Another Conference is not going to save us:

Another conference will not solve our problems. A better understanding of who we are will.

Every year thousands of people march on to another high-level conference world and corporate leaders come together to strategize their latest new moves and ideas.

But every year they continue to fail the people they serve. Repeating the mistakes of the years before, it is a firm testament to Einstein wisdom:

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while anticipating a different result.”

These events will continue to lead to argument clinics, protests and short term, Band-Aid solutions until we realize that all of these problems are merely the consequences of the same thing, the failure to understand the interconnectedness of all life.

“Nature is a totally efficient, self-regenerating system. IF we discover the laws that govern this system and live synergistically within them, sustainability will follow and humankind will be a success.” ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

One can learn much more from a flower than they ever will from a global conference.

Truths or Consequences

The Age of Consequences of Systematic Failure: Our existing situations are not problems. They are Consequences

By Chuck Woolery, Former Chair, United Nations Assn., Council of Organizations (not the TV host!) and Steven Jay, Creative Director, Mobilized

“At the root cause of our problems is the failure to recognize that Independence is a man-made concept. The truth of our reality is that everything is connected to everything and therefore, everything impacts everything.  Every action impacts the whole. Mobilized is firmly rooted in this natural law.” –Chuck Woolery

Every day is a new story of systematic breakdown, of tragedy, a shooting, a broken system, the election of an incompetent sociopath, a social media fiasco, or media companies at war with each other.  It’s a constant struggle to keep up with it all.

We feel like screaming from the roof “What the F%&K is going on here?”   Or,   we can go down the rabbit hole and discover the root cause–the epicenter of most of our inherent, continual, and seemingly unsolvable problems.

What follows is a blog Mobilized released a few years earlier.  It is even more relevant now.  Some edits have been made and a few recently relevant events added.  Please share it with others if you find it useful


The most important natural resource is a well-informed public.


The Age of Consequences of Systematic Failure: Our existing situations are not problems. They are Consequences

By Chuck Woolery, Former Chair, United Nations Assn., Council of Organizations (not the TV host!) and Steven Jay, Creative Director, Mobilized

Summary:  After the Great Depression and the end of WWII the general sense of the common good generated by these global calamities gradually disappeared from public discussion.  With the exception of some civil rights activities that did yield important civil progress things have gotten worse. And most agree, things are going to worsen more, before they get better.  This is an examination into why things have gotten worse. And how we must change to change things for the better.

America’s success in the world and our fear of Communism helped fuel individualism, greed, and selfishness (the illusion of individual separation from the whole). This largely un-examined mindset eclipsed the ‘united we stand’ American character. It was an aberration of logic, compassion, and empathy that basically steamrolled American politics into the train wreck we have today. Recently, technology greatly accelerated this dysfunctional trend.  A trend that had been well established by a largely unregulated capitalism system that had spread the dangerous meme of independence globally for the past few decades.

The tragic and lethal consequences are now around us everywhere in the US and abroad.  And instead of recognizing our collective mental flaw that got us here, and confronting it, many people have doubled down on their narratives.  They want to make American Great Again or finance a Green New Deal to bring back the comforts, prosperous conditions, and selfish culture that tragically nurtured our disconnect from reality. The fundamental truth that “United We Stand” – still stands. And divided we are going to fall.   This time it will be a hard fall. One we may not recover from.

  • Trump is not the problem. He’s a consequence. …
  • Climate change isn’t the problem. It’s a consequence.
  • Unprecedented obesity rates, opioid deaths, mass shootings, and suicides rates are not health emergencies. They are consequences.
  • Flint, Michigan’s contaminated water, Honeybees’ Colony Collapse Disorder, Florida’s red tide… these are not environmental problems. They’re consequences.
  • The continuing violence in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria are all consequences.
  • The Russian/Ukraine dilemma threatening nuclear Armageddon or the use of biological/chemical weapons with the potential to spark a hot World War III.
  • Radical extremism, WMD proliferation, and China/Russian cyber hacks are now top national security threats.  Again, consequences a poorly engineered global governance system.
  • Growing economic inequality, fake news, and loss of privacy are not dilemmas.

They are all consequences.

  • These, and most of the other problems we are now encountering at a breakneck pace in newspapers and in our lives are the inevitable consequences of our thinking and actions.  They were not however inevitable.

They are the result of our collective failure to do what we know is needed to prevent such problems.

“Human behavior is the greatest threat to human existence”  Dr. Monty G. Marshall

All Americans have solemnly pledged dozens, if not hundreds of times, “Liberty and Justice for all”. But our desire for comfort, wealth, distractions, popularity, and freedom comes with all too real life and death consequences.

Americans love freedom. It is all we really have.  But freedom also comes with consequences.   Some freedoms have arguably been worth the cost of hundreds of thousands of American lives and trillions of our tax dollars. But it has been our overindulgence with freedom without the responsibility that is the fundamental cause of our (and the world’s) growing list of profoundly dangerous, destructive, unhealthy, increasingly lethal, and persistent consequences. Unsustainable consequences that were predictable and often warned about.  Costly consequences that were, and remain, related to a simple conceptual flaw within our mental calculations.

We believe and then act out of that belief that we are independent.  We are not.  Yet, as Americans, we reinforce that sentiment every 4th of July.   In reality, it is only a concept that doesn’t exist anywhere in the known universe.  And it has zero accurate applications here on earth.  Our Declaration of Independence should have been titled the Declaration of Political Separation.  Not as catchy!  But powerfully accurate.

It has been and remains our unyielding faith in, allegiance to, and reflexive defense of this flawed human principle that has mentally disconnected us from much of our personal, civil, environmental, social, health, and economic responsibilities. Like Neo in the Matrix, we all sense something isn’t right… but can’t see the truth;

Every aspect of our lives is dependent on other people, the environment, our nation’s laws, other nation’s laws, and most importantly, the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” which is expressed in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.

“Everything is connected, everything is interdependent, so everything is vulnerable”… “this has to be a more than whole of government, a more than whole of nation [action]. It really has to be a global effort.”   CISA (the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) Director Jen Easterly  (Oct. 29, 2021)

The growing mass of undesirable consequences that threaten our freedom, security, and prosperity were as inevitable as they were unintentional. But they are only self-evident when we are honest with ourselves about reality.

Our Founding Fathers understood reality as “Truths to be Self-Evident” based on the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God”. Their catastrophic error was failing to codify this wisdom into their new government blueprint — the U.S. Constitution. The consequence was a civil war that killed more Americans than all the wars our nation has fought in since then, combined. And some of those consequences remain with us today.

Far more Americans will die from preventable causes in the years ahead related to global factors SUCH AS terrorism, pandemics, climate change, wars, and poverty because the systems and structures that our Constitution protects today on both the national and international level still fail to codify the wisdom of “liberty and justice for all” in a world of irrefutable and irreversible interdependence.

Interdependence is accelerating due to the advances in technology that are accelerating exponentially.  During the same time, our government’s capacity for change (or adaptation to change) has virtually stopped.  And in some areas, it has actually reversed.

Even before Trump was elected a survey of US national security experts put our own nation’s “government dysfunction” as the second greatest threat to our national security.  Just behind terrorism.  It was higher than, China, Russia, Iran, N. Korea, and Climate Change.  Pandemics were not on the list.

The illusion of Independence underlies most of our short-term thinking, long-term planning, slow policymaking, and reactive actions.

We assume without question our personal, budgetary, institutional, and national independence. The endless war against terrorism (a tactic that cannot be defeated) has only accelerated our loss of freedoms (including privacy) and security. Our modern world of unprecedented and increasingly powerful, affordable, and ubiquitous technological capacity for WMD creation – and the increasing difficulty in accurately attributing the identity of the attacker, put everything increasingly at risk.

