Saturday, October 22, 2011

Unfinished Project

I turned my “Tribes and Nations” essay into a PowerPoint Video. I plan on doing more with it at some point, but here’s the unfinished product. This is part of a bigger project. I’m not sure if I should narrate it or add video clips. If you have any ideas let me know by leaving a comment.
Please note the thoughts in this essay are beyond the fringes of main stream and far-left politics, so if you’re not into that, then this isn’t for you.
If you have a hard time reading it the full screen function should help.
If you notice some mistakes in this presentation, you're not alone, Please keep in mind this is unfinished.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

It is what it is

               I wasn’t introduced to socialism through the teachings of Karl Marx, or any other philosopher. My understanding came from definitions I’ve obtained from various sources.
I often wonder if that makes me less of a socialist to some people.
I’m trying to gradually educate myself in the theories of others for the purposes of expanding my consciousness and to better communicate my views. I honestly don’t view socialism through the lens of a Marxist, but that’s not to say that I disagree with them on what I do know of their politics. Still perhaps this, to some people, disqualifies me from being socialist. If it does; so be it. I’ve never claimed to be a Marxist and I don’t think I ever will, not that I find any fault in being one. I’m just not interested in labeling myself with the name of a Man, a man no better than anyone else, a Man I know nothing about, and have no interest in.
No one lives in a vacuum, and nobody comes up with an idea all by themselves. The first person to (or known to) articulate an idea, reached their conclusion with the help of other people. Yes, they deserve credit, but to me the idea is far more important than the individual.
My life has been all the propaganda I’ve ever needed to become a raging leftist. I revolted in group homes long before I’ve ever dared to call myself a socialist. Group homes run by private agencies showed me what capitalism was really all about. We were subliminally taught that we were destined for prison. We were cattle I realized when I was 17, to be sent to the slaughter house once we were no longer profitable. We were to be the permanent underclass. And as long as we stayed in our own neighborhoods it didn’t matter what we did, as long as it wasn’t productive.
And feminism? I can’t say I’m a radical feminist, but I did learn feminism in a radical way. I’ve seen young ladies coerced into sex, then shamed whether they complied or not. I’ve heard girls except rape as inevitable, and except “Bitch” as their designation, and rank. I’ve known women who’ve stayed in abusive situations because they had nowhere else to go. The list could go on. I choose not to ignore the alternate reality girls and women exist in, a reality created for them by a male dominated system.
I didn’t need any highfalutin book written by a so called intellectual to tell me that this stuff was wrong. And I didn’t need some philosopher to tell me that things could be different.
[In spite of what’s written here my life wasn’t very tough, I enjoyed a lot of privilege.]
Ignorance doesn’t look good on anyone, and education is the best way out of a bad situation. This is as true for the masses as it is for the individual. With that said; I fear many people are scared away from socialism because of the overly intellectual literature that promotes it. Don’t cry, I don’t suggest dumbing it down. I suggest educating the proletariat up; in much the same way a priest would eagerly teach the gospel.
So maybe I’m just a hapless delusional guy who stumbled into a realm of thought well beyond his comprehension, or maybe not. Love me or hate me, this is who I am and this is how I feel.
Join me, or stay behind, but I don’t plan on stopping.

Stranded on the information superhighway

YouTube, twitter, Facebook, and all the rest are fun diversions, and possibly useful resources. People can join these social media sites anonymously and vomit the racist, sexist, homophobic vitriol that rests in their souls, or they can spread love, peace and knowledge using a well thought out pseudonym. Acquaintances are made, ideological battle lines are drawn, virtual gangs form, and nonphysical romances are embarked upon. Social norms as well as languages are created, and so within these new boundaries people are brought together or driven apart.
               The gold you earn in World of Warcraft and most of the achievements made elsewhere on the cybernetic frontier can’t be exported to our physical reality. No conversion tool exists to change data to material.
               Likewise no conversion tool can change fancy theory to action. No, the only way for that to happen is to act.
               The internet is a tool, a valuable tool. But one tool alone can’t build anything worth building.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Collective Brain

