I apologize for seeming like a drop and run poster - aka a troll - I however get headaches from the computer screen( I know, I know, buy a filter), and I’m a member of far too many forums. I also don't like to spend everyday at a computer screen, I'd rather be sat in a bath with a good book.
I’ve been shot down by everyone, I’ll try to respond, this is going to be a diatribe because I’m going to take a break from the net for a week or so.
If you are reading this I’ve no doubt what I’ll be writing will make you angry, please try and stick with it however, but even if you only come away with the realization that anti - US sentiment, and anti-globalisation sentiment is far deeper than captured and promoted by Oist organizations, and choose not to explore them at a deeper level, you will have gained some understanding at least.
First let me explain why I posted the book recommendations; I think will give you guys a more realistic insight into the anti-globalization movement. I find it difficult to articulate ideas, as you guys have probably noticed from my posts, but I’m getting better.
The authors articulate the injustice, pain and suffering I and others see, far, far, far, better than I ever could in a forum. Also I believe that one’s conclusions are based on a vast and subtle underlying understood factors. Authors - obviously - realize this and present implicit, and explicit relevant information towards a conclusion, in my hast in posting I usually miss out - only to remember a few days later - vital parts to my argument. I present those books because they - I believe - articulate a great deal of anti-globalisation sentiment.
I will also add that to me philosophy change or questioning is a very solitary, and intrapersonal thing, I changed from being an Objectivist to being a believer in the perennial philosophy, and I‘m currently in political ideological limbo. My views changed - as I believe most people’s do, to any philosophy - by endeavouring into others viewpoints, and also experimentation into mediation, chi kung and internal martial arts.
For a long period I read many books, had internal dialogue (laying in my bath tub), attempted to reconcile personal experiences with my professed philosophy, and finally changed. On the subject of spirituality, internal martial arts, chi kung etc, I have discovered that it’s truth cannot be displayed and scrutinized interpersonally ie. Formal logic, it can only be discovered by experimentation. To paraphrase Ken Wilber; the true mystics leave nothing up to faith, they present means through which you can assess validity for yourself. The idea of Nathaniel Branden (who has enjoyed and sings the praises of mystic influenced Rolfing) that one has to spend years to assess the validity, I find bizarre. If you don’t have positive results or ’strange’ experiences within six months, then I would say look elsewhere.
The onus of proof principle is in opposition to that kind of experimentation if it is tied in with the primacy of the intellectual evaluation ie. Formal logic. The limitations of formal logic is a complex subject of course but just a few pointers, in spiritual literature - and most eastern philosophy - and deepening of consciousness is required to understand the subtle nature of the idea’s presented. To give an example; before you have ever fallen in love and had your heart broken, most love songs seem like corny drivel, when you have experienced love and break ups, you gain an insight into the emotion behind the words. Similar to if you’ve ever been on illegal drugs, you sometimes gain an insight behind people’s demeanour you wouldn’t normally get at your normal level of consciousness.
I wanted to engage with you guys because I’ve read, many articles by Oists, and they seem to believe that opposition to the current consumerist society, and current government of the US, aka the military-industrial complex (commonly referred to by activists as capitalism, I agree it is not) is simply based on bad epistemology/philosophy. I completely disagree, it is primarily based on witnessing, and experiencing pain, and suffering inflicted needlessly on people, by institutions acting in ways that imply they care more for profit, and direct personal gain (in the traditional sense ie, Peter Keating would be called by non-academics philosophers - ie. Average people - as Selfish) than the welfare of their fellow man.
It is also driven by the callous unconcern, whitewashing, and malicious labelling of anyone who tries to point out problems in the system
Anti-Globalisation activists see pollution destroying the environment (regardless if you believe in global warming or not; oil spills, destruction of rainforests, destruction of plants and animals life, air pollution, water pollution are a reality), cultures (the ogoni, and indigenous rainforest tribes), and health (the residents of inner city Tokyo wear face masks for a reason). They see Oil companies supporting tyrannical governments - in the middle east and Africa - for no good reason. We could increase recycling and reuse our materials, we could use and develop bio-diesel (not the kind made from trees), and alternative fuel sources that don’t require exploitation or pollution.
