Posts Tagged ‘Exploitation’
A friend just sent me this, and I admit to being moved by the pure nature of Hedges narrative. On this Memorial Day we may mourn our own troops but we should grieve without ceasing for our nations victims: those we have obliterated, enslaved and left bereft. The foundation of America is built on their bones.
Published on Monday, July 2, 2012 by TruthDig.com
and re-posted today by Common Dreams
Time To Get Crazy
Native Americans’ resistance to the westward expansion of Europeans took two forms. One was violence. The other was accommodation. Neither worked. Their land was stolen, their communities were decimated, their women and children were gunned down and the environment was ravaged. There was no legal recourse. There was no justice. There never is for the oppressed. And as we face similar forces of predatory, unchecked corporate power intent on ruthless exploitation and stripping us of legal and physical protection, we must confront how we will respond.
The ideologues of rapacious capitalism, like members of a primitive cult, chant the false mantra that natural resources and expansion are infinite. They dismiss calls for equitable distribution as unnecessary. They say that all will soon share in the “expanding” wealth, which in fact is swiftly diminishing. And as the whole demented project unravels, the elites flee like roaches to their sanctuaries. At the very end, it all will come down like a house of cards.
Civilizations in the final stages of decay are dominated by elites out of touch with reality. Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth. Karl Marx was correct when he called unregulated capitalism “a machine for demolishing limits.” This failure to impose limits cannibalizes natural resources and human communities. This time, the difference is that when we go the whole planet will go with us. Catastrophic climate change is inevitable. Arctic ice is in terminal decline. There will soon be so much heat trapped in the atmosphere that any attempt to scale back carbon emissions will make no difference. Droughts. Floods. Heat waves. Killer hurricanes and tornados. Power outages. Freak weather. Rising sea levels. Crop destruction. Food shortages. Plagues.
by Ellie Violet Bramley Guardian May 21, 2014
Aid donors and international institutions including the World Bank and World Economic Forum (WEF) have been accused of promoting an environment that fuels land grabs through policies and initiatives that pave the way for large-scale private investment.
In a report published on Tuesday, the NGO ActionAid says public money and policy incentives such as tax breaks and cut-price loans are facilitating land deals that threaten the lives and livelihoods of small-scale farmers in poor countries.
ActionAid warns that the consequences of such deals, which are too often happening behind closed doors and with little or no consultation with local communities, include “forced evictions, human rights violations, lost livelihoods, divided communities … rising food insecurity and, ultimately, increased poverty”.
A spokesman for the World Bank said it was also concerned about the risks of large-scale land deals and stressed that it did not support investments that took advantage of weak institutions in developing countries.
ActionAid’s report says weak governance and regulation of land use and agricultural investments have left millions of smallholder farmers and indigenous people in vulnerable situations “lack[ing] recognition over their land rights, even if they have resided in or used the area for generations”.
ActionAid’s campaign manager, Antoine Bouhey, said a “nexus of different policies” at the global level, which encourage private investment as a route to development, were also to blame.
“Governments are turning to private capital to fill the massive shortfall in public spending but too often this blind rush for investment is leading to land grabs which are leaving communities landless, homeless and hungry. Growth cannot be achieved at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable,” he said.
Quote of the Week We Ain’t Got Time to Bleed
We Ain’t Got Time To Bleed. It’s Time for the Revolution.
“You control our world. You’ve poisoned the air we breathe, contaminated the water we drink, and copyrighted the food we eat. We fight in your wars, die for your causes, and sacrifice our freedoms to protect you. You’ve liquidated our savings, destroyed our middle class, and used our tax dollars to bailout your unending greed. We are slaves to your corporations, zombies to your airwaves, servants to your decadence. You’ve stolen our elections, assassinated our leaders, and abolished our basic rights as human beings. You own our property, shipped away our jobs, and shredded our unions. You’ve profited off of disaster, destabilized our currencies, and raised our cost of living. You’ve monopolized our freedom, stripped away our education, and have almost extinguished our flame. We are hit…we are bleeding…but we ain’t got time to bleed. We will bring the giants to their knees and you will witness our revolution! “
-Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, April 12, 2011
If you take a job away from someone who is paid a reasonable wage because they enjoy the protections and prosperity of democratic government, move it across a border, and give it to someone living under a thugocracy, forced to work for pennies with no protections whatsoever, it should be just plain obvious that the worker on our side of the border and the worker on the other side of the border are not going to be better off. And when you do this on a massive scale it just stands to reason that most people on both sides of the border are going to be worse off.
But propaganda being what it is we were somehow convinced to try a worldwide experiment in taking good jobs from democracies and turning them into bad jobs in thugocracies. Now, of course, the experiment has run its course and we can see the results.
Worker Against Worker
Setting worker against worker enabled a few people to get really, really really wealthy and powerful and use that wealth to become even more wealthy and powerful. Our country is in decline, burdened by massive trade deficits because the ones with vested interests in cheap labor won’t let us won’t take on the mercantilists, burdened by budget deficits because those vested interests have bought low taxes and government subsidies, our infrastructure crumbles because multinational business leaders refuse to invest here, with no more need of us as workers, and the resulting hollowed-out middle class can’t consume anymore. Other countries also suffer from similar stresses.
