Michael Wharton There Is Always A Theory: politics, anarchy, religion, atheism and science. now with poetry!

29Feb/121

The Death Throes Of Capitalism: Anonymous Occupy Wikileaks; Theory

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Is Capitalism A Malevolent Force For Control Of Consumption?

I personally really dislike capitalism, let us just get that out of the way. That is my opinion, it is based on the fact that its principles of wealth acquisition causes a massive disparity between richest and poorest. The stark contrast between the consequences of success and failure leads to a control over material resources that we all need equally. Then there is the fact that resources are seen completely objectively, no matter how destructive or costly it is to obtain them.  There is no greater example for these factors than the oil industry. At each stage in the process of extracting and selling petroleum products, there is some form of evil added. Land is acquired many times under duress, defended militarily and the sea itself is plundered. Workers in some countries are threatened with violence and intimidated into working in poor dangerous conditions and for very little money. Oil as a toxin is released into the ocean, the by-products of petroleum refinement are toxic. The consumption of petroleum produces carcinogens which cause cancer and excessive amounts of heat and carbon dioxide, which scientists theorise may be causing a greenhouse effect; gradually heating the earth leading to freak weather and eventually melting the poles and flooding coastal areas. Oil is bad. It causes conflict everywhere it pops up, it probably has done for aeons of human history. Wars have been fought over oil for thousands of years, people have been killed, blown up, assassinated, assimilated, executed and oppressed. Does all this bloodshed and environmental damage increase the price of oil? No, it makes it a lot cheaper. Oppression and control of supply enables the worlds largest buyer and distributor of oil to keep prices down and maintain market control over any would be competition. When the price does go up due to a manufactured shortage, or any other kind of false scarcity tactic to drive the market, we all complain and moan, not truly wanting to face the reality of where the product comes from and what the true cost is.

Oil is a source of energy, other forms of energy are less easy to commodify and therefore market for a profit, therefore in a capitalist environment these energy sources are ignored. Solar power is not terribly efficient, but wind and hydroelectricity are both incredibly efficient and found in almost every populated area on the planet. The most efficient use of these technologies is on a distributed network amongst homes and businesses themselves, cutting out the energy companies. They spend a lot of money on massive windmills in the countryside and off-shore to prove that you still need them, but for a fraction of the cost they could individually kit out thousands of  homes in a distributed network that would power  thousands more. Companies would never do this though because they would be losing consumers. As much as it is the best strategy for resource efficiency and the best application of the technology to protect against power failure, it isn't very capitalism friendly.

Consumable commodities are the most profitable, products that your customer needs to replenish their supply of and therefore return for repeat business. Food is the best example of this, we buy it, we eat it, we want more. Due to a constant consumer demand for a variety of cheap food, we have begun to cut back on the ethics of the industry. The quality of the food we take into our bodies has suffered due to capitalism, whatever is cheapest and most profitable to produce, packaged in a way that has a greater market life and value. Our food comes from all over the world, more and more oil is used to transport our food over hundreds, even thousands of miles. Preservative chemicals are added to our diets, in order to allow for such mass transport over such vast distances. People in the countries that grow our food rarely see much profit from their efforts, and are often bullied and intimidated into growing a cash crop rather than food for the region. More and more people are becoming aware of where their food comes from due to public pressure from famous chefs, who have a higher standard than the average supermarket consumer.

(Due to technical difficulties I.E. the hacking of the admin area of my Wordpress installation the rest of this blog was written between  13/02/2012 and 29/02/2012)

Occupied: Update; The Internet Takes Over Real Life As Predicted!

Once again Capitalism is in the direct gaze of the public consciousness, the one percent are under direct scrutiny by the ninety-nine percent. So as far as I can understand, the Occupy movement is the public reaction to finding out that the people who caused widespread unemployment, poverty, repossession, fore-closures and bankruptcies, were bailed out of their debts with tax money from our governments and then they want to pay themselves huge bonuses out of that money. Money itself is the worst single product that capitalism spews out. Capitalism needs money to survive, if we all used barter, it would be difficult to acquire much wealth,(or create wealth from doing nothing more than picking up a telephone and barking coded messages to an underpaid underling).

