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

Friday, October 22, 2021

Posts that I especially recommend for Friday, October 22, 2021

A US Study suggests children born during the pandemic have lower IQ’s of about 20 points on average. Have governments taken measures during the pandemic that have not looked at things holistically, causing collateral damage? [My inserted reference, included at the end of the article.]
This is not new. As Noam Chomsky has observed:
‘Governments will use whatever technology is available to combat their primary enemy – their own population.’ 
My reaction: This is the secret of success of the US ruling capitalist class. They deliberately have used disinformation to create an ignorant, and compliant public. They do this with the secret, unaccountable "intelligence" services, deceptive articles in their mainstream media, and their control of jobs and careers in every institution.
 My reaction: That is what the ruling capitalist class has done: transformed OWS into a  "movement that seemed to spontaneously appear, crystallize popular anger against powerful banks, and go global was deemed an abject failure. New York Times business columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin, who admitted to scurrying to OWS after the CEO of ​'a major bank' rang him to anxiously inquire if the peasants were going to start chopping off heads, sneered Occupy ​'will be an asterisk in the history books, if it gets a mention at all.'"
The writer for In These Times doesn't convince me that the ruling class hasn't accomplished this feat. With "friends" like Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Socialists of America, how could it have been otherwise?  
This article was posted all over the internet in various online publications. Could the shortages of goods and labor that appear all over corporate news media be in preparation for the public to comply with this trend? Who knows? But I wouldn't be surprised.
Anyway, worker-scientists have developed this technology for the past several decades. The only difference is that these worker-scientists will be well-paid and enjoy safe careers until they, too, have been replaced by AI technology that designs robots. 
Capitalists and their managers (not ours) are smart enough to replace human workers that tire, complain, take sick leave, etc., but also smart enough to create public support for the introduction of robots to replace workers. Capitalists and their managers are also smart enough to use their socioeconomic system to "own" and thus control the replacement of workers for their benefit (not ours). That is precisely why we see billionaires appear and have overwhelming influence regarding governmental policies. They also own and control the government.
Consider another socioeconomic system, for example, socialism. Under the latter system, worker-citizens would own and control the introduction of robots for their benefit: to eliminate more meaningless work and reduce their hours of employment with the same or increased income for workers to enjoy. The decision would be theirs. Such worker-citizens would be more involved with their governing system and the reduced hours would permit that. The reduced work hours would also provide the time to educate themselves into knowledgeable citizens. This time would replace the endless hours of distracting entertainment that capitalism conveniently creates for their workers to pass the time amusing themselves in their scant leisure hours. 
A socialist system might also reduce catastrophic wars because aggressive capitalists would be eliminated and their aggressive ambitions removed. Under a socialist system, worker-citizen leaders might take climate scientists seriously and mitigate the destructive influence of the destabilization of the climate. Which system would you like?
Real Media interviewed Maya Evans who has visited Afghanistan on many occasions in her role at the Afghanistan Peace Project which aims to amplify the voices of women and young people and works on the ground with local grassroots projects in Kabul and surrounding rural areas such as Bamyam.
Following Turkish President Erdoğan’s aggressive statements threatening a new invasion of the neighboring Arab republic, the Syrian army command is moving reinforcements to a possible front line in the Aleppo province. The Syrian military has been conducting intensive combat readiness checks and sending additional units north to the Tell Rifaat and Manbij areas, suspected of another cross-border operation by the Turkish army. In particular, heavy Russian T-90 tanks, Grad multiple rocket launchers, BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, and other weapons have been sent there.  Although the situation here has been relatively calm over the past 24 hours, it appears that Turkey needs time to prepare for an attack on Syrian-controlled territory.

Russian warplanes dropped leaflets printed by the General Command of the Syrian Arab Army on the positions of the militants and the Turkish troops with an ultimatum: any attack will be seen as a violation of the agreements, and Russia will be ready to attack the terrorists and protect the Syrian army as its ally.
My reaction: Meanwhile US soldiers in support of the Kurds occupy the northeastern part of Syria. It's a dangerous mix of volatile elements.
A number of civil society mobilizations have been announced ahead of COP26, including protests by health workers and health activists. We spoke to D Raghunandan from the Delhi Science Forum about the agenda and expectations of the summit.