Haitian women protest, in 2011, conditions in which rape is free and easy (photo by Ansel Herz IPS)
Haitian Sweatshop Workers Speak: Sub-Poverty Wages and Sexual Coercion | Common Dreams.
*edit, May 21, 2013 – I have edited a couple small parts of this to make it clearer. Interestingly, one part gave me quite a bit of trouble. It seemed so straightforward until I started to explain it better. But I’ve got it sorted out. That part was about the relation of spiritual failures who are victims of corporatocracy to spiritual failures who are of the 1%. Another part that I got wrong, not because I don’t understand it, but because it’s complex, I also sorted out. That was easier to do and it involved my explanation of the difference between believing something and ‘choosing’ to believe in something. I also fixed a number of typos. It was a long post. If anyone sees anything they think is wrong, in any way, please feel free to let me know.
An excerpt from the above CD article by Beverly Bell follows:
Suzette Pierre worked in a garment factory from 2003-2005, until being fired for refusing to continue sleeping with her supervisor. Though she has been unemployed since, she says she won’t work in a factory again. She has four children.
“The person who got me the job at the factory told me to have sex with him. Each time he wanted it, I was supposed to go along with it. I resigned myself to it, because I had to save the lives of my two children. I got pregnant, but I still worked every day, every day. He didn’t fire me because I never refused to give him what he demanded.
“What I did at the factory was pull the stray threads from the shirts and then fold and pack them properly. Each packet had 32 shirts. To meet quota, I had to clean [pull threads] and pack seven packets each day [0.5 cents per shirt]. But I couldn’t do that, to be honest. I could never meet the quota, so I only made 450 gourdes [US $10.71] every two weeks. I couldn’t take care of my children any more and I took them out of school.
“The reason I left the factory was because another man, the supervisor, demanded that I sleep with him, too. If you had a complaint, like you need more hours to work, he got you the hours. But then you had to pay him. Any time he wanted to use you, he could. We would arrange a rendez-vous in his bedroom, or sometimes I would meet him at a hotel. I went because I wanted my children to go to school. And every time he passed me in the factory, he would grope me.
“It was like being pressed in a vise, like every person could demand that I sleep with him. I couldn’t take it any longer. I resigned myself, I spoke to the children, I said, “Misery for more misery, surviving just to survive… nothing is going to change this way.”
“I wouldn’t go along with it anymore. So they fired me.
“If the U.N. wants to put more factories in Haiti, it could be good, because there are a lot of people who don’t have work. But me, if someone who runs a factory wanted me to go there, I wouldn’t go. I already did two jobs at once. I’ve already been through that. If they’re really going to establish more factories, there needs to be a pledge that women doing factory work don’t have to do the other kind of work.”
The world’s operating principle is ‘riches for the strongest’, a contradiction in terms – if we were in fact meant to be interdependent and mutually supportive as family members. This world that we know is a dark world that has rejected the Creator, Jehovah, who is God. Jehovah, however that name is pronounced, is God’s self-given name meaning He Causes To Become.
When you enter onto the wide and spacious, and dark, road that leads to destruction, after modifying yourself, you will ‘naturally’ tell yourself that you’re on the wide and spacious road that leads to freedom and life. Most people, good and bad, desire life. We all – good and bad, wise and unwise, rich and poor – have to live with ourselves and the choices we make. But we are all, for now, imperfect. Anyone can make an unwise choice. And imperfection may mean that one who does so also lacks humility, which is the ability to accept one’s own imperfections, limitations and, if there, low station in life. When such a person makes unwise choices, what prevents him or her from extricating himself from that situation is false pride that causes him to rationalize and justify his wrong choice instead of admitting his misake. Others who are similarly errant will only prove to be a source of encouragement for the errant one, rather than an example of how not to proceed. And misery loves company because everyone loves moral support. Please, Tell me I’m wise!
