A book tour
I have now spoken repeatedly about Beyond Apologies at different universities and other venues in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and the United States. Looking into the audiences, mostly of students, I have seen many people who could relate to what I was saying: that the current economic system is a disaster for people and the environment, that a better world is possible, and that they can be the ones to create change. There is of course scepticism as well. A professor called me an American Marxist. A student argued that it is impossible to change governments; we need anarchy, he argued. A few students voiced concern over my suggestion of buying from small shops and local vendors, saying that supermarkets have better quality control. (Better profit control, yes…they are great at squeezing their suppliers and increasing their profit margins. As for higher quality of products, given that much of what they sell is processed food that is bad for us, I would argue that, no, it would be much healthier to buy fresh foods from local markets.) But overall the feeling was positive, optimistic, and hopeful. It has become obvious to many people that something is wrong when economic growth destroys the environment and our resource base while simply further enriching the wealthy. It has become obvious to many people that economic growth is not sustainable, and that there must be better ways to address poverty and injustice. I hope the talks will inspire people to read Beyond Apologies (and to watch our videos) and to discuss the ideas therein. Even more, I hope people will find the motivation and courage to work for that better world.