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  • The Beyond Growth Congress - Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment
    be wearing the same traditional dress and the same jewelry as the day you first met her the jewelry being centuries old Things must be protected and made to last What was important to indigenous peoples were family and community relationships and the relationship to Mother Nature Pachamama In this respect Buen Vivir is very different from any kind of individualistic idea of Good Life It is only conceivable in the social context in which people live It involves striving for harmony and balance rather than dominance This is important because the concept is rooted in plurality and a coexistence based on respect both of human communities and of nature Thus decolonization in the Andean region is not tending to the creation of a new monolithic point of view but is seen as needing to be built on a diversity of cultures Nor is it about a simple return to ancestral and traditional thinking Buen Vivir not only allows differences but actively seeks them out Thinkers from the Andes communicate with other cultures as well as with dissident Western thinkers and make reference to philosophers like Bloch and Benjamin as well as Aristotle and the philosophers of deep ecology So what does this Buen Vivir consist of The general principles can be summarized thus Harmony and balance of all and with all Complementarity solidarity and equality Collective well being and the satisfaction of the basic needs of all in harmony with mother earth Respect for the rights of mother earth and for human rights Recognition of people for what they are and not for what they own Removal of all forms of colonialism imperialism and interventionism Peace between people and with mother earth This is the very antithesis of the idea of consumerist wellbeing which is largely focused on material possessions so that people can organize themselves within a status hierarchy over and above others One is reminded of the book by Wilkinson and Pickett The Spirit Level which shows clearly that well being and health is directly correlated with the degree of equality in a society Social harmony is important to Good Life and is enhanced by greater harmony with nature The Rights of the Earth Let us now turn to the rights of mother earth or Pachamama It was on the basis of the rights of mother earth that the Bolivian government rejected the Copenhagen compromise and then went on to organize their own conference in Cochabamba where they put forward and agreed a Charter for the Rights of Mother Earth in 2010 To understand Pachamama properly one has to understand Pacha as a key concept for cultures in the Andes It is an ambiguous concept that refers to the totality of being It includes not only space and time but also forms of life that transcend space and time Pacha is not only time and space it is the ability to have an active participation in the universe to immerse in it to be in it Manqhapacha is the telluric earth related dimension of the Pacha it relates to the inner earth as the origin Thomas Fatheuer writes Indigenous people not only do NOT see the earth as a resource store that belongs to them they see themselves as part of the earth they are walking and living pieces of the earth They do not have an anthropocentric world view with humans as the peak of creation and its owner their view is nature centric with humans as participants and parts in this world According to the Cochabamba Convention of 22 April 2010 the following rights of mother earth were suggested The right to life and to existence The right to be respected The right continue its cycles and life processes free from damage caused by humans The right to protection of its identity and integrity as a diverse self directed and interrelated being The right to water as the source of life The right to clean air The right to all round health The right to freedom from contamination and pollution by toxic and radioactive wastes The right not to be impaired by genetic modification or having its structure modified which would threaten its life and health functions The right to speedy and complete rescission of human activities which breach the principles of the declaration This is not sustainable development nor can it even be described as designing and arguing for a green economy Neither is it the same as putting decarbonizing the economy into focus as a central aim It puts into question all our European concepts of modernity in which nature is out there as an external store of resources and a sink available for human use This is a different voice coming from a different cultural viewpoint outside the Western tradition This civilization pradigm with its assumed superiority is now challenged Resisting the Pressure to Exploit But what of the practice Ecuador and Bolivia have been making their own path in South America but they have not been able to completely sever themselves from the processes of capitalist development Both Alberto Acosta and Elisa Vega explained how hard it was in practice to oppose the priorities and pressure of global economic forces The global economic stresses are experienced in their countries as a drive to open up to exploitation for mining and energy interests they said And as Thomas Fatheuer argues it is an irony of history that it turns out to be Bolivia of all places that has the world s greatest reserves of lithium a strategic resource of the future necessary for batteries for mobile phones and electric cars The temptation to mine is overwhelming When the Bolivian government negotiates with Japanese interests for a strategic economic partnership it is reproducing another form of what was repeatedly called extractionist economics in the Beyond Growth congress It remains to be seen how this will work itself out There are dangers of Buen Vivir being pressured into a compromise of Buen Vivir Lite