Indeed, From one standpoint it’s true that everyone desires life, including those entering onto the wide and spacious road that Jesus warned his followers to avoid. That road is wide and spacious precisely because it’s travellers have been freed from concern for rules. Obey them if you wish to. Disobey them if you wish to, which you may wish to do if obeying certain rules seems inconvenient or if disobeying certain rules seems to be a way to get something you want. As Jesus noted, That road, which is also a path of darkness, is unlike the road leading to life, which is to say ‘life’ from God’s standpoint, which Jesus’s words and example pointed to. Jesus described the road leading to life as being cramped and narrow, which it would no doubt feel like when you believe in law and order and endeavor to follow the rules, provided they weren’t clearly insane rules made by people with bad intentions.
Darkness is what Satan bought when he rebelled against the Source of life and light. Darkness is what Adam and Eve bought when they allowed themselves to be deceived by the serpent, standing in for Satan. The Bible reveals that Satan has undergone a progressive abasement since his initial rebellion. For a time, he was free to mingle in heaven with other angels and even stand in the presence of God, which he did. He even used such occasions, at least sometimes, to rant at God about God’s supposedly failed ‘project earth’ and it’s human component (http://bit.ly/12F6vcu & http://bit.ly/18VY4wY). He was allowed to do that until 1914 CE, when Jesus, back home where he belonged, kicked Satan out of heaven, but not (yet) earth and human affairs. At the time, that meant woe for the whole world of mankind, as Revelation chapter 12 states. World War One ensued and the end of that conflagration by no means ushered in paradise on earth. We are in an era of darkness. And the darkness is deeper, in some ways, than what existed before.
“When civilizations start to die they go insane. Let the ice sheets in the Arctic melt. Let the temperatures rise. Let the air, soil and water be poisoned. Let the forests die. Let the seas be emptied of life. Let one useless war after another be waged. Let the masses be thrust into extreme poverty and left without jobs while the elites, drunk on hedonism, accumulate vast fortunes through exploitation, speculation, fraud and theft. Reality, at the end, gets unplugged. We live in an age when news consists of Snooki’s pregnancy, Hulk Hogan’s sex tape and Kim Kardashian’s denial that she is the naked woman cooking eggs in a photo circulating on the Internet. Politicians, including presidents, appear on late night comedy shows to do gags and they campaign on issues such as creating a moon colony.” – Chris Hedges, “Welcome To The Asylum”
“For whoever wants to save his soul will lose it; but whoever loses his soul for my sake will find it. For what benefit will it be to a man if he gains the whole world but forfeits his soul? or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Jesus’s words as recorded in Matthew 16:25,26
From an interview with Malai Joya by Elsa Rassbach, the following:
“To make the current puppet regime in Kabul more powerful, the U.S. and NATO have been trying to bring together three groups that emerged during three criminal periods of war in Afghanistan: the warlords, the Taliban, and some of those who served the hated Russian occupation.
“Both the Taliban and the Northern Alliance warlords are long-time allies of the West. These groups are criminal, dark-minded, and reactionary to the core. In their lust for power, they are ready to sacrifice national interests of Afghanistan to any foreign power.
“The Taliban and the Northern Alliance warlords are responsible for much of the suffering of the Afghan people. They are like a wolf and a vulture and can never be regarded part of a “solution” to Afghanistan’s tragedy. Our people want them prosecuted as traitors and war criminals. But the West wants to “unite” them and impose them on our nation. Joining this dirty mafia regime are some of the ex-Russian puppets, the Khalq and the Parcham, who tortured and killed countless innocent democratic-minded people. Such “unity” may serve the U.S./NATO interests in Afghanistan, but will lead to another reign of terror and brutalities upon our poor people.
“As history shows, the U.S. has relied on criminals, dictators, human rights violators, and reactionary forces in many other countries of the world. Recently in Libya the U.S. and NATO supported fundamentalists who are worse than Qaddafi; in Syria they are supporting Al-Qaeda and other such dirty groups. So it is not surprising that they are once again working with the Taliban and with Hekmatyar and other criminals in my country.
“It was the U.S. that brought the warlords into power in Kabul, and the U.S./NATO puppet Karzai is even more shameless than previous Afghan puppets of the British and the Russians. While the puppets of Russia and Britain negotiated behind closed doors, Karzai is publicly selling Afghanistan to a foreign master. The so-called strategic agreements like the Bilateral Security Agreement provide for long-term U.S./NATO military bases in Afghanistan. The U.S. wants to remain in Afghanistan because of its geopolitical location: to be able to control other Asian powers like Pakistan, Iran, Russia and China.
