Confronting Systemic Evil
by David Korten
Posted June 29, 2017
Most of the dysfunction of modern human society can be traced to the structure of the institutional system by which money is created and allocated. It is, however, difficult to engage a public discussion of the issues and implications, because the money system is built on illusion, its inner workings are largely invisible, and most people, including most economists, haven’t a clue how it works.
Other issues like war, crime, climate change, and job loss seem so much more real and urgent. The fact that the money system drives them all—and much more—is difficult to grasp. How can something as abstract and meaningless as an accounting entry determine the conduct of real world human affairs?
The September 2008 Wall Street crash pulled back to curtain to expose the system’s corruption and its very real impact on every aspect of our lives. In so doing, the crash opened a window of opportunity for a much needed and long overdue national and global conversation. More…
Monsanto and Big Ag Colonizing Africa, Criminalizing Traditional Seed Exchanges
by Alex Pietrowski
Posted June 28, 2017
Of the many concerns surrounding the dominance of agrichemicals companies and GMO foods, the most frightening dimension is that corporate manufactured seed is wiping out global biodiversity in food crops and creating a punitive legal framework for our total dependence on these companies for food.
Monsanto, Syngenta and other majors in agribusiness are presently colonizing Africa with the help of international aid programs which force nations into agreements requiring dependence on patented seeds, thereby prohibiting traditional seed exchanges. More…
The Original Monopoly Was Deeply Anti-Landlord
By Tristan Donovan
Posted June 27, 2017
The game of cutthroat capitalism was actually intended as a lesson on wealth inequality. The game was called the Landlord’s Game.
In the game players traveled around and around the board using paper money to buy lots, railroads, and utilities. After buying a property players could then charge rent to anyone who landed on it and build houses that increased the amount they could demand. Each time players completed the circuit of the board they would pass a corner square marked “Labor upon Mother Earth produces wages” and collect a salary of 100 dollars. Other squares on the board required players to pay tax, buy necessities, or take a Chance card. In one corner of the board was a square bearing the warning: “No trespassing. Go to jail.” This space, she explained in an article for the Single Tax Review, was owned by a British lord and represented “foreign ownership of American soil.” Anyone who landed there would be sent to the jail in the diagonally opposite corner of the board where they would stay until they rolled a double or paid a $50 fine. The final corner square contained a public park and the poor house where bankrupted players would be sent. Players could only leave the poor house if another player lent them enough money to clear their debts. After players had gone around the board a fixed number of times the game would end and the player with the most money would be declared the winner. More…
Twilight of the Courts: The Elusive Search for Justice in the American Police State
By John W. Whitehead
Posted June 26, 2017
We have entered a new regime and it’s called the American police state. Unfortunately, we’ve been traveling this dangerous road for a long time now.
In the police state being erected around us, the police and other government agents can probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts.
Whether it’s police officers breaking through people’s front doors and shooting them dead in their homes or strip searching motorists on the side of the road, these instances of abuse are continually validated by a judicial system that kowtows to virtually every police demand, no matter how unjust, no matter how in opposition to the Constitution.
These are the hallmarks of the emerging American police state: where police officers, no longer mere servants of the people entrusted with keeping the peace, are part of an elite ruling class dependent on keeping the masses corralled, under control, and treated like suspects and enemies rather than citizens. More…
Forget far-right populism – crypto-anarchists are the new masters
by Jamie Bartlett
Posted June 25, 2017
Those who mistakenly thought 2016 was an anomaly, a series of unprecedented events, should have few remaining doubts. Marine Le Pen may have stuttered but still picked up almost 11 million votes. Her opponent, the “normal” candidate, was leader of a party only one year old. The ongoing terror attacks, fake news panic, Trump’s tweets and James Comey: last year never really ended, it just carried straight on into this one.
After decades of exaggerated prediction, the internet is finally transforming politics, but not in the way the digital prophets expected. The 90s, you may recall, were awash with optimism about our online future: limitless information and total connection would make us more informed, less bigoted and kinder citizens.
But the internet is an overwhelming mess of competing facts, claims, blogs, data, propaganda, misinformation, investigative journalism, charts, different charts, commentary and reportage. It’s not the slow and careful politicians who have thrived in this busy environment, it’s the people with the shareable cut-through messages. Donald Trump might very well be the first truly social-media politician: his emotion-filled, simplistic blasts are perfect for the medium. More…
How Prison Labor is the New American Slavery and Most of Us Unknowingly Support it
By Sara Burrows
Posted June 24, 2017
If you buy products or services from any of the 50 companies listed below (and you likely do), you are supporting modern American slavery. American slavery was technically abolished in 1865, but a loophole in the 13th Amendment has allowed it to continue “as a punishment for crimes” well into the 21st century. Not surprisingly, corporations have lobbied for a broader and broader definition of “crime” in the last 150 years. As a result, there are more (mostly dark-skinned) people performing mandatory, essentially unpaid, hard labor in America today than there were in 1830.
With 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prison population, the United States has the largest incarcerated population in the world. No other society in history has imprisoned more of its own citizens. There are half a million more prisoners in the U.S. than in China, which has five times our population. Approximately 1 in 100 adults in America were incarcerated in 2014. Out of an adult population of 245 million that year, there were 2.4 million people in prison, jail or some form of detention center. The vast majority – 86 percent – of prisoners have been locked up for non-violent, victimless crimes, many of them drug-related. More…
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This site is designed for people who wish to follow important events, but do not have time to do a lot of reading. If you follow this site for a period of time, the daily fresh stories in different categories will over time provide you with an understanding of the “big picture” by showing you both the problems and the solutions. Hopefully this will inspire you to listen to your inner wisdom and become part of the solution.