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Posts Tagged ‘revolution’

In my view, the answer to the question, “Why should one culture destroy another?” is short and simple: It should not. Why do humans repeatedly destroy the diversity that exists in this world? We kill off entire species of animals. We kill off entire human cultures. We commit genocide and ethnocide. We replace diverse crops with mono-crops. The picture that this creates is nightmarish. Are we really that apathetic that we continue to do these things day in and day out, year after year? What is at the heart of this evil?

In every instance named above, the answer points to power, money, and human greed, lawlessness, and injustice. Species of animals like the buffalo were nearly all killed for their hides–dolphins are killed at incredible rates today in Japan. Native cultures were consciously killed for their lands. Cultures are still vanishing today for land and resources; for instance, indigenous groups in Ecuador are being displaced by oil firms. The Nazi’s killed millions of Jews; the Jews now displace the Palestinians. Monsanto and other agricultural giants make mono-crops replace crop diversity. All these things relate back to a desire for power and money by a relatively small group. Meanwhile, the rest of us allow it to happen. We complain about over taxation; complain about the prices of goods and services; complain about unemployment and poverty; complain that minimum wage is not enough. The whole time, the majority allows the minority to rape the earth in the majority’s name.

We need change. We need to learn to respect. We need just laws and just people to live up to them. The time has come to re-evaluate our collective actions and reorient ourselves. Capitalist globalization threatens world diversity. We cannot have more of the same. The Earth’s diversity is vanishing because we allow it to happen. An alternative to Capitalism and its exploitative methods MUST be peacefully appropriated. The rich must not be allowed the fortune of excess; and the poor must not be allowed to die for our inaction any longer. The time has come for humanity to awaken and evolve. We need to realize who controls mass public opinion and how they do it. We need to learn to ignore what the most powerful responsible for the rape and pillage are saying to us; but we need to stop ignoring what they are doing to our planet and it’s inhabitants. The time for change is now. But how can we do it safely? How can we do it without violence? How can we do it and still remain safe from harms way? What type of system must replace the flawed one that now has hold of the world? These questions need to be answered first or the project is futile; greedy in and of itself; meaningless and dangerous. But to go back to the question that started this blog posting: I answered that we should not allow one culture to kill another. We must find a way to allow capitalism and capitalist culture to exist as well. However, we must not let it destroy everything in its path along the way.

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Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Iran, revolution in the Middle Eastern and African regions is spreading. Perhaps the biggest question that arises today is: What will happen with Iran? For years, the west has been at odds with the Iranian government. There has long been the possibility of war between Iran and the US (and US ally Israel). Now, the people themselves are taking to the streets in the tens of thousands: All the while, there is a very real threat that the Iranian government will deal with these protests by killing the leaders of the opposition who unite these crowds. How might this uprising progress in Iran?

It could go several ways: The Iranian government could put an end to the dissent right now by killing the protesters–making any who dare to rise up against the regime think twice; if this happens, this would provide a case in favor of foreign military intervention. Another scenario that could occur is civil war in Iran, where the people begin arming themselves to fight back against the government forces. Yet another possibility is that the people take to the streets en masse as has occurred in Egypt, and topple the current government by the power of numbers alone. If the current regime agrees to change to accommodate the protesters, they may be able to hold onto power.

Many things could happen but the question is: What scenario is most likely to occur? There is always the risk that a writer who makes a hypothesis like this will turn out to be wrong. I am, therefore, skeptical to make a guess. But, nonetheless, I will venture an opinion. I think the most likely outcome will begin with more Iranians taking to the streets, first. Next, the Ahmadinejad government will use the armed forces to round-up opposition leaders and execute them and many found supporting them. This will result in anti-Ahmadinejad sentiment in world media–giving fuel to US, Israel, NATO and the UN to intervene. Many in Iran will begin to hate Ahmadinejad’s regime even more than now. The US, for years, has been looking for an excuse to go into Iran: If the people are not able to topple the government themselves, there is no better time for military intervention. The war in Iraq has wound down significantly; though there is still US military presence there. The war in Afghanistan is seemingly beginning to slow with a gradual hand-over of power to Afghan security forces expected shortly in the future. Soldiers could be redeployed to Iran to aid the people in taking down a perceived hostile regime.

It is unclear how the scenario in Iran will unfold but I have, reluctantly, stated my opinion regarding the possibilities. There is a good chance that I am drastically wrong and the protesters there might all go home this evening and forget about the whole “freedom” thing altogether. Given the way revolution has spread in these regions so fiercely over the past few weeks, I think it is unlikely that we will see an end just yet.

~Justin Allen Philcox

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Popular uprising occurs at a time when the people want to be heard and not just told what to do. People want power over their own lives; even, it can be argued,  if power merely comes in the form of a democratic process. People want to feel that they have a say over who governs them. The 20th century saw mass protests around the world in the name of Democracy–we saw some of the most gruesome of wars imaginable in the name of defending Democracy and Capitalism against the spread of Communism. The US fought wars in Europe, South America, and throughout Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia,  and Korea); all, by their logic, to stop the spread of Fascism and Communism. Millions fought and died so that one ideology (Democracy) could flourish.

The questions still remains whether Democracy is real or imagined; or whether it is even a good thing to let the majority decide–How much of a say do the people really have about the kinds of rulers they choose and the political ideologies that political parties espouse? Most contemporary world politicians are seemingly inextricably linked to Neoliberal and Neoconservative ideologies that stress the importance of free market capitalism and globalization; and this scenario  appears more and more to play out in favor of the economic elite at the demise of the world’s majority. The question that the 2011 revolutions raise for me is whether  the people have had enough of Neoliberalism/Neoconservativism; in which the majority suffers at the hands of the minority; or whether people merely want to say that they live in a Democracy where they feel that they actually have some say about who they have as their leader.

If, the people merely want democratically elected government, then these revolutions may only occur in nations where Democracy has not taken root. However, if these revolutions are occurring because there is a problem with the main political ideology in the world today (Neoliberalism/Neoconservativism) then these three revolutions may not be the only ones that the world experiences this year; or in the decade to come. If it is a question not of Democracy but of dominant political ideology, the consequences of these first dominoes falling could be much grander than these, relatively small, national revolutions crossing borders this past month.

Only time can tell…but how the story is told in the media can have a great impact on how the rest of the world’s people choose to react and respond. If the world is told that it is because the people desire Democracy, the resultant spill-over into other nations could be minimal; however, if rhetoric is turned toward ideology, the result could be world altering. My assumption, seeing that most forms of media are owned by those gaining from the current economic power structure in place, is that these revolutions will be framed around the attainment of Democracy as the desired form of good government. The power of discourse in this case is critical.

~Justin Allen Philcox

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