    Original URL path: https://www.adbusters.org/article/the-beyond-growth-congress/ (2016-02-09)
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  • A Short History of Capitalism - Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment
    bankers to all of Europe Their home base Florence became a cultural center to rank with the Athens of ancient Greece John Adkins Richardson 02 Property In his marvelous book The Structures of Everyday Life Civilization and Capitalism 15th 18th Century historian Fernand Braudel wrote of the gradual insinuation of the money economy into the lives of medieval peasants What did it actually bring Sharp variations in prices of essential foodstuffs incomprehensible relationships in which man no longer recognized either himself his customs or his ancient values His work became a commodity himself a thing While early forms of money consisted of anything from sheep to shells coins made of gold and silver gradually emerged as the most practical universally accepted means of exchange measure of value and store of value Money s ease of storage enabled industrious individuals to accumulate substantial amounts of wealth But this concentrated wealth also presented a target for thieves Thievery was especially a problem for traders while the portability of money enabled travel over long distances for the purchase of rare fabrics and spices highwaymen often lurked along the way ready to snatch a purse at knifepoint These problems led to the invention of banking a practice in which metalsmiths who routinely dealt with large amounts of gold and silver and who were accustomed to keeping it in secure well guarded vaults agreed to store other people s coins offering storage receipts in return Storage receipts could then be traded as money thus making trade easier and safer Eventually by the Middle Ages goldsmith bankers realized that they could issue these tradable receipts for more gold than they had in their vaults without anyone being the wiser They did this by making loans of the receipts for which they charged a fee amounting to a percentage of the loan 03 Usury Initially the church regarded the practice of profiting from loans as a sin known as usury but the bankers found a loophole in religious doctrine it was permitted to charge for reimbursement of expenses incurred in making the loan This was termed interest Gradually bankers widened the definition of interest to include what had formerly been called usury The practice of loaning out receipts for gold that didn t really exist worked fine unless many receipt holders wanted to redeem paper notes for gold or silver all at once Fortunately for the bankers this happened so rarely that eventually the writing of receipts for more money than was on deposit became a perfectly respectable practice known as fractional reserve banking It turned out that having increasing amounts of money in circulation was a benefit to traders and industrialists during the historical period when all of this was happening a time when unprecedented amounts of new wealth were being created first through colonialism and slavery but then by harnessing the enormous energies of fossil fuels The last impediment to money s ability to act as a lubricant for transactions was its remaining tie to

    Original URL path: https://www.adbusters.org/article/a-short-history-of-capitalism/ (2016-02-09)
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  • A New Economics - Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment
    with the most at stake the students They are the ones who are being fed the story about the economy If they decide not to buy in then that will be it One excuse heard for the lack of progress in economics is that academia changes slowly But that isn t true at all Nothing much happens for a long time but when change comes it is often sudden and violent like an earthquake or indeed a financial crash Early in the last century physics was completely rewritten in the space of a few years Recent technological advances such as the human genome project have revolutionized biology So students decision time You live at what many believe is a bifurcation point in human history You ve seen all the graphs with lines curving up like a ski jump human population gross domestic product species extinction carbon emissions inequality resource shortages You know that something has to give You ve got an idea that the price isn t right Maybe you re even suspicious that if the world economy does turn out to be a Ponzi scheme you or your children are a little bit late to the game You stand at a fork in the road You can take the orthodox route and risk ending up with a qualification as impressive as a degree in Marxist ideology right after the fall of the Berlin Wall Or you can take a chance on a regime shift by speaking up questioning your teachers being open to disruptive ideas and generally acting as an agent of change You can insist that the economy is a complex dynamic networked system and demand the tools to understand it You can point out that the economy is unfair unstable and unsustainable and demand the skills to heal it You can tell the oracles they have failed You can go in and break the machine And then you can do something new A New Economics Of course there s a risk to taking such a path But it is no bigger than the one taken by those maverick outsiders Jevons Walras and Pareto when they developed neoclassical economics For a theory to last almost 150 years is a triumph of sorts For it to last one more decade will be a disaster It was perhaps the right story for a certain period of history or the one that people wanted to hear but it has far outlived its usefulness Since the credit crunch the world economy has sprung back quite well in most places Stock markets have made back much of their losses Unemployment has apparently stabilized as has the US housing market Bank profits have recovered However at the time of writing no such rebound has been seen in the bee population There is less oil in the ground and more carbon in the sky Private sector debt has been replaced by public sector debt raising the specter of sovereign default in some countries The financial

