Keeping it Small and Simple

2008.04.22

Thank you, Evo Morales

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — Lorenzo E. Danielsson @ 00:47

You have stated the obvious, but it needs to repeated again and again. Capitalism harms the planet. Capitalism harms life. Capitalism harms, period.

Capitalism is just a tool used by the rich to dominate the poor, by the few to enjoy the work of the many. Capitalism supports and benefits from other structures of oppression. Capitalism takes delight in war and destruction, because profits can be made. As long as the capitalist system exists, there will be no end to racism, colonialism, sexism, war, famine or injustice. Intolerance will continue to thrive because it keeps the masses blind, keeps them divided. As long as they are divided they can be dominated. And the rich can get richer.

Capitalism must be blown the fuck off this planet.

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2008.04.11

The food crisis

As has been reported in the news, the price of food has become a big problem in many countries, among them Haiti, Bangladesh, Egypt and The Philippines. In Ghana too, food prices have been rising and life is getting harder, especially for the poor. This raises several important questions.

First of all, wasn’t globalization supposed to make the world a better place? Jobs are disappearing in the so-called developed world because companies are relocating production to the developing world. Here they can pay workers less, demand that they work longer hours and under far less safe conditions. But, the end result of this will be that people will be better off, or at least so argue the proponents of globalization. My question then is: which people will be better off? Certainly not the American and European workers who are losing their jobs. And certainly not the new work force that isn’t even earning enough to feed themselves and their families.

The American and European workers have of course brought this upon themselves. They got seduced by the ideas of global capitalism and chose to vote for politicians who wanted to destroy them. What the American and European workers should have done was to overthrow their incompetent governments. That is the peoples right when government no longer cares for them. Not only is it their right, it’s their duty. They won’t do it because the working classes have become docile and obedient.

Some countries regularly have problems with food production due to their geographic location. Some parts of the world, like Bangladesh, see frequent floods that can destroy crops among other things. A different type of globalization, one that was focused on global cooperation instead of exploitation, could help people in crisis areas to overcome things like food shortage. But of course, there are more profits to be made from exploitation. And the rich do need to get richer, even if a few million poor people have to starve to death.

Not only food prices have risen, but the price of oil as well. This affects the food price since it becomes far more expensive to transport food. But the oil companies are making record profits. So I guess we can conclude that the fact that people around the world are starving is a small price to pay for a small selected group to go from extremely rich to even richer. One might wonder what the price of oil might have been if the Bush administration hadn’t launched its illegal war and occupation of Iraq. Or what would happen to oil prices if the U.S were less antagonistic towards oil producers such as Iran, Venezuela or Russia. What might happen to oil prices if living conditions for people were to improve in the oil producing regions of Nigeria?

Another factor that is affecting the food price is climate change. There is a big debate about the extent of climate change, and the extent to which human actions are the cause of climate change. The Decider didn’t want to sign the Kyoto protocol because he felt it would have a negative impact on the profits of American corporations. Again, the survival of the poor in the developing world is far less important than the profits of the filthy rich. In this case the survival of the whole planet is of less importance than corporate profits. One might wonder what the rich are going to do with all their money if all live on the planet dies.

We have people who claim that climate change is real and caused by human activities, and we have people who deny this. (Note that we are destroying the world’s environment in many ways, even if climate change were somehow not taking place.) Both sides are able to present arguments and counter-arguments. As long as we do this, nothing changes. The consequences if climate change is indeed happening because of human activities are so dire that I’d think it would be better to play it safe. If we don’t, the current crisis can only get worse, and will eventually affect more and more countries.

I am of course pretending that the researchers who are denying climate change are not being funded by big corporations who are making huge profits at the expense of the health of Mother Earth. I am certain that the environment is damaged by human activities. And I think that we will be paying a heavier and heavier price for that. It’s the most sinister gift we can give to our children: a dying world.

