Wednesday, December 17, 2014

 

The Corporation Man

Watching the Erroll Morris film The Unknown Known, an interview with former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, we are reminded that the Cold War initiated by President Truman in 1948 led to what I would call the parade of monsters and monstrosities at the CIA, the National Security Agency and the Pentagon. Having previously seen The Fog of War, Morris’ film interview of former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, I can only conclude that Cold War assumptions — characterized by the corporation man embodied in Rumsfeld and McNamara — inevitably promoted psychopaths like Rumsfeld and his protege Dick Cheney into positions of power.
Those assumptions, based on American religious and moral entitlement to global hegemony, emanate from both of these revealing documentaries.

Monday, December 08, 2014

 

GOP AGs

As the New York Times reports, a majority of state attorneys general are now Republican. Combined with the new GOP-controlled U.S. Congress, that means coal, oil and gas companies will be able to write (and likely pass) any legislation they want over the next couple years. Indeed, they already are.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

 

Romantic Warrior Cults

As Rudolph C. Ryser of the Center for World Indigenous Studies noted in his interview at IC Magazine, the US Government extends legitimacy to some indigenous nations in the form of federally-recognized tribes, but due to termination policies of the past, most American Indians no longer live on reservations. These officially displaced Indians, some enrolled tribal members and some not, harbor understandable grievances. 

Prior to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP) proposal, put forward by Bolivian President Evo Morales at the UN in 2010, most indigenous nations were busy dealing with modern states domestically, not internationally. In the US and Canada, indigenous governing authorities spent most of the last half century rebuilding their societies in the aftermath of genocidal colonial conquest. 

Due to combined efforts of church and state, these indigenous societies were devastated, and dysfunctional in many ways. Christianity and alcohol made traditional indigenous governance impossible. Dependence on church and state, psychologically and financially, created internal conflict that made indigenous nations susceptible to corruption by corporations, often working alongside church and state.

The rejection of this paradigm by the National Indian Brotherhood, forerunner of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) in Canada, by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), by the American Indian Movement, and by traditional indigenous leaders led to important reforms in church and state policy toward indigenous nations. This in turn led to reforms within indigenous nations, eager to reassert jurisdiction over their traditional territories, and desperate for educational and economic development.

Policies of traditional indigenous leaders sometimes conflict with elected indigenous authorities, but both have legitimacy within their societies, so these conflicts have to be worked out within each indigenous nation. Modern states still try to impose their will on indigenous nations, but with the discrediting of church and state colonial policy, states like Canada and the US mostly collude with corporations to co-opt NGOs and to corrupt indigenous governing authorities.

In the international arena, most of the work advocating for indigenous nations status has been done by NGOs. With the WCIP, indigenous governing authorities have begun to resume their rightful place in world affairs. Free trade and climate change propelled them onto the world stage.

Since the UN is an organization of modern states, it created the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII) as an advisory body. When it came to organizing the WCIP, the UN called on PFII to designate regional coordinators. In North America, the coordinators chosen were from NGOs, and the hosts at the regional preparatory meeting called themselves the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus (NAIPC).

Resentful of indigenous governing authorities, NAIPC tried to prevent them from participating in the regional meeting, and subsequently submitted a fraudulent report to the UN. When indigenous nations organized themselves to participate in the WCIP at UN headquarters in September 2014, NAIPC decided to boycott the event. Some NAIPC leaders went on to attack indigenous governing authorities, claiming superior status for themselves. 

Many NGOs that make up NAIPC are funded by Wall Street foundations. Their leaders have built careers of moral theatrics, which Wall Street is happy to fund, as it undermines the ability of indigenous nations to challenge modern states. Only indigenous governing authorities can assert territorial jurisdiction, so anything that weakens them is a worthwhile investment.

NGOs are not representative of indigenous societies. They are not chosen or elected by indigenous nations to lead them. Usurping the voice of traditional leaders, these NGOs then posit themselves as more authentic than governing authorities. It is this nonsense that sometimes leads to romantic warrior cults.

Associations of indigenous governing authorities, i.e. NCAI, and Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, strengthen indigenous nations in fighting modern states. Undermining them benefits Wall Street.

Friday, November 07, 2014

 

Gates vs. Democracy

Gates Foundation, founded on proceeds from Microsoft, is understandably oriented toward pursuing privatization worldwide. It is, after all, what made Gates wealthy and influential.
Privatization of global agriculture, like health and education, is a major project of Gates Foundation. Partnered with other corporations like Monsanto, Microsoft uses the monopoly model to eliminate competition, as well as to annihilate opposition from organic growers and indigenous peoples displaced by the global plantation system Gates supports.
Gates Foundation investments in GMO research and the fast food industry make it a powerhouse in promoting the use of petrochemical agriculture now poisoning the planet. As reported at Grain, this guiding philosophy puts the world’s largest philanthropy squarely at odds with biodiversity, human rights and democracy.

Monday, October 27, 2014

 

Protected with Love

As noted in the Guardian, indigenous land rights could transform Canada. "Protected with love by indigenous nations over generations," lands guarded from industrial consumerism are a gift from First Nations to all Canadians.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

 

Mafia States: Grim Future of Social Collapse

Mafia states, exemplified by the top four most populous countries (India, China, Indonesia and the US), forecast a grim future of social collapse. Indeed, this collapse is well underway, and promises to get significantly worse as untreatable diseases and environmental catastrophes escalate.

Some aspects of mafia states -- i.e. militarism, media control, market corruption, wealth transfer and official lawlessness -- add up to a meta trend toward violent chaos. The impact on global society can already be seen as international institutions like the UN, NATO and World Bank collaborate with mafia states.

In response to mafia state agendas, economic panic and religious hysteria exacerbate social chaos, justifying totalitarian control of education, communications and journalism. Amid the coming plague and resource scarcity, fear, hate and revenge will rule the day.

Monday, October 06, 2014

 

Consumer Culture and Mental Health

I was thinking about what a rich opportunity it is, in the aftermath of the climate week hoopla, for academic associations -- particularly in anthropology, sociology and psychology -- to solicit papers and schedule conferences on communications, journalism and public mental health in a netwar environment. 

The social engineering and self-delusion on climate change is so pervasive and lethal in consequence, that I would expect at least a couple noteworthy op-eds in mainstream media, and maybe a high profile counter-narrative that views the celebritization of Naomi Klein as a mental health symptom of consumer culture thriving on fantasies.

This would be an appropriate topic, for instance, as a theme issue at IJOC, the International Journal of Communication. Maybe a feature story in Harper's or the New Yorker.

Recent research shows that renewable energy cannot even begin to come close to replacing fossil fuels at the level of US consumption, and that this consumer demand is increasing. Indeed, American culture is based on high consumption, and US society is mentally ill as a result. World Health Organization statistics note this mental health crisis is particularly pronounced in the US, and negatively affects immigrants when they try to adapt to the American way of life. 

I think that many Americans who hope we can continue consuming four times the energy per capita as the rest of the world  -- by developing some magical "clean energy" -- will become psychologically depressed as reality intrudes on this chimera. In my view, this geography of mental ill health (as well as official corruption) prevents the international community from achieving anything useful on the Kyoto Protocols, Cochabamba Accord, or UNDRIP. 

Some conclude that Americans don't care enough about suffering in the rest of the world to curb their consumption.

My take is that Americans are politically illiterate, and in their infantile level of awareness, changing US society is so far beyond their collective ability that they cannot imagine anything but fantasies based on false hope and advertising. 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?