Sauk Prairie Eagle
To Whom Does America's Water Belong?
This intense matter also has international dimensions. Another private company had a permit to export 156 million gallons of water a year from Lake Superior overseas for profit. Audubon Magazine reports that fresh water as a tradable commodity is so desperately needed by most of the world's populations who live in water-poor areas that, "The wars of the next century will be about water."
Michael J. Donahue, executive director of the Great Lakes Commission, said, "Since the 1970's Canada and the United States have spent $11 billion cleaning up the Great Lakes. We didn't clean the water so a private interest can scoop it up and sell it .... Overseas water export is tantamount to draining this region's lifeblood." And Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak asked: "If we allow the exportation of our fresh water, will areas like the Great Lakes literally be put on the world market for sale to the highest bidder?"
It is urgent that people everywhere know that Eli Siegel--poet, economist, and founder of the philosophy Aesthetic Realism in 1941--explained the crucial questions here and also the answers: 1) To whom does the wealth of the world belong? and 2) What does a person deserve by being alive?
I learned from Aesthetic Realism that the basis of the profit systern--the using of the labor of many people to make a profit for a few using America's vast natural resources and wealth--is contempt, which Mr. Siegel defined as "the addition to self through the lessening of something else." The fact that something as elemental as water is providing huge profits for a few people is outrageous utter contempt. As early as 1923 Mr. Siegel wrote in the Modern Quarterly with impeccable, passionate logic:
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