Pulitzer-winning author and former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges has a revolutionary worldview. In the video below, his recent “Endgame Strategy” piece for AdBusters is read aloud by George Atherton. His conclusions are chilling, but not entirely hopeless. “We will have to take care of ourselves,” he wrote. “We will have to rapidly create small, monastic communities where we can sustain and feed ourselves. It will be up to us to keep alive the intellectual, moral and cultural values the corporate state has attempted to snuff out. It is either that or become drones and serfs in a global corporate dystopia. It is not much of a choice. But at least we still have one.
Tag Archives | Globalization
An interview with Richard Thomas, author of the excellent book, PARA-NEWS — UFOs, Ghosts, Conspiracy Cryptids, and More — a collection of essays and interviews (with Nick Redfern, Nick Pope, and others) that first appeared on Binnall of America, UFO Mystic, Sci-Fi Worlds, and other venues. Interviewed by Henry Baum, author of the conspiracy novel, The American Book of the Dead.
Henry Baum: In your book, you frequently raise the specter of Alex Jones and his ideas on eugenics, the New World Order, and so on. Personally, I take some issue with Alex Jones for a few reasons, and I wonder if you could address them. The main thing that leaps out about Alex Jones is that he never raises the UFO issue — you actually interview someone at Infowars who seems pretty disinterested in the whole subject. This seems like a fairly impossible assertion to make — it’s pretty clear that there is something going on with the UFO issue, if only because the government explanation for many sightings is so suspiciously stupid.… Read the rest
Rana Foroohar writes in TIME:
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Tis the season to be selfish. Right after the global financial crisis exploded in 2008, many economists fretted that countries looking to hold on to their share of a shrinking pie would become more self-interested and protectionist, plunging the planet into an even sharper downturn, just as happened in the 1930s after the Great Depression. Thanks to panic-fueled crisis management by policymakers, it didn’t happen. But after three years of pain and very little economic gain, it may be happening now.
The signs are everywhere. Europeans are in the middle of a potentially calamitous debt crisis, one that threatens not only the survival of the euro zone but the idea of the European Union itself: politicians are starting to talk about rolling back visa-free travel between countries. Meanwhile, OPEC is falling apart as the Saudis and the Iranians bicker over how to control the world’s energy spigots.
The Utopianist discusses one (slightly hellish) idea of what the city of the future may look like — the ‘aerotropolis’, in which the airport is at the city’s geographic and economic core, and daily life increasingly resembles being inside an endlessly sprawling airport:
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It’s a city that’s built around an airport, the bigger the better, with factories and/or traders, both dependent on air freight, close by, followed by a ring of malls and hotels, followed by a ring of residential neighborhoods. The airport isn’t an annoyance, located as far out of the way as possible, but the city’s heart, its raison d’être.
While the vision of a city based around an airport may seem novel, there are such aerotropolises already in existence, like Ecuador’s capital, Quito. We already have a few cities in the United States that roughly adhere to this model — Memphis, our nation’s major FedEx hub, and Seattle, the home of Boeing.
When a large multinational corporation is looking to cut costs, what does it do? Send jobs overseas to a less modernized country — one where salaries are a fraction of those at home and the law provides few rights or protections for workers — and watch the profits roll in. We are speaking, of course, of Sweden’s IKEA, and Virginia, USA. Is this our economic future? Current reports:
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Here we are, folks. Sweden’s third-world sweatshop. IKEA takes advantage of the destruction to our economy caused by outsourcing jobs by outsourcing their own jobs to the U.S. — and paying less than the workers in Sweden get ($8 in the U.S., $19 + better benefits in Sweden, for making the same products), about 50% of what the median income is in Danville (the town where IKEA’s sweatshop is located), with much stricter and abusive practices in the Danville facility, and with many less rights.
Deep in one of the remotest parts of the Brazilian Amazon, in a clearing at the headwaters of the Envira River, an Indian man looks up at an aeroplane. He is surrounded by kapok trees and banana plants, and by the necessities of his life: a thatched hut, its roof made from palm fronds; a plant-fiber basket brimming with ripe pawpaw; a pile of peeled manioc, lying bright-white against the rain forest earth.
The man’s body is painted red from crushed seeds of the annatto shrub, and in his hand...
Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: fundamentalism and ethnic conflict; climate chaos and species extinction; financial instability and unemployment. There are personal costs too. For the majority of people on the planet, life is becoming increasingly stressful. We have less time for friends and family and we face mounting pressures at work.
Helena Bedwell writes on Bloomberg:
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Georgian authorities detained a scrap-metal hunter for cutting a main Internet cable near Tbilisi, the Interior Ministry said. The break in the cable left tens of thousands of residents and businesses without Internet access in Georgia and all of Armenia on March 28, the ministry said.
A 75-year-old woman was arrested on evidence given by several witnesses and was “temporarily released due to her old age,” ministry spokesman Zurab Gvenetadze said today in a phone interview in Tblisi. She will be questioned again and may face charges, Gvenetadze said.
The incident cut Armenia’s Internet access for more than 12 hours, Gvenetadze said. An unidentified spokeswoman for Caucasus Online, one of the largest Georgina Internet service providers, said customers lost access to the World Wide Web for almost five hours.
Georgian Railway Telecom LLC spokesman Giorgi Ionatamishvili said the cable belonged to the company and customers suffered “massive and catastrophic” damage.
In a fantastic piece for Vanity Fair, acclaimed economist Joseph Stiglitz discusses what America’s vast income inequality means for our future — in short, how it will corrode and distort every aspect of society:
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Some people look at income inequality and shrug their shoulders. So what if this person gains and that person loses? What matters, they argue, is not how the pie is divided but the size of the pie. That argument is fundamentally wrong. An economy in which most citizens are doing worse year after year—an economy like America’s—is not likely to do well over the long haul. There are several reasons for this.
First, growing inequality is the flip side of something else: shrinking opportunity. Whenever we diminish equality of opportunity, it means that we are not using some of our most valuable assets—our people—in the most productive way possible. Second, many of the distortions that lead to inequality—such as those associated with monopoly power and preferential tax treatment for special interests—undermine the efficiency of the economy.