Come with me on a journey to Dubai, the glittering ‘crown jewel’ of the United Arab Emirates, renowned for its many skyscrapers including the world’s tallest building. Millions of tourists visit Dubai each year to indulge in its extensive high-end shopping opportunities.
Marvel at the spectacular fruits of Capitalism. Where once there was desert, now stands one of the fastest growing cities in the world.
And this towering Metropolis would not be standing if it weren’t for the wonders of modern slavery. Whoops – I mean, the wonders of Freedom and Liberty. Because, if you read the UAE’s constitution, it would seem to indicate that the labor behind the construction of Dubai, is the result of Free choice to participate in the Occupation of Labor, by Equal citizens whose Liberty and Human Rights are protected by Law:
“Human rights are legally protected by the Constitution of the United Arab Emirates, which confers equality,liberty, rule of law, presumption of innocence in legal procedures, inviolability of the home, freedom of movement, freedom of opinion and speech, freedom of communication, freedom of religion, freedom of council and association, freedom of occupation, freedom to be elected to office and others onto all citizens, within the limit of the law.”
Unfortunately, this is not the case. The Vice documentary “Slaves of Dubai” exposes the reality of the darkness behind the glittering lights, as millions of migrant workers toil 12 hours a day, 6 days a week to raise the towers of Dubai.
Slaves of Dubai
The documentary explains how local Hiring Agents in countries such as Bangladesh, who work for labor recruitment agencies, will approach workers in villages, telling them about an opportunity to come work in Dubai, where they can get paid £300 a month – a huge salary compared to what these workers are able to earn in their home country.
The BBC’s Ben Anderson explains how these agents basically tell the workers that for a fee of £2000, they’ll get them to Dubai, then it’ll take about 6 months to a year to pay off the £2000, and then they’ll start sending ‘loads of money‘ home to their families. Most of these workers have to take out a loan or sell family land to afford this initial fee, eager for the ‘privilege’ of being able to work in Dubai.
So, they get the money together, pay the fee, and sign a contract binding them to the employer, for whom they will carry out a specific length of service, at a specific wage.
Then, what happens is that when they arrive in Dubai, their passports are confiscated illegally, and they find out they’re only getting paid a fraction of what they were promised by the hiring agents. So what you end up with is indebted workers bound by contract to a term of labor with no passport to return home. On top of this, the conditions of the living facilities provided for them are horrific, with 8-9 men to one room, no running water, 1 toilet to 45 people, with open sewage due to lack of plumbing. and where since there’s no gas, they have to build a fire to cook. The documentary explains how these men can barely afford to eat, sometimes resorting to begging, and can only afford to eat meat once or twice a month, usually in the form of a few tiny fish shared by a bunch of people. Basically, these workers are slaves in that they have been trapped and have no choice but to continue working. They were even afraid to speak out for the documentary, fearing they would be fired and sent home, which they would not be able to afford to do anyway — which shows the desperation of their condition, where even slave labor for almost no money is better than what they have back home. One man, interviewed by the filmakers on hidden camera, broke down in tears, sobbing in despair as he explained his situation, explaining how he can’t even afford to eat, and with his family asking him when he’s going to send money.
One of the hiring agents, an indian woman, found out about the atrocious conditions endured by the workers, and started to speak out, trying to expose the human rights violations of the companies allowing this to go on. She wrote to the UAE government, as well as various international organizations like Amnesty International – and none of these groups replied. Obviously this slavery is a violation of Human Rights, a Crime against Life — but no one cares. And this is quite strange because you have America for instance, going to war to ‘free’ people from ‘oppressive dictators’ preventing people from enjoying the ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ of capitalism — but what is completely ignored is that the capitalist system is far worse than any dictator that has even existed. I mean Hitler killed 6 million jews — but there are an estimated 3 million of these slave workers in the UAE, and around 20 million people die from poverty related reasons every year. And that’s just 3 million slaves in the UAE alone. There are millions more people around the world forced into a life of hellish labor to benefit those who make a profit off what the slaves produce simply because there is no other choice. Compared to the modern day world of Capitalism where the enslavement and mass murder of millions takes place yearly in the form of poverty and starvation, Hitler is insignificant.
And the fact is, most people look at Dubai and see only the shiny lights — not the darkness and torment of the hell endured by the slaves who built the city. We see only the shiny lights because that’s what we’ve been taught to see. And it’s not just Dubai, this kind of slavery exists all over the world. Right here in America millions of people work 40, 60, 80 hours a week, multiple jobs, just to afford to have basic essentials like food, a home, electricity, education, health care. Who would choose to work 80 hours a week? Does anyone really believe it’s necessary to work so much in order for human beings to continue existing on earth? But we don’t focus on that, nope. We don’t seem to notice that the majority of labor on Earth exists solely for the purpose of maintaining capitalistic institutions that only exist to make a profit, not to benefit Humanity. We focus on all the shiny, happy stuff we can buy and experience in the small amount of ‘free time‘ we have after spending most of our time slaving away, because that’s what we’ve been taught to do.
