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Immoral capitalism has lot to answer for in this crisis

Published 10/09/2015

Did we really need to see the dead body of an innocent child washed ashore on a Turkish beach to be convinced that we are dealing with a humanitarian crisis of biblical proportions?

There had been more than enough evidence to warrant an appropriate political response, but it took the heart-rending image of little Aylan Kurdi to shame politicians into significant action.

There can be no greater need in the world than that of coming to the aid of our shattered and dispossessed brothers and sisters.

Here is an eminently clear case for a call to moral action, meeting the urgent demand for consistency between what we know about the world and what we do about it.

In the absence of enforceable international laws to protect developing countries from ruthless exploitation - or of a willingness to face up to the fact that the misdeeds of the West are at the heart of the refugee crisis - developing nations are persistently at the mercy of the greed of unscrupulous investors.

Investment in developing countries seeks to recast the world in the mould of Western unfettered capitalism, a move that is shot through with a total disregard for the lives and sensibilities of the people affected.

The world's response to the current crisis highlights the real contradiction between the free flow of capital across the world and the restrictions on the movement of people.

Political life, where the key considerations relate to financial loss or gain, has been cut adrift from moral considerations relating to respect for the lives of others.

PHILIP O'NEILL

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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