Sunday, April 30, 2006

Hot dogs replace beans in globalization's impact

Gregorio Rosa Chavez, auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, was recently in Boston. The Boston Globe carried some of his remarks about globalization and the markets which US companies believe are opened under CAFTA:

One can start with a 2003 article by the US Department of Agriculture, titled ''El Salvador Offers a Balmy Climate for US Agricultural Exports.' Written as the United States pushed for the Central American Free Trade Agreement, it said, ''Some 20 percent of El Salvador's population regularly purchases US food items. . . . With more women joining the labor force and fewer domestic employees to assist in food preparation, the demand for convenience and fast foods is increasing. . . .

''Generally, people living in urban areas consume more bread and meats than tortillas and beans. Urban Salvadorans are very familiar with US-style food, and most US fast-food franchises have outlets in El Salvador. Food courts in shopping malls are popular and viewed as a perfect place to socialize. . . . US foods such as hot dogs and hamburgers are preferred by the younger generation.'

Rosa Chavez, the auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, said this is not his idea of globalization.

''It is taking away our identity,' he said last week in Cambridge, where he received an award from the Latino immigration advocacy group Centro Presente. He spoke through an interpreter. ''I talked to a girl recently who was born in the US but whose parents are from El Salvador. She told me that she felt at home on her first visit to El Salvador because she saw McDonald's. I see it as a symbol of how globalization promises so much economically, but impoverishes us by stealing our soul. Right now, the culture of globalization is more about having stuff just for pleasure, hedonism, and power.'
(more ).

4 comments:

El-Visitador said...

"her first visit to El Salvador because she saw McDonald's [...] globalization [...] impoverishes us by stealing our soul."

Thank you, Father Rosa Chavez, for thou have brought clarity into my life:

I should be eating pupusas and tortillas with beans if I want to keep my soul

Funny, my Jesuit teachers at school told me the salvation of my soul lies in faith and works.

Anonymous said...

Your ellipses ("...") betray your dishonesty because you are taking the bishop entirely out of context. McDonalds is almost universally accepted as a symbol of spiritual deprivation -- see Wikipedia definition of "McMansion" as a house that "lacks 'nutritional' value (in the sense that a house nurtures its occupants)." Bishop Chavez is saying that globalization's one size fits all answer to all problems inihilates the idea of the individual sense of importance in a social context ("It is taking away our identity"). He NEVER said that "salvation" was contingent on what foods you eat.

Loser.

El-Visitador said...

Jeez, the angry lefty anonymous came out of the woodwork!

Interesting to see you draw nurture from your home's walls.

Some of us draw spiritual nurture from God, friends, and family, and personal instrospection, not from bricks.

As to architectural taste, well, there is no accounting for taste. If your compatriots choose to live in McMansions, who am I to quarrel with them? Personally, I'd rather live in a glass and steel Neutra house; but to each his own.

Miguel Lerdo said...

"That is what the church does, and every church is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling.” Philip Pullman, The Subtle Knife.

“I see it as a symbol of how globalization promises so much economically, but impoverishes us by stealing our soul. Right now, the culture of globalization is more about having stuff just for pleasure, hedonism, and power.” Rosa Chavez, the auxiliary bishop of San Salvador

The comments by the auxiliary bishop of San Salvador reflect standard church doctrine. He acknowledges that globalization offers economic promise and then rejects globalization for this very reason - it results in us getting stuff, pleasure and power. I guess he would prefer that we remain poor, miserable, and powerless.