Out of this situation a new global elite has emerged, contemptuous of democracy and government and any power but the power of their own money. In country after country, these top few won’t share the proceeds with their own, either, while they keep the world from approaching solutions.
“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.” – Frantz Fanon
“Killing One Person Is MURDER–Killing 100,000 Is FOREIGN POLICY.” – Anonymous
January 20, 2011″BlackCommentator” — The United States of America is, in reality, a one-party corporatist state whose very existence is, more than ever, perpetuated by a conscious deliberate denial of reality, even in the face of the obvious.
This nation’s internal and external political, economic, and military policies have nothing whatever to do with “democracy,” “justice,” or “human rights;” and everything to do with exploitation, hegemony, deceit, and control of the many–by the few. No amount of rationalization can change or ameliorate this fact.
Everyday Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people in this actual one-party U.S. corporatist state are the de facto cannon fodder of the corporate / military Democratic and Republican Party foxes and wolves respectively. Moreover, it is utterly absurd and delusionary to expect “hope” to bring about much-needed systemic “change.” The time is here for the people of this nation to dispense with myths, face reality, and change it.
Corporations are in constant covert (and often unabashed overt) control of the White House, the congress, and the judiciary, even as this nation’s infrastructure deteriorates and living standards plummet–along with decent living wages and opportunities for everyday people. The two Rs–Rhetoric and Repression–are what the masses of everyday people are the daily recipients. Meanwhile, the corporate elite of corporations including Honeywell, General Electic, Lockheed, Boeing, and so very many more– rake in billions upon billions of dollars in blood money as they develop and perfect ever more sinister and devastatingly hideous devices and killing machines–to the scourge of humankind and the entire planet. There is no war (declared or undeclared) that the corporate / military elite do not support–for whether any war itself is won or lost–this avaricious corporate / military elite wins. They smugly and arrogantly wrap themselves in apparent political expediency under the cover of grotesquely distorted patriotism–sanctimoniously financially enriching themselves–while bathing in the precious irreplaceable blood of everyday people of this nation and that of people around the globe. This is the corporate trough from which the politicians of this nation drink and to which they are beholden.
With over 800 U.S. military bases / installations throughout this planet–the amoral symbiotic relationship between corporations and politicans in this nation (including the judiciary and ever-compliant corporate-stream “news” media) reeks with the stench of hypocrisy, injustice, subterfuge, and death. As the present robotic, black-faced, corporate / military, nominal head of the U.S. empire shamelessly wages military wars abroad while facilitating repression against political dissenters and against any possibility of having informed, honest, and real dialouge at home; the hypocrisy of ‘America’s’ so called democracy is self evident whether or not people choose to see the obvious.
By Adrianne Appel IPS
BOSTON, Jul 9, 2010 (IPS) – Times are tough for workers in the U.S. where a recession has a stranglehold on much of the economy, but life is perfectly rosy for those at the top.
The riches of the wealthiest North Americans grew by double digits in 2009, primarily from interest their money earned when it was invested in the stock market and elsewhere, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group.
Millionaires in the U.S. and Canada saw their wealth increase 15 percent in 2009, to a total of 4.6 trillion dollars, the report found.
Worldwide, 11 million – or less than 1 percent of all households – were millionaires in 2009. They owned about 38 percent of the world’s wealth or 111 trillion dollars, up from about 36 percent in 2008, according to Boston Consulting Group.
About 4.7 million millionaires live in the U.S., four percent of the population and more than anywhere else in the world. Japan, China, Britain and Germany followed the U.S. in the number of millionaires.
Their fortune is a stark contrast to the lives of more than 15 million people in the U.S. who are unemployed and searching for work, and the eight million more who are just getting by with a part-time job, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than two million more people were working prior to the recession but have now dropped out of the labour force.
By Joe Bageant Deer Hunting with Jesus
July 6, 2010 Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico
As an Anglo European white guy from a very long line of white guys, I want to thank all the brown, black, yellow and red people for a marvelous three-century joy ride. During the past 300 years of the industrial age, as Europeans, and later as Americans, we have managed to consume infinitely more than we ever produced, thanks to colonialism, crooked deals with despotic potentates and good old gunboats and grapeshot. Yes, we have lived, and still live, extravagant lifestyles far above the rest of you. And so, my sincere thanks to all of you folks around the world working in sweatshops, or living on two bucks a day, even though you sit on vast oil deposits. And to those outside my window here in Mexico this morning, the two guys pruning the retired gringo’s hedges with what look like pocket knives, I say, keep up the good work. It’s the world’s cheap labor guys like you — the black, brown and yellow folks who take it up the shorts — who make capitalism look like it actually works. So keep on humping. Remember: We’ve got predator drones.
After twelve generations of lavish living at the expense of the rest of the world, it is understandable that citizens of the so-called developed countries have come to consider it quite normal. In fact, Americans expect it to become plusher in the future, increasingly chocked with techno gadgetry, whiz bang processed foodstuffs, automobiles, entertainments, inordinately large living spaces — forever.