The long-term solution to this problem is obvious. The people of the world need to launch an attack on their corrupt, incompetent leaders and overthrow them. Then build a new society, with a completely different set of priorities. The new societies will need to prioritize things like the environment and food production, and focus on global solidarity instead of global capitalism. Capitalism should have died together with its twin brother, Leninism. It survived, but now is the time to kill it.

The new societies would have to recognize is that to be human means the same thing regardless of if you are in America, Europe, Africa, Asia or Australia. They would have to recognize this because otherwise we would just start another cycle of exploitation which got us into the mess we are currently in. The right to live a decent life should be guaranteed to all, regardless of where they happen to call home. Anything else is injustice and should never be tolerated.

It may cause some pain to overthrow the current regimes. It will cost some blood. It will even cost some lives, no doubt. Those are the unfortunate birth pains of a new, better society. Yet, we must go ahead, because if we don’t, we will all live in misery. And we will still die. And the rich will still get richer. And our leaders will continue to lie to us. And Mother Earth will continue to bleed until she can bleed no more. Then she will die and take all of us along.

The short term solution to the food problem is this: if there isn’t enough food, eat the rich!

2008.04.06

A storm is coming my way

Dear reader:

I have a strange feeling that tragedy is once again headed my way. This time I’m not sure whether or not I’ll make it. If in a few days this blog goes quiet, then you can safely assume I’m yet another unimportant part of history.

I have let down a lot of people. I have let my anger damage my own and other peoples lives. I have stubbornly refused to change, even when change was necessary. I have hurt and been hurt. I have always been vindictive.

I have tried my best to share as much as possible of the little that I know. I have done so because I believe that knowledge should be shared. It must be shared. This world really could be a better place. But it will require a lot. There are forces that are trying to destroy it all, because of greed. Don’t believe the bullshit. Capitalism is not natural.

My advice to anybody who would bother to read is this: learn as much as you can. Make the most of the life you have. Be prepared to fight for freedom and justice. And love. Fight for those things, because they are the only values that actually mean something. All the other things don’t really mean anything. Borders are man-made, you don’t want to die defending those things. Religion can be a good thing, but only if you tolerate another person’s right to also practice their own religion, or to not practice any religion at all. You surely wouldn’t want to go to war over religion.

Most of you are little more than slaves. And you will always remain slaves, until you learn to unite with each other. If you can see beyond differences in color, religion, language, favorite food, etc., then you can unite and overthrow your masters. Otherwise you are all doomed.

Why do you think your jobs are going? Immigrants? It’s not immigrants. It’s the nature of global capitalism. Read and learn. The very people who you think are your enemies would be your greatest allies, because they are stuck in the same hell as you are. If you really want to get rid of immigration, get rid of borders. Without borders there can be no immigration. And then people would be as free to move as capital is.

Go and read the statistics. Look at the wealth of any of the richest 100 or so people in the United States. Then look at the combined wealth of the poorest 40% of the people. Dig further. Look at how income distribution has changed over time in the world. Do you think that is right? Is that the kind of world you want to live in? Capitalism works. Sure it does, but for whom?

Most of the developing world is stuck in misery. Developing countries cannot progress, because they are forced to open up the markets for cheap imports. These are measures enforced by bodies like the IMF and the World Bank. Local industries cannot survive against this competition and have to close down. Unemployment follows. So the countries need more help and have to open up even more. It’s happening everywhere.

If you have a textbook understanding of what this means, I suggest you come to a developing country and see what the consequences actually are. When you come, come and really live in the society. Interact with people. Find out what is happening. Don’t just come and work with a foreign company or an NGO. They won’t show you anything. They will keep you caged up in “safety”. Come here, and find out how people’s lives are changing for the worse.