I generally believe the collective human brain is smart enough to solve the problems of humankind, but perhaps we as a species aren’t mature enough yet.
We still oppress the minds of our brothers and sisters. We still fight to dominate each other. We still trick and lie to each other. We still hate and deny the humanity of our own kind. Our common mind is still in conflict with itself.
Join me as I ponder the possibilities of the united human mind in a fully functional state.
Perhaps when the species matures we’ll focus our mental power on spreading as much prosperity, as we do harm now. We’ll discard the selfish quest for personal wealth at any expense, then pursue and obtain true liberty. We’d be free from capitalist rule and have access to the materials we need to survive. If and when the human brain finally gets it together, we’ll be free to focus on matters of our heart. Perhaps our fear of death would diminish as we would be secure in knowing that our limited time was well spent. We’d be mature enough to let go. We’d strive to help each other. Instead of worshiping tyrants and coins; our new religion would be based in the realities of human potential, the limitations of our form, and our responsibility to the earth.
It’s said that charity begins at home, and once we get our house in order we can effectively clean up our mess outside. Even with a mature focused mind, humankind is nothing without its life giver, and we owe her a great debt as well as a sincere apology. I believe once we gain full consciousness we’ll cease being cancerous to the Earth and find our niche. We’ll realize that we aren’t the masters of the land, but instead tenants who share it with many others.
I can’t predict the destiny of the human species, but I do believe that once its mind is ready, great things are inevitable. Perhaps tribe by tribe, clan by clan, and one nation at a time, the neurons of our collective brain will start to function cooperatively.
Of course this is all speculation, but I find thoughts like these worthwhile, and I hope you do too.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Not as Dumb as it Looks

As I’ve expressed before; it’s fashionable for one to claim a revolutionary ideology, but when it’s time to get down to business many of these people are nowhere to be found. There are many reasons for this. Some of these people are complicit in the system of oppression, others are lazy, many never planned on putting their words into action, and some are simply too embarrassed to make a move. This stifling embarrassment will be my focus here.
               We African Americans buy most of our goods from white owned businesses, and most of us work for white owned companies. Many of us make fun of each other for not buying the right clothes and other goods from a particular white owned brand. We break our backs working for people who don’t respect us, and would never consider doing anything for our communities. Then many of us take the money we’ve earned and proudly spend it on trinkets presented to us by oppressive companies. [I say “oppressive companies” because these particular organizations oppress the working class in one way or another *.] Many of us fund our own oppression with a smile. This is how it is, yet people think they’ll look stupid, or crazy if they were to change their actions **. On the flip side, the people who market over priced and largely useless items to Blacks probably don’t think we’re too intelligent for going along with things as they are, but they aren’t going to complain about it. And why would they, it’s our problem.
               Seeing that the infrastructure of this nation is owned by rich white capitalists, we’ll have to patronize exploitative businesses in order to obtain certain necessities… for now. But if people push passed this misplaced fear of looking dumb we’d be one step closer to achieving our goals ***.
Walking the walk is essential to any real progressive movement, but doing more than just lip service to the cause might not look very stylish to your friends. Many people live by the latest styles, which these days are normally packaged and sold to us by large companies. Needless to say these styles rarely emphasize consciousness. As for these companies; their only concerned with prying every last cent from the hands of their customers. We (Black People) are told that our natural features are ugly; so many Blacks are compelled to change their appearances with cosmetics. The poor are tricked into thinking they have a chance at being rich, so many support capitalism. Those who oppose things like these are shamed into silence. The subsequent embarrassment works right into the hands of our oppressors, making us less likely to speak up for our own best interests.
I’m aware that I don’t, nor do I claim to have all the answers, and like many people I too am stifled by embarrassment at times. It’s not easy to face people when they think you’re a crackpot. Knowing that any mistakes you make, or missteps you take will be amplified because of your nonconformist stance can make anyone shy. Relating to the masses may be harder when following your heart, but in my opinion, doing so makes it possible for me to face myself at the end of the day.
               There are many legit roadblocks that can keep one from making a difference but embarrassment shouldn’t be one. Many people can’t afford to change their buying habits. Some people have families to feed and jobs that restrict their freedom. These problems and others like them require real planning and maybe even community support to solve. But seriously, if you want to make a change, you have to be strong and rise above your embarrassment, because if you don’t you risk looking stupid… and that’ll be the least of your worries.