Imagine the loss of lives, freedom, and prosperity from a bioterrorist attack or global pandemic far worse than Covid19 or the 1918 Flu epidemic.  Unlike nuclear war, such a biosecurity threat is inevitable. Yet we remain lethally unprepared for a catastrophe that will NEGATIVELY affect every system and structure in our bodies, our homes, our economies, and the world.
We have based our policies on our illusion of independence – instead of obeying nature’s fundamental principles that are used in science and technology to engineering things that work like magic.  Medicine, instant global communications, electrical appliances, and tools that work to save and protect life, while making our lives more comfortable, profitable, and secure.

It is our flawed human assumption of independence that leads us to abuse or misuse many of these amazing science and technology tools — that results in the creation and exacerbation of many of our current health and environmental problems.  Sometimes with catastrophic results.  But easily preventable problems if we had followed the laws of nature and nature’s God.

If you doubt this read the preamble of the U.S. Constitution.  As you do, offer a school grade to each of the five clearly stated intentions to form “a more perfect Union.”

Then consider the fact that Abraham Lincoln wrote that our “Declaration of Independence” is our “Apple of Gold” and our “Constitution” is its ‘frame of silver’.  Yet our elected officials swear an oath to protect the Constitution believing without reservation that it will protect our freedoms and security.  How’s that working out?

Now imagine a government that is engineered on the fundamental principles offered in the Declaration of Independence. A government that … soundly embraces and promotes the responsibility of inclusion with ‘liberty and justice for all’, globally.


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Some have asserted that the primary fundamental principle in both the laws of nature and nature’s God is justice. Note that the foundation of every major religion is the Golden Rule.  To do unto others as you would have them do to you.   Anyone experiencing an injustice doesn’t need to be a religious believer to understand the supreme value of this.  Our US Justice Department offers two quotes engraved in its exterior’s stone.

“Justice is found in the rights bestowed by nature upon man. Liberty is maintained in security of justice.”    And,

“Justice is the great interest of man on earth. Wherever her temple stands, there is a foundation for social security, general happiness and the improvement and progress of our race.”

Yet our federal (and lower) systems and structures of justice are profoundly unjust. They are in fact “legal” systems in which it is better to be guilty and rich than innocent and poor. Many of our laws are simply unjust.   And unacceptable injustices can also be found in our nation’s economic, electoral, education, healthcare, agriculture, military, foreign policy, and intelligence systems.

Is it really any wonder that things don’t work, that Trump has so many followers, wars persist, the environment is trashed, and our society is ailing?

Every time I witness another failing in our nation, a phrase I heard last year comes to mind;  “How healthy can we be if we are well adjusted to a profoundly sick society?” We are afflicted with a societal mental illness;  Before Covid, the Surgeon General rated ‘loneliness” as our nation’s greatest health risk.   Our mind has the capacity to believe anything! Literally, anything. We don’t even do what we know we should.  The spread of fake news and conspiracy theories are just consequences of a flawed and sometimes corrupt government system.   This should all be stunningly clear…as with our inappropriate worship of independence and freedom without responsibility or virtue.

Again.  Every system and structure in our body, our house, our environment, and our world is interconnected and interdependent.  And all depend on the health and sustainable functioning of a just world order.   Our mind’s illusion of independence … disconnects us from our vital needs of love, a safe community, healthy food, and functional relationships.   These vital things we have largely taken for granted.  Thus we have insufficient respect for the natural systems that maintain our planet’s capacity for sustaining all life, human health, future prosperity, and ultimately our species survival.

There is no guarantee … our nation will last.

The Federalists worried that hostile nations could exploit any domestic divisions. George Washington warned in his farewell address that partisan “factions” could rip the country apart. James Madison feared that liberty could be lost by the “gradual and silent encroachments of those in power.” John Adams said, “There never was a democracy yet, that did not commit suicide”. But, many in our Republic praise democracy, and rightfully blame both parties that are dominating our flawed two-party system that persistently delivers the consequences we are suffering today.

Some are proposing the creation of a “People’s Party”.  This puts too much promise in the will of the masses.   It offers a platform based on creative progressive or conservative ideas that are often devoid of fundamental principles. In other words – they would be engineering a political party that relies on creative and popular proposals that could win a majority.  Yet completely incapable of transforming the profound flaws in our current system and structures at either the national or international levels.

FACT:  Earth has an expiration date. And we the American people (and probably most of humanity) still reflect the opinion offered in the second paragraph of their Declaration of Independence.   It states “accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed.” That’s bad!

But the tragic news is that the suffering that’s coming in our age of Consequences may be so great that our species may expire long, long before Earth. Given the acceleration of technology (WMD proliferation and AI) already knocking on our door, the majority of Americans or others in the world may not even get the chance to suffer the full effects of climate change. Due to a multiplicity of factors, time is NOT on our side.

If you are seeking the most practical action to take, a ‘justice for all’ system it is obvious that it would not be welcomed immediately by most policymakers or political parties.  Such a goal would require the legal protection of inalienable human rights for all and our environment with the force of law (ie the Rule of Law:  laws made and enforced by a democratic process, applied equally to all, and only used to protect human rights and the environment.    The only other option is what we have now.  The law of force.   This is where the protection of national sovereignty is more important than protecting human rights or the environment.  The working definition of ‘national sovereignty (another human-created concept using international law as it exists today with the UN) is the right of any nation to do anything it wants, to anyone it wants, anytime it wants within its own borders.  And, if it has nuclear weapons, it can do these things anywhere it believes it can get away with it.  Again, this is what we have now.  An irresponsible and unaccountable use of force prioritizing national interests which tends to accelerate chaos.  Chaos that often leads to refugees, the loss of freedoms, lives, prosperity, and our planet’s vital life support system.

There is a third option.  It would require the funding of those rights by the force of political will.   President Roosevelt offered the basics in his four freedoms speech; freedom of speech and worship, and freedom from want and … fear.”  Eleanor Roosevelt led the passage of a detailed list known as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Like our nation’s Bill of Rights on steroids- but with no means of government enforcement.   Seven decades ago (December 10, 1948) this Declaration was offered in the context of world security. Those who had experienced World War II, the holocaust, and a new weapon that could vaporize 100,000 people in a second understood the essentials of ‘justice for all’ and these fundamental human rights.  But the UN’s lack of democratic power left it useless in this context leaving states’ rights above human rights.  This structural flaw in the UN resembles the original flaw in the US Constitution that led to our catastrophic Civil War.

What are some of UDHRs rights intended as a foundation for peace?  Universal access to clean water, safe sanitation, adequate food, access to basic health services, basic education, and an equal opportunity to earn a living wage are good starters.

Fortuitously, the fastest, most affordable, practical, and effective means of maximizing this movement of ‘Liberty and Justice for all” (both here and abroad thus laying the foundation for maximizing humanity’s freedom and security globally) is the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  These have already been agreed on by every nation in 2015 to be achieved by the year 2030.

It’s obvious that we will not get an enforceable Global Bill of Rights any time soon. But we could virtually enforce most essential human rights by funding the SDGs. The growing array of global threats to our freedom and security demands that we do this as rapidly as possible.

WARNING!   We have been repeatedly warned of the consequences of failing in prioritizing this human security approach.

In 1980 a bipartisan Presidential Commission concluded  “In the final analysis, unless Americans — as citizens of an increasingly interdependent world — place far higher priority on overcoming world hunger, its effects will no longer remain remote or unfamiliar. Nor can we wait until we reach the brink of the precipice; the major actions required do not lend themselves to crisis planning, patchwork management, or emergency financing… The hour is late. Age-old forces of poverty, disease, inequity, and hunger continue to challenge the world. Our humanity demands that we act upon these challenges now…” Presidential Commission on World Hunger, 1980.