In the news, you hear much about “river pirates” in the Delta region in Nigeria. That is a lot of bullshit. The people in that region happen to live on some of the richest soil in Africa, maybe the richest. Yet, they are treated like dirt, so that Shell can make there profits. These people just want justice. They want to be able to live decent lives. Since the profits of big corporations matter more, these people will continue to live in misery and continue to do the only thing they can to highlight their situation and to try to get something out of it all. They are no more criminal then the people who destroying their land in search of riches.

So much research and development goes into the production of machines of destruction. We as humans seem to delight in finding new ways of killing each other. Did you every hear of research and development going into love? No. Only time you heard of a love machine was when W.A.S.P. sang about it. Devastation. That is what we are good at. Love? It doesn’t stand a chance. But you can change that, if you learn to love those who you have been brought up to hate.

War. We have this idea in our heads about brave warriors that will fight with honor to defend a bunch of values that are nonsense if you think about it. But how honorable is war in this day and age. With the industrialization of warfare, you can’t say that warriors look each other in the eye anymore. That was gone a long time ago. We read about and admire the Spartans for how we think they were. But we don’t conduct warfare that way. Long range missiles, fighter jets, mines, etc. keep warriors away from each other. And they can cause massive devastation. Not to mention the nukes.

Water. Future wars will be fought over water. Drink it while you can, because soon it will all be privatized, and most of you won’t be able to afford it. How in the fuck can they privatize something that is a basic necessity to sustain life itself? Because we let it happen. We obediently nodded our heads when they told us that privatization is good, the it leads to more welfare. Welfare for whom? Clean, drinkable water is becoming scarce.

A few authors that I recommend as a starting point are Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and Michael Parenti. (There are many more good authors, don’t limit yourself.) If you don’t like reading you can always search for them on YouTube. By all means, also read their critics. Read both, but when you do, look at your own situation and ask yourself which side best represents the life you are living. Also look around you. Where are we all headed?

I have two children (although for a while I thought I had three), Enrique and Vanessa. I love both dearly, and would have wanted to be there to see them grow up. My only remaining dream now is that they will be able to live in a world that is more tolerant, peaceful and loving than this current one.

Enough of my sentimental bullshit now. Make the future.

2008.04.02

Workers at Nike’s sweatshops in Vietnam on strike

Filed under: Anarchism — Tags: , , , , , , — Lorenzo E. Danielsson @ 10:21

According to this BBC article:

More than 20,000 workers at a factory in Vietnam that makes shoes for Nike have gone on strike demanding higher pay to cope with rising inflation.

Notice how the cowards at the BBC call it a factory.

You can show solidarity with underpaid workers in Vietnam by refusing to by Nike’s overrated crap. The free-market ideas that are commonly referred to as globalization are killing local shoe industries throughout the developing world, as they cannot compete with cheap imports. If you would buy from one of these small shoe manufacturers instead of a big corporate giant, you’re helping somebody somewhere to earn a living instead of helping the rich get even richer.

2008.03.15

Direct action against Chevron in Richmond

Filed under: Direct Action — Tags: , , , , , , , — Lorenzo E. Danielsson @ 00:33

Just saw this. If you are in or around Richmond, do try to take part. It’s important to make it as difficult as possible for corporations such as Chevron to conduct business.

Among Chevron’s many contributions to humanity have been gunning down protesters in Nigeria, large-scale pollution and profiteering in Iraq. It is fair to say that Chevron is to thank for much of the environmental degradation that is a threat to life itself.

As usual, don’t take my word for it. Do your own research and make up your own mind.

2008.03.04

Capitalism, Communism and Africa

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Lorenzo E. Danielsson @ 21:31

I just read this and felt it was worth a short comment.

I agree fully that the effects of global capitalism have been negative on the African continent. Global capitalism has been bad for most of the world. Only small groups of people have benefited from it, at the expense of the masses. Of course, the media corporations have been efficient at making sure that we don’t ask ourselves why so few have so much and so many have so little. Instead, we watch American Idol and discuss John Edward’s hair style. Those are safe things. We are free to debate as much as we want as long as the debate is about irrelevant things.