“Karzai and Obama are working on an outline of an agreement for legalizing permanent military bases in Afghanistan. But as long as we have foreign military bases in our country, we have no independence. And when we have no independence, we have nothing, and all talk of democracy, human rights and women’s rights is a joke. Afghanistan is the second most corrupt country in the world. And Afghanistan is the worst place to be a woman, according to a recent international study. They are looting our rich mineral deposit mines worth three trillion dollars, and they are raking in money from the drug trade.”
And then there’s Iraq. Remember Democrat Clinton’s sanctions against the Iraqi people, which began in 1990 and mostly ended in 2003? And it’s really the people who are the enemy because it’s their land and resources you’re stealing and you need to sideline them one way or another. Killing them is desirable, especially if they’re weak – and children are, in some ways, weak – because then you can feel powerful. It’s glorious.
From Noam Chomsky’s article titled “”Good News,” Iraq and Beyond”, the following:
“Though the wreckage of Iraq today is too visible to try to conceal, the assault of the new barbarians is carefully circumscribed in the doctrinal system so as to exclude the horrendous effects of the Clinton sanctions – including their crucial role in preventing the threat that Iraqis would send Saddam to the same fate as Ceasescu, Marcos, Suharto, Chun, and many other monsters supported by the US and UK until they could no longer be maintained. Information about the effect of the sanctions is hardly lacking, in particular about the humanitarian phase of the sanctions regime, the oil-for-peace program initiated when the early impact became so shocking that UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright had to mumble on TV that the price was right whatever the parents of hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi children might think. The humanitarian program, which graciously permitted Iraq to use some of its oil revenues for the devastated population, was administered by highly respected and experienced UN diplomats, who had teams of investigators all over the country and surely knew more about the situation in Iraq than any other Westerners. The first, Denis Halliday, resigned in protest because the policies were “genocidal.” His successor, Hans von Sponeck, resigned two years later when he concluded that the sanctions violated the Genocide Convention. The Clinton administration barred him from providing information about the impact to the Security Council, which was technically responsible. As Albright’s spokesperson James Rubin explained, “this man in Baghdad is paid to work, not to speak.”
“Von Sponeck does, however, speak; in extensive detail in his muted but horrifying book A Different Kind of War. But the State Department ruling prevails. One will have to search diligently to find even a mention of these revelations or what they imply. Knowing too much, Halliday and von Sponeck were also barred from the media during the build-up to the invasion of Iraq.”
“Since 2006, von Sponeck’s book has been mentioned once in the entire UK national press. It has never been reviewed.” – Media Lens (“The Iraq War Was Not A Media Failure,” Dissident Voice)
We are in a time of wrapping up, during which sheeplike citizens (law abiding citizens who have not rejected the Creator) are being separated (however that is being done) from goatlike citizens (who lack principles and who have no problem with breaking rules for gain). Once that operation has wrapped up, this world will be consigned to the fire. That’s this ‘world’, not this planet.
The name given for Satan in his role as prime instigator of conflict and destruction in these end times is ‘Gog’. And if we don’t know exactly what the word ‘Gog’ means, then I would suggest that we look at what is different about that once high angel before and after his banishment from heaven and God’s presence. And the main difference – not found in his goal of trying to force Jehovah to change his mind (and die as a result, eventually), which is the same – is his condition of darkness. His condition is worse than before 1914, but not as bad as it will get before he’s destroyed. Humans (and perhaps there’s a Biblical basis for it) gave Satan the name Lucifer, which is Latin for ‘Shining One’. In the Bible (Isaiah chapter 14 & Ezekiel chapter 28), that label was actually applied to the kings of Tyre and Babylon. If those kings are a type (similar to ‘symbol’ but having a prophetic sense) of Satan, and they may have been, then Lucifer is also an apt name for Satan.