Its commissioners specifically warned …“The most potentially explosive force in the world today is the frustrated desire of poor people to attain a decent standard of living. The anger, despair, and often hatred that result represent real and persistent threats to international order… Neither the cost to national security of allowing malnutrition to spread nor the gain to be derived by a genuine effort to resolve the problem can be predicted or measured in any precise, mathematical way. Nor can monetary value be placed on avoiding the chaos that will ensue unless the United States and the rest of the world begin to develop a common institutional framework for meeting such other critical global threats… Calculable or not, however, this combination of problems now threatens the national security of all countries just as surely as advancing armies or nuclear arsenals.”

They also stated “that promoting economic development in general, and overcoming hunger in particular, are tasks far more critical to the U.S. national security than most policymakers acknowledge or even believe. Since the advent of nuclear weapons, most Americans have been conditioned to equate national security with the strength of strategic military forces. The Commission considers this prevailing belief to be a simplistic illusion. Armed might represents merely the physical aspect of national security. Military force is ultimately useless in the absence of the global security that only coordinated international progress toward social justice can bring.”

In 1990 the nations of the world (including the US) agreed on funding a less ambitious but measurable, achievable, and affordable goals for the year 2000.  This was World Summit for Children.  Even though all governments at the time signed a pledge to “make the resources available” to meet these goals, few were fully funded or achieved.

In 2000 another more ambitious set of “Millennium Development Goals” was set for the year 2015.  These were also shorted.  Contributing to the wars, terrorism, climate change, refugees, famines, revolutions, state failures, infectious diseases, international crime, and genocides we’ve seen around the world and hounding us today.  Not as separate issues!  But as interdependent consequence.

If we fail this time in achieving the SDGs the deteriorating global conditions may overwhelm any chance of us or our children setting things right.

The discouraging news would appear to be that achieving these 17 goals would cost trillions.  And especially after Covid’s systemic costs, most governments have no money to spare.

The exciting news is that they don’t need to.  Governments just need the political will to freeze and seize a good portion of the estimated $32 trillion dollars that has been stashed in offshore bank accounts for years.  Thousands of accounts obtained by kleptocrats (dictators), oligarchs (their cronies), criminal cartels (drugs, guns, sex, hackers), violent extremist groups (terrorists, white supremacists…), and the extreme wealthy (avoiding taxes).   Most of these ill-gotten gains…should have been going to basic government services.  Now they can be devoted to basic human rights and environmental protection.

The political will could be generated if the general public is aware that their nation’s security and cherished freedoms depend as much on meeting the SDGs as they do on more military spending or a new “Space Force”.

This level of political will in the US could be achieved by progressives working together. With their millions of members personally petitioning their own Members of Congress with loving persistence.  This strategy and daily tactic is infinitely more powerful than voting every 2 or 4 years, protesting, or counter-protesting. If the peace, environment, and economic/social justice movements and their thousands of organizations came together to focus on one piece of legislation on all 435 House members, 100 Senators, and anyone running for these offices, our currently dysfunctional Congress could finally prove useful.  And Americans would finally have a government of “We the people” “by the people, for the people” with “a new birth of freedom” with “liberty and justice for all” that “shall not perish from this earth.” 

In the long run (if we have one) it truly doesn’t matter who is in office or what party they represent.  If fundamental principles are codified into laws, budgets, and all government action we could have the world we know is possible.  On earth, as it is in heaven.  A sustainable global garden of eating.

Given the multiple threats we face as individuals, nations, and a species it must be clear that few threats can be stopped with military power.  And, many are exacerbated by its unprincipled use.

Our primary goal as voters and citizens must be to recognize our global interdependence as the human race and the profound value of ensuring “liberty and justice for all”.  Make it your personal goal to educate your policymakers on this fundamental reality and act as though your life and your children’s future freedoms and security depend on it.

Connect the dots (everything is connected). See the web of life (all systems and structures are interdependent). Work for justice (always and for all) …or prepare for the consequences (which will inevitably happen and be increasingly catastrophic).

Chuck Woolery, Former Chair, United Nations Association, Council of Organizations
Steven Jay, Founder and Creative Director, Mobilized.news

 


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To Save the Planet, Forget About the Globe (And Act Locally)

By Christopher McAteer, Green European Journal

Please note: The document is found embedded below:

A ground-breaking movement calls for the recognition of the inherent rights of nature and non-human species.

This vision seeks to displace human beings from the central, privileged place they have hitherto occupied to act on the world and shape it in their interests. Rather, humans are one element in a complex, tangled web of life, whose right to exist and thrive needs to be reconciled with those of the planet’s other inhabitants.

Time to Rethink Our Relationship With the Planet
To change our way of thinking, we need a new theoretical framework that somehow decentres humans and allows us to
act more responsibly. This is not to deny the obvious: that we are inescapably human and can ultimately only think and
act as humans.[

National Congress of American Indians Adopts Rights of Nature Resolution

At its meeting in Anchorage earlier this month, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) adopted a resolution in support of the rights of nature.

Menīkānaehkem and the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights (CDER) developed the resolution. It was submitted for consideration by Menīkānaehkem’s executive director Guy Reiter.

The National Congress of American Indians, founded in 1944, is the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities.

The rights of nature resolution – Resolution #ANC-22-008 – reflects growing efforts by tribes across the U.S. to protect the rights of nature and indigenous rights. The resolution states:

WHEREAS, our authority and ability as Tribal Nations and Indigenous peoples to protect the natural environment is essential to our inherent sovereignty and self-determination… 

WHEREAS, to strengthen and expand our authority and ability to protect tribal and treaty rights and the natural environment on tribal and traditional lands, there is growing support within Indian Country for recognizing and protecting the rights of nature.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) supports the rights of nature legal framework and the efforts of Tribal Nations to recognize and enforce these rights within tribal law and governance…

Menīkānaehkem’s Guy Reiter stated, “The rights of nature resolution reflects the growing understanding that nature is our relative, our provider. It is an ancient, indigenous worldview, that for many people is a new way of understanding and living.”

CDER’s executive director, Mari Margil, added, “With the many environmental crises we face, the need to make a fundamental shift in our relationship with nature is clear. Recognizing that nature is a living entity with legal rights is an essential part of this.”

Tribal Nations Advancing the Rights of Nature

Tribes are increasingly seeking to protect and enforce the rights of nature.

In 2020, the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin adopted a resolution recognizing rights of the Menominee River. The White Earth Band of Ojibwe enacted its “Rights of Manoomin” (wild rice) ordinance in 2018, the first to secure the rights of a plant species. The Yurok recognized the rights of the Klamath River, and the Nez Perce recognized rights of the Snake River. The Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma adopted a rights of nature law, the Ho-Chunk in Wisconsin has taken the first steps to secure the rights of nature within the tribe’s constitution, and the Oneida Nation adopted a rights of nature resolution.

Earlier this year, CDER and Menīkānaehkem worked on a proposed rights of nature resolution submitted to the Midwest Alliance for Sovereign Tribes (MAST). Made up of 36 tribal nations in the Upper Midwest of the U.S., the alliance adopted the resolution in March.

The White Earth Band of Ojibwe brought the first rights of nature case to tribal court in August 2021. The case seeks to enforce the rights of wild rice, recognized within White Earth law, to stop the State of Minnesota’s permit to the Enbridge corporation for the Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline. The permit authorizes Enbridge to use 5 billion gallons of fresh water for the pipeline.  Wild rice depends on fresh water habitat. CDER is assisting in the case.

In addition, the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe in Washington State brought a case to tribal court seeking to protect the rights of salmon. The case focuses on the City of Seattle’s dams on the Skagit River which block fish passage. Several salmon species in the river are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights and Menīkānaehkem partner with indigenous organizations and tribal nations to protect the rights of nature, through education and outreach, community engagement, and law and policy.

Regenerating Leadership

As a card-carrying member of a democratic society I, like you, have been conditioned to regard politics as the art of negotiation, when in truth it is the art of persuasion, the end result of which is a transaction.

