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
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Giant celebrations are occurring all over the world--except in the US--for this day in honor of workers. (Some examples: in Zambia, India, France, Cuba, and Russia.)
That's a bit strange since it originated in the USA. It is another example of worker history that our ruling masters have almost disappeared from the consciousness of many American workers. But looking at the history of International Workers' Day, we learn that the day is as American as apple pie!
Our ruling masters have attempted to obliterate its meaning by relabeling the day to various other meanings, by changing it to "Labor Day" and shifting it to the first Monday of September, by removing most of the history of this day from schools and educational materials, and by media corporations portrayal of the day as almost un-American by framing the day as one of potential violence. Isn't it ironic that the most violent ruling class in recorded world history treats American workers with such paranoia?
It started on May 1, 1886 with a workers' rally which led to what it sounds like was a ... false flag event--probably the most favored tactic of our capitalist masters. Historian Yohuru Williams gives us a brief history of the event which led to this day of honor for working people all over the world.
The author focuses our attention on the present and future consequences of artificial intelligence (AI) on the vast majority of humans. Nowhere does the author address that the capitalist system distorts the way this new technology will be used not for the benefit of humans, but for the enrichment of a tiny minority of "owners" who are addicted to not only profits, but power most of all.
There is no doubt that AI will have an enormous impact. There are countless breathless accounts of the number of jobs that will simply disappear as AI sweeps through the economy. These accounts usually appear from those involved in the invention and application of AI. They all end up expressing some form of fatalistic vision where the workplace will inevitably collapse under the impress of technology, wages will similarly collapse for those poor souls unable to keep up with the onslaught of robotics, with the resultant picture being grim for just about everyone except for the few who remain in the so-called “knowledge economy”.Later he describes the inevitability of consequences under the existing social system, but again he doesn't attribute them to capitalism which we can change to serve all of humanity instead of a tiny minority of capitalists:
By simplifying the purpose of a corporation and focusing it exclusively on shareholder value the way was opened for increasing portions of the national wealth to be allocated to profit, away from wages, and thus satisfy the rising demands of investors.For more material to learn about how this new technology of AI will be used under the existing system, I recommend another article entitled "As AI advances rapidly, More Human Than Human says, “Stop, let’s think about this” from Ars Technica.
The consequence was a constant re-writing of the workplace arrangement, with every step designed to reduce worker compensation so as to free up cash for profit.
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Because I am currently having little time to devote to my website, I only scanned this article. What was of special interest to me was the following video.
I believe it illustrates how the Russian government under Putin and the great majority of Russian people have drawn from their long experience under the Soviet Union a hostile attitude against the intrinsic nature of capitalist greed. I don't think that the Russians will ever let the capitalist sector dominate their society, and possibly they will be so disenchanted with capitalism that they will once again turn toward a creation of a new type of socialism.
For months leftist analysts have been warning that the increasingly hysterical anti-Russia narratives being aggressively promoted by the western media would eventually be used to target the political left. Those warnings went largely unheeded in the United States where the Russiagate narrative was being ostensibly used to undermine the Trump administration, and the McCarthyite feeding frenzies which have become normalized for American audiences have now metastasized across the pond to the UK.The author goes off on a well-deserved rant against the the British ruling class (she refers to them as "poms", Australian derogatory slang) for their anti-Russian smearing of Jeremy Corbyn, a prominent British Labour party leader.
This is as fascinating as it is infuriating. By attacking literally anything which poses an obstacle to the loose alliance of western plutocrats and secretive government agencies, the social engineers who are fueling this Russia hysteria are actually closer than ever before to openly admitting that the west is truly ruled by those plutocrats and agencies. They are now this close to saying “Russia is our enemy because it stands in opposition to the corporatist Orwellian oligarchy which is your real government.”But she ends on a very hopeful note--at least for the Brits:
This is a really extraordinary time to be alive. The nationless power establishment which looked completely unshakeable a matter of months ago is now flipping out like a meth addict whose stash just got stolen and publicly overextending itself in an amazingly conspicuous way. The mechanics of western imperialism and the deceitful nature of the mass media propaganda machine which holds it all together have never been as exposed as they are today.
Keep pushing against the machine, clear-eyed rebels. Truth is winning. Truth will prevail. The bastards are about to fall.
I found reading this article to be an emotionally gripping experience. Denker sounds like a very ordinary young American:
I joined the National Guard to pay for college. I didn’t really think of the consequences at the time. After all: I’m an American, I was raised to worship my country and adore the military, and I did. Receiving a college education seemed like fair payment for "service to my country".It was a transforming experience for him.
... the worst part was what I was slowly being forced to accept: everything I had believed in my whole life was a lie. I had always been a patriotic American. I believed we weren’t perfect but that we were “the good guys.” I truly believed that the Afghans wanted us there, that we were protecting and helping them. But now, as I saw the war around me, and why it was being fought, as well as the inhuman attitude towards even the Afghan civilians that my fellow soldiers had, I couldn’t keep believing this lie.But the worst was yet to come. Read (if you can) what he experienced and concluded looking at a five or six year old girl who was searching for and collecting old Soviet mines from a field.
There was no greater example of the lie than the contractors who were there.