But the light that emits from that fallen angel is not the same as the light that comes from God and his representatives. Jesus noted that when the Devil speaks, he speaks according to his own disposition. And he called him a liar and the father of the lie. When he seduced Eve, he told her that contrary to God’s warning about eating the forbidden fruit (from one particular tree among countless others), in which God said that should she or Adam eat that fruit, then they would die, she would instead live. He implied that her and Adam were not really living! And he told Eve that her eyes would be opened, implying that God was withholding from her and Adam knowledge. Call him the first traveller on the wide and spacious road leading to destruction. But all of this is circular. There would have been nothing additional for Eve to know here had Satan not rebelled and sought the worship of Adam and Eve for himself. Now, Adam and Eve, for their foolishness in forgetting their provider and his love would have to learn, the hard way, what separation from the Source of love and life means. There is no indication in the Bible record that Adam and Eve persisted in their delusion that the serpent was leading them to paradise. But they could have chosen to call their new path a path to life if they had wanted to. It would not have mattered. It would not have caused God’s judgment to come down any differently.
I was intrigued by a fantasy show on television that I came across when I was looking for something to watch. It was a short-lived series called 666 Park Avenue. The show centered around a mysterious hotel, the Drake (dragon?), glittery and shining and beautiful, but harboring a darkness that swallowed souls. It was owned by a resident named Gavin Doran, a man who had sold his soul so that he and his beautiful wife, Olivia, could have their fortune and the good life, which anyone would want. Gavin had discovered that he could not only sell his soul for gain, but that he could help the Devil to take other souls as well and really do well. And be someone in his dark Lord’s kingdom. Indeed, the show (which may get a re-newed life temporarily, so as to finish up – in a nicer manner?) finishes with Gavin having set things up for a world ruler to come on the scene who would take his direction from darkness.
Gavin was always telling people that for the thing you strongly desired, there was a price to pay should you receive it. And maybe that’s how he saw things. From his lost standpoint, it would be that simple. But from the standpoint of one who still possessed his soul, who had not chosen to disconnect from the Source of life, things weren’t quite that simple. You could re-phrase Gavin’s statement (take note Stephen Harper and Barack Obama) in order to get “For every crime you commit, there’s a penalty.” Because in Gavin’s world, Getting what you wanted always involved breaking some sort of rule. In Gavin’s world, faith in a God of light is valueless. Forget God. Be God, like Satan. Do your own thing and be free. Aleister Crowley showed the way. The law, in his dark world, was “Do what thou wilt.” (Like Hollywood, this ‘entertainer’ was careful to block out light with darkness, to replace natural light with his own light. From his ‘thou’ and ‘wilt’ affectation and the high falutin, higher-education-influenced mumbo jumbo of his spells and so forth, one could, without sufficient wisdom and wariness, be seduced by that serpent’s wiles. Have a look at the Golden Dawn manuel for a taste of such nonsense. I don’t know whether Crowley had any input into that – and it’s been a long time since I looked at anything occult – even though he led that org once, but it’s the sort of nonsense he was taken up with. The link provided is to a book I once owned.) Whenever Hollywood does Christian religion, you hear the Bible quoted in archaic Elizabethan English, as though it had actually been written in that language! It’s partly attitude. But it’s also an assault on light. People mustn’t get the idea that the Bible is like any book that they can pick up and read and learn something from.)
There’s Christmas. A time of joy and happiness. And windfall profits. When I was assigned, as a security guard, to Walmart a couple years back, at Christmas, I was horrified at the mountains of plastic toys I saw. I thought “So that’s what they spill oceans of blood for. They steal entire countries, killing those who live there and who object or might object to the theft of their country, which is never done gently, so that they can get at the oil under the ground so that they can turn it into plastic toys and lubricants for their armies so that they can… do more of that. Wow!” The zillions of lights you see lighting up towns and cities at Christmas impart zero wisdom to the multitudes who drink it in prior to zoning out.
