Posted by Ivan Rendall on Saturday, 9 August 2014 in Blogging
Surely this summer we are reaching a new low point in domestic and international politics.
Hundreds of young West African girls kidnapped for the crime of being educated; thousands of women abused and raped daily for the crime of being female; hundreds of airline passengers shot out of the sky over Ukraine by untrained operators let loose with Russian missiles; thousands of Ukrainians fleeing to Crimea to avoid civil war and banditry; thousands of families used as human shields by terrorists in Gaza; nearly 1500 civilians killed by what are essentially battlefield weapons being used without caring about the human consequences in residential streets in Rafah; thousands of rockets fired into Israel by terrorists; cities across the Middle East, not just Gaza, being reduced to rubble; thousands of people murdered and tens of thousands of people intimidated into fleeing their homes in northern Iraq for the crime of worshipping the wrong god(s) or worshipping them in the wrong way; a fresh water dam that supplies millions of families occupied by thugs as their strategic weapon of choice; the Ebola virus thriving in West Africa which could not afford the drugs to treat it even if there were any; children dying in Mexico trying to get into US; children, women and men dying in open boats trying to get into the EU; superpowers scrambling for Africa, again; superpowers de-stabilising whole regions and brushing off the responsibility for what they have done; rich states and mega businesses scrambling for cheap labour, cheap resources, and buoyant markets.
Is the old world order on the brink of collapse?
Is it that we hear more about humanitarian atrocities, financial corruption and individual exploitation, or because we have the systems to report them and have become gloomily addicted to them, like soap operas?
It’s not the media or the messages; it’s about facing the facts about the world order we have created, about the layers of overlapping history that have obscured the truth for centuries and which our personal, yet global communications are beginning to reveal.
How long can rich folks go on enjoying high wages, good pensions, unlimited medical care, spacious houses, cheap holidays, unsustainably produced food from all over the world, shopping as a hobby, frivolous use of technology, free education, state benefits… while everybody else have to merely subsist.
No answer is waiting to happen: we have to act; and that is not about fighting or looking for a profit, it’s about people who just want to live peacefully and improve their lives confronting all those who want power, from rogue states, terrorists, autocrats, to religious, market, exploitative and racist triumphalists, and not being intimidated by them.
En masse, ordinary folks can have power. Exercise it: protest violence; consume less, organize, and, if you have one, Vote Life.