I may be the only person in America who considers boxer Mike Tyson an exploited person. “If Mike Tyson is exploited,” you may say, “exploit me too! I’ll take millions of dollars for hitting and being hit by others in the head.”
So what’s little cognitive damage when you have millions?
Boxing as sport, which involves either hitting in the head or being hit in the head until you collapse, is generally sourced from individuals whose families are not in the top income brackets. Boxing movies glorify the poor lad who makes something of himself by becoming a boxer and rising from poverty to fame. Since I’m not a fan of being hit in the head or watching others get hit in the head, there may be rich children who become boxers but I haven’t noticed.
Boxing seems to exploit the poor who happen to have strength but not enough resources to potentially make other choices, even athletic ones, that don’t have such a high physical cost.
Exploitation isn’t a word you hear much these days. Like “greed,” the word exploitation appears to have been discarded and is sinking to lower levels of stratum like old pottery found in archaeological digs. Future archaeologist digging through the past, might say, “Hey look, I found greed and exploitation.”
There are replacement words for some exploitative situations such as “human trafficking.” I wonder why “trafficking” replaced the much more intense “exploitation?” Is exploitation too ugly a word?
Exploitation isn’t just for people; natural resources can be exploited as well. A country like Haiti, for example, has been so exploited environmentally that when there is a weather event, there is devastating impact. Only 1.5% of its tree cover remains intact.
On exploited labor, this The Atlantic article claims it’s difficult for apparel retailers to avoid labor exploitation due to the complexity of the supply chain:
Most if not all global apparel manufacturers exploit workers abroad, not only at companies that produce cheap or low-quality goods. And evidence of forced labor doesn’t mean that a company is being willfully negligent. Patagonia’s admission stands out in that it comes from a brand considered a leader in the movement for ethical production, demonstrating the enormity, and the difficulty, of the task of protecting workers in massive, fractured supply chains.
How much is wealth dependent upon exploitation? If we deliberately seek to increase wealth, are we by default increasing exploitation?
Exploitation focused on here is the victimization or unfair treatment of people and natural resources. By stripping Haiti of its trees, there’s a huge impact to quality of life especially during storms. If you’re born in Haiti today, there’s little you can do for a better natural environment as forests don’t develop overnight and lack of resources due to exploitation results in lack of interest or investment by others.
In the Psychology Today article Exploitation Is Exploitation, Period, the author points out several major reasons we allow or ignore exploitation:
… First, we readily categorize the world into “us versus them”, with those in our ingroups given special treatment and evaluation, and those in our outgroups being treated with indifference (or worse)…
…Second, distance (both literal and psychological) exacerbates these effects. It is much easier to ignore the plight of others when you are far removed from the harm inflicted…
…Third, we have difficulty understanding the magnitude of the suffering involved. As Slovic (2007) notes, we are often very willing to help one or several persons in need of help, but when a large number of people are in need, we experience psychic numbing…
Taurus and Capricorn
With Uranus now in Taurus and Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn and Jupiter making its way there, it’s a good time to talk about exploitation.
Do these two earth signs exploit?
If I’ve learned anything from my astrology blogging it’s that any behavior can be exhibited by any sign but the quality of the manifestation depends on the sign. Lying is a perfect example. We all lie in one way or another depending on the sign of our Mercury – maybe we exaggerate (fire), maybe we withhold information (earth), maybe we lead the conversation in other directions (air) or maybe we get emotional to sway or avoid (water).
However, the results of exploitation are often physical and earth signs tend to focus on the physical rather than the emotional, mental or spiritual aspects of a situation. Therefore, the outer planet transits of Uranus and Pluto in earth signs may reveal important manifestations of exploitation both intended and unintended. Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008 and will remain there until 2023. Uranus entered Taurus in May 2018 and will be there until 2025. Saturn will be in Capricorn through 2020. In 2020, Jupiter will also transit Capricorn for a year.
We already have some Capricorn lessons in progress as Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, a critical year for the world economy. Capricorn rules societal structures including government, banking and law. The Capricorn energy is ambitious and authoritarian – it likes to be in control which is why it seeks the top of the pyramid.
In 2008, Pluto destroyed the world economic structure. Government (which everyone claims to dislike) saved the economy to retain social stability (a good thing). Now we’re watching an unusual dismantling of authority in both politics and law. By the end of the Pluto transit of Capricorn, authority will be different than it is today.
Uranus in Taurus brings sudden changes to the physical environment including one’s own body, buildings and the earth itself. Sudden changes in these areas will bring Uranus enlightenment – the sudden shifts will make us take a different view of our physical environment.
Born with Pluto in Capricorn
The United States, the wealthiest country in the world, was “born” (using the 1776 chart) with Pluto in 27 degrees of Capricorn. The sun will return to that position in December 2022, its first “return” of this planet which represents an evolutionary cycle.
Early American prosperity included the use of slave labor, i.e., labor at the lowest cost possible. Labor is still the most controllable expense which is why corporations seek cheaper labor overseas. From The Atlantic article:
“All of these suppliers are desperately trying to find ways to cut costs. The only thing they have substantial control over is labor,” says Nova.
While slavery was abolished in the 18th century, other forms of slavery and forced servitude exist but they are far away from American eyes which as the Psychology Today article states, makes it easier to ignore. American wealth still has a measure of exploitation behind it; that exploitation, however, is in different countries.
The United States chart has sun in Cancer and moon in Aquarius which are not natural bedfellows. Cancer seeks belonging through blood relationships and emotional connection. Aquarius seeks to belong based on shared ideals which are intellectual or ideological.
As Pluto in Capricorn opposes the natal sun and begins a conjunction of the natal moon in Aquarius in 2023, we may see a shift in American culture from a focus on Capricorn material success to a focus on Aquarian community ideals. While our Cancer sun wants to protect only those nearest to us, the Aquarius moon will be activated which may remind us that “exploitation is exploitation, period.”