From William Blum’s Dissident Voice article titled “Obama’s Sincerity And Atrocity Prevention,” we get the following:
Here’s Michael Klare, professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College, Mass. in 2007:
Sixteen gallons of oil. That’s how much the average American soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan consumes on a daily basis — either directly, through the use of Humvees, tanks, trucks, and helicopters, or indirectly, by calling in air strikes. Multiply this figure by 162,000 soldiers in Iraq, 24,000 in Afghanistan, and 30,000 in the surrounding region (including sailors aboard U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf) and you arrive at approximately 3.5 million gallons of oil: the daily petroleum tab for U.S. combat operations in the Middle East war zone. Multiply that daily tab by 365 and you get 1.3 billion gallons: the estimated annual oil expenditure for U.S. combat operations in Southwest Asia. That’s greater than the total annual oil usage of Bangladesh, population 150 million — and yet it’s a gross underestimate of the Pentagon’s wartime consumption.
Darkness is it’s own reward. I would have no way of guaging how much dumber Satan is today than when he first got the idea that he could have worship for himself similar to what he saw being directed toward God, both by his fellow angels and by the newly created human couple, and I am sure he’s a hell of a lot smarter than I am, but I also think my principle is good. I’m not concerned with just how much knowledge, or ‘brain’ power, Satan has lost because of his choices. But I do find it interesting, and alarming, to observe the way fellow humans who have embraced darkness tend to display amazing stupidity, matched by their amazing cruelty and criminality. I’m convinced that while you may start out clever enough when you first choose darkness for gain, you eventually end up quite stupid and disconnected from reality. But in this world, which belongs to the Devil (a name meaning ‘slanderer’), that could easily get you a good job. In this mafia capitalist system, this corporatocracy, you don’t need to possess a work ethic – or a good work ethic that normal people would recognize as one. You don’t need to bother being professional as long as you know how to look professional. Those in the military in charge of hiring and supervising other officers to investigate sex crimes in the military can expect to be protected when their hires turn up charged with sexual assault (See the TruthDig article titled “Addressing The Epidemic Of Military Sexual Assault,” by Amy Goodman.). The predators’ bosses, all the way to the top, play the same game, going through the motions, like president Obama, promising to deal with the situation. Malai Joya, above, has a few things to say about that piece of work.
We are in the neoliberal era. Neoliberal capitalism is upon us – in spades. Free trade agreements abound, giving more and more freedom and rights to corporations at the expense of citizens. That freedom is equal to great lawlessness, either because it enables criminal activity, such as tax evasion through the use of ‘legal’ tax havens (used by all manner of criminals and terrorists), or because it is done in a criminal manner even if authorities choose to ignore the criminality on display. Look at how Monsanto got the act, nicknamed the Monsanto Protection Act, put into law (“How The Monsanto Protection Act Snuck Into Law,” by Natasha Lennerd, Salon). Indeed, Corporations and powerful special interests determine who rules politically now, so it’s a simple enough matter for them to have their man in the White House (and in all White Houses planet-wide) declare their lawlessness to be lawful. We’ve seen a lot of that lately. It’s not criminal to torture animals in your care within livestock facilities – if you can criminalize those who would expose such behavior (See “Shocking: Reporting Factory Farm Abuses to be Considered “Act of Terrorism” If New Laws Pass,” by Katherine Paul and Ronnie Cummins, Alternet ). It’s not illegal to do imperialism – which is aggression by one nation against another or others, not in self-defense, but for gain – but it is illegal for whistleblowers like Bradley Manning to reveal details about that imperialism (“”Astoundingly Disturbing”: Obama Administration Claims Power to Wage Endless War Across the Globe” and “Chris Hedges: Monitoring of AP Phones a “Terrifying” Step in State Assault on Press Freedom.” from Democracy Now). And so on.
From page 52 of Chris Hedges’s “Death Of The Liberal Class,” we get the following:
“What was once done by the military, concerned with tactical and strategic advancement, is now done by war profiteers, concerned solely with profit. The aims of the military and the contractors are in conflict. Any scaling down of the war or withdrawal means a loss of business for corporations. But expansion of the war, as many veterans will attest, is making the situation only more precarious.
“”American and Afghan soldiers are putting their lives at risk, Afghan civilians are dying, and yet there’s this underlying system in place that gains more from keeping all of them in harm’s way rather than taking them out of it,” the [American] officer complained. “If we bring peace and stability to Afghanistan, we may profit morally, we might make gains for humanity, but moral profits and human gains do not contribute to the bottom line. Peace and profit are ultimately contradictory forces at work in Afghanistan.”