All the aforementioned being endemic in the Oil industry and then they also see former top Oil company/engineering company executives in the highest levels of US government; Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and Bush. When this is brought to the attention of pro-free marketers, or conservatives, they label pro-environmentalists as wanting people to live like cavemen, or in the words of Oists as anti-life/evil. We don’t need to live like cavemen to be environmentally friendly; http://www.myhero.com/myhero/hero.asp?hero=r_anderson
On the subject of global warming you can participate in the largest climate change experiment ever here (it only takes a download); http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/hottopics/climatechange/
Activists see mass exploitation in the form of Sweatshop labour. They see people working hard, 6 to 7 days a week, for 12 to 16 hours a day, from (on average, younger workers have been reported) mid-teens to 25, working in appalling conditions, to make the products we use, and consume. Conditions include; beatings, regimented bathroom breaks, blacklisting if workers try to organize unions, or complaining about treatment, women fired for getting pregnant, regular forced pregnancy tests, overworking, underpaying and more. Contracts are in place with the WTO that if the regulations of the country change ie. If worker safety conditions are enforced (fire safety), and workers rights (standard working hours, child labour laws, maternity rights etc) they are entitled to sue the country for reimbursements. Seeing as most of the countries are already poor, it is a huge economic incentive to keep things as they way they are.
‘We went through a garbage dump in the Dominican republic. We always do this kind of stuff, we dig around. One day we found a big pile of Nike’s internal pricing documents. Nike assigns a time frame to each operation, they don’t talk about minutes, they break the time frame into ten thousandths of a second!
You get to the bottom of all twenty-two operations, to give the workers six point six minutes to make the shirt. It’s seventy cents an hour in the Dominican republic, that’s six point six minutes equals eight cents.
These are Nike’s documents! That means the wages come to three-tenths, of one percent of the retail price. This is the reality, it’s the science of exploitation.’
- Charles Kernighan, of National Labour Committee. The Corporation DVD
Activists see pharmaceutical companies selling fake HIV/AIDS medicines, or outpricing much needed medicine for the poor suffers of the illness, and only making it available to the poor after mass public outcry.
Activists see marketing invading their every way of life, interpersonal relationships, communities and institutions. Commerce values invade every part of our lives, not only are advertisements in the school curriculum, and canteens, education really is centred on educating you to be a worker. Man’s emotional, environmental, social, and creative needs are not taught to youth. Emotional problems are endemic, children are exposed and live through all kinds of abusive and emotionally damaging family structures and social circumstances, little assistance - direct or indirect - is offered, and many grow up to be the monsters of the future. We are taught simply to get qualifications to get us employed. They see psychological tactics that prey on peoples insecurities, fears and vulnerabilities. They see them trying to sell us futile lifestyles, based on consuming as much of their product or service as we possibly can. They see undercover marketing (recent BBC expose on buskers being paid to sing certain songs) invading every available avenue for social interaction, and culture, and they see the economic incentives to do that. Commerce/consumerism is now the centre’s of our culture, and everything is being designed around it.
Activists see all the above atrocities being carried out (and more), and when pointed out to the pro-free marketers they are told, that they should ‘vote’ with their dollars, and not ask for government regulation, because that would be a violation of freedom. Despite the problem that people with more shares, and more disposable income have more say in that kind of ‘voting’ system. Activists see that even if that was an effective way of curbing and directing corporate behaviour, it would only influence after atrocities had happened. In the case of the current non-government monitored Aids medicines to Africa people die because they trust in the product, and if the idea of dollar ‘voting’ is used it still does nothing to bring back the unfortunately ignorant dead. It does nothing to bring back the countless schools and children’s minds that have been indoctrinated with consumerist values by psychologist employed by marketers to sell their products to them (for those who say parents sole responsibility, think of every aspect of life advertising infiltrates). It does nothing to bring back the dead who have been killed by tyrannical governments eager to keep an unpopular corporation in their country. It does nothing to clean up oil spills, environmental damage, deforestation, etc. To summarise it doesn’t do what good regulation can influence companies to do, which is not to commit those appalling acts in the first place.