The world could do without money I think, with a little science and technology. The Venus Project has aspirational ideals and hopes and dreams that seem very far removed from reality, however there does seem to be a global shift in aspiration towards a sustainable, fairer future.  Technology is being developed all around the world that seems to make all our lives easier, robotic assistants around the house are a great start, but robots have been taking over jobs and reducing the cost of manufacturing for decades. It won't be long until there are fully automated machines doing 99% of jobs while humans become the 1% on them. The futurists of history imagined humanoid robots that could do all of the jobs a human could do, but the current trends signify a shift towards specialisation. Automated vacuum cleaners, self parking cars, automated checkouts, driver-less vehicles, and even vending machines (not an entirely new threat, but more and more products are coming out of the bottom of them these days!) are all replacing human tasks in succession. We may well have servile humanoid robots in the future, to serve us personally, but the majority of labour will be divided between scores of devices engineered around their tasks.

The Internet shopping trend has also cost a lot of people their jobs. It's true, it is a sad fact. Retail and sales is a huge sector of the workforce globally, this sector is the most critically hit by Internet. As much as the Internet has created jobs for many highly trained and skilled professionals, these professionals created code to make a lot of jobs redundant as they created online shops. It was great for the capitalist model, it fit perfectly; you see a product on the internet, the place you spend so much more of your time now, you like it, you buy it and it gets sent out to you from a warehouse, PROFIT! What will people actually do for jobs in the future? Will there be any jobs in the future? What if every process could be automated, if every human effort could be replaced by an efficiently designed machine? What need of capitalism would we have then?

All those "middle men" cut out of the consumer experience have been racking up, but the capitalist model still seems to be making profit. Or is it? The juggernaut of capitalism is definitely slowing down and weakening. The need for a fairer system is ever more urgent, the money men, the ones who control vast wealth, are unscrupulous.  They use our money for the manufacture of their fortune from speculations they make on our lives, our successes and failures fuel their extravagant lifestyles while we scramble for a pittance.

Globally the iron fist of capitalist oppression is squeezing tighter, most reccently on the Occupy London, it won't be the end of the movement. May is traditionally an excellent month for anti capitalist protests and planning is going on right now to make this years Mayday protests even bigger. I'm really upset by the news of School of Ideas, how do we explain to children that we live in a big angry state that will come and get you if you threaten to oppose it, especially if you are trying to expose it's corruption and greed. In our country we are not really doing anything new. We are using new tools, like the internet and tent cities, but the tactics employed by the Occupy Movement, to me, are like an urban version of the environmentalist forestry protests where protesters occupy treetops. The main difference is our knowledge, we have serious amounts of information about the inadequacies of the economic system used to control us. We know how crooked our politicians  and how morally bankrupt our journalists are.  We have Wikileaks and Anonymous to thank for that, and maybe even our morally bankrupt journalists a little too. It is like the darkest parts of society all turned on each other, the media, the government, and the financial greed machine are all devouring each other in a bid to rule us supremely. In this moment we must seize our opportunity to stand as one and say "No, we shall not be ruled over by leaders with agendas and objectives for us. If we allow a state to exist, it must serve our agendas and objectives, it must serve us. "

The likelihood of humanity rising up against the archaic control systems imposed upon it for millennia , may have seemed insignificant even a decade ago.  This decade though seems to be one of serious thought towards the future, and why we're not there yet? What systems have been holding us back for personal gain and what should we do about it? A global revolution towards Utopian Anarchy could be great, but as long as there are haves and have nots,  there will always be a threat of capitalism and greed.  We need to figure out the limitations imposed on us by corporate entities, we need to provide for ourselves. Then we can survive without them.

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31Mar/100

Anarchy, In The UK?: Theory

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Anarchy - A Chaotic Mayhem Surely?

Or is it simply the destination?

Is Anarchy The Way Forward?

