Tag Archives: un

Free Market

I have purchased many products developed in other countries in the past, including electronics, clothing, and vehicles. To be honest, I have never considered the multi-dimensional ramifications of such purchases. In my view, the purchase of any product that is made available for purchase, whether imported or domestic, contributes to the economy of the United States. In Free to Choose, Milton Friedman (1990) outlines how a free market, driven by personal interest, creates a paradigm where interaction serves only to benefit each party of a transaction. Under Friedman’s concept, the market ultimately causes responsible purchasing, as the consumer drives the market. This differs greatly to the capitalism engaged in the United States, which promotes what is refered to as crony-capitalism. This is certainly an abomination of what the free market is intended to provide. As Friedman purports, “a predominantly voluntary exchange economy … has within it the potential to promote both prosperity and human freedom” (p. 11). Consideration of special interest over general interest will degrade this ideal.

According to Ridgeway (2007), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have destroyed cultures in their attempts to provide for participation in the international markets. Unfortunately, opportunistic people have taken advantage of the situations created. This is what laws are for. Proper legislation and political pressure would allow a government to interact on the world market utilizing methods acceptable to the people. The sovereign government of a people is responsible to and for the people. Governments trade with other governments and their people. It is the choice of both governments, and ultimately the consumers, to do business with each specific entity. I posit that if a certain government abused the governed populace for the sake of increasing world trade, then the responsible governments of the world should, in fact, put pressure on the producing government to alter its model. This would require a moral commitment, however.

Whenever an opportunity for growth presents itself to a community, the community is going to change. Technology will change landscapes as certain needs prevail over lesser needs. It is the responsibility of each culture, whether indigenous or colonial, to preserve their history and culture. Abuses, though, should not be tolerated. I believe that it would be important to not purchase products produced in such manner that would offend one’s sensibilities. For example, the genocide of a people is not excusable solely for the use of the wood on their land. I, for one, would not allow that producer to profit from me.


Friedman, M. & Friedman, R. D. (1990). Free to choose: A personal statement (First Harvest ed.). Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books

Ridgeway, S. (2007, July). Globalization from the subsistence perspective. Peace Review, 19, 297–304. doi:10.1080/10402650701524659

Indigenous People

In order to define a term, such as “indigenous peoples”, one must examine the words that make up the phrase. “Peoples” are collections of societies, and “indigenous” implies nativity or autochthony. I have always considered “indigenous peoples” to be those societies that have an intrinsic relationship to the land inhabited. Ergo, when a society is provided for by the land, the act of habitation changes the land, and that land changes the society in a fundamental way. Whenever this is true and can be applied to a society, then it is a society of indigenous people.

The largest difficulty in defining or categorizing human beings is the resultant scale upon which they are measured as a group. I do not hold such inclinations as to group and sort people based on ethnicity, societal values, economics, or any other humanly devised subjective measures. The United Nations (2008) requires a society to be impoverished or suffer some other gross inequality in order to claim indigeny. I feel that this approach only serves to feed ideologic notions by marginalization and deprives the society from a rightful claim. By attempting to create a system to help indigenous peoples from inequality, the United Nations has sought to identify these peoples and have instead cast a definition upon them. Certainly, this is a problem.


Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Division for Social Policy and Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (2008). Resource kit on indigenous peoples’ issues. New York, NY: United Nations. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/resource_kit_indigenous_2008.pdf