Social Articles from 2018

Historic – Norway’s Parliament Votes to Decriminalize All Drugs

[Social]
Historic – Norway’s Parliament Votes to Decriminalize All Drugs
by Claire Bernish
Posted January 16, 2018

Norway decriminalizes all drugsIn a bid to assist addicts, rather than lock users in cages, Norway’s parliament voted last week to decriminalize all drugs — citing Portugal and its general success lowering addiction and incarceration rates, getting those who need it into treatment, and drastically reducing crime and other issues related to the illegality of substances for personal use — thus, becoming the first Scandinavian nation to do so.

The Independent reports the parties backing the measure included the Conservatives (Hoyre), Liberals (Venstre), the Labor Party (Ap), and the Socialist Left (SV) — with those voting in favor of full decriminalization directing the Norwegian government to reform its drug policies accordingly.

It wasn’t just the relative success in Portugal that motivated Norwegian politicians to act in addicts’ better interests, but Norway’s own timid experimentations with decriminalization. More…

The U.S. is Not a Democracy, It Never Was

[Politics]
The U.S. is Not a Democracy, It Never Was
by Gabriel Rockhill
Posted January 11, 2018

The US was never a democracyOne of the most steadfast beliefs regarding the United States is that it is a democracy. Whenever this conviction waivers slightly, it is almost always to point out detrimental exceptions to core American values or foundational principles. For instance, aspiring critics frequently bemoan a “loss of democracy” due to the election of clownish autocrats, draconian measures on the part of the state, the revelation of extraordinary malfeasance or corruption, deadly foreign interventions, or other such activities that are considered undemocratic exceptions.

The same is true for those whose critical framework consists in always juxtaposing the actions of the U.S. government to its founding principles, highlighting the contradiction between the two and clearly placing hope in its potential resolution.

The problem, however, is that there is no contradiction or supposed loss of democracy because the United States simply never was one. This is a difficult reality for many people to confront, and they are likely more inclined to immediately dismiss such a claim as preposterous rather than take the time to scrutinize the material historical record in order to see for themselves. More…

Expect Even Less Freedom of Internet in 2018

[Social]
Expect Even Less Freedom of Internet in 2018
by Philip M. Giraldi
Posted January 11, 2018

expect less Internet freedomUsers of social media have been increasingly reporting that their accounts have been either censored, blocked or suspended during the past year. Initially, some believed that the incidents might be technical in nature, with overloaded servers struggling to keep up with the large and growing number of accounts, but it eventually emerged that the interference was deliberate and was focused on individuals and groups that were involved in political or social activities considered to be controversial.

Now it has been learned that major social media and internet service providers have, throughout the past year, been meeting secretly with the United States and Israeli governments to remove content as well as ban account holders from their sites. More…

Sixteen Year Old Ahed Tamimi Offers Israelis a Lesson Worthy of Gandhi

[Social]
Sixteen Year Old Ahed Tamimi Offers Israelis a Lesson Worthy of Gandhi
By Jonathan Cook
Posted January 10, 2018

Sixteen-year-old why is Israel so afrid of this 16 year old?Ahed Tamimi may not be what Israelis had in mind when, over many years, they criticized Palestinians for not producing a Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela.

Eventually, colonised peoples bring to the fore a figure best suited to challenge the rotten values at the core of the society oppressing them. Ahed is well qualified for the task.

She was charged last week with assault and incitement after she slapped two heavily armed Israeli soldiers as they refused to leave the courtyard of her family home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. Her mother, Nariman, is in detention for filming the incident. The video quickly went viral.

Ahed lashed out shortly after soldiers nearby shot her 15-year-old cousin in the face, seriously injuring him. More…

The sad irony of Israel, a people who have suffered at the hands of tyrants so much over history, now become the tyrants.

The Virtual Economy Is The End Of Freedom

[Economic]
The Virtual Economy Is The End Of Freedom
by Brandon Smith
Posted January 9, 2017

virtual economies There is one simple rule to follow when understanding the tragic history of economies: Never put blind faith in a system built on an establishment-created foundation. You would think this would not be a difficult concept to grasp being that we have so many examples of controlled economies and collapse to reference over the centuries, but in our era more than ever the allure of a virtual world with promises of endless wealth and ease is overwhelming.

First, let’s be clear, fiat currencies are one of the first machinations of the virtual economy. Once paper currencies printed from thin air by central bankers were separated from tangible backing and accepted by the masses as “valuable” and worth trading labor for, the seed of financial cancer was planted. Today, there is one final step needed for the establishment to accomplish complete tyranny in global trade and that is to disconnect the masses fully from private transactions. In other words, we must be tricked into going digital, where privacy is an absurd memory. More…

A Great Turning: The Process

[Social]
A Great Turning: The Process
by David Korten
Posted January 6, 2018

taking from the many to benefit the fewSomewhere around 3,000 BC, the more ambitious among us discovered they could use the tools and abilities developed during the initial separation from Eden to dominate nature and their fellow humans. Kings and emperors organized great empires under their personal rule. They expropriated nature’s gifts and the surplus of human labor beyond bare subsistence to feed great armies to suppress the many and live in self-glorification. Some ruled in the name of a god. Others claimed to be gods.

The ruling classes then and now, expropriated the wealth created by nature and human labor and squandered it on wars, opulent luxuries, and the military and police power and prisons by which they secure their privilege.

he ruthless domination and exploitation of Imperial Civilization have reached the limits of what the living systems of Earth and society can and will endure. We face an epic choice. More…

The Visionless Society

[Social]
The Visionless Society
by Chris Hedges
Posted January 5, 2018

A visionless society“Can there be a democracy when you don’t have a competitive electoral system?” he asked. “No.

Can there be a democracy when people who come in second win the election? No.

Can there be a democracy when it’s tougher to get on the ballot than in any other Western country in the world by an order of magnitude? No.

Can there be a democracy when money rules? And not just the money that politicians raise, but the third-party money. No.

Can there be a democracy when people have no influence on the military budget? No. More…

We the Sheeple: the Blind Reading the Blind

[Social]
We the Sheeple: the Blind Reading the Blind
by Jason Hirthler
Posted January 4, 2018

we the sheepleThe term ‘globalization’ has been used as a portmanteau containing all of the sly nuance of neoliberalism. Globalization is the rush of capital into every conceivable crevice of the planet in search of profitable new ventures. Unfortunately, markets must be pried open with war when rhetorical picklocks don’t suffice. The term ‘humanitarian’ is the masque we now affix to the gruesome face of war whenever we must attack some recalcitrant socialist backwater. What we used to call a ‘civilising mission’ in Africa, we now call a ‘humanitarian intervention’ in the Middle East. Historians call that ‘progress.’

The effect of this noble-minded fustian is to pacify a population and to marginalize anyone who attempts to reveal the true character of imperial action. Who would oppose a globalizing force of open markets that promise to bring ‘developing’ and ‘emerging’ nations online and on par with our post-industrial west? Those who do can hardly explain the extractive nature of neoliberal globalization or its deindustrializing effect on developing economies before they are skewered by the flagbearers of humanitarianism. More…

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