By Michael Caporale

Let’s take, for example, an everyday common transaction, a sale on eBay.  In order to make the sale, persuasion is necessary.  The seller makes statements regarding the item or product, which may or may not be entirely true, but which are nevertheless weighted in favor of the seller.  To bring the buyer to the brink of decision is the politic of the sale, but finality can only be accomplished through negotiation.  An offer is made, negotiated and agreed to, and the transaction is completed.  That is the difference between politics and negotiations. Politics are not negotiations, far from it.

 

Politics is kissing babies, knowing how to eat pizza in Brooklyn or a Philly-cheese steak sandwich in Philadelphia.  It’s saying the right thing to the right people and the opposite of that to another set of the right people elsewhere.  It is being everybody’s candidate and yet, nobody’s candidate.  Politicians are chameleons changing color to match their environment.  What they know and what they secretly profess are two different matters, as can be witnessed in the recent Supreme Court decisions regarding Roe v. Wade.  Of the six judges in the majority opinion, three gained office through conscious deception, embracing legal precedent as the determining factor in rendering future judgements, knowing it was contrary to their political goals and even possibly their religious beliefs, save for one true Catholic, for we can never know with certainty that the profession of religious beliefs held by hypocrites is not just another act of politics, like eating folded pizza in Brooklyn. Once the sale is made, there will be no negotiation.  Politics is a standalone. It forms those who will become the negotiators, but does not determine their actions. After all, politics is marketing just as surely as propaganda is marketing. The danger is when politics crosses over into propaganda as when news organizations take it upon themselves to market a particular brand of partisan interests without informed discretion,  The repetition of partisan lies without vetting the source, without objective investigation, is as much an act of propaganda as the source message itself. No longer is that reporting on politics but engaging in propaganda.

 

Centuries ago, before the written word, before the Bible, the Torah, or the Quran, there were but a few humans scattered around the globe, separated by distance and land mass. As distances became shorter and land mass (mountains, rivers, oceans) was overcome, these disparate peoples began living in ever closer proximity to one another, each in a defined culture. As small as their numbers were, and as bountiful as earth’s resources were, they soon realized that they were competing with one another, as individuals, for the same resources, those critical to their survival.  What began as a personal competition soon broadened into a societal problem.  It became necessary for each culture to define a set of just rules to live by, rules to govern their society by, rules that would become the basis for law. In the Western world, we can easily trace the evolution of our legal system back to the old Testament of the Bible and specifically to the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses. These ten guiding “rules” are the foundation of both Jewish and Christian morality and have served as the time-tested principles for societal management in Western cultures.

 

When the competition for resources expanded to finally become inter-tribal there were no common rules, no shared values to resolve conflict.  Each culture had its own God, often many Gods.  Superstition prevailed over reason.  When war erupted, the same rules that governed individuals within a society no longer applied to warring cultures of different beliefs.  Who could say with certainty that an unseen God was more than an idea put forth to prevent and manage chaos within a culture? Why should a culture, like that of the Romans or the Greeks, the Philistines and the many other Pagan societies, societies with many Gods, agree to a hypothetical system of reward and punishment devised to manage a monotheistic culture, with an afterlife beyond confirmation.  Confirmation being impossible, those beliefs were by their very nature, rightly only suspicions, eventually transforming into superstitions, and why not?  These firmly held beliefs were all unverifiable.  After all, who had been to heaven or hell and back?  What common determinant could be used to manage undesirable behavior between cultures?  There was none. The answer was violence. War.  Might made right.  The big fish eat the little fish and so on and so on.

 

The central warring issue would always be the right to a particular territory, initially used as hunting grounds, eventually becoming agricultural land and ultimately sought for its geological resources—copper, gold, oil, uranium, cobalt, diamonds, chromium, quartz, nickel and so on.

 

To resolve this dilemma territories were defined by borders, usually determined by the separation of bodies of land by bodies of water—oceans, seas, lakes or rivers.  But often, the established borders were arbitrary, formed by some other convention or agreement.  Once borders were established further agreements were necessary between these territories—eventually cities, states, nations– to insure peace. Initially these were treaties and eventually trade agreements. Certain areas of land were better suited for growing cotton, teas, tobacco, sugar, coffee, corn and wheat while by sheer luck, others territories were discovered to have been graced with geological windfalls limited exclusively to within its borders.  Where treaties and trade agreements failed, only violence would resolve the competition for survival at the expense of one culture over another.

 

If we can understand this basic concept, that of competition for survival, resulting in violence, then we need realize that the competition for survival is not limited to just the temporal, the physical realities engendered in the right to a body of land, but it is also a competition for all human rights, a competition for basic human rights that every living human is entitled to, a competition for rights between the individuals in a society and its government to exercise those rights.  In every case, governments across the globe control the exercise of those rights. In the United States we call the exercise of those rights freedom.

 

Just as land masses and bodies of water define territories, so too cultural differences founded in religious belief define freedoms, the limitation of the rights of individuals within a society.  As a citizen of one country, as I travel through other countries my freedoms change, yet I am the same person, the same citizen of the United States.  Freedoms granted here are not honored there, yet as humans we are all equal. Governments are to blame. In every case, the foundations of those governments are rooted in the religious beliefs of that region and where multiple cultures exist, firmly held beliefs contribute to violence as the means to cultural survival.  Resolution in this manner can only be accomplished by annihilation or absorption, just look a t Native Americans as an example.

 

From this perspective we must look upon the ultimate resolution of all differences as reductionist, each culture defeating another until only one remains.  That’s a very dark future, indeed, and certainly one that we have no time for.

 

Our current circumstance requires immediate action.  Rather than competing for survival we must now realize that we actually depend on each other for survival.  The issues that plague us are common to all cultures, all nations, all religions.  We are all affected by climate change, be it floods or droughts, crop losses, extreme weather like hurricanes, tornadoes and soaring temperatures, forest fires, water shortages that affect electric dams and sources of drinking water, the warming of the oceans and the death of coral reefs, loss of glaciers and melting icecaps, the rise of the oceans and the threat to coastal shores, the extinction of certain species and the migration of others, and ultimately all this is generating an extreme competition for survival if we cannot pull together and manage it as one.

 

The recent Covid Pandemic is the best example of how we depend on each other and have shared consequences.  What started in one nation quickly spread throughout the entire globe.  Solutions were not as forthcoming.  When solutions became available, they were developed privately and monetized, but eventually gave way to government backing and after some time distributed freely within our borders.  Not so lucky were third world countries, or those seeking their own solutions and disregarding ours.  If we are to save the world, who will pay for it?  If we don’t save them. We will surely pay for it far worse, for what affects them comes back to affect us.  We have to realize that we cannot go it alone.  There are consequences to “America First” doctrine.

 

We cannot remain rooted in a competition of religious ideas to determine our mutual survival. What afterlife we believe in or by what methods we attain it, will not insure the survival of our planet. To earthly life as we know it, heavenly life is irrelevant.  When all humanity dies and it was we who brought about the death of every other species, and the planet itself, then there will be no one left to ascend to heaven from the hell we will have earned and well deserved.

 

Now is the time to understand that we are One. What affects you affects me equally.  Let’s work together on our common ground and address our mutual threats together.  We must demand that our governments conform to our needs and work together, but first we must show them how.  We must lead by example.  We must demand solutions and provide the means.  In the United States the clock is winding down and we must vote every politician out of office who does not support acting in the interest of the entire planet.  There can be no special interests except for that of Mother Earth.  Let’s establish full equality and real economic justice by weeding our government of those who oppose such ideals.  Forget about policy.  That can come later if we install leaders devoted to ideals rather than partisan solutions.  If everyone is committed to ideals then solutions are inevitable.  Remember we are One.  We must start the process of healing the planet by regeneration, that of our so-called leaders.  Yesterday’s solutions are no solution today.

 

 

 

Don’t Mourn, Organize!

