Friday, December 03, 2004

How capitalism has ruined the world

In high school I was on the debate team. I remember that the debate topic for the entire tenth grade year was competition vs. cooperation (you had one topic that you researched for and debated at different "meets" throughout the year). I also remember the vast amount of information supporting the notion of competition as healthy and essential. I recall thinking that it was right, after all, without competition we wouldn't have achieved all the we have achieved, right?

Hmmm....
competition serves as the very backbone for capitalism; its governing ideal, its paradigm. In America we hold up capitalism as the paradigm for the rest of the world -- "Be free. Start your own business and make tons of money!"

The American Dream.


An American Success Story.


Only in America.

The problem that I now see (and see clearly) with the capitalist spirit is that it encourages everybody to make more, achieve more, spend more, sell more, build more, and do whatever it takes to get more. The latter is the worst part: do whatever it takes. Early Europeans are a perfect example. Christopher Columbus, for example, systematically murdered over 7 million indigenous people in his search for the gold that he promised the Queen of Spain (Zinn: A People's History of the United States)

Early Americans, in the interest of Manifest Destiny (the white man's best interest), relocated, re-educated, cheated, lied to, swindled, and massacred Native Americans. Our Native Americans, who lived as one with the earth, are still living (in most cases) in impoverished conditions on reservation land. (I think that it is brilliant that more and more tribes run very successful casinos that take money away from greedy Americans and reinvest it into their communities. )

Of course Americans aren't the only ones to commit such heinous acts, simply look at the Aborigine of Australia, look at India's history, etc., etc.
We have all profited from these atrocities. If human life is so invaluable, then America and other capitalist nations, our way of life, and all of the achievements of man are not worth the loss of one human life. Think about it: What if it were you and 7 million of your family, loved ones, and peoples, that were going to be killed in the interest of progress (someone else's of course)?

Would it be ok then?

The capitalist spirit is the reason why we are in Iraq, but not Sudan. It's the reason why our focus shifted from Afghanistan to Iraq in the blink of an eye. Eleven thousand troops in an area the we know is the haven for terrorists and 150k + troops in a land where there have been no ties to terrorist -- but there is lots of oil folks -- lots of government contracts for companies with Vice Presidents as their former CEOs.

Step right up and get your piece. And after you do, when your conscience starts to bug you, drown it out with sitcoms and alcohol. Or you can beat your wife and kids because you feel like a failure for not having a bigger house with more useless shit.

Go ahead, get your piece.

I think that native people had it right all along:
Live with the earth.
Live simple.
The village raises the child.
Battle, but don't war.

Unrealistic? Naive? That's the kind of attitude that allows our world to perpetuate itself into an endless, downward spiral.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Really Learn Spanish

I am trying to stay away from just linking to stuff but this is a really good podcast on learning Spanish.

Really Learn Spanish

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

E-Mail Icon Generator

See that schnazzy little gmail button for e-mailing me? This is where I created it.

The hard part (for my dumb ass) was figuring out how to get it up on my page. Leave a comment if you need help with that part.

Ciao!

E-Mail Icon Generator

Sunday, November 28, 2004

What I like (and dislike) about Christianity and faith

Now that I have moved over the contents of my faith discussion blog, it occurred to me to explain what I like about Christianity and faith -- after all, I am not Mr. Negative (contrary to how the last few posts have made me sound).

What I like about Christianity is the hope that it gives people. I mean without the hope of something better on the other side, someone watching over you, or a meaning behind all of this pain, how scary and depressing would this world be???

For the vast majority of the people on this planet a "God" is necessary. My brother often says that Christianity and other religions are for the weak -- for those individuals that can't face the thought that there is nothing that is going to save us -- except us. That sounds a bit condescending, but it isn't meant to be. In most respects, I think that faith is good for people. It makes them more accountable for their actions, more prone to assist and aid others in the name of their God, more peaceful, and sometimes even more happy.

Where I find religion to be bad for people is when wars are waged in the name of a God, where people of different races and sexuality are excluded and considered impure, where other belief systems are denounced because they are different, and, most offending, where individuals who know that people of religion can be manipulated by using their fear of their God against them.

If you don't think individuals of faith can be easily manipulated, you need only look to Christian Evangelism for your proof. How many "ministers" or "preachers" have you seen claiming that they talk to God and therefore you should give them money to support their church, only to catch them in a hotel room with a hooker or wearing some stunning new piece of jewelry? If you don't think that people of faith can be easily manipulated, just look at how the Vatican and the Roman Church have used people for centuries! If you don't think that people of faith can be easily manipulated, just look at our most recent presidential election -- 4 million Evangelical Christians made the difference. Enticed by ballots to outlaw homosexual marriages in their state, Christians acted in a Christ-like manner to prevent individuals who love each other from joining into the same loving bond that every heterosexual has the priviledge to make. Jesus was a real man that preached love and acceptance and now his word is used to practice exactly the opposite.

If you want to talk yourself up as being a Christian then walk in his shoes -- Christ needed virtually nothing materially, why don't you try it? St. Francis de Assisi has forever earned my love and respect because he did exactly that. It wasn't about the size of the church or how many members it had, but about LOVE and his God. Whether I believe in his God or not, I have to respect that -- and I do.

I didn't mean for this to get into a rant again, I apologize. I just type what the voices in my head tell me to. More on this discussion later.