money, so it's a financial decision, too, but I wouldn't substantially change my consumer behaviour if I had more money. Because I find the amount of useless goods that are be produced, transported and disposed of in this world frankly horrifying. It's not only about the slave labour, but also the ressources and the garbage problem. The slave labour is only one aspect of the problem.

It's this whole exploit and pollute for short term fun mentality, vandalizing this planet. It's like a bunch of drug addicts ruining themselves and everything around them just to get a habit going that won't make them or anyone happy anyway.

joy&peace
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by joy&peace » Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:45 pm

I appreciate that post very much anarchist. . I am very similar, I have grown up this way, and as my life has grown, over time it has become easier and more natural.
As Thay shares, happiness does not come from the consumption of material things. Such a simple, yet such a profound statement.

I've reduced my consumption a great deal, and continue to do so. . I never put stock in material things throughout my life, and lately as I've seen how serious the situation is, I've increased my efforts.

And the funny, the wild thing is - there are so many levels to this boundless peace.

What I've done seems such a small step - it always does; yet it's such a good thing, to make progress towards. To work with all one's heart for peace - yet from a position of wholeness, a platform of wholeness, this seems to be the path.

Like you say, slave labor is only one aspect - and it's not that we shouldn't eat, nothing like that. . it's just there's no need to consume plastic toys and stuff.

Mark Ruffalo has a plan for 100% renewable energy, for all the states. . . and I'm thinking - ok, great - that would be great; still doesn't address the full thing - attaining peace for good, and so forth -

It just doesn't seem to address the fact that. . . Hm, I'm not sure how to put this thought into words -what I mean to say is that forests are full of living beings and they should be treated as such. . . not as 'energy sources.' to me, that seems to disregard their status as living beings: without a voice in modern society, except for those who choose to advocate for them.

Your description is valid I would say. I do feel it is important to be able to view these things from a clear (as having taken a step back from it) view. . let all of it go and come back to it with a clear heart, basic process. . .
What I mean is - after it clears, we come back to it and see -
What I really mean to say is - the positive aspect of it, the way out of the mess. . . This is what peace is based on, in my view. . understanding the way out is very possible. .

'Because you are alive, everything is possible.' -Thay

There are various pressures to conform to materialism, being free of these is a great happiness, I can share that much. :)

Yesterday and today. . yesterday in meditation, I had the realization - we are transforming our hearts, so that we may transform the world for generations to come. . . when I looked at it this way, that really resonated with me.

I realize also I have heard it elsewhere; it was very nice to come across, though.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by Fortyeightvows » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:47 am

theanarchist wrote:
Urgyen Dorje wrote:Consuming less is really the only way to mitigate complicity in economic hegemony.

Yep. I buy most of my clothes second hand, I buy only as much electronic equipment as absolutely necessary and only replace what is broken (my computer is 6 years old and I traded it for some work from a friend when it was fairly new and she didn't need it because she switched to a laptop). Now i don't have much money, so it's a financial decision, too, but I wouldn't substantially change my consumer behaviour if I had more money. Because I find the amount of useless goods that are be produced, transported and disposed of in this world frankly horrifying. It's not only about the slave labour, but also the ressources and the garbage problem. The slave labour is only one aspect of the problem.

It's this whole exploit and pollute for short term fun mentality, vandalizing this planet. It's like a bunch of drug addicts ruining themselves and everything around them just to get a habit going that won't make them or anyone happy anyway.
Way to go! I'm the same way!

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:39 am

+1 :smile:

SeeLion
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by SeeLion » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:47 am

Not if you buy products that are produced under fair conditions instead.

Plus, multinational corporations are in many cases the reason that these people don't have another source of income in the first place. For example people that get dislodged through land grabbing or through armed conflicts that can only happen because western nations export weapons to those countries, or because of conflicts that to back to the times of colonialism.
No, but I mean the same real people. Mine is a very practical and targeted question.

I am assuming they don't have both a fair trade shop and a slave labor shop opened. So that one can choose between 2 options.

You are describing a long term chain of events. Yes, maybe in the future, we will have a better world. If World War III isn't coming.

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Kaccāni
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Re: Purchasing things made by slave labor

Post by Kaccāni » Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:31 pm

Most labor is slave labor. The art that is brought forth by free creativity often has no market.

Just because you let people pick between different types of labor and grade the compensation doesn't change the concept. Who, today, is really able to opt out without buying into a new form of dependency? Those who make the rules for non-profit organizations also are only in the position to set them because the alternatives come with pressures.

Welcome to dependent origination. You won't heal the world by placing or withholding money. Maybe buying that product will bring fortune, maybe misery. Who knows?

One cannot control societal drift, only stop defiling upon it.
Whatever principles you set for yourself, you create things along with them that will want to be dealt with.
Shush! I'm doing nose-picking practice!

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