“We hear of the wells dug, the schools built, the roads paved and the food distributed in Afghan villages by the occupation forces – and almost nothing about the huge profits made by contractors. It is estimated that only ten percent of the money poured into Afghanistan is used to ameliorate the suffering of the Afghan civilians. The remainder is swallowed by contractors who siphon the money out of Afghanistan and into foreign bank accounts.”
And so on.
The neoliberal era and the incredible spectacle of lawless ‘law & order’ governments roughly correspond to Gog’s attack of (the Bible book) Ezekiel chapters 38 & 39. That attack is not principally physical. It’s principally spiritual or psychological/spritual. I’m half way through Chris Hedge’s eye-opening book titled “Death Of The Liberal Class.” Chris doesn’t realize it, but he is, to a great extent, chronicling the loss of so many people to the forces of darkness, which doesn’t just entail a loss of intellectual and moral integrity for those who are seduced (with the ‘gift’ of mysterious lawlessness, a type of freedom) into playing the great game of ‘riches for the strongest’ (resulting in the physical deaths of thousands so that a minority of insane parasites can make money). It also entails a strengthening of the forces of darkness. The true victims (who experience spiritual failure) aren’t just subtracted from the global population. They (except for individuals who physically die) are added to a dark class in the global population that includes the 1%. Some enter into that class and join the 1% and some don’t.
The dead aren’t dying. They are just switching sides. Those who remain ‘alive’ face increasingly difficult odds as their ranks dwindle and the ranks of the walking dead swell. This is not Hollywood. Again, I wouldn’t want to say that those spiritual failures are all joining the 1%, if what we mean by the 1% is: people who are economically secure, including the very rich, who are rightwing and who are believers in inequality. By one measure, that 1% is in the same class as all other spiritual failures. But, You can be an angry, poor victim of corporatocracy and still be rightwing, loony and itching to play the game of ‘riches for the strongest’ until you win – and others lose.
An excerpt from the above segment of Democracy Now, titled “Pentagon Study Finds 26,000 Military Sexual Assaults Last Year, Over 70 Sex Crimes Per Day” follows:
ANURADHA BHAGWATI: Military sexual violence is a very personal issue for me. During my five years as a Marine officer, I experienced daily discrimination and sexual harassment. I was exposed to a culture rife with sexism, rape jokes, pornography and widespread commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls, both in the United States and overseas.
My experiences came to a head while I was stationed at the School of Infantry at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, from 2002 to 2004, where I witnessed reports of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment swept under the rug by a handful of field-grade officers. Perpetrators were promoted or transferred to other units without punishment, while victims were accused of lying or exaggerating their claims in order to ruin men’s reputations.
As a company commander at the School of Infantry, I ultimately chose to sacrifice my own career to file an equal opportunity investigation against an offending officer. I was given a gag order by my commanding officer, got a military protection order against the officer in question, lived in fear of retaliation and violence from both the offender and my own chain of command, and then watched in horror as the offender was not only promoted but also given command of my company.
Again, The world’s operating principle is ‘riches for the strongest’. It’s most famous ‘king’ is the United States, with it’s rapist culture. And it pushes it’s darkness on the lesser kings, or crime bosses, in the wild beast of corporatocracy. It doesn’t matter that it compels the world to support it and it’s darkness. We are all compelled. Being under pressure to misbehave is not always accompanied by an inability to resist. We are imperfect, and therefore possess weakness, for sure. But that doesn’t automatically excuse us. As for uncle Sam, There’s no hope. He’s doomed. Individuals within that soon-to-be destroyed anti-God, anti-Christian country are another matter. And just as the corporatocracy’s current (and final) dominant king will be destroyed, as the Bible states, “not by hands,” so too will the entire corporatocracy. It isn’t just vile. It actively fights God’s son. It is compelled to do so. Fascists need to prove to themselves that there is no God (and bear in mind that many who say they believe in biological evolution do so actively and conveniently only, rather than actively and internally, or genuinely). That’s the disturbance in their souls showing. (There’s a difference between not believing in God and ‘choosing’ to not believe in God.) They can’t contain that disturbance within their souls and it expresses itself as the trouble – indeed, the terrorism and environmental destruction – that they cause. Darkness will certainly be it’s own reward when their clamoring for God to bring it on is answered, irresistibly.
