Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

and we'll all go down together...

In an email to me, she wrote: "Corporations and governments aren't to blame for the state of the world. It's individuals unwilling to engage with their fellow human beings who have created the mess."

This was my reply:

This is the simplest way I can deal with this with you, ****:

For starters, read "The Corporation" by Joel Bakan.

National sovereignty is a quaint joke these days with the WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank all dictating to nations' governments how they must re-write their industrial and investment laws. Howard's new IR changes are a perfect example of that. The real authors of those laws are "the globalisation suits" form the WTO, the IMF and the Word Bank, only in Howard's case it's even more direct than that - The Yanks are telling Howard what to write.

Capitalism has gone global and totalitarian. Socialist systems are to be dismantled and outlawed.

Dissent is in the process of being outlawed.

Individuals don't come into it. They have bugger-all power and it will become illegal soon for individuals to "engage with their fellow human beings" in any form of anti-war or anti-globalisation protests.

And dissent activists are too Neanderthal to realise they have to operate within very finely tuned boundaries to be effective, to stay within the new laws, and to gain the sort of mass support needed to change the body politic.

Democracy is a dead duck and global fascism is all but fully in control. The window of opportunity for social change through dissent and people power is being slammed shut and arseholes within the dissent movements indulging in what I call cowboy tactics are playing straight into the hands of the fascists. They are their own worst enemies. They still believe that baiting and provoking the authorities is the way to go. They are to applied psychology what an innumerate idiot is to higher mathematics. They may as well be working for ASIO, the CIA etc. for all the good they are doing.

Political violence will be brutally crushed and cannot work either.

So forget social change, it's a quaintly naiive dream dreamt by idiots. The Fascists own the world and it's all over Red Rover.

Democracy and freedom are now just part of The Big Lie.

"This is the end my friend, the end..."


Blogger GreenSmile said...

I guess I better read up on WTO...I thought it was playing out a little differently but I am not well informed. I see multinationals, with or without the WTO as a stalking horse, moving sums of money and jobs between countries at a pace and on a scale that the most power hungry politician could only envy. The WalMarts of the world DIRECTLY support goverments like Beijing's whose policies we would not tolerate on our soil. The money pours out of my bank and into some bank in Shanghai. I could not buy an American made TV if I wanted to. The social and environmental costs of all these dislocations are only of consequence to little people. The corporation has maximized the one thing its executives are measured by: short term gains. And they are happy to look the other way about the politcal freedoms of the workers whose cheap labor has made the executive look good. I think the whole model sucks but Thomas Friedman its here to stay and don't get in its way.

Either theory comes out to much the same thing for the rights and the financial well being of working people.

[happy to see reports of your demise were somewhat exagerated, Gerry;-]

October 11, 2005 7:03 AM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

you got me started....lets see if one more sentence will get me to shut up.

in few words [as I am fond of less ]

Governments have the power to set policies for the good of the governed in accordance with principles that those governed should ratify. Businesses are beholden to fewer and measure themselves with a much less abstract form of power: money. Money has spoken and principles have shut up. The people may speak to the goverment, the government listens to the money.

[ok 4 sentences.]

October 11, 2005 7:13 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Well, I'm no expert. Just an idiot trying to figure out what's happening in the vain hope of being able to duck the next bullet...

I see only doom. Globalised capitalism will eat its young. It will turn the planet into an utter wasteland resulting in the ultimate death of billions. Or it will give rise to the sort of fasism which will commit genocide among the poor in order to carve out a safe "Lebensraum" for its own elites, also resulting in the "disappearing" of billions.

The only slightly more "humane" solution I can see is a form of socialism based on national entities developing their own economic independence. This would result in a global depression during which millions would starve to death. So you've got a choice of corruption which will kill billions or an economic model which will starve millions and spell the end of excessive consumption, but it would save billions in the process.

We who live a "Westernised" lifestyle are quite happy to kill whoever gets in the way of this lifestyle, a lifestyle which we know will strip the planet bare of every non-renewable resource in a mere historical split-second. It is economically, environmentally, politically and culturally unsustainable but woe betide anyone who dares to try to rock the global capitalists' boat.

Armageddon here we come...

October 11, 2005 11:16 PM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Gerry! That's so damn bleak! I want to argue with you, but wouldn't know what I was talking about.

There are some interesting ideas here, though (a site by Dave Pollard):
- Undermining corporatism: some old and new ideas (adds some recommendations to those proposed by The Corporation's Bakan)
- How corporations became culturally dysfunctional and why simple solutions won't fix them (proposes that corporations are evolutions of complex systems, and won't change until things reach a "tipping point")
- Table of contents (more writing on politics & economics)

October 12, 2005 12:09 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Deirdre! I love the way you engage me. Argue away. I want someone to give me a convincing argument for how there is hope. But I'll take some convincing. I'll digest the links in due course.

October 12, 2005 12:14 AM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

But I want someone to give me a convincing argument for how there is hope...

Bloody hell.


October 12, 2005 9:32 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

That's easy, Deirdre. Just allow yoursleve to be convinced by spinmeisters of Gobalcorp and their puppet governments. And if you find you're still getting depressed, Big Pharma has LOTS of chemicals they can put into your brain to make you believe you are happy. Just pop them pills and keep running on the spot on their treadmills for ever-less pay...