Anarchy is inevitable, that much is known for certain, or at least a wide held belief. Where can one draw order from Chaos? Well according to Chaos Theory, patterns emerge organically in nature and are much more stable than those that we have artificially created. Take this principal from physics to biological evolution and you have the origin of Species Theory being proven. Take it further to sociology and politics and you have Anarchy emerging as the only sensible logical, rational state of Utopia in which we can have world peace. Okay, it's a bit of a leap of faith, although faith is belief in the absence of evidence, this would require belief in the overwhelming presence of irrefutable and undeniable evidence. Money is the deciding point; throughout history, goods have been traded according to both the effort of acquisition and scarcity. When money began to flourish as a means of fair exchange, the problems really started. It stopped being fair for a start, where there is somebody making money, in every case, there is somebody off of whose back that money was made. Financial and managerial hierarchies formed, allegiances were made according to financial benefits to the parties involved. In my opinion, Religion must have facilitated money's rise to power due to self interest (that's if money wasn't the idea of some form of Religion...). There are many interactivist organisations dedicated to Freeing us from the tyranny of money, such as The Really Really Free Market, Buy Nothing Day, the Freeconomy Community or even Craigslist and all of the Freecycle community. These are only examples of the myriad of NPOs (None Profit Organisations) trying to make the world a fairer nicer place without financial divisions through interactisism.

What does this brief history of Politics mean?

Well in short, it means that until Religion and money are ultimately removed from society, Anarchy will always have strong opposition from those who currently have power. Those with political power who may somehow agree with the ideals of Anarchy, have no real power to promote it as a means to a utopian end. There is no way to democratically vote for a state of Anarchy, I see this as wrong and almost dictatorial. In states where there is an entry for none of the above candidates in the ballot, this is simply taken as a protest vote and not a meaningful dissolution of parliament option.

Technology Is Evolving Towards Anarchy

Obsolete is the technology of mining and burning fossil fuels that do not replenish. We now know that the Carbon Dioxide released is warming the planet to the point where methane deposits in the world oceans could melt ending much of the life on this planet incredibly quickly. This is alarming as the last time this happened it wiped out 95% of all life on earth. Science and technology are key to preventing this potential apocalypse, not one particular technology or science, but an advanced amalgamation of all of the latest developments in green energy and manufacture. The hydrogen fuel cell is set to replace the internal combustion engine as a means of effectively powering our road and aerial vehicles. Soon enough the means of producing the Hydrogen will be available cheaply from wind and solar energy in and around the homestead. At this stage an individual dwelling will have no need for energy from the national grid and will become self sufficient and green. Other technologies set to influence the political arena are geothermal energy, high rise farms, nano-scale replication and manufacturing (essentially the ultimate form of recycling, put in your old phone, it gets taken apart to its molecules and reassembled get the latest model printed out), and of course stem cell research and gene therapy (potentially curing deadly diseases like cancer and HIV). My interpretation of the effect these technologies will have on humanity is not unique to me. Many libertarian Freedomists or advocates of political and economic Anarchy believe that these technologies will bring about an end to money's totalitarian reign over us. These technologies are a decade, or less, away but in my opinion they could be here sooner if we change our combined political and financial attitude. There are lots of examples of projects like The Venus Project and even mainstream efforts like the Greensburg GreenTown Project , these projects could be done faster and better if money were not a factor in the decision making process.

How Can I Get Involved In Advocating Anarcho-Capitalist-Libertarianism?

My Utopian vision of the future, is somewhat identical to the world John Lennon described so vividly in his most famous song; Imagine. The journey from here to there is fraught with perilous downfalls, with temptations for greed and self service. To ensure we make it safely we need to ensure we do not lose our footing and slip back into a possessive consumerist culture. Short of what Anarchists all over the world are already doing (which in my opinion only gives credence to the consensus of the masses that we are all a bunch of violent destructive simpletons who hate the police), you can stop consuming as much and try to become greener with regards to technology. Become part of a movement, whatever one you like, that is doing something that you can see is shifting paradigms towards a utopian vision. Or something like that.

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