I am as sad today as I have ever been about the state of our nation.  But luckily for me I am a student of history, and I recall the dying words of Joe Hill, an organizer from the early 20th century:

 “Don’t mourn, organize!”

Let his words carry you forward as we send these cretins packing.

Mobilized is a site dedicated to building the foundation for a better society.  One that is more fair to all life, human and otherwise.  And so we have made efforts to avoid politics and focus on offering solutions here.  Yet to build a proper foundation, one must always clear away obstacles and level the ground.  It’s sadly the case in the United States of America, and many other countries, that the ground is littered with pebbles, stones, and giant chunks of granite.  So it falls to me to take a moment to get out a backhoe, and work to remove the obstacles.  Which is why I am today taking on the bums who seek to destroy citizens rights to Privacy and Bodily Autonomy.
We saw them pervert the legal process to take away women’s rights and we know from their own words that they intend to do far more harm to the public.  Those goals, if enacted, would also prevent Mobilized from achieving any of its’ goals.  That’s why, with apologies, I am making this essay very, very partisan and nakedly political.

A couple of points to ponder –
  • I note that on Friday evening, I took lots of video footage of the protest rallies that erupted after Roe v. Wade was overturned unjustly.  One reel is simply 8 minutes of protestors marching.  At about 50 people for every 10 seconds, that rate indicates  thousands were in attendance.  There was, as well, a totally different rally at the Federal Courthouse… and one that had spontaneously closed Market St. before all 3 groups converged around 7pm.
  • I mention the crowd size to note – – that’s far larger than the size of the crowd that attacked the Capitol on 1-6-21 yet  not one personal went to jail yesterday. Non-violent civil disobedience works.
  • In contrast, some hate-filled bigot ran his monster truck into the protestors in Iowa yesterday.  The Christo-Fascists resort to violence as their first choice nowadays.  There is no need to stoop to their level.
So, reader, you are not alone.  Once again, America is under threat from Theocratic wannabe dictators, and once again we shall defeat them.
What to do?  Well the most obvious thing is to utterly defeat the GOP in the Senate and in the House.  Every one of us should be taking every extra bit of time and/or money we have and putting it towards that goal.  But that’s just one option.  Here I am compiling some stuff I wrote earlier:
FLOOD. THE. ZONE.
  • Biden can act, now: Send federalized government doctors to all 50 states to solely perform abortions.  Setup free clinics on Federal Lands in each Gilead-State.  Let the GQP howl and piss and tie the bastards up forcing them to file endless lawsuits.
  • The Congress can act, now: Pass the 49-years late codification of RvW into law.  At a minimum put these f**kers on record, force them to vote publicly.  End the filibuster and pass it anyhow.  Also pass Universal Healthcare, so that women could actually afford to have kids and not even need abortions.
  •  The DC administration can act, now: 38 states have ratified the ERA, it is a goddamn constitutional amendment already.  It solely needs the bureaucrats to do the final steps to make it a law.  The Congress has no role in that, cannot oppose it in any way because their role has been done for years.  The states finished ratifying it 2+ years ago, so the only hurdle remaining is recording it into the record.  Once complete, the entire argument of SCOTUS vanishes.
  •  States can act too: California Governor Newsom isn’t the only sane governor.  Expect more to step up to make access become easier.
  •  Pack the courts.  Add 8 more justices, for a total of 17: 13 to match the existing Judicial Districts, and 4 At-Large.  Fight tooth and nail to get them installed, don’t settle for anything less than 13 total.  We have for the entirety of our Republic had courts packed with right-wing reactionaries who only on occasion did the right thing by the public.  Enough of that, it’s time for a court that is not in thrall to the rich and powerful.  Our Democratic Experiment demands it.
  •  “Two can play at this game.”  If the government is going to deny the right of Privacy to 1/2 the population, it’s time for the other half to know how that feels.  Mandatory vasectomies for any male under 30 years old.  Viagra is banned, even by prescription, unless under direct visual in person supervision of a doctor.  The user is not allowed to choose the doctor.

 

 

It may be too pessimistic to call this week’s events the last hurrah for democracy or the idea of self-governance.  But it is surely the Democratic Party’s last chance to do something or face oblivion.  We have waited 50 years for them to be anything other than milquetoast water carriers for the rich and powerful.  They have talked a good game but have not delivered since the New Deal 8 decades ago.  So yes, this next year is make or break for them. It’s time to accomplish the reversal of this intrusion into the privacy of hundreds of millions of citizens – – and doing so will be the bare minimum required to protect the Republic.

We know from the history of Weimar Germany and other places that this nascent Theocratic power grab can evolve rapidly into full-on Fascism, and so it’s easy to feel like this is America’s last chance to stop them.  All I can do is point out that most likely it’s not. Several times before, we faced this threat and defeated it… starting with those hate-filled goons with belt buckles on their hats who infected the soil of Plymouth Rock centuries ago.  The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution repudiated their delusions, just as all of England and Europe had done when they booted them in the first place.  The fact that 6 partisan hacks on the SCOTUS share those delusions is unfortunate, but it’s not one that cannot be overcome.  In very short order, we may well be exiling these Neo-Pilgrim goons too.

Now I’m passing the pen over to a dear friend, who can put this moment in a deeper context.  They are a lesbian who has been involved in this fight since the early 1980’s. “…let’s be clear, the white European heteronormative patriarchy is just doing what they do best…making their issues the problem of the oppressed.  Like racism, which they’ve made the problem of POCs, women having unregulated pleasure is a man’s problem and we should be targeting their reproductive “rights”.  But as someone who has never fit in for any number of reasons, I know for every one of them, there’s two of me and if you’re lucky, you can survive together while just being careful – of where you go and what you reveal.  Privacy is not a right, it’s a craft.” – anonymous commenter

So, it’s time to get in the streets, to gum up the works, and to force change via non-violent civil disobedience.  I’ve already begun, you know, because I went down to the demonstration, to get my fair share of abuse….

 

Finding The Bottom

The weight of the garage door is extraordinarily heavy today, as Alonzo raises it to enter the evening light of a now unfamiliar world.  He returns to the darkness within and removes the small child’s bicycle that was once his daughter’s. Walking it to the curb he thinks about all that it meant to him, the care he gave it to insure safety for his daughter–the training wheels, her helmet, the small da-glow vest. The handlebar streamers he added that would fly in the wind hang lifeless from the grips.  Tomorrow another innocent child will fall victim to a senseless act of mass violence.  Given the only institutional defense offered her, to hide under her desk and wait, she watched her friends fall one by one.  More broken dreams are given over to the street.

He wonders what would compel a human being to resort to the mass murder of innocent, defenseless children?  How can any human look straight into the eyes of a small child before cavitating their skull with a single round from an AR15, then moving on, remorseless and guilt-free, repeating it over and over again until the supply of remaining victims is exhausted?

It begins with the abrogation of responsibility.  If we are to find the source of this horror, we must surely look within. It is we who are fault.  As parents we must have failed to instill compassion as the central motivating life force.  Compassion begets morality.  Morality born of religious dogma is useless in the face of the pragmatic reality of survival at any level, real or perceived, because rigid rules cannot adapt to need.  The carrot and stick approach to religious training fails in its obligation to develop compassion.  It informs children to seek reward or avoid punishment as a course of action, but fails to develop morality, not as a set of rules, but as an outgrowth of compassion.  Public schools are hog-tied by constitutional issues and are unable to implement instruction in what would be considered religious philosophy.  They are not free to develop compassion in any substantive way.  In this way, society has sacrificed the spiritual for the physical.

