Archive for July, 2012

Democracy is Working… in China!

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Democracy is more than just voting for one figurehead or another every couple of years. It’s more than simply slapping some bumper sticker on your car or sticking some sign in your lawn. There’s more to democracy than what happens on election day and at the ballot box.

Real democracy is about taking issue with what’s most important to you. It’s about starting or joining a movement. It’s about getting people involved, out in the streets and on the interwebs, in big enough numbers to force change on to the political system itself.

The Arab Spring. The Occupy Movement. Even the Tea Party. All of these are fine examples of democracy in action where hundreds of thousands – even millions – of engaged individuals worked diligently towards a shared goal. And the best part is that they’ve all made a lasting impact on the world’s political system.

Now this very essence of democracy – this coordinated will to power by the masses – has sprouted up on the streets of China. Outraged at the prospect of a giant sewer running through their backyards, angry citizens clashed with police and rioted in the streets, offering a rare glimpse into China’s ripening revolution.

But here’s the kicker – the protests worked! Officials have scrapped their plans for a waste pipeline. Wow! If only the Quebec government was that quick to fold under pressure, student’s would have free tuition by now.

Here’s hoping for more protests in the days and years to come. Not just in China, but everywhere on earth as our world’s people comes together and rises up against the forces of injustice and inequality that have persisted for far too long.

World’s Wealthiest Stealing From the Rest of Us

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Imagine winning a 20 million dollar lottery. Pretty sweet, right? Enough cash to live in the lap of luxury for generations.

Now times that by a thousand. This is what the world’s billionaires contend with – a net worth thousands of times bigger than what most humans would consider a fortune.

And now that you have this tremendous sum in your head, multiply it by another thousand. That makes 20,000,000,000,000 – 20 Trillion dollars! – which is the amount of money the world’s super-rich have been hoarding in secret, shielded from any taxes.

Unbelievable, isn’t it? Despite being the richest humans on the planet, they still want more for themselves. Billions of dollars just isn’t enough. It’s like they have the same fear we all share, and all the money in the world won’t get rid of it.

Still, as nice as it would be to temper the growing gap between the super-rich and the rest of us, it seems there aren’t enough elites, like Buffet and Gates, willing to fetter their own expanding wallets for the sake of the planet.

This puts the onus on the rest of us – those of us who aren’t the 1% of the 1% – to stand up and say NO! This economic model simply will not suffice! We want a more just world for everybody, and if you aren’t going to make it happen we will do it ourselves!

Democracy for Hong Kong

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

When free markets and democracy get skewed by the power and influence of large business, we get the bastardized version of capitalism called corporatism. And when corporatism is allowed to run amok, the top 1% of 1% of the people consistently get richer and more powerful while everyone else systematically grows poorer.

Case and point, Hong Kong. Touted as one of the world’s freest markets, it is producing a record number of new millionaires. The formation of these newly rich comes at a heavy toll: the bulk of the Hong Kong people facing a 30 year high for income inequality.

Given that the corporate stranglehold over their government is set to tighten, they have little hope to reform their state using existing political channels. Any politician that rises to power will already be part of the corrupt game, and any real revolutionary figure would be weeded out well before taking a seat in office.

This leaves few options. One thing the people of Hong Kong could do is unite. By taking the streets, coordinating and mobilizing online, they could forge an entirely new democratic mechanism and channel the warranted angst from the vast majority of the people into tangible political clout. Only then will their voice be heard, and only then will they get the reform they desire.

What the Hong Kong people are going through serves as a microcosm for what the bulk of humanity is experiencing. Right now, powerful forces are subtley yet steadily stripping power away from the entire human race in order to widen their already mind-numbingly fat coffers.

For years now, every single one of us has been under threat of an impending corporatist plutocracy. Only with unity and solidarity will we have any hope to overthrow our billionaire overlords and their minions.

Fortunately, this is already happening. The world’s people are waking up. Slowly but surely, our global eyes are opening, allowing us to see ourselves for the first time. And one thing we will quickly learn is just how powerful we can be when we work together. After that, it’s just a matter of steering our species towards a more just civilization for all.