Activist see the ignorance of the invisible hand , here are some summaries (summaries remember) from interview excerpts from disc 2 the corporation DVD ;
'The idea that the invisible hand of the market reflecting the enlightened self interest of many, many people, is an honest broker, and can effectively allocate, and can efficiently allocate resources in the market place, is flawed if the invisible hand is blind. Now what blinds the invisible hand, so that it cannot see the consequences of it’s own actions? It is the externalities. It is the fact that the prices, are not honest prices. There’s a price of cigarettes, established by the market, in it‘s wisdom. [Does it] reflect it’s cost? Well of course not, nowhere near considering the societal cost. There’s a price of barrel of Oil, established by the market in it’s wisdom. [Does it] reflect it’s cost? Well of course not. The military power in the middle east is a $100 a barrel if it’s a penny, and you throw in the occasional golf war. So you know that the price of a barrel of oil, nowhere near reflects it’s cost. And if the invisible hand is guided by dishonest prices, it cannot reach honest conclusions. So how do you get the prices right? There is a role undoubtedly to for the government to play, and internalizing the externalities to get the prices right. And we come to the idea of tax shifts as the available mechanism, that an enlightened government could exercise, it could exercise it’s power of taxation and redress the dishonesty in the market place.’
‘Today we tax labour. Something we’d really like to encourage, job creation, but we tax it. And we let off scott free, the exploitation of nature. How much sense does it make? How much sense it does make to shift taxes. To penalize the things we don’t want, and relieve the taxes on the things we do want, and get the incentives right, to get rid of the perverse subsidies, that exist.’ - CEO Ray Anderson, the corporation DVD
‘when I see the corporations, I see organisations that have lost their moral compass, who don’t care, and who can only be reached through massive social pressure.’ - Charles Kernighan, the corporation DVD
I also add that pro-free markets and conservatives, sometimes acknowledge the atrocities that are occurring but are in no way inclined to launch a mass campaign on those issues. Instead a large and passionate campaigns are launched for corporate tax cuts. Maybe there is a fear that speaking out against atrocities committed by corporations would be a traitorous act towards one’s ideology. I personally don’t see how being pro-free market, and speaking out against the acts outlined above - even if you don’t believe in regulation - are mutually exclusive.
Here is somthing that deeply scared me;
‘What the public doesn’t know is now there’s a great race by genomic companies, and bio-tech companies, and life science companies, to find the treasure in the map. The treasure are the individual genes that make up the blueprint of the human race. Every time they capture a gene and isolate it, these bio-tech companies claim it as intellectual property. The breast cancer gene, the cystic fibrosis gene, it goes on, and on, and on.
If this goes unchallenged in the world community, within less than 10 years, a handful of global companies will own, directly or through license, the actual genes that make up the evolution of our species. And they’re now beginning to patent the genomes of every other creature on this planet.
In the age of biology the politics is gonna sort out between those who believe; life first has intrinsic value, and we therefore we should choose technologies and commercial venues, that honour the intrinsic value.
Then we’re gonna have people who believe; look life is simply a utility. It’s commercial fare. And they will line up with the idea to let the marketplace be the ultimate arbiter of all of the age of biology.’
- Jeremy Rifkin of Foundation of economic trends. The Corporation DVD
I’m also puzzled - like the people at lewrockwell.com - at the assertion that Islamist militants are anti-reason, anti-man and therefore attack the ‘home’ of liberty, the US. In the words of a writer of the lewrockwell.com website ; the idea that they sat around and read the bill of rights, were outraged, and decided to do 9/11 is ludicrous. Perceived imperialism - economically, culturally and militarily - by the US, probably has a lot more to do with it. I’m also puzzled with the view that the US government at war equals the US Public at war, and that a criticism of US foreign policy is a criticism of the US public.
I recall recently watching a BBC news show where they were interviewing a member of the US group Iraq veterans against war, he said that one day he stopped a vehicle who looked suspicious, he and his colleagues pointed guns at the driver and shouted at him to get out of the car. He said the driver looked frightened and obviously didn’t understand English, and so the interviewee dragged him out of the car by the window. He then proceeded to beat the person, curse at him, and point his gun at the man. He then out the corner of his eye saw the man’s child sitting in the back seat staring at him with pure hatred. He then realized that violence begets violence, and that child will probably grow hating the US and attracted to organizations that are anti-US.
Speaking to my friend who has come back from a tour of Afghanistan - you have every right to question this, I will not display his personal information however - that, that kind of behaviour is commonplace, in fact he participated in it, I was disgusted. He told me I had no idea the pressure they were under, the fear, the anger, the anticipation of violence that builds up and erupts. He also told me that the recent beatings of the Iraq citizens by British soldiers - he believed - was justified they were throwing rocks and grenades (not live) at them, he told me they were lucky they weren’t US soldiers. He then proceeded to explain that the US army has a policy that a shoot to kill can be lawfully enforced if even a threat to property is only present, the British army can only kill if there is a threat to life. He also said that the US will shoot people who shoot at them, drop their weapon, and run away unarmed, but the British will not because they know that onlookers may only see people who are unarmed running away, shouting help and are gunned down, not a favourable public perception to have.