And I heard a loud voice out of the sanctuary say to the seven angels: “Go and pour out the seven bowls of the anger of God into the earth.”…
And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Har–Ma‧ged′on.
And the seventh one poured out his bowl upon the air. At this a loud voice issued out of the sanctuary from the throne, saying: “It has come to pass!” And lightnings and voices and thunders occurred, and a great earthquake occurred such as had not occurred since men came to be on the earth, so extensive an earthquake, so great. And the great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell; and Babylon the Great was remembered in the sight of God, to give her the cup of the wine of the anger of his wrath. Also, every island fled, and mountains were not found. And a great hail with every stone about the weight of a talent descended out of heaven upon the men, and the men blasphemed God due to the plague of hail, because the plague of it was unusually great…
“And the ten horns that you saw mean ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they do receive authority as kings one hour with the wild beast. These have one thought, and so they give their power and authority to the wild beast. These will battle with the Lamb, but, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, the Lamb will conquer them. Also, those called and chosen and faithful with him [will do so].” (Revelation chapters 16,17)
That’s the kind of world it is. It’s lost. It’s spiritually dead and driven by a powerful, invisible spirit creature with his own agenda. It’s violent. Those who have invested their souls in this temporary, dark system of things play the great game of ‘riches for the strongest’ and get a perverse thrill from surviving by taking the means of survival from others. They enjoy showing off their power, as the Bible writer John noted. Matthew recorded Jesus’s teaching about investing your soul, and it wouldn’t be anything that a banker would enjoy pondering. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” said Jesus (Matthew 6:19-24). He’s not talking about your desire. He’s talking about your ‘actual’ treasure, which includes your ‘actual’ deeds that brought that to you, which includes your ‘actual’ choices, whatever you believe. If you know better, but you choose Riches over God, then that’s it for you.
As I type this, at work, I sit in a beautiful old bank building in downtown Toronto. It’s the weekend and I’m enjoying quiet, with few people to deal with and no real physical work to do. I’m surrounded by power, privilege and wealth. Ironically it’s my own bank, which nickels and dimes me, as commercial banks, big users of tax havens, are wont to do to all their non-special customers. And, like most other (willing and unwilling) cogs in the great, grinding, inhuman machinery of corporatocracy, I have to mind my Ps and Qs. I enjoy my surroundings and it’s a plus, for sure, that I have all the free coffee I can drink here, but it’s so easy for security (at my level) to catch hell. And without a safety net, hell can be hot. Just like that, even without doing anything wrong, I can be destroyed. Some somebody could walk by me, not like something I say or the way I look or my accent and step on me like I was a gnat and not give it another thought. There’s no security for security, nor for most of the working class. The boss treats you like your his personal property and politicians support bosses and also view paid labour as the personal possession of employers.
I go to payday lenders every month. I make sure people know too, because I’m angry about it. I just read through an interesting section of Chris Hedges’s book, which I’ve quoted from here plenty, in which he quotes another writer, namely C. Wright Mills, who explains that that sort of response by victims of the corporatocracy is good and needed. “It is the ability, denied to the specialist, to turn personal troubles into social issues, as Mills wrote, to “see their relevance for his community and his community’s relevance for them” that should be the culmination of artistic and intellectual vision. Many trapped in mass culture are “gripped by personal troubles, but they are not aware of their true meaning and source.” And it is the task of the artist or the intellectual to “translate troubles into issues and issues into terms of their human meaning for the individual.” The failure to make knowledge and artistic expression relevant to human reality – the goal of the Bauhaus movement in Weimar Germany – has left the public unable to “see the roots of his own biases and frustrations, nor think clearly about himself, nor for that matter about anything else.”" -pg 122 of “Death Of The Liberal Class”
Okay, I’m not a professional anything, but I do enough research and blogging. Teachers should be both teachers and students anyway.
