The CBC documentary about Big Sugar raised many interesting questions and thoughts about human nature, capitalism and the relationship between the two. Most strikingly, I recognized parallels between Big Sugar capitalism and slavery in the United States historically. The reasons given as to why the treatment of workers is justified remains paternalistic: “without us, they would have less”, “we provide them with purpose”, etc. Hearing those words brought me straight back to 1800 (or 1609, or 1700, or 1850… You get the point). I wonder: Are those historically and currently in the position of “master” (for all intents and purposes) in denial of the inhumane conditions, or rather choose to remain ignorant? Or something different altogether? Perhaps they see the treatment as justifiable. Human nature exists on a broad spectrum.
I also recognized (and it was discussed) the similarities between Big Tobacco and Big Sugar. The documentary brought the idea of “Big Sugar” to light--I had never noticed that it was a propaganda machine designed to keep people at their mercy for the sole purpose of profit, just like Big Tobacco (once was, at least). Question: Can Big Sugar/excessive consumption of sugar be addressed in the same way that Big Tobacco/consumption of tobacco is/was? Tobacco use has significantly declined since a quasi war on tobacco was waged and I wonder if this method can also tackle the United States’ sugar addiction.