In order to kill or even beat someone up (I can testify), you have to dehumanize, it would be difficult for any sane person to want to end another persons life, if they contemplate how they were the same - in potential, and biology/spirit - as them, they probably would have an extremely difficult time pulling the trigger. I see such dehumanization by the advocates of the current US foreign policy, they label the Muslims of the middle east as all pro-Al Qaeda, backward, hateful individuals. Investigative journalism, award winning web-blogs, and the testimony of my friend says otherwise, there are human rights groups based in the middle-east, there are many people who are against human-rights abuse perpetrated by the Theocratic governments, there are prisoners of conscience throughout the middle east. To those who say that only the supporters of the government wouldn’t welcome war, what about the new born babies, the children, the infirmed, the elderly, the mentally ill, the pacifists This kind of dehumanization aids in the disregard and white washing of - for example - the coalition ’suspected’ terrorist detention procedures, and the Israeli armies treatment of families in the west bank and Gaza strip.
When muslims in the middle-east see Israeli soldiers killing unarmed, and innocent children and people (I also condemn the suicide bombings too, I’m going somewhere with this), and the US government and media not condemning their actions, they probably get angry (a British journalist was shot and killed unlawfully, another British campaigner has been killed by a bulldozer ).
When they see muslims locked up without due process, and tortured (Abu Gharib photo’s), they probably get angry.
When they see the vices of US culture, eg excessive consumerism, hedonism, pornography etc, being established and promoted in their country, they probably get angry.
When they see US businesses and people establishing themselves in their country and forming a fenced off guarded, luxurious enclaves, they probably get angry.
When the president says God told him to do it, they probably get angry. Groups whose principle for social change is violence, then succeed in probably directed some people’s anger into violence, by outlining the above.
My point is simply having a faith-based way of life doesn’t mean they will become terrorists.
In regards to the attitudes and actions against the Arabs in the middle east, and the actions of corporations, the Oist argument is the worst by far. Everything has to be related to directly benefiting oneself economically, and the campaigns advocating charity - when there is no direct economic benefit - is anti-life/evil is appalling to say the least. I really question the psychological health of a person who can look at the atrocities - people being killed because they are on others property or land, children dying when medicine is available, labelling civilian casualties of war as collateral damage, the destruction of the biosphere, plants and animals when alternative safer energy sources is available, people working in sweatshops - without any sense of compassion or charity. Oists stress that private charity would exist to take care of people who are in need, I would be curious the results of a poll among Oists to find out how many of them donate to international aid agencies.
Just a few last pet peeves against Oism, regarding language. I’m pretty sure that before you guys changed your philosophy you didn’t understand, nor use the terms; selfishness, ego, altruism and self sacrifice to mean what Oism takes it to mean. I agree fascist organizations have used and do use it in that way but the majority of people do not, it isn’t written in stone that a word means the same thing to everyone. I use selfishness, to mean callous, malevolent, actions that only directly benefit one’s emotions or life. I use ego to mean an overestimation of one’s importance or worth. I use self-sacrifice to mean simply to give up one’s egotistical or dangerous desires for the benefit of self (going on a diet would be an example) and/or others (giving up smoking would be an example), or simply to give up something you like for some other value - greater or lesser value (eg. Giving up sleep to look after child or giving up autonomy to the Nazis Party). I use Altruism to mean any non-egotistical interpersonal benevolent act. Those were just summaries off the top of my head, but in my day to day life most people use those term in similar context. I see continuously when Oists review people calling for altruistic actions, etc, people being flamed as though they are advocating the exact word for word definition written by Ayn Rand, that to me is a break from reality. I believe that Ayn Rand purposely did that to get people interested in her philosophy; ‘you advocate a philosophy of selfishness, why???!!!’.
Also a little something regarding the use of the term evil, David Kelley has touched on this but most Oists seemed to have ignored him. The term, and moral evaluation of evil is used to class vegetarians, people against the Iraq war, and ecologists alongside the Nazis Party, Stalin and Chairman Mao. I have heard Oists honestly classing Mother Teresa as Evil, and presumably in the same league as Ted Bundy.