    Original URL path: https://www.adbusters.org/article/a-new-economics/ (2016-02-09)
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  • The Birth of a Nation - Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment
    the world They are asking the United Nations to formally recognize Palestine as an independent sovereign state within its 1967 borders There is a profound symbolic significance to this move It was with a vote in the General Assembly in November 1947 that the state of Israel first achieved recognition through a resolution calling for mutually occupied land to be divided into two states Israel and most of the nations of the world have long viewed that vote as the source of Israel s legitimacy as a nation If the United Nations General Assembly created the state of Israel sixty years ago it can create a Palestinian state now A bold stroke of poetic justice like that could breathe new life into the whole region and beyond FROM Adbusters 94 Post Normal Order this issue Subscribe to Adbusters Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Panache RobinHood Global March Also In This Magazine Conflict Kitchen Adapted from an interview between Chelsea Haines and Jon Rubin that originally appears in Guernica A Magazine of Art Politics November 18 2015 Heavy Reader 1948 The scientist in me wants to find logical explanations for why people kill each other and do not simply share and care

    Original URL path: https://www.adbusters.org/article/the-birth-of-a-nation/ (2016-02-09)
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  • Brigades! - Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment
    where a corrupt plutocratic government is finally crumbling under the weight of the economic crisis while student and migrant riots are growing by the day Italy too has a strong historic tradition of resistance struggle together with a widespread anarchist culture especially in the southern regions To this list I would like to add the United Kingdom the laboratory for tomorrow s post crisis Europe The UK is a pacified normalized First World country and I suggest we focus our energies here because if the totalitarian capitalist project succeeds in Britain the rest of Europe will have a functioning model to follow A defeat in the UK would be an extremely dangerous step towards a general defeat across the whole continent For this reason I believe that just like Spain in the 1930s the United Kingdom should become the destination for the New International Brigades How can we imagine International Brigades to function today I believe that rather than armed conflict the practice of struggle today is that of prefigurative politics in the sense of an immediate implementation of models of life that are already utopian Partly because of the Schengen Agreement for free circulation within the EU and the availability of cheap transport it is now possible to imagine internal migrations on a scale that were once inconceivable Any young unemployed person in any European country could quickly and cheaply move to the UK for an indefinite period of time We could flood the UK with masses of radicals with little to lose and a world to win Considering that youth unemployment rates in most European countries are around 20 the numbers we are talking about are truly astonishing Once in the UK this wave of political migrants aka New International Brigades could gather around countless local projects in