But, in what way has the Marxist form of socialism been any better? Those interested might want to look into what happened in Africa during the Cold War days. It would be fair to say that political dogmas replaced nations as colonial masters. Of course, historical lessons were learned and nobody claimed colonial ownership of any African state. The communist countries were just as guilty as the capitalist ones.

Marxism in general, and communism in particular has historically shown itself to be a very inhumane form of socialism. In essence it has only sought to replace one form of oppression with another. Communism claims to be the movement of the working classes, yet any time communists have taken power, those working classes have been brutalized. Why were anarchists hunted down by the Bolsheviks? Because they represented a threat to the power system that the communists set up in the name of a proletarian revolution.

There are so many examples of communist atrocities. For those who want to look at specifics, look into the Kronstadt rebellion, and how the Soviet leadership dealt with it. For those who think Trotskyism represents a more humane form of communism, note carefully the role of Trotsky in the suppression and lies. You can find many other examples if you bother to look.

To conclude one can fairly say that communism is the same crap as capitalism, but with different packaging. Capitalism is based on the insanity that the greed of individuals will benefit society as a whole. Marxist vanguards organize the working masses to do their dirty work for them, then turn them into little more than slaves.

The liberation of Africa’s masses is intimately tied to the liberation of the rest of the world’s masses. Only if global power structures are broken can those of continents and individual countries be broken.

International cooperation is of course vital, while at the same understanding that different groups have their own particular circumstances. Many of the world’s absolutely poorest and most oppressed people happen to live on the richest soil. Africa is no different in this regard. The aspirations of movements such as the Zapatista much closer represent those of the people living under such conditions than those of International Communism.

People all over the world share a need for freedom from oppression. Capitalism and Marxism are two of the barriers to that freedom. It is high time we flush them down the toilet of history.

2008.02.11

Is Mr. Kerviel a blameworthy person?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — Lorenzo E. Danielsson @ 23:25

I guess the story of “rogue trader” Jerome Kerviel who is accused of costing his (former) employer Societe Generale 4.9bn euros. You can go here for a quick breakdown of events.

The question is: assuming Mr. Kerviel actually did what he is accused of, has he acted wrong? The reflex action is of course to say “yes”, but are we really justified in feeling this?

We have societies that are based on the somewhat odd idea that the greed of individuals will lead to the greatest welfare for society as a whole. While it would be interesting to discuss exactly what “greatest welfare” and “society as a whole” may or may not mean, I would like to stick to the first part of the statement.

Greed is generally considered a good thing. We get taught this at an early age. Sure there are a few people who question these ideas, but they are considered politically suspect, usually bundled up in the hateful term “the left”. We would never want to belong to that group, they represent all the “bad” things in society. They want to disrupt our harmony.

Privately, many people may question whether greed really is a human virtue, but there are always a wide range of distractions on TV to make sure that the thought never gets a chance to “root”. Also, you wouldn’t want to question something that respectable members of society hold as self-evident, would you? You couldn’t talk to friends about your doubts about the virtues of greed, because you will soon be regarded a “leftist”, not worthy of attention.

But if we hold greed to be a virtue, perhaps the principle value of a modern, efficient and healthy society, how do we blame a person who commits an act of greed? If you believe in the superiority of liberal capitalism, surely you should hail Mr. Kerviel, not as a criminal, but as a hero? If you don’t see him in this way, maybe it is time to question your support of the capitalist system. Perhaps you should come and join the rest of us idiots and outcasts on the “left” (once you are here, you will find that this actually encompasses a wide range of political ideas).

For the record, Mr. Kerviel’s actions are no worse than going to war on false grounds for the sake of oil, or supporting democratic movements on the one hand, while at the same time offering support to barbaric regimes as long as they are allies. There are other examples. Once you begin to question, you will find that quickly most things you took for granted begin to crumble under the pressure of rational argumentation.

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