Archives for June 2018

What part of the web will you weave?

spider-web-with-water-beads-network-dewdropJune 20, 2018

One of the comments on my last blog post, I Just Figured It Out, (talking about Disaster Capitalism) was “What do we do?” reflecting that feeling of despair we all face when contending with an unimaginable power way beyond our own.

It’s hard to think about what we can do. We want some one answer, a big one, that will stop all of the horror immediately. (As I’ve said before, I wouldn’t mind a few lightning bolts from heaven….), but we all know a higher power is not going to send down fire to stop the greedy.

At the time of the Vietnam War protests I was a draft counselor. With a lot of help from a lawyer, I informed young men (women weren’t drafted) of their rights under the law. If they wanted to be conscientious objectors, I listened and asked questions so they could figure out what they wanted to say. I also told them about the option to be Resisters, to refuse to follow the draft law, but some of the people in the Resistance groups were upset at me. They thought everyone should be Resisters, everyone should be ready to go to jail or Canada.

But not everyone was ready. What we needed was a billion different approaches to opposing the war. We needed the legal draft counseling and the Resistance. We needed the peaceful marches and the invasions of draft boards by priests, nuns, and lay members of the Catholic Workers who burned all the records of those with the rating A1 who were scheduled to be drafted. We needed letters and calls to congress members. We needed boycotts, sit ins. We needed all of it to finally get the war ended.

So much more do we need a billion approaches to end Disaster Capitalism and all the horrible things it brings all over the world. Choose a place. Choose an organization. Choose a cause you believe in and put your heart into it.

But, we also need to tell the truth. Don’t be afraid to tell it because you know there are people out there who will pooh-pooh you, who won’t believe, who will think you’re just some mixed up radical. I understand this fear because I have not told people about disaster capitalism so many times. But I know now I need to write about it and point out its relationship to whatever evil people are worrying about. To find out the relationship, just follow the money:

War? Sales of military equipment, acquisition of land, oil, resources, etc. Accumulation of money and power.

Global Warming? The chance to move in on devastated communities, privatize at great profit, acquire land, etc. Accumulation of money and power.

Racism? They’d like to return to slavery, and through unequal prosecution of laws, etc., are incarcerating more people than any other country in the world. See The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. Also pitting groups against each other keeps people from uniting and standing up to the powerful together. More Accumulation of Money and Power. (Let’s call it AMP)

Immigration? Private prisons are raking in the money and now for the children, private “child care”. AMP

Unequal wages for women, child labor, minimum wage? Profits and AMP.

Pharmaceutical misuse? Profits and….

Education? Privatization with great profits to the privatizers. Isolation of children with needs and no money to provide for their needs because capitalists believe in survival of the fittest and don’t want to spend any of their accumulated wealth on making life better for those with special needs.

Cancer? The lack of regulation of polluters means more money for the CEO’s of the companies (not their workers, of course) and again – survival of the fittest means we don’t care about the sick (and yes, for their own families, they have the financial means to avoid the pollution, pay for health care, etc.)

Health care costs? Big profits for the insurance companies… and see above.

Factory farms? When I received a small inheritance from my mother and went to an investment advisor for “socially responsible investing”, I was given a long list of concerns I did not want my investments to support – like racism, women’s equal pay, etc. I checked almost all of them but couldn’t find anything about animal rights.

The advisor’s eyebrows shot up. It was not a cool leftist thing to be concerned about. I heard it referred to recently as a “boutique” protest. But Factory farms are also part of the disaster capitalism problem. Not only from the point of view of the poor animals who are kept in horrendous conditions, but for those of you who eat them. Accumulation of Money and Power.

We share our planet with many different other species. We do not own them. We are not of greater worth to the earth than they are. Disaster capitalism would say they are not of worth to the “fittest” of the humans, so why worry about them. Destroy their habitat to extract oil and minerals. (Maybe set up special parks and wildlife preserves or places you can hunt them and mount their heads on your walls for the very rich, but only if there’s no profit to be made by exploiting the land ….)

I wonder if there’s a worthy cause out there that does not have some link back to Disaster Capitalism? If we choose to work on a cause that is close to our own hearts – and understand how Disaster Capitalism is an underlying problem for this cause – working together we can create a web of consciousness to catch the greed before it destroys us all.

What part of the web will you weave?

 

In my book, The Earth Woman Tree Woman Quartet, the protagonists, who have shape shifted to the form of one of their Tla Twein (see former post “Exploring Our Tla Twein”), are trying to bring humans back into the sacred Dance of Life, the Tsin Twei.  The Tsin Twei is in danger from many directions, but they all lead back to one place — corporate malfeasance.

You can order print versions from Powell’s Books or your local independent bookstore, or purchase print and ebook versions at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Want to explore your own Tla Twein? In the fall I will be presenting a workshop in Oakland, CA where we will move and sing, write and create art work in search of the reason our particular Tla Twein call us. Contact me at connie@deephum.com for more information.  Put “Tla Twein Workshop” in the subject line.

