without work, without possibilities, without any
means of escape.
Human beings are themselves considered
consumer goods to be used and then discarded.
We have created a “throw away” culture which
is now spreading. It is no longer simply about
exploitation and oppression, but something new.
Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means
to be a part of the society in which we live; those
excluded are no longer society’s underside or its
fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer
even a part of it. The excluded are not the “ex-
ploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.
54. In this context, some people continue to
defend trickle-down theories which assume that
economic growth, encouraged by a free market,
will inevitably succeed in bringing about great-
er justice and inclusiveness in the world. This
opinion, which has never been confirmed by the
facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the
goodness of those wielding economic power
and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing
economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are
still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes
others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish
ideal, a globalization of indifference has devel-
oped. Almost without being aware of it, we end
up being incapable of feeling compassion at the
outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s
pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though
all this were someone else’s responsibility and
not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens
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