I received a letter a few days ago from my fake union (UCFW). I was being brushed off, again, by the security company I work for after asking for a raise. I had asked my union to look into it. The interesting thing about that is that my request came about after I had sent in a letter to UCFW about other matters. When the union rep called me to discuss the letter, I asked him to look into the raise issue just before saying goodbye. I had mentioned it in my letter but he wasn’t going to mention it! Yep, Lots of fight for the dues-paying members there! After hearing nothing for 3 weeks, I called him. He started to say something along the lines of “As we discussed, the rate for…,” at which point I cut him off and stated that “No, We didn’t discuss it. You didn’t mention it. I mentioned it after we discussed other matters and you simply said you’d look into it.” He didn’t reply. Perhaps he had the decency to be embarrassed that I had caught him bullcrapping me. He’s got this standard answer memorized for grunts like me, and when he forgot that we hadn’t actually discussed the issue which he starting talking to me about as though we had, that was revealing. Yep, as I said, There’s lots of fighting on behalf of dues-paying guards happening here. Not.
I have never had a raise with my current employer. I’m currently at $12.50 an hour and I make more than a lot of other guards in my biz, some of whom are married with kids. I’ve worked for G4S since 2006. My seniority actually dates from 1999, since that’s when I began in security and there had been no interruption in my work when G4S bought the guard contracts of the other security company who I had been working for. (I was notified that they were giving guards with 10 years seniority a party some time ago. Cake in lieu of a raise eh. No thanks.) That’s exploitation. My pocket is being picked and ‘my’ government is okay with that and all the other rotten things corporations do to the people.
On the same day that I received my letter from the union, which I took to work with me and showed to my supervisor (who is cool), I saw an article in one of our local bird cage liners, 24hrs, about payday hell. Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s special to 24hrs, dated May 14, 2013, was titled “Overdraft no different than any other debt.” Not a word was typed about wages. And that’s why 24hrs was happy to print this annoying, self-serving piece of crap advice column. Her advice was, and I don’t exaggerate: +You’re in debt. Get out of debt+ Let me see, Skip coffee and socializing on my day off and stay at home in my super hot room about the size of a closet, Or buy her book which is advertized at the end of the article (not as part of the article), which will help get me out of debt? Hmmm. Really hard to say. Hmmm.
We are all cogs, but we aren’t all in the same position within the machinery. We all live under corporatocracy, even when the country we live in is run by a leader, like Evo Morales or Hugo Chavez, who resists assilimation into it. Living ‘under’ a system is not exactly the same as living under a system and having been corrupted by it. When the machine is destroyed, some cogs will be salvageable and some won’t be. My company’s owners and top officers, my union’s top officers, Paul, Gail and myself are all cogs. Which cogs get kept after the corporatocracy is destroyed depends on which cogs resist assimilation and assist, with whatever means they possess, the victims of corporatocracy. Loyalty to the Source of life might also help.
Women are, in some ways, weaker than men and, in a world whose dominant paradigm is ‘riches for the strongest’, that often means rape for women. And those who would do that demonstrate the effect of darkness on the mind, because normal people don’t want to experience intimacy that way. The rapist doesn’t gain something. The rapist takes something from his victim and himself. Poor people are weaker, in some ways, than rich people. We know the many ways, including actual rape (top of post), they get raped over by the rich. But it’s important for people to realize that the answer ‘is’ justice. It isn’t to give the same terror to our abusers, as much as that sentiment is understandable and forgiveable. (On the other hand, It may not be pure, but I don’t care about people who don’t care.) But grasping reality can’t hurt. For one thing, Being weak or a victim of predators doesn’t automatically make you righteous. Two, There is no perfect justice in this dark world. There’s justice here and there and now and again, but that’s it. Perfect justice will come from a higher, perfect Source. If we want to live in the new world to come, in which beastly, destructive, demented rebels are absent (individuals will always be free to rebel, but they won’t always be free to mould society in their image), then, as individuals, we must be careful to not play the losing game of ‘riches for the strongest’. Just playing that game means you lose.