I Just Figured It Out

global-warming-ppt-free-download-free-download-global-warming-powerpoint-presentation-with-slides-ideasI just figured it out. 

I always thought it was really weird that so many big business owners (and politicians dependent on big business owners for contributions) refuse to “believe” in climate change and the science that says humans are responsible. It’s so obvious. It’s been made abundantly clear by scientists all over the world. How could they be so stupid?

Stupid? Maybe not.

I was listening to a radio program about Puerto Rico where someone pointed out that after the hurricane Puerto Ricans are being pushed out of Puerto Rico (or dying) just as the people of New Orleans were pushed out after Hurricane Katrina. Big business is moving in.

I remembered the book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein.[i] She told about the teachings of Milton Friedman, an economist who wanted to “return” to pure capitalism, a place with no government regulations and no trade barriers. The only way we could get there was to “deliberately inflict painful shocks” (Klein, p.60).  You could move in on a country after a foreign invasion, or after a disaster, and privatize – basically take over the economy.

This is actually taught as good economics at many universities around the country.

This works great for the rich.

Not so much for the middle class and poor. Klein points out that, “some of the most infamous human rights violations of this era [50’s through maybe today?], which have tended to be viewed as sadistic acts carried out by antidemocratic regimes, were in fact either committed with the deliberate intent of terrorizing the public or actively harnessed to prepare the ground for the introduction of radical freemarket ‘reforms.’” (Klein, p.11)

And then the big corporations move in.

We’ve seen it in Nigeria. How about this Newsweek headline: Oil Spills in Nigeria Could Kill 16,000 Babies a Year.[ii] That was Shell Oil.

There’s the devastating war on Yemen. One million people with cholera. Who benefits? Saudi Arabian big corporations and their allies. Who are their allies?  Guess.[iii]

When Hurricane Katrina happened many people were shipped out of New Orleans and still haven’t been able to return. Wealthy business owners took advantage of the chaos and confusion to privatize the government services (many schools were closed and replaced with charter schools, often operated by private companies, for instance), to buy up the land from the devastated home owners, etc. – in other words, to rip the people of the area off.

Now it’s happening in Puerto Rico.

It’s called Disaster Capitalism.

How does that relate to not believing in Climate Change? Were both hurricanes a result of Climate Change?  Probably at least the greater size of them can be attributed to Climate Change, but that really doesn’t matter. We know that Climate Change is going to bring more extreme weather, more disasters all over the world.

What about the supposed stupidity of the big business men and politicians?
This is what I finally figured out.
It isn’t stupidity.  It’s duplicity.

Just as Exxon knew about – “believed in” – climate change forty years ago and hid that knowledge from the rest of us,[iv] I believe that all these corporate dudes and right-wing politicians understand that climate change is happening, and know that it’s a result of human behavior, but are lying to us about their “un-belief” so they don’t have to look like selfish cruel despots when they refuse to stop it from happening.

If we allow climate change to happen, there will be more and more opportunities to move in on people devastated by disaster, steal their homes, their land, their communities, and enrich the rich.  Bonus? Lots of poor people die and the rich don’t have to deal with them anymore.

Appalling isn’t it?
Disgusting, ugly, mean, and immoral.
Sinful – from the point of view of any of the major religions.

 

[i] Klein, Naomi, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine

[ii] Gaffey, Conor, Newsweek, http://www.newsweek.com/nigeria-oil-oil-spills-neonatal-mortality-702506

[iii] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/12/21/one-million-people-have-caught-cholera-in-yemen-you-should-be-outraged/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7eae815d3873

[iv] Schwartz, John, New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/23/climate/exxon-global-warming-science-study.html

“They found that Exxon’s climate change studies, published from 1977 to 2014, were in line with the scientific thinking of the time. Some 80 percent of the company’s research and internal communications acknowledged that climate change was real and was caused by humans. But 80 percent of Exxon’s statements to the broader public, which reached a much larger audience, expressed doubt about climate change.”

 

In my book, The Earth Woman Tree Woman Quartet, the protagonists, who have shape shifted to the form of one of their Tla Twein (see former post “Exploring Our Tla Twein”), are trying to bring humans back into the sacred Dance of Life, the Tsin Twei.  The Tsin Twei is in danger from many directions, but they all lead back to one place — corporate malfeasance.

You can order print versions from Powell’s Books or your local independent bookstore, or purchase print and ebook versions at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Want to explore your own Tla Twein? In the fall I will be presenting a workshop in Oakland, CA where we will move and sing, write and create art work in search of the reason our particular Tla Twein call us. Contact me at connie@deephum.com for more information.  Put “Tla Twein Workshop” in the subject line.