Thursday, July 14, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
This is what lawyer and animal rights proclaimer Steven Wise says is a basic legal parameter for assigning rights to a being. He'd like to assign these rights to chimpanzees and bonobos. I'm all for it. In fact I'm glad that as a human, I'm assigned these rights even before I have proven to possess practical autonomy, because the whole time I've been following the dictates of civilization without questioning them except unconsciously through depression and general malaise, I was not displaying autonomy. Sure, I can recognize myself in a mirror, just like a bonobo can. But still I can't quite recognize my self as a self. I am doing a job I hate and can't see the way out of wage slavery. I have hidden my talents from myself behind a veil of fear. I cower behind debt as an excuse for inaction. I bitterly rail against the clients I serve, never realizing that resentment and recrimination are the recourses of a hobbled soul. Let's hope that genuine self perception leads to liberatory action. Then I will have earned the rights bestowed upon me by virtue of being human.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
The persecution of undocumented workers on U.S. soil is akin to the apartheid Pass Laws of Africa. I quote from The Culture of Make Believe by Derrick Jensen as he describes two of the Pass Laws created by the installation of apartheid by the De Beers diamond mining corporation: "those prohibiting native movement after 8:00 pm and requiring, under threat of flogging, all native workers to carry signed passes to be shown at any time to anyone who may demand it." The collision of the deregulation of labor with the tightening of immigration laws touted as reforms is not an accident. It is a disloyal labor practice specifically aimed at providing slave labor in a political climate that can only tolerate brands of injustice that are explained to citizens as politically neutral, economically sound, and legally righteous. Both of these practices have one aim: to make labor cheap by controlling the movement of the workers bodies and by creating an artificial way to render these bodies temporarily outside of the law, but yet always accessible to the market flows that demand bioresources as close to unpaid labor as possible.
Friday, April 15, 2011
We've got to stop thinking that abusing people for profit is acceptable human behavior, much as it has become economically laudable here in the U.S. We praise companies that bring in lots of profits for their shareholders. We laud as "good competitors" companies that undersell other businesses. We forget that the way these companies are able to reap such profits is by grossly underpaying their employees. When slavery was abolished, we had to find a new way to make people work for much less than they were producing. The newest iteration of this is outsourcing. Outsourcing is tantamount to strike breaking, even in "right to work" states. And yet the newest iteration of outsourcing is "insourcing," (yes, I made it up) which is to say, to lay off full time workers and hire contract labor still in the home country. Or how about importing laboring bodies not possessing all the rights and benefits that a citizen worker would have? No, this is not a rant against undocumented workers. They are simply answering a traditional (artificially created by a refusal to pay a fair wage) market call and also responding to other structural mayhem that was wreaked in their home country by these same slave market forces. This is a rant against current slave market practices and the entities that engage in them.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Another way to be free is to be free of other people's emotions. Give up trying to explain yourself to others who you feel don't understand you. That feeling of being compelled to keep trying to be heard is a warning sign that there is a serious power imbalance, and it is not in your favor. Do not be afraid. Awareness is power. Look at this head on, eyes open with all the lights on. Find your strength by assuming, even if you don't believe it yet, that you have as much right to your reality as the other person has to theirs. You are not crazy. You are not less. Your need to be mirrored by the other person is causing you to sacrifice your right to exist. Only a baby will perish without another to depend upon. You will not die without that other. Leave now.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
How much freedom do you have on a day to day basis? Do you have the freedom of time? Can you decide what time to wake up each morning? What time to eat lunch? What time to switch tasks? Who controls your hours? Do you have freedom of location? Do you decide where you are going to do your work? Did you decide that you wanted to live so far from where you work, and exhaust valuable energy resources? If you believe you are free, ask yourself: free to do what?