If dogma remains the emphasis, churches are useless.  Tedious rituals hold little interest for young, active minds. Tradition speaks only to its seniors.  It validates their life choices but offers nothing to the restless mind of an ADHD child. As attendance to Sunday services has dropped precipitously, so too has the morality of compassion.  As a society we have failed to make a transition from required church attendance to joyful attendance, from mindless obedience of rules to willing participation in meaningful actions.  It’s a structural problem.  Because spirituality is not a way of life but some abstract state of being, without defined consequences except those attached to rigid dogma, which are all theoretical and unproven, waiting for heaven or hell is a lifetime without guarantees.  To a mind without compassion,  there is only the here and now. Consequence, reward or punishment, is the function of temporal structures but gratification is instant.  Gratification is its own reward.  We have become a society self-medicating gratification as the salve for our wounds.

Furthermore, in the absence of spirituality fostered emotionally and intellectually through compassion, children are introduced to a lifelong process of desensitization.  Television programming and blockbuster movies carry most of that weight, but so does popular music.  We live in the age of the “anti-hero,” a character far more interesting than a “Dudley Do-right” and the realistic portrayal of violence has grown ever more bloody and repulsive while music carries the hateful message of one oppressed culture to the other.   While news programs shield sensitive viewers from scenes of actual violence and blood, children watch realistically simulated violence at all hours of the day and night.  More graphic than reality, it is a hyper-reality and over time becomes less and less shocking, until they are dulled to its effect and accept it as the defacto language of effective storytelling while simultaneously becoming the intuitive framework of their own story, and for many, that story has been a life of oppression without relief, and unjustified persecution.  Our systems have failed them.

Video games hasten the process. Bloody shooting galleries of war, crime and science fiction, they myelinate the neural pathways of children up to age eleven through practiced repetition, strengthening reactive connections of thought to action.   In a seemingly never-ending onslaught of victims the player develops skill and racks up points that affirm success as a mass killer.  It is a brainwashing process of desensitization through points reward, a reward of no real value except to the defenseless ego.

Now all that remains is the application of those skills to a personal cause.

All causes begin with the failure of institutions to secure and protect basic rights, constitutional or otherwise.  These are easily understood in the most intuitive way, as common sense.  The simple right to continue to live, to participate in a society with equality, to maintain freedom of choice and the right to happiness, these are but a few. No law, no document, is needed to understand these basic rights.  They are inherent in all humanity as self-evident.  We need not be taught them.

When legislators fail to act in the public interest, when police abuse their power, when the courts favor one class of people over another, then society becomes fragmented, and divided into the favored and the marginalized.  When the marginalized realize that all paths to justice have been exhausted, violence becomes the only remaining solution.  Where no solution is provided, one will be inevitably be created.  Frustration is the trigger.

It is here where a father figure is most useful in developing a sense of purpose, defining a cause.  Validation is therefore required.  It frees the conscience from reflection, tightening the gap between thought and action and affirming belief.  A developing child has only to exist to extract the passive validation a culture can offer.  It’s everywhere. On a lower level it is imbued in the music of an aggrieved culture flowing passively on car radios, mobile phones and the internet, but on another level it is propagated by media coverage of competing political factions seeking power through division and hate.  Through division, groups can be identified, terrorized, prosecuted and eliminated. We need to understand that we are allowing this to happen. We need to understand that we are one.

Today, one politician will denounce all competitors on a deeply personal level, even those within their own party, resorting to lies and name calling in an effort to influence public support.  Tomorrow, they will all join forces supporting the winner in an effort to obstruct any meaningful change that may benefit the broad range of their constituents, while sharing the spoils among their chosen class. Lies and insults mean nothing in the long term to hypocrites with no moral compass.  They all have the same goal, and for too many, the same tactics. The loner becomes the champion who propagates the pack mentality that will follow.

The loner looks outside the boundaries of convention to the power enjoyed by ruthless dictators and in the face of no meaningful progress on any single issue, foists strongman values on hapless supporters as the effective method to implement policy.  Unlike the fellow politicians and established government agencies he denounces, the loner lavishes praise on these villains as a way of creating a pragmatic illusion that might makes right.

When opponents become supporters, and lies and insults have replaced thoughtful discourse, it becomes the accepted state, sending a message far and wide to be embraced by those most likely to share these baseless values that this is normalcy.  From this effort a foundation of fanatics and zealots, kooks and conspiracy theorists is maintained. A cacophony of misplaced causes that finds institutional support in its leaders where none exists in law, dominates the media and reason and normalcy become forgotten traditional values.  Conservatism is a ruse.  In the hands of this political riff-raff it’s just a tool, a Trojan horse and a banner to follow that in the hands of hypocrites leads nowhere productive.

In this context it’s easy to understand that mass murders and the events of January 6th share the same roots.

Even today, moral clarity is being sacrificed to pragmatic action as Biden attempts to influence Saudi Arabia to ease up on the supply of oil. We are held hostage by a policy stalemate of fifty years regarding sustainable energy sources in the face of climate change.  Too little, too late, long-range wisdom was overcome by short-term greed, and we now find ourselves squeezed between to murderers who hold the financial health of our democracy in the balance.  It is we who allowed this.  Surely you must see that meaningful change is long overdue.

Our government is like a crew with each side of the boat rowing in opposite directions. Without an agreed destination, the boat just turns in circles and goes nowhere. This is important to those who wish to maintain the status quo.  They label it conservatism, but this is misdirection. It ignores the reality that all things evolve.  Like anyone suffering from a drug or alcohol dependency, a society has to reach the bottom before it can save itself.  We may well have reached that bottom.

 

“As China looks to the Future, America is Stuck in the Past”

Antonio Carvallo “China is thinking of the future, while the United States wants to return to the past”.

(Image by Continents and contents)

The dispute for global hegemony that we are experiencing scares us because of the danger of the use of nuclear weapons. We see that there are leaders who are quite unbalanced and lacking in empathy, who might be willing to use them.

However, there is a caricaturing, a demonisation of China, a country which, although it applies trade and production policies that are not too different from those of the rest of the planet, does have other concepts, other values, a different way of interpreting democracy, human rights, what they consider to be the common good.

This collision between the Western way and the Eastern way of seeing the world is usually very poorly analysed in the mass media, which is why, from Presenza and accompanied by one of our leading international analysts, we could say, Antonio Carvallo, we are going to try to look a little beyond the prejudices and propaganda. Thank you, Antonio, for being with us.

Good. Thank you very much, Mariano, for inviting me.

Yes, I think it’s important that we can talk about these issues and your point of view always helps us to think a little bit beyond where we had put ourselves, sometimes you get into a drawer and well, sometimes you have to run away from the walls a little bit.

That happens to us all these days, doesn’t it?

Yes, yes. Let’s start by giving some kind of context to this. Let’s try to briefly describe this macro scenario in which this strong confrontation between China and the United States has been going on for a few years now.

Well, I believe that the broader framework is that of the decline of the United States as a superpower, of its hegemony; although it did not fully configure itself as an empire because China has been growing since it became an independent country in 1948, when its revolution was completed and the government of the Communist Party was consolidated. They had to start from scratch to develop China into the 20th century.

And then the United States, during that whole period, looked down on them. However, China’s support to Korea made them withdraw from Korea. And then from Vietnam, and all their various adventures in Asia were pushed back by the power and the resistance that China and the Soviet Union represented at that time.

So, from then on, the United States has gone backwards because China entered a period of economic development progression and consolidation of its modern society, which is unprecedented historically, and that led to a change in the relationship with the traditional powers, basically the United States and the clones of the United States in Europe and Japan.

Don’t forget that the United States maintained since the end of the World War II an occupation force in Europe of approximately 100,000 troops at all times. Mainly concentrated in Germany, and elsewhere in Europe. Another one in Japan by the way.

In addition, Europeans had to continue paying for the Marshall Plan, war reparations and compensating the US. Europe remained subordinated. They were giving instructions, because US were the ones running NATO, and still do. This body, under the pretense of being a defensive organization, was a kind of rubber stamp they used to kind of give legitimacy and to “legalize” their other military adventures, because fundamentally one of the main sources of exports for America is the military industry, as we know very well.