Our parents and society taught us to focus on what makes us happy, not focus on the negative and bad stuff. Our parents and society taught us to respect people’s feelings and beliefs, not question or challenge them — ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’. Our parents and society taught us to be thankful for what we have, not to question why we don’t all have equally. Our parents and society taught us we live in a world of freedom and choice and beauty, mostly defined by the kind of products and lifestyle you can buy, instead of a world of enslavement, denial of human rights, and the ugliness of self interest. Our parents and society taught us that it’s normal to be forced to work to survive, and that it’s normal for poverty and unemployment and poor living conditions to exist, because ‘nothing in life is free’. Our parents and society taught us that ‘Life is a mystery’, or ‘everything is god’s plan’, or ‘this is just the way things are’. Our parents and society taught us that it’s normal and acceptable to make up beliefs and stories in our minds that ‘give us hope’, instead of changing the way we live. Our entire personality, our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, our needs, wants, and desires, is built upon these teachings. But, obviously there is a problem for anyone interested in a solution for this world, because these teachings — our very Training as Human Beings — are not aligned with the Value of Life, they are aligned with the value of Survival, Fear, and Self Interest.
It seems the very process of conceiving and birthing a child into this world, mirrors the Capitalistic system, where at Conception, One sperm wins the Privilege of gaining entry into the Womb, as millions are rejected due to the very physical infrastructure being incapable of supporting all the sperm, seeming to pave the way for the acceptance of the existence of the Privileged and the Un-privileged, the fortunate and the unfortunate, the haves and the have-nots, as being simply ‘part of nature’. And where you start out Broke — Whoops, my water broke! Where you are then forced into a Contracted Term of painful Labor, where life only becomes possible through much sweat, blood, tears, and screaming.
So we learn that life is pain, life is a struggle, ‘life is not fair’ — and that the most we can do is to just ‘make the most of it’, and ‘find happiness’ however we can.
This would seem to be the only reason why we as Humanity have not stood up together, as the Majority — and stopped accepting and allowing crimes against life perpetrated by the Money System. We’ve accepted what we’ve been taught, and our only frame of reference in how we look at what exists in this world, is Capitalism, Consumerism, Survival. We’ve accepted our own enslavement to money, to survival, to pain and struggle, and in fact have defined our entire purpose in life within the pursuit of moments of ‘happiness’ as ‘rewards’ for our continued acceptance of the system — too afraid for our very survival to consider that there could be any other way of existing together on Earth.
But the fact is, happiness has proved to be the biggest weapon of mass destruction and enslavement to every have existed. Because, it is through our pursuit of happiness that we distract ourselves from the atrocities that we all know take place daily. It is through our pursuit of happiness that we distract ourselves from our own enslavement — ‘don’t worry, be happy!’ It is through our pursuit of happiness that we have, generation after generation, postponed change — falling again and again for the trap of Hope, of Waiting, of Dreaming, of Wishing — settling for a Feeling, rather than for an actual Solution.
How much longer will we allow enslavement to exist on Earth? How much longer will we allow the value of Profit, of Greed, of Status, of Winning, of Self Interest, of Power, to determine the nature of our World, at the cost of millions of lives every year? How much longer will we allow this Holocaust to continue? How much longer can we lie to ourselves that goodness, compassion, and love exist on Earth when it is obvious that none of these thing are a living reality in fact on Earth, for Everyone Equally?
The only way we will stop this enslavement, is with an Equal system implemented globally, that is based on the value of Life – not the value of profit, not the value of national pride, not the value of religion, not the value of prestige and status, not the value of self interest, not the value of opinions, not the value of happiness and entertainment — the value of what is best for All beings. The only Real Value on Earth.
Stand up, expose the abuses of Capitalism for what they really are, which is Crimes agains Life — the deliberate Denial of basic Human Rights and Dignity. Be the voice for those without a voice, stand up for Real Enlightenment, which is to Shine Light on the abuses of those trapped in the darkness of poverty, so that the whole world can see the the Ugly Truth of the Source of our Happiness as Consumers. Speak for Life, Speak as Life. Be the Key to Change Reality. Be the Key to end Atrocity – make this world the place it Must Be, where life is lived by all in Dignity.