Read 1984 and A Brave New World before they are "revised" and re-published and the originals denounced and banned as dangerous "propaganda".

Hope? I see none. I am Diogenes the Cynic.

October 12, 2005 9:44 AM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Okay, I put a few hours into this, swotting up on globalisation, searching for reasons to hope... to no effect. I think hope takes a bit longer than a few hours. Drat.

But here's one good thing: democracy is relatively new. Maybe we just don't know how to use it properly yet. (Leaving aside all the arguments about multinationals being able to operate beyond national boundaries, which is kind of a big thing to leave aside, yes.)

According to Amartya Sen, [the now worldwide] recognition of democracy as a universally relevant system, which moves in the direction of its acceptance as a universal value, is a major revolution in thinking, and one of the main contributions of the twentieth century.

Don't laugh. It's something.

October 12, 2005 10:23 PM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Errr, sorry. The point about democracy is that it values the voice of the individual... I mean, I think. Which is important, considering this from Martin Luther King, Jr:

Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

Groups don't have a change of heart; individuals do.

October 12, 2005 10:30 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

Looking for hope Deirdre?

Even if all the wheels of commerce move to the wishes of greedy corporations, there is a way out...and it will work even when the environmental consequences of the oil hungry industrialized are starving due to their own wastefulness:
many little societies are now a-forming that will just unplug from the whole stinking mess:
and my favorite prophet of oilagarchy's demise: Jan Lundberg who really knows whereof he speaks...rummage archives here:
cuba, oddly enough, may become an example of how we will live in the future...Joe McCarthy should be spinning in his grave!

it is claimed the entire international banking system is propped up by cheap and increasingly plentiful oil [it was for most of the 20th century] so the wind is just going to dissappear from the sails of the armada of international pirate corporations that Gerry describes if you believe this:

The unplugged form spontaneously at grass roots level, some education seems to be an important fertilizer for this:

October 13, 2005 1:00 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Wow, Greensmile! Thanks for the links. Brainfood! I'll get back here when I've digested yours and Deirdre's pointers.

October 13, 2005 7:57 AM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Ditto from me! Go, GreenSmile! Thanks.

October 13, 2005 8:26 AM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

GreenSmile, I had a look at those links, thanks. I'm all for simple living, and the whole "small is beautiful" philosophy, and, and, and...
This is going to sound like I'm arguing with you, and I'm not. That sort of lifestyle will work for some people, but I think it's not going to be taken up voluntarily by all (though it might be forced on us in the future) and thus won't change the direction we (as a world) are heading. I live in an area of Australia where hippiness has ruled supreme (in some quarters) since the 1970s, and I think if it was going to catch on in the broader community, it would have done so here. It hasn't. Instead the New Agers moved in and turned the whole thing into incense-scented businesses - servicing tourists - and where they didn't want to buy real estate, the drug dealers moved in. The communes begun so idealistically years ago lost their children (who couldn't stand the lifestyle and left).

Sorry. I can't find enough enthusiasm to resurrect my own vegie garden from weed-inflicted oblivion. The idea that an agrarian revolution will save the world seems too hard to imagine.

(Plus, straying into the Dark Side here - there's a lot about the modern lifestyle I really like and don't want to lose. Capitalism and globalisation has not been 100% bad.)

October 13, 2005 2:25 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

No question Deirdre, the less-is-more-sustainable approach is unimaginable to many. Especially in the US where we have, for the last 80 years, built all infrastructure and lifestyles around cheap fuel and high personal mobility...the change will seem catstrophic. The worry that all these little lifeboat eco-enclaves have is that rather than change, the rest of society will go pedal-to-the-metal until an utter enviro-economic crash at which point horse drawn SUVs filled with gun toting vandals will tour the empty highways pillaging the few selfsufficient farming communities.
It wont' be that dramatic, mad max was NOT a very realistic movie.

There are significant communities that have sprung up with the goal of eventual complete sustainability but the more realistic plan that we must start from where we, as a society, are in terms of our habits and infrastructure. this place in upstate New York is partly the brainchild of a School of Human Ecology project at Cornell but has been a thriving community in its own right for several years. They are starting to think about the big infrastructure issues just now: healthcare and energy supply...there IS hope.

October 15, 2005 1:42 AM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

And very interesting observation that communes [and kibbutzim too, I can attest from second hand experience] fail to retain the second generation and empty out/sell off after one crop of kids grows up and moves out. It is a complex phenomenon and depends partly on how the children are raised: they will commonly express the opinion that they just wouldn't marry anyone they grew up if they had all come to feel a sibling bond which made romance taboo...well, I am guessing now.

October 15, 2005 1:48 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

One thing being missed here is that the concept of communes losing their second generation is only relevant if we factor-in the fact that this second generation deserted the communes for a glitzier, more effluent (deliberate spelling "error") or "promising" lifestyle. What we're talking about here is the disappearance of this "greener pasture". So, dudes and dudettes, where will they run to, this 'second genatation' of the future? Hmmm?

October 15, 2005 5:27 PM  
Blogger Deirdre said...


(And I'm joking :) )

October 15, 2005 8:29 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

You're an imp, Deirdre...

October 15, 2005 8:38 PM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Damn. I was trying to be annoying.

October 16, 2005 10:04 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

But... but... but... I thought you were joking...

October 16, 2005 10:15 AM  

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