    Original URL path: https://www.adbusters.org/article/brigades/ (2016-02-09)
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  • Why We Can't Wait - Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment
    action the large groups of people necessary to attract attention and convey the determination of the majority The conservatives who say Let us not move so fast and extremists who say Let us go out and whip the world would tell you that they are as far apart as the poles But there is a striking parallel They accomplish nothing for they do not reach the people who have a crying need to be free We had decided to limit the first few days efforts to sit ins Being prepared for a long struggle we felt it best to begin modestly with a limited number of arrests each day By rationing our energies in this manner we would help toward the buildup and drama of a growing campaign The first demonstrations were accordingly not spectacular but they were well organized Operating on a precise timetable small groups maintained a series of sit ins at lunch counters in the downtown department stores and drugstores When the demonstrators were asked to leave and refused they were arrested under the local trespass after warning ordinance By Friday night there had been no disturbances worth note Evidently neither Bull Connor the segregationist police commissioner of Birmingham nor the merchants expected this quiet beginning to blossom into a large scale operation On one dramatic occasion even Bull Connor s men were shaken It was a Sunday afternoon when several hundred Birmingham Negroes had determined to hold a prayer meeting near the city jail They gathered at the New Pilgrim Baptist Church and began an orderly march Bull Connor ordered out the police dogs and fire hoses When the marchers approached the border between the white and Negro areas Connor ordered them to turn back The Reverend Charles Billups who was leading the march politely refused Enraged Bull Connor whirled on his men and shouted Dammit Turn on the hoses What happened in the next 30 seconds was one of the most fantastic events of the Birmingham story Bull Connor s men their deadly hoses poised for action stood facing the marchers The marchers many of them on their knees stared back unafraid and unmoving Slowly the Negroes stood up and began to advance Connor s men as though hypnotized fell back their hoses sagging uselessly in their hands while several hundred Negroes marched past them without further interference and held their prayer meeting as planned With the jails filling up and the scorching glare of national disapproval focused on Birmingham Bull Connor abandoned his posture of nonviolence The result was an ugliness too well known to Americans and to people all over the world The newspapers of May 4 carried pictures of prostrate women and policemen bending over them with raised clubs of children marching up to the bared fangs of police dogs of the terrible force of pressure hoses sweeping bodies into the streets This was the time of our greatest stress and the courage and conviction of those students and adults made it

    Original URL path: https://www.adbusters.org/article/why-we-cant-wait/ (2016-02-09)
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  • Narcissism - Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment
    insatiable vanity Narcissus was lured to a pond by the Greek god Nemesis There he fell in love with his own reflection and died in permanent adoration of himself paralyzed by his own beauty Far from being a symbolic mythical anecdote narcissism is a growing global pathology manifest as addiction to self infatuation and self love At all times narcissists greatest concern is how they look as opposed to how they feel So they deny any feelings or realities that contradict the image they seek Their obsession shuts out all meaningful human interaction to the point where afflicted individuals walk in a sea of imagined minions all adoring their presumed grandeur Narcissism is also signified by unrelenting tendencies toward manipulation seduction power and control FROM Adbusters 97 Post Anarchism Order this issue Subscribe to Adbusters Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Nuke Ocean Does the American Left have the guts to pull this off Also In This Magazine Narcissistic Personality Disorder Updates to the DSM V August 20 2013 Nuke Ocean Western naval intelligence sources report that three Israeli submarines are prowling off the coast of Iran September 1 2011 America s Decline Thomas Friedman David Brooks Charlie Rose and Kono Matsu

    Original URL path: https://www.adbusters.org/article/narcissism/ (2016-02-09)
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  • David Graeber - Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment
    root is a veritable obsession on the part of the rulers of the world in response to the upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s with ensuring that social movements cannot be seen to grow flourish or propose alternatives that those who challenge existing power arrangements can never under any circumstances be perceived to win To do so requires creating a vast apparatus of armies prisons police various forms of private security firms and police and military intelligence apparatus and propaganda engines of every conceivable variety most of which do not attack alternatives directly so much as create a pervasive climate of fear jingoistic conformity and simple despair that renders any thought of changing the world an idle fantasy Maintaining this apparatus seems more important to exponents of the free market than maintaining any sort of viable market economy How else can one explain what happened in the former Soviet Union One would ordinarily have imagined that the end of the Cold War would have led to the dismantling of the army and the KGB and rebuilding the factories but in fact what happened was precisely the other way around This is just an extreme example of what has been happening everywhere Economically the apparatus is pure dead weight all the guns surveillance cameras and propaganda engines are extraordinarily expensive and really produce nothing and no doubt it s yet another element dragging the entire capitalist system down along with producing the illusion of an endless capitalist future that laid the groundwork for the endless bubbles to begin with Finance capital became the buying and selling of chunks of that future and economic freedom for most of us was reduced to the right to buy a small piece of one s own permanent subordination In other words there seems to have

    Original URL path: https://www.adbusters.org/article/david-graeber/ (2016-02-09)
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