To be perfectly honest with you, I’ve read some articles evaluating speeches and texts by Anti-Globalisation, anti- military, industrial complex, ecology, and the religious activists, that seem to lack any honest evaluation of their intended meaning.
Even if you do not look into the references I provide I only hope you at least contemplate what I have wrote.
Here is are interesting quotes regarding corporations and classical liberalism;
‘The courts accorded corporations the rights of persons. That’s a very sharp attack on classical liberalism, in which rights are inherent in people, people of flesh and blood, not corporate entities, like states or something like that. This grew out of a kind of neo-Hegelian concepts of the rights of organic entities over individuals, actually it had 3 major outgrowths in the 20th century
one is fascism, another’s bolshevism and another’s corporatism.’
‘When these systems did begin to take shape a century ago, they were very sharply condemned by conservatives… Conservative men - Classical liberal. They were condemned as kind of reversion to feudalism, or even as a form of communism. Which was not unreasonable, if by communism you mean bolshevism, yeah, they‘re rather similar in conception. And the same by their advocates, like say progressives like Woodrow Wilson, who was a big proponent of corporatisation. Nevertheless pointed out correctly; that this the end of freedom, it’s the end of private enterprise. It’s the end of freedom, it’s a new America, in which people will not be working for themselves but will be servants of corporate entities.’ - Noam Chomsky, the corporation DVD.
This post really is a summary, greater and clearer understanding can be found by pursuing the references below.
For anyone interested in pursuing alternative viewpoints, or simply wanting to do as Sun Tzu advises and; understand the enemy. I will make a few recommendations. Why? because the summaries of alternative viewpoints I read on Oist sites are poor, to say the least.
Confessions of an economic hitman by John Perkings - Brilliantly describes, via personal experience, what various NGO’s have been saying about the world bank, and the US government military/industrial complex for years. For those who believe John Perkins, and Michael Moore claims of using the military for business ends is too far out there, read up on the story of one of the most decorated generals in US military history General Smedley Butler http://englishatheist.org/warisaracket.shtml
No logo by Naomi Klein - her analysis on marketing is astounding, ditto her analysis of the mis-treatment (sometimes fatal) of anti-corporate activists, and sweatshop workers.
The corporation; the pathological pursuit of profit and power by Joel Bakan - shows a brief history of incorporation, outlines various cases of corporate mal-practice, and lack of human regard shown by various corporate activites.
Why we fight by Eugene Jaracki - http://www.sonyclassics.com/whywefight/ I haven’t watched this yet but there have been many good reviews, and is exclusively about the military-industrial complex.
The corporation; the pathological pursuit of profit and power by Mark Ackbar and Jennifer Abbot - I urge you to buy the 2 disc edition. After the feature, watch it with the commentary by Joel Bakan, and watch the second disc packed with views from everyone - from Milton Friedman to Noam Chomsky. Every part of disc 1 and 2 is filled with gems.
The above I believe collectively viewed, viewing just one will leave out sentiments explained further in another, and will give you the core arguments and reasons behind anti-globalisation sentiment.
For anyone wishing to understand or pursue the transcendental, I recommend.
http://www.zenergyarts.com/classes.htm#fee - for people in the US, he will refund you your money if you don’t feel chi.
www.wongkk.com - this grandmaster and head of worldwide school, will answer any queries if you respectfully email him. I recommend you take the plunge, and take a course with him. He charges high and for a reason (refund if not happy with course). Email him and ask why, or search the archives of his answers.
The two links I posted above I recommend for people wanting to pursue experimentation, I don’t train with that school any more because I found a different school, but I had the most amazing experience with that grandmaster. Here is a site of cured sickness by the grandmaster; http://www.endofendo.com/english/ ,I met an 80 year old man who was paralysed, and was running around on the course.
Also pursue Reiki. Get attuned to level one and do the practice for the 21 days of self heal, and do it for a bit longer afterwards (maybe a month or 2). Try to learn from someone respected, and also look around for success stories (good attunements are dependant on a good master) , frauds are widespread in the spiritual world.
The inner path of the warrior by A.E. - available from http://www.ukbaguainstitute.co.uk/books_store.htm it has practical exercises that you can do alone, if you can’t be bothered to find teacher. I advise you to find a teacher, you can do the exercises wrong, and really mess up your psyche (trust me).
Anyway, I’m off for a bit, take care, and always smile from your heart.
Oh yeah and free the west Memphis 3 www.wm3.org