@AC 01:26 GMT RE "Can't fix........"
"Is it really unlikely that in another few hundred years, far-eastern people with a much higher standard of living will collectively hold a grudge against the west for what it did to their ancestors? We live in cities with racial divides and the legacy of slavery and colonialism. Is it hard to imagine the potential for a situation like this but on a global/regional level existing one day?"
I agree with all your points but wished to emphasise my agreement with that particularly cogent observation. A potential global level example of "what goes around comes around" indeed. Those acting as semi-apologists for the slave trade point to the fact that it was often their own people who sold the victims to the slave traders. One can of course also make the same point concerning the Chinese authorities in permitting such conditions. However, in neither case do such arguments make our moral position any better. We in the West, whether we like to admit it or not, want to pay as little as possible for absolutely everything imaginable - and we find it all too convenient to forget that there is a price for everything and third world workers are paying it. We see regularly pundits howling that the tablet manufacturers have to get the price of the kit down in order to compete. How is it possible to do that *without* forcing millions to work under conditions that are totally illegal in the West? The short answer is of course that it is *not* possible and our refusal to pay more than the absolute minimum is the driving force here.