Recently, CEO of Nestle Peter Brabeck declared in an interview that he believes it is an ‘extreme view’ to regard access to water as a Human Right, and that we should instead hand our water supplies over to private companies. It’s quite hard for me, if I’m honest, to find a suitable expression for this level of sociopathic stupidity.
Only the most utterly ignorant, greedy shithusk of a being would think that something like this is a good idea. I exclude the word ‘human’ from that sentence, because presumably you aren’t one if you want to control a substance that is absolutely essential for our survival to make bigger numbers on a computer screen. Being human requires some degree of empathy, and apparently Pete has none.
However, anyone familiar with Nestles’ ‘antics’, if I can use so light a word to describe them, may not be entirely surprised. We are talking about a company who has no fear of causing death and suffering on huge scales for their sacred profit margins. You might remember the baby formula scandal from the late 1970’s for example, which still runs on to this day to some degree, and their use of palm oil contractors who destroy rainforests, drive people off their lands, and kill off endangered species as a result.
But back to the issue at hand. I’d now like to explain why water is obviously a Human Right, and why Mr Brabeck is such a prick. Actually, it’s so simple that I’m sure a 3 year old would grasp the concept without question. Here is the definition of Human Rights from the American Heritage Dictionary:
‘The basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law.’
There are lots of definitions, some more verbose, some more specific, but they all imply the same thing. I chose this one because it highlights a key point – ‘the right to life’. Perhaps Mr Brabeck, while staring intently at his computer monitor and masturbating over this months sales figures, is not aware of the fact that all human beings (even him – if he is one) are composed of around 70% water.
If we don’t have access to food or water, it’s dehydration that will kill us first, so it’s fairly obvious to anyone with even a modicum of a brain that this must therefore qualify as part of our ‘right to life’, thus being a key component of.. wait for it.. HUMAN RIGHTS. You simply cannot argue that the right to water is not a human right.
As much fun as it is to throw insults at Mr Brabeck and call him stupid, the unsettling truth, and in a way the real issue, is that actually all he is doing is following a preset precedent. Food is already privatised, medical care is privatised (although not entirely, yet, depending where you live), elements of education are privatised.
The problem is that we have already accepted many elements of our Human Rights being controlled by single minded corporations. For these people, the next step is water, because it’s a potential market. If you accept the above argument about water though, then you have to start applying the same argument to all the basic elements of Human Rights, in my mind.
Denying people the right to eat, or the right to shelter, or medical care is really equally as idiotic as what Petey is suggesting, so while he is certainly a valid target for those of us with a brain, we shouldn’t forget the bigger picture. He is, unfortunately, not alone.