Not The World We Live In

Photograph Source: U.S. Coast Guard District 1 – Public Domain

That more people know about the reckless and expensive jaunt of billionaires to the bottom of the sea to gawk at a shipwreck on an unregulated submersible, than 500 migrants who are missing and presumed drowned after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean, is exactly what is profoundly wrong with our world.

One disaster at sea happened after wealthy thrill-seekers made an ill-advised plunge in an unregulated metal tube that is sealed from the outside. If ever there was a metaphor for the death cult that is late capitalism, this is it. The other was caused by enforced poverty, war, persecution and climate change.

The UN estimates that a record 110 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide. Millions of people across the Global South must make harrowing decisions each day regarding survival. They face the existential threats of drowning at sea, dehydration in the desert, or murder by criminal gangs, militias or border patrols.

Both tragedies were preventable. But only one has garnered the world’s attention, as well as enormous resources and efforts for rescue.

Imagine a world where hundreds of impoverished migrants drowning at sea received the same concern, resources and coverage as a missing submersible that serves as tourist vessel for a handful of pampered billionaires.

You’d have to imagine it, because that’s not the world we live in.

Kenn Orphan is an artist, sociologist, radical nature lover and weary, but committed activist. He can be reached at