We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Ecological Disaster After Disaster: Is Technology Worth the Price Humans Have to Pay?

Click here to access article by Catherine Frompovich from Activist Post
Who pays the price when technology goes wrong, fails, makes a mistake, malfunctions, or is not developed or utilized properly? The answer is ordinary, everyday humans who work to provide food, clothing and shelter for themselves and their families.

The photograph above shows the devastation due to the breach of an iron ore millings dam in Bento Rodrigues, Brazil. That disaster occurred November 5, 2015 when, according to Wikipedia [1], 60 million cubic meters of iron waste flowed into the Doce River. It’s been called the worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history, and yet the world seems not to care about it.
The "world" doesn't seem to care about it because ubiquitous media owned by corporations don't report this kind of news (or TPP, or TTIP [read this], or TISA, or honest news about Syria, Ukraine, etc) simply because they don't want ordinary people to know about it. If they knew about the ongoing degradation of the planet by corporations, they might want to interfere with corporate activities and plans. It's the same with all other news--they don't want ordinary people interfering with their profit opportunities. Under capitalist corporate rule, the guiding principle is "profits über alles". To hell with the planet. To hell with peace. To hell with any kind of democracy. 

The only problem with her essay is that she appears to blame technology! It seems to me that she has been so well indoctrinated by capitalist ideology that she is very much like fish who swim in the ocean--they don't see the water around them. Technology is knowledge of sophisticated tools that humans have devised to secure their happiness, but have since been appropriated by capitalists to accumulate more profits (and power). 

Capitalism is not a natural fact of life. It, too, has been constructed by humans, or by a tiny class of humans and imposed on the rest of us originally several hundred years ago through violence (they removed this from our history books), and in today's world they maintain and expand their profit and power system through violence.  Guess what? Their system can also be deconstructed, and replaced with a new and improved system which serves all humans and doesn't degrade our planet Earth.

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