"the freedom of all is essential to my freedom"

human and animal liberation

Posts Tagged ‘antiglobalism

Building Alternatives

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As residents of the western world we often complain about working conditions and low salaries. However, in comparison with the residents of developing countries, and especially China, our situation is a whole lot better. Don’t get me wrong here, we are also slaves of global capitalism, the slaves of our employers, banks and we are fine as long as we play to their rules. Every day we meet with negative issues such as abuse of power, consumerism, or unemployment, crimes and corruption too. And obviously in the Western world, there are many things that should be changed as soon as possible.

But in many ways the face of globalization with whom we deal is milder than the one which face workers from other countries. Mass production is operating for us – the West. And they produce because we consume and we never have enough. So in many cases, we make use of other people’s murderous work for our conformity. A new iPad for example. Last (and next), corporate affair perfectly illustrates what mass production is based on, and in what way corporations earn their millions. That’s not all, we may blame those awful corporations once again, we can blame the Chinese politicians. Together we can admit, it’s terrible that the desperate workers are not allowed to commit suicide! Or that they are forced to massive overtime and are banned from talking and are made to stand up for their 12-Hour Shifts. The problem is that soon after we will express our indignation we log on to Facebook using our iPhone. Guess where your iPhone was produced? This does not mean that we are evil people though. We were taught we need more stuff that we really need. But look where it led us.

BOYCOTT

So people say, Ok, let’s boycott Apple products straight away! But I partly agree here with Noam Chomsky who said: “If only a few people do it, it isn’t going to have any effect – it just means that some guy picking bananas in East Costa Rica isn’t going to have money to feed his children tomorrow” and also “So there might be particular moment when a boycott of something would be helpful. But as general matter, I don’t think they really make a lot of sense frankly. I mean, suppose we got millions of people to stop buying: what would happen? The economic system barely functions as it is – I mean, the contemporary economic system is a complete catastrophe (…) So you know they maybe worthwhile as a tactic at some point, but what’s really required is just a complete of rethinking of the entire nature of economic interactions and structures – there really is no other way to overcome this massive failure of the economy”. Another thing is how many products we use every day were not made in China? Two? So yes, boycott sounds good, quick response to injustice. But the results do not meet expectations. We need to change the entire system, not one company. The problem is not just Apple and Foxconn. The problem is the whole globalization, based on exploitation and false premises. So we need to start to build new solutions, rather than focus all attention on the politics of protest. Protest is important, but it rarely brings a radical change.

BUILDING ALTERNATIVES

Fortunately after years of struggle with globalization, it seems, that many of the activists comes to the point where you realize, that the only way to end exploitation, poverty and abuse is to build a self-governing society, based on the local economy. But what does it really mean? Well, for example, that rather than to import apples from China, you better grow them in a village 10 km from your city. Why do you buy apples from China, since you can have it locally? Without pesticides and transport issue which pollutes the environment. I mean if we pollute the environment we also pollute ourselves. People must finally understand that. And I think that in this direction we must go. Want an iPhone? Produce it locally. Just follow the principles. Don’t destroy the environment and don’t hurt others for your own interests. You are not able to produce it locally? Ask if you really need it. And if so, then buy elsewhere and make sure that its manufacturers were well rewarded. Sure, I know it’s easy to say and I do realize this requires a redefinition of the whole system of thinking. But at the end of day what’s left? 12 hours shifts for €5.20 or 30 year mortgages to own a house?

Localization can result in reducing power of multinational capital while increasing the strength of local societies. Local communities very rarely want to hurt themselves. Therefore, the proposed solutions are based on ethics. Nobody wants to drink contaminated water, no one wants to be poor and exploited. So we have a whole package of ideas: community banks, local economy, green energy, self-organized businesses, support groups, etc. For big business it has no meaning. They just want profit. For the community it is the basis of sustainability. For the community it does matter are people happy.

Finally there’s an old saying: if you want to get something done, do it yourself. This works not only in the micro level but also in the macro scale. Do you want a better life? Start to build it with others. No one can do this for you. No government or company. And you won’t be able to do it on your own. But there’s a great group of others who look for change, who seek values in their lives and communities. Whether you’re in Canada or in Chile start building alternatives. This is the best way to oppose the policies of inequality and lack of ethics.

Written by Kruk

May 11, 2011 at 8:47 pm

A non-utopian anarchism

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You can’t hide the fact that the general seems to see anarchism as an utopia, an invention of idealists that can’t be realized. These comments usually result from an erroneous conviction of the fact that anarchists call for chaos and lack of control, not agreeing with the creation of organizations or associations, and if that was not enough they place their naive belief in human morality. And doesn’t it look like a utopia?

Of course, yes! Except that it has nothing to do with anarchism. These are the myths that have arisen over the years from a variety of reasons. To be exact, unfortunately, some environmental and leftist factions let people believe in these stereotypes. However, to put an end to these allegations of being utopian we need to straight out a few things

Firstly, anarchism is not an antidepressant drug, it won’t cause that every person in the world will be happy and free of existential problems. Secondly, anarchism doesn’t mean chaos, and only calls for a radical change in the organization of society, one that will give control and power in the hands of people. I emphasize the word control. Indeed it is feasible not only in the writings of Bakunin and Kropotkin, but also in practice. Examples from history, which I often mention in previous posts indicate that the self-organized cooperatives, unions or associations existed and still exist, developing the best forms of self-governance and self-contol. The organization of social life and economic development doesn’t need to be based on the handover of power in the hands of politicians, bravely pursuing the interests of the corporation.

Thirdly – the question of ethics. So anarchism doesn’t penetrate specifically philosophical discourse on whether a human is born bad or good. I would say even that, in its assumptions anarchism is more reasonable than the current system, because in the so-called democracy people enrtust in the goodness of a handful of chosen ones, who often respond to themselves , and society has no real control over their actions. I don’t even try to list all examples of what the rulers are capable of as I would probably use the whole capacity of the server if I would be willing to present only the proven crimes. So who is utopian here? What for many is therefore associated with youthful rebellion is in fact a specific doctrine, offering concrete change. It is researched and developed from many years by thinkers and scientists such as Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Abramowski, Chomsky and Black or Thonar.

It is important to realize that the current social order exploits and discriminates masses of people daily, it degenerates them, it forces them into slave labor iincluding children and women, it tortures animals imprisoned in laboratories and destroys everything that is natural. It is therefore our duty to stand together in defense of those exploited as we all benefit from their work and existence. It is our duty to fight for the rights of humans, animals and the rescue of the environment. As we all benefit from their pain and suffering.

I recommend the full details – Anarchism. This is not utopia, but a solution.

Written by Kruk

September 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm