10:07 PM Comment0 Comments

Freedom is meaningless. If freedom is the right to endlessly exploit Earth's resources at a rate of depletion contradictory to the sustainability of human life, freedom is not an option. The infinite growth paradigm is a flawed one. Wealth is not infinitely expandable in a closed system with non-renewable resources. Capitalism may have aided in bringing us a higher 'quality' of life but at what cost? We consume more per capita than ever before in history, we consume for the sake of consumption because it is necessary to perpetuate growth and consumption. Our growth as a civilization has been almost exclusively driven by capitalist exploitation of oil, so where does that leave us?

The exploitation of oil has been nearly the sole driver of technological and economic development in the last 100 years. Capitalism which necessarily maximizes production and consumption of commodities has done just that with oil. It has marched forward at the fastest possible rate of consumption. When will this rate slow, when will it stop? When the oil runs out. If our population grew to 7 billion on the consumption of oil, what does it mean for our population when the oil runs out? Imagine the reverse. Whether or not you think alternative energy will take its place, capitalism continues to fail in respect to sustainability and the environment.

Capitalism has no mechanisms within it for the preservation of resources, it is effective at consuming resources at the fastest rate possible because it necessarily consumes them at the fastest rate possible. The system cannot sustain itself without constant growth. This means the depletion of our oil, uranium, mass-deforestation, ecosystem destruction, over-fishing, run-away climate change and a whole host of other problems with no capitalist solutions. Capitalism is like a virus on the whole of humanity. It necessarily depletes our resources in order to reproduce and grow driving forward every moment toward our ultimate demise. The problem with this virus is it hasn't yet adapted to occupy a different host, so it drives to its own destruction just the same.

People will say communism and state-driven economies are no better, that the Soviet Union was as destructive as capitalist societies. First, this argument in itself doesn't justify the capitalist paradigm. Secondly, communists have thus far played in an unfair game. Because of the largely unfettered growth of capitalist societies, communists have had to play the state-driven growth game, consuming at rates similar but slightly short of capitalist societies in order to keep up and maintain their sovereignty.

So in conclusion, if freedom means to commit species suicide, the most counter-evolutionary act possible, then I want nothing to do with freedom. If freedom is the ability to grow to a destructive end and to consume for the sake of consuming, let freedom whither and die for I will not commit myself to the cause of species suicide. It may be better to burn out than fade away, but remember Neil Young followed that line with, "Once you're gone, you can't come back."

Capitalism is necessarily the most destructive, idiotic and ill-conceived economic system ever devised and our salvation as a species lies in one thing, conscious evolution. We must recognize that long-term survival depends on a no-growth, steady-state economy.

10:19 AM Comment0 Comments

The American Empire is a word left-wing pundits have thrown around loosely since at the very least Vietnam. The economic imperialism which the United States has participated in since the Second World War has produced a soft empire at the beck and call of American interests. American foreign policy determines domestic policy in many countries in the world. This map depicts countries which many believe to be in some way under the thumb of America; they are either reliant on American trade or military.

The countries highlighted may be countries which have an extensive American military presence, hold American military bases or rely on America for trade or security. Since becoming part of the 'soft empire,' some countries have achieved a certain degree of independence from American trade and militarism. Notably Vietnam and Brazil. Bolivia has been tentatively removed from the map, because of significant and largely successful efforts by the current President to move towards independence and Bolivian sovereignty. A cursory glance shows that much of the world is subsumed in the American Empire, far more than the British Empire at the turn of the 20th century. That's not to say it is more powerful, as America does not necessarily have direct authority over these nations; however, it is more stable because it does not appear as Empire to the careless viewer.

People point to the Arab Spring as a time when American influence is declining, mostly because of the ousting of American-backed dictators in Tunisia and Egypt. Unfortunately, while Tunisia has made significant strides to determining its own future, it remains to be seen whether or not anything will change in Egyptian-American relations. Either way, these are exceptions to the paradigm. In Libya we saw American-backed rebels oust an anti-American leader. In Algeria, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and more we have seen protesters fail to end pro-Western regimes largely with the open satisfaction of the American authorities. Further, it is seeming more and more likely that Syria and Yemen will fall in popular uprising or civil war; these are states which harbour enemies of the United States. It all seems to be leading towards toppling the biggest domino of them all, Iran. With heightened talk once again of a military strike on Iran maybe the United States will finally soon have the regional support it needs.

To the south of the Arab world comes another story of victory for the oppressed or so it seems. South Sudan, oil rich and long in conflict with the Sudanese authorities has seceded in a referendum largely engineered by American authorities. Bill Clinton oversaw the process and now, South Sudan can start exporting oil through Kenya to American oil interests. To secure the region America has already aided Ethiopia and Kenya in strikes against the wayward failed state of Somalia and recently authorities announced that American troops would begin to be stationed in the homophobic, Christian fundamentalist state of Uganda as a landing point for securing American empire in the region. In the end, this has not been a victory for the Nubian people but for the United States. American foreign policy has intelligently engineered the independence of South Sudan and the cooperation of its new neighbours in securing American oil interests.

As protesters of the American Fall protest at home they do not realise the Rise of America that is going on in the rest of the world. The economic downturn, the gap between the rich and the poor, the foreign wars which still rage are distractions from the growing soft empire. It's all moving closer to a confrontation between America and an enemy larger than any since the Second World War.

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