In that context, they need to legitimize their role in the different conflicts they have created since the end of the Cold War. Then come the wars in the Middle East and afterwards all the different interventions you can imagine, always with American military intervention, as a way to “stabilize” the disorder, and of course increasing their arms exports.

I think that China’s growth and its powerful position, especially in terms of trade, is something that is becoming increasingly evident in terms of technology, but perhaps the decline of the United States is something that is sometimes left invisible, because they continue to control the major media.

And of the big mechanisms such as the United Nations. You have seen how, for example, Antonio Guterres has been very timid in all these events because they have everything under their thumb, they knock on your door and say, “if you don’t do this, there will be consequences”, they are bullies! They have taken international relations to this point, and that’s what they are doing at the moment with the European Union, that’s why you see that the leaders of the European Union are bureaucrats, because they haven’t won popular elections, none of their parties have any political responsibility towards the general public. So, they say the most unbelievable things like Russophobia, what it is, how to justify it, they seem to legitimize the attitude that the Western states and the United States have taken towards Russia.

And well, going back, we have left a little bit the development of China to talk briefly about the case of Ukraine, because that defines the relations between Russia and China and the agreement that exists and that has represented a resistance to American impositions. So, there is a whole power struggle. There is a very buffoonish stage where many statements are made in front of the media, which in turn distort the news all the time, creating fake news, like everywhere else, and everything is done in front of the television. So, what Biden says or what Putin says or the Russian foreign minister says. Then what the various heads of the European Union say, Ursula von der Leyen on the one hand and afterwards another one appears, which is the head of the Council, Charles Michel who is in Belgium, and then there is the secretary for relations, who is Borrell and the heads of state as necessary, and undoubtedly the NATO secretary general, Stoltenberg. All of them win television space and make inflammatory and always very insulting statements and threats of very low level and without touching any of the substantive points in relation to Russia.

Russia has been holding these talks since the end of last year, you remember we had another conversation on radio, he said that if they continued to move eastwards there was going to be a very serious problem, because there had been continuous NATO advances into new states of the former USSR, which now became independent on Russia’s own initiative, became independent, Germany re-unified, a number of events that were based on good faith, good will and the initiative of the Perestroika people at that time. It’s not that they had to fight a war of liberation, none of them, Russia let them go, because the Russian Communist Party decided to disband the USSR by their own initiative, because it was no longer effective, because economically they had problems and they realised that the world had changed and they had to adapt to the new moment.

And there, going back to the case of China. So, it’s a bit like what happened with China, it went through stages in its internal development, while it was consolidating as a society internally. It was pulling people out of poverty, developing education systems, moving from a basic manufacturing activity to a real technology industry, as you rightly pointed out, and it began to advance in areas that already represent acute competition with the European states and the United States.

So, the West have started to say that they have to contain China and they have to contain Russia, what kind of language is that? We are living in a world of equals, of human societies that are equivalent, that have the same needs, the same conditions and so on. Yet there are those who say that others have to be contained, they are like despots, like bullies in a primary school, something of that kind. They have also had a very great inability to adapt because they have been stuck in the old world.

If you look at the slogans of the most recent leaders of the United States, they have Trump’s slogan: “We need to be Great again”, that is, with a sense of nostalgia that there is a certain greatness or power that the United States has already lost, and Trump as a candidate is going to give it back to them. In other words, he wanted to bring the past into the present, but it is not clear why. Now this other old man who is already senile, 79 years old, comes along and says “We have to build back better again”, we have to continue to be better, build better as with more resistant materials, etcetera, but both are nostalgic for the past and have no vision of the future.

Meanwhile, China is thinking only about the future. It is saying well, we are establishing through the Silk Road investment relations in all parts of the world, we are trying to bring in some of our experience and at the same time secure the raw materials we need, because we are a very large population in a relatively small territory and we want to be in contact with the whole world, but not aggressively, not by selling them arms and not by creating conflict, but partnerships.

Of course, it seems to me that this is the big difference, because for decades we have been dependent on the United States for its currency, for its thuggish force, which also imposed a model of life on us, and now we are beginning to generate a certain dependence on China too, because it is through technology, let’s say, that it can offer us greater developments and is often equated with them, but I think that the difference that you were making, not the thugs and the other more collaborative thing, is the subtle and enormous difference.

Indeed, because in the world to come, being the numbers we are, in the sense that we are going to become 8 billion people by the end of this year, according to most statistical sources, we are going to be more and more, after 20 years we are going to be 10 billion, that is, the inter-relationship between all of us in the same territory of the planet is going to be more and more interdependent. So, to say that now we are all dependent on China… We will all inevitably depend on each other for one reason or another, as it already happens today, but it is not a hegemonic dependence, it is like dependence in a family group, in a work group, in a club, in any human activity. Nobody can cut themselves off, nobody can create the conditions as historically, very briefly, very reduced, that the United States had by exception enjoyed since the end of World War II.

Because the great colonial empires of the past confronted each other and destroyed each other. And the same thing happened in Japan with America, they got crushed.

US had already sent an “Expeditionary Force”, as they called it, during WW I, and they moved about 4 million troops between the United States and Europe and fought on some of the western war fronts, gaining a lot of experience, above all they perfected all their systems of logistics, of transporting troops, of transporting materials across the Atlantic. In other words, they were very well prepared because they anticipated that the great confrontation between the empires of Germany and England would inevitably take place a few years later.

The ideology of Nazism interpreting that feeling in the defeated Germany, which still remained powerful, industrially, and in internal infrastructure. On the other hand, the British Empire, already declining because India was becoming independent, India and Gandhi, remember when the war broke out, said that they were going to postpone their libertarian cause, but to take it up again at the end of the war, that was already a fact, the British couldn’t sustain themselves. India was the great engine that allowed the empire, and Britain, to live; and Africa too, of course.

So, the United States took all and imposed its currency. It created the whole financial system of the world afterwards and took it all. It took it all! It’s a poker player who doesn’t know what happened to the cards and suddenly finds himself with all the stakes in front of him, and that’s what he’s been doing for the last 70 years, taking advantage and subordinating the rest. And now it’s over, because the world is changing and the US is stuck.

Antonio, you were talking about just that, about the need for the United States to get back to that situation of hogging all the chips in this poker game and China thinking about the future, as examples. You spoke of the world to come, of that future, are the aspirations of the peoples of the world compatible with the future that China is trying to build? We have a minute for you to tell me that.

I think so, because in that sense Mariano, the Chinese are reasonable, they are not doing things that would lead them to dominate the rest, to impose themselves on the rest, they want to collaborate, they want to work and at the same time they want to share. They want to collaborate; they want to work and at the same time they want to share. They have the concept of the common good, not the hegemon. I think they feel contempt for the ideology of “the winner wins all” which lies at the heart of Neo-Liberalism.
The same as I think fundamentally of the peoples of Europe, not the leadership that exists at the moment, who are all subordinate to NATO and the United States, the people.

The same with the peoples of Africa, when I came to this conversation, you were discussing what is happening in Latin America. We are all growing in one way or another according to the primary needs, of the societies we live in, but the world is moving towards a synthesis.

It is this process, that I see in today’s leadership is not been taken into account, it is out of sight for them. There is not even a remote idea of human intentionality, they believe they can suppress it, that they can contain it, according to their language. So, they are doomed to failure.
A few more cannon shots here or there, a few more conflicts, a proxy in Ukraine, how long will it last? Already their economy is collapsing as a result of their own sanctions, everywhere. In the United States they have already 12 per cent inflation. The latest opinion poll on Biden’s support is 36 percent of the American population supporting him, last week it was 42 percent. The American people are desperate and they are going to throw him out, and if he continues to do this adventurism and to generate a war that nobody needs, indebting the people of the United States by issuing money and donating to buy weapons is just crazy.

