Social Articles from 2015
The Shadow of Crisis Has Not Passed – Part 3
by James Quinn
Posted February 15, 2015
As trust in the political, economic and financial systems implodes, the existing social order will crumble and be swept away in a torrent of chaos and upheaval. Severe misery will settle on our land and tear the fabric of our society. Internal strife will be compounded by external threats, with citizens fighting each other and nations going to war on a large scale. It has happened before and it will happen again. The realization this Crisis would be driven by the conflict between government and the people occurred to me in 2013 when Edward Snowden revealed the depth and depravity of a government which believes it to not be bound by the constraints of the Constitution, laws, regulations, or human decency.
The political class, along with the government apparatchiks, protected by their propaganda mouthpieces in the media, used the 9/11 attack as the basis to implement command, control and surveillance measures which make Orwell’s Big Brother seem like amateur hour. The hyperbolic level of propaganda in support of the vested interests is actually a sign of weakness, as their grip on the masses is weakening rapidly. More…
Metadata Identifies YOU
by Ben Hunt
Posted February 10, 2015
Last Thursday the journal Science published an article by four MIT-affiliated data scientists (Sandy Pentland is in the group, and he’s a big name in these circles), titled “Unique in the shopping mall: On the reidentifiability of credit card metadata”. Sounds innocuous enough, but here’s the summary from the front page WSJ article describing the findings:
“Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, writing Thursday in the journal Science, analyzed anonymous credit-card transactions by 1.1 million people. Using a new analytic formula, they needed only four bits of secondary information—metadata such as location or timing—to identify the unique individual purchasing patterns of 90% of the people involved, even when the data were scrubbed of any names, account numbers or other obvious identifiers.”
Still not sure what this means? It means that I don’t need your name and address, much less your social security number, to know who you ARE. More…
The 6 Grand Illusions That Keep Us Enslaved to the Matrix
by Sigmund Fraud – Waking Times
Posted February 5, 2015
We live in a world of illusion. So many of the concerns that occupy the mind and the tasks that fill the calendar arise from planted impulses to become someone or something that we are not. This is no accident. As we are indoctrinated into this authoritarian-corporate-consumer culture that now dominates the human race, we are trained that certain aspects of our society are untouchable truths, and that particular ways of being and behaving are preferred.
Psychopaths disempower people in this way. They blind us with never ceasing barrages of suggestions and absolutes that are aimed at shattering self-confidence and confidence in the future. The grandest of the illusions which keep us enslaved to the matrix, the ones that have so many of us still entranced, are outlined below for your consideration. More…
“I’d Like to Change the World, but I Don’t Know How So I’ll Leave it Up to You”
by Thad Beversdorf
Posted January 31, 2015
What a great lyric that is from the late 60’s, early 70’s English band ’10 Years After’. I believe this describes that uneasy feeling of discontent that sits deep in the stomach, beneath the day to day exteriors, of so many people today. The world is like a black hole in that it seems to be getting smaller and smaller as the years go by but also heavier and heavier with each passing day.
We accept the good with the bad and acknowledge that everything is a trade off. We believe that if we go to college we stand a better chance in life and so we borrow our first 10 years of post college wages to get an edge over the next guy who is doing the same. When we get out of school we know that it is time to buckle down and get serious. We put our ‘lives’ on hold in order to focus on the future with the idea that one day we will be sitting on the porch with the person we love, the one we put on hold for all those years and we will then enjoy our life’s work then. More…
New Oxfam report says half of global wealth held by the 1%
by Larry Elliott
Posted January 20, 2015
Oxfam warns of widening inequality gap, days ahead of Davos economic summit in Switzerland. Billionaires and politicians gathering in Switzerland this week will come under pressure to tackle rising inequality after a study found that – on current trends – by next year, 1% of the world’s population will own more wealth than the other 99%.
Ahead of this week’s annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in the ski resort of Davos, the anti-poverty charity Oxfam said it would use its high-profile role at the gathering to demand urgent action to narrow the gap between rich and poor. More…
The Robots Are Coming! Let’s Make Them Work for the Workers
By Thomas Matt
Posted January 16, 2015
In a capitalist economy with privately owned means of production, technological advancements often result in unemployment and inequality. In a cooperative political economic system, however, these advancements would mean less work and higher living standards. This painful paradox of progress has been recognized by the left for a long time. In his 1949 essay, “Why Socialism,” Albert Einstein wrote, “Technological progress frequently results in more unemployment rather than in an easing of the burden of work for all . . . The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital, the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically-organized political society.” Thus, our technological progress can even harm our democracy in a competitive and exploitative economic system.
The media are exploding with discussion about robots and unemployment, but few are addressing the underlying problem. This is not a problem with technology. Just as climate change is not a problem with carbon – as Naomi Klein argues – and police brutality is not a problem resulting from a lack of body cameras. These and many other problems stem from capitalism and private ownership of the means of production. More…
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