There is a disturbing irony between how human consumption is destroying the Amazon rainforest through our need for vast amounts of resources including logging, agriculture, cattle ranching, mining, oil extraction and dam-building while the other ‘Amazon’ known to us all too well for delivering consumeristic goods at the touch of a button is growing exponentially and taking over the world.
So, take down your flags now, stop hiding in the Empire hangover, the days of Churchill are well and truly over, stop clinging to the idea of ‘Britishness’, forget the Royal Family, let go of Brexit, rethink your attacks on immigrants and take a walk through the crumbling towns and cities you live in and look at your dying, outdated, antediluvian high streets. There is a change coming and it doesn’t involve patriotism, it doesn’t involve you, as much as your leaders, prime ministers, CEOs would have you believe.
As Amazon dominates the online purchasing world it looks like soon it will dominate the high streets too as it starts embryonically with its 30 physical stores around the UK, its hair salon in London and its deliveries of Morrisons supermarket goods.
For those of you that cling to the idea of being British, this is a far bigger threat to the ‘sovereignty’ mantra you so often repeat than the immigrants that wash up on our shores. In short, the high streets will become owned by an American company. Let’s face it, they are already filled with American corporations: McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Starbucks and Costa Coffee (a subsidiary of Coca Cola), but it clearly it won’t stop here.
I personally am not particularly bothered whether it is a British company or not, I don’t indulge in such ridiculous notions as patriotism. But what is troubling is that at some time in the not-too-distant future everything will be owned by a select few, as is already becoming the case. They will own the routes of commerce. They will own the parameters of what choices you will make. They will simply own everything. And we will be nothing more than consumers owned, sorry, working and buying from them.
The small shops that are still just about surviving will disappear and with the new Amazon shops that have no checkouts or lines shopping will become a faceless consumeristic experience allowing us to indulge and feed into that empty ephemeral moment we have all been trained through billions of pounds of marketing to buy into.
Granted I hate queuing, but would I trade that for community, for jobs, for choice and variety?
Sadly, I feel it is inevitable. As we have already traded this with our online habits. Most of us are complicit and it is driven by convenience. Life has become a system of convenience. From the second we leave the womb to the final moment when the lights are switched off and we are six foot under, we so badly seem to desire convenience.
Give it time and perhaps the mid-wife delivering you into the world will work for Amazon in a hospital owned by Amazon, followed by attending a school owned by Amazon, then you can work for Amazon until finally being buried by a funeral parlour owned by Amazon in a graveyard belonging to Amazon.
From a patriotic point of view, we will be nothing more than ‘The United Kingdom of America’.
How convenient hey…