Thursday, September 13, 2007

World Politics, Naomi Klein, Consumerism, Anti-Capitalist Movement, Man Good or Evil

What a blog topic if ever there was one! It may be a heafty topic for a Thursday afternoon but I was reading an article on the Beeb regarding a lady called Naomi Klein. It seems she wrote a book called "no-logo" and she's a pretty big advocate of the anti-capitalist movement. I'm not so much moved to talk about her, more that reading about Naomi Klein has made me think just for a moment about the whole big picture.

Growing up as a kid in the 80's was a bit depressing I must admit. There was the obvious unemployment, boys from the blackstuff / bread mentality but beyond that was a child's constant fear of nuclear war. We had things like Raymond Briggs "When the Wind Blows" to contend with and although there was the optimism that it would never really happen, it was always something at the back of your mind growing up. I think the main political theme that I was aware of as a teenager was the battle between east and west, democracy and communism, freedom and oppression. I also guess that in a funny way - probably similar to those growing up in the first or second world wars - I thought that if freedom and democracy won this battle, there would be a bright great future and there would be an end to conflict completely. A bit like the Iraq war, what happens when the battle is won more important than winning the battle at all.

Probably the most important lesson to learn from all of this is not so much that democracy is far from perfect, more that everything cannot be neatly divided into black and white like many people would have us believe. Bush would have us believe that the war on terror is a case of good vs. evil but it's not. No more than the struggle between the IRA and the UK was a struggle of good vs. evil. If that were the case, McGuiness and Adams being in government means that evil has won, yet there's currently peace in NI?

It's maybe true that history's winners get to write history itself (I guess you just need a few select mates at Wikipedia these days and you've done it!) but leading back to Naomi Klein I think it's quite easy to see capitalism as the big evil of our time. I feel though that the problem isn't the neo-conservatives taking advantage of poorer countries and peoples, it's more that mankind quite simply isn't as nice as we'd like to think it is!
People on the whole think that they are alright, nice people who keep themselves to themselves and do little harm to anyone. We watch Tribe and Planet Earth and think that it's a shame that societies and animal environments are dying out. The truth is though that we're all responsible for what is happening in the world, we are better off because someone else is worse off and it's something that some people seem to have a hard time acknowledging.

For those who have a difficulty in "accepting the matrix" as it were, there are little tricks and techniques to help you get over it. These include, innocent smoothies, going on peace and environmental marches and maybe even books by people like Naomi Klein (which I haven't actually read to be fair but I will do to give her views a chance!).

It's a cold, hard, fact but man will most likely multiply and consume the resources of this planet till we either kill each other, move on or die out completely. Let's try not to full ourselves that we are special, or gods children or good at all. Like I said though, it's not all black and white, we do some cool things too, every once in a while...

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