When I was in College (stop snickering in the back) one day on my walk accross campus I walked through a normally large stone area with a few benches to see a bunch of boxes and a couple tents propped up on the front steps to the library. There were about a dozen or so people, dressed fairly warmly as it was October, with a table and some fliers. As I drew closer I heard a very malnourished campus student raise his voice "Homelessness Awareness Week!" he shouted. Now I don't know about anyone else, but I am quite aware of homeless. I know of their existance and although I am quite perplexed as to why anyone would want to remain homeless I acknowledge that they exist. This particular demonstration caught enough of my interest to stop me from trudging over to the commons area for lunch for a few minutes to talk to these people.
Now I went up to what appeared to be the leader, a young college student who was quite good looking, short curly hair and dressed in quite expensive clothing. Now compared to me he was quite well off and it never really occured to me until just now but he probably enjoys a much richer lifestyle than I did, in fact, I will guarentee it. Anyways, I inquired as to the purpose of this drive. He wanted to raise awareness of the homeless problem in the area to get local politics to take notice and do something, or at least along those lines. There was no press coverage, there was no true caring even for the quite liberal campus that it is. In the end this handful of people suffered through a quite cold night and ended with nothing except an inflated sense of pride thinking that they actually did something.
I have been to homeless shelters and helped real people. I wonder if the young man or anyone else there has actually been to a place like that. They all appeared as if they have never worked a day in theirs lives and it amazes me that they spent the night outside even. I cant say for sure that they actually did spend the night out there as I didnt live on campus so they might have called it a night at midnight and garnered an even more false sense of pride.
Tomorrow, there is a "Live 8" concert. The purpose is for a bunch of multi-millionaires to get together and get people motivated to get people out to pressure their government to forgive African debt. Putting aside that most African countries are ruled by thug dictators who dont give a damn about their people, and the fact that the "Live AID" concert did very little to help the continent of Africa, and aside from the fact that any country who would abolish debt is just a tad insane, this whole concert means nothing.
First, debt relief is only worth while if the money that they were paying to other nations was for humanitarian goods. With the fighting going on and the wars on the continent we are quite assured that this is not the case.
Second, any government in the world who holds a debt over another is not going to forsake that debt as it is a guarenteed source of money for them. That would be like asking the bank to forgive your mortgage and not take your house. No matter what dire straights you may be in, it simply is not going to happen.
Third, if anyone truly believes that the world listens to rock stars, movie stars and any "famous" people, this is best described by the last presidential election. All these people were against Bush yet he garned over half of the popular vote in one of the biggest elections in US history.
If live 8 actually achieves its' goals, I will personally embrace socialism. This is a pretty safe bet that I will remain a freedom loving capitalist.