And, well, it may take a few more months before they realize that, so it’s very difficult to put an end date on the conflict, but it’s inevitable that people are going to realize, they’re going to take to the streets, naturally, the people of Europe are going to take to the streets very soon to protest about it. And if all the bureaucrats in the European Union have to be thrown out, they will be thrown out.

That would be so nice.

I would love that.

We’re going to see the dominoes falling.

Because we believe in people, Nelsy, as humanists we do. Of course not, we can’t imagine a world of repetition of American hegemonism. It’s suffocating.

Mariano, close. I’m sorry, it’s just that I can’t avoid this thing, how is it that I made the image and I said there’s something more beautiful.

It is because of these images that we always like to talk to Antonio Carvallo to open a floodgate that allows us to regain hope. Sometimes looking at the media, at the news, things get a bit dark. That’s good, to allow us to keep dreaming, to keep feeling, to keep beating. Thank you, Antonio Carvallo.

We have to ask ourselves questions with the things that we experience with ourselves and that make common sense. Because that is what prevails, that is what is human.

The People’s Summit for Democracy

People’s Summit – Bulletin June 8th

(Image by Mídia Ninja)

The People’s Summit for Democracy, an event organised by activists, social movements and left-wing groups from all over the Americas, has begun in Los Angeles, in contrast to the 9th Summit of the Americas, an event that brings together heads of state from the American container, businessmen and political leaders. The People’s Summit for Democracy began with debates, workshops and panels.

By Marcos Felipe for Ninja’s collaborative coverage of the People’s Summit.

In the face of the exclusionary character of the IX Summit of the Americas organised by the United States, mainly by excluding the participation of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, the People’s Summit aims to be the voice of Latin America and of those directly affected by neoliberal capitalism and US imperialism. The People’s Summit will focus on issues of migration, immigration and human rights, as well as denouncing the neoliberal agenda of the US in Latin America and the Caribbean, the high rate of homelessness in the US, police violence against black people and the disastrous actions of the US government in the face of Covid-19.

Addressing world leaders gathered in Los Angeles for the 9th Summit of the Americas, the People’s Summit began with a demonstration on Migration and Human Rights for the Americas. The protest took place in downtown Los Angeles, with the participation of numerous organisations such as ANSWER Coalition, CHIRLA, Mídia Ninja, SEIU 721, BAJI, AJLA, SALVA, PWC and International Peoples Assembly. Maria Galvan, coordinator of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, denounced that the Summit of the Americas does not bring issues that matter to the people, such as migration and the legalisation of housing for all.

Photo Mídia Ninja

In front of the Los Angeles City Hall, at the Meeting of Solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon, the indigenous leader Toya Manchinery highlighted the contradiction of Bolsonaro’s participation in the Summit of the Americas to address the issue of the Amazon rainforest. The leader, who is coordinator of COICA (Coordination of Indigenous Organisations of the Amazon Basin), highlighted how Bolsonaro’s policies are destroying the Amazon and attacking countless indigenous peoples. In his speech, Toya spoke of the union of indigenous peoples and the whole world to share resources and democracy, and denounced that a country is not democratic if there are people living on the streets and hungry.

Photo Mídia Ninja

The programme of debates at the Peoples’ Summit began with the theme “Democracy for whom? The consequences of US intervention in America”. It was opened by Manolo dos Santos, coordinator of the Peoples’ Forum and member of the Articulated Commission of the International Peoples’ Assembly, and also by Andrónico Rodríguez Ledezma, Bolivian political scientist and president of the Bolivian Chamber of Senators.

The first session of the panel discussed how the political agreements of the Organisation of American States (OAS) act to favour the interests of the rich and facilitate US intervention in Latin America. Political leaders questioned the impact of the US on democratic processes and the lives of thousands of people in Latin America. The event was attended by people from various countries of the American continent. Cuban journalist Cristina Escobar took part in the panel and stated that the actions of the US in her country are indescribable, being aggravated in the Trump administration and maintained by the Biden administration. Cristina reiterated in her speech the need for sovereignty of Cubans to decide their own destiny, not according to Washington’s interests. Gail Walker, executive director of Pastors for Peace, also emphasised Cuban autonomy: “As people we do not want the United States to control what democracy means. The truth is that Cuba lights the way”. In addition to Cristina, Alina Duarte, Fidelina Mena Corrales, Gail Walker and Xochitl Sánchez, from other countries in the Americas, were present on the panel.

Photo Mídia Ninja

The second panel of the Summit dealt with the internationalism of the peoples, under the theme “Solidarity across borders: the construction of an internationalism of the peoples”. The panel brought together discussions from different organisations from around the world. They shared the perspectives of their struggles, looking for ways to build solidarity with unity and across differences. The panel focused on examples of resistance to US imperialism. Participants included: Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi, David Adler, Angelica Salas, Leonardo Luna, Izett Samá Hernández, Rev. Karlene Griffiths Sekou and Claudia de la Cruz. Claudia de la Cruz (Peoples Forum NYC), noted in her speech: “We do not defend what we do not know and we do not live and die for what we do not love. One of the aspects of solidarity, of internationalism, is to love our class. To love the poor and the working-class people all over the world”.

Photo Mídia Ninja

The third panel brought reflections and denunciations of the US blockade of Cuba, with proposals from young leaders of social movements. It was pointed out that the US economic blockade prevents the Cuban population from obtaining fundamental resources for their lives and well-being, and restricts the people of the United States from consuming the benefits of Cuban health, culture, economy and art, especially the production of Cuban youth, who fight for solidarity and not for profit and exploitation. Participants suggested alternatives to end the blockade and build solidarity among peoples. The panelists also compared the different ways in which the US and Cuba manage their policies and their people. Present on the panel were: Ashley Elias, Danaka Katovich and Deja Gaston.

Photo Elijah Gannaway

The fourth panel addressed health as a human right around the globe, under the title “People over profit: health as a human right around the world”. The Covid-19 pandemic made clear the extent to which profits are worth more than human lives, especially in the United States, where more than a million people died and many could not afford treatment. The speakers discussed how social struggles and solidarity can confront the privatisation of health care and promote public health for all. The speakers were: Dr. Ana Malinow, Dr. Bita Amani, Tynetta Hill-Muhammad, Carlos Marroquin, Bill McKibben, Dr. Tania Crombet Ramos and Sameena Rahman.

Two workshops were also held on the first day. The first, which dealt with youth political organising strategies, discussed how to share political campaigns and actions. The workshop promoted examples of social media advocacy and virtual connections to bring organisations from around the world closer together. The second workshop addressed the struggle of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) subjects, explaining how it works and which countries are beneficiaries. The workshop was organised by the National TPS Alliance. It addressed the issue of TPS under Trump and the current push in the White House and Congress for TPS beneficiaries to have permanent visas.

In addition to panels and workshops with leaders and specialists, the People’s Summit organised spaces for dialogue and exchange on various topics. On 8 June, the labour situation and its challenges in the contemporary world were discussed, as well as the different forms of organisation and strategies to face these challenges, based on community and inclusive articulations. The session “Labour Exchange” discussed privatisation and the discrepancy between labour laws and wage injustice. Another topic discussed in the sectoral exchange area was the issue of abolition of prisons and police. Siwatu-Salama Ra from Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and Freedom Team told a powerful story about her experience in prison, addressing how change is possible through the practice of the concepts of feminism and abolition.

Photo Elijah Gannaway

At the end of the first day of the People’s Summit, a plenary session was held on the struggle for democracy. The main point of the session was to question how the United States can defend democracy in others if it uses its force and power to prevent the building of real grassroots democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the same plenary, perspectives of movements and organisations that really fight for the expansion of democracy, for the interests of the majority, the poor and the workers, instead of the rich and the elites, were discussed. Participants in the plenary session were: Tina Orduno Calderón, Kosmik Force, Dr. Melinda Abdullah, Pablo Alvarado, Phillip Agnew and Citlalli Hernández.

The original article can be found here

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