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

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Posts that I especially recommend for Sunday, April 18, 2021

A prestigious university located in the heart of London, King’s College has, in its own words, “a number of contracts and agreements with various departments within government, including the Cabinet Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Ministry of Defence.” Some of those contracts are up to 10 years long. The university has so far refused to elaborate on the agreements, telling investigative news outlet Declassified UK that doing so could undermine U.K. security services.
  • How the Rich Keep Workers Poor — Outsourcing and Sweatshops by Rod Driver from his weblog Elephants in the Room. My reaction: Notice that he only makes unidentified references to "a system". He is another author who regards capitalism as another reality like the sun, moon, and stars instead of man-made. Therefore his recommended "solutions" are merely reforms and absolutely ineffective.
... the keys of the food system are already being handed over to data platforms, e-commerce giants, and private equity firms. This could mean dismantling the diversified food webs that sustain 70% of the world's population and provide environmental resilience. It could mean putting the food security of billions of people at the mercy of high-risk AI-controlled farming systems and opaque supply corridors.

And yet, there is nothing inevitable about this dystopian future. 
I think that as long as we tolerate capitalism and its goal to maximize only profits, a dystopian future is guaranteed. I am not only referencing the ultimate extinction that we will inevitably experience, but I am arguing that in the time we have left if we do not reject capitalism and replace it with socialism (a system of governance that publicly owns and controls the economy for the benefit of all people) that a near-term dystopian future is guaranteed.
  • Fukushima Daiichi Radioactive Dumping and the Summer Olympics in Japan In Question by Vladimir Odintsov from New Eastern Outlook.
    ... according to Kyodo, which recently conducted a social survey of residents about the holding of the Olympics in Tokyo, most Japanese residents oppose its holding in 2021. 39% of the Japanese surveyed were in favor of canceling the Games, and about 33% were in favor of postponing the Olympics. Only 24.5% of Japanese residents are positive about the fact that thousands of athletes from all over the world will come to the Japanese capital in the summer of 2021. [I supplied this link.]

    In these conditions, the new Japanese government, balancing on the mood of the population of its country, has been looking for an opportunity for several months to find an objective reason for canceling the Olympic Games and report it “without losing face.” Finally, as reported by the British The Times, citing responsible sources, the Japanese government is still tacitly inclined to the decision to cancel the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo “because of the Covid-19 pandemic”, intending, nevertheless, to claim the right to hosting the 2032 Games.