* Large companies are known to offer financial contributions to politicians in exchange for favors. Often these favors come at the expense of the poor and working class. Many large companies also use sweatshop labor in third world countries to produce products cheaply.

** Find alternatives to spending money outside of the community. Boycott companies that fund racist politicians, or exploit the proletariat to produce goods. Combine recourses with community members; organize systems of assistance for people in need, and so on.

*** Gaining access to the materials we need to survive, Freedom from financial oppression, and so on.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Trust and Power

In the video attached to this post I briefly discuss trust and power, after a short introduction to the overall video series.
I plan on writing a more detailed article covering my views on this matter some day, but the attached video (entitled “Trust and Power”) covers my general position.
Originally this video was intended for YouTube, but I decided not to release it there. I recorded this months ago before posting it here.
Feel free to comment.

Thanks for watching.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Pain of Racism

The following is a remake of a text video I originally made a while back. I apologize in advance for any grammatical mistakes.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tribes and Nations

            What are tribes and nations? A dictionary says:
Nation: “1. People in land under single government: a community of people or peoples living in a defined territory and organized under a single government 2. People of same ethnicity: a community of people, who share a common ethnic origin, culture, historical tradition, and, frequently, language, whether or not they live together in one territory or have their own government” and so on…

Tribe: “1. social division of people: a society or division of a society whose members have ancestry, customs, beliefs, and leadership in common 2. Family: a large family (informal) 3. Group with something in common: a group of people who have something in common such as an occupation, social background, or political viewpoint” and so on…
(Definitions obtained from Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation)
Taking those definitions into account I feel confident in saying that nations exist in our minds; they are abstract ideas, which only exist because we say they do.
            Some People live in these units for the advantages they get as a member of one. Others, if given the choice would rather not be confined in such a collective situation. Still, others are under the impression that particular nations are endorsed by a higher power or that certain heads of state have been ordained by God. These reasons and others I’ve neglected are dependent on time, location, and the individual in question. This essay and my thoughts follow the secular reasoning of one who is a willing member of such a union for its advantages.
            When early humans came together in bands to share the burdens of life it was, in my view, a beneficial move. These bands later evolved into clans, tribes, and nations. Throughout history dissatisfied and disenfranchised people have been known to flee their lands in order to found societies of their own. There’s nothing about the past that makes such unions more legit than others founded later in time. It makes sense to secede from an oppressive or defective state if change is not possible. Collectivizing within a state to ensure the needs of neglected people are met is, in my opinion, a sensible move.
            In reality we are individuals, but in our minds we are races, ethnicities, clans, tribes, nations and communities. I propose that willing individuals rethink the designations put upon them by their ancestors and form new associations which would be based on modern day knowledge and progressive values.
            There is a small movement of people who are rethinking these ideas and have decided to form intentional communities. This movement is a great source of inspiration for me personally. Some intentional communities are also known as communes. Many people have a misinformed view of these organizations and this negative stigma keeps many people from considering them as a viable alternative to the mainstream.
            Intentional communities come in many forms. Some are based on spiritual values while others are secular. Most are based on ideals of cooperation. Co-housing communities, ecovillages, even housing co-ops (not to be confused with Co-housing) are included under the definition of intentional community. Other types of intentional communities exist as well, but the focus here is in line with the aims of egalitarian communities.
            Egalitarian communes run on a non-hierarchal system where decisions are made by consensus. Some hold environmental, feminist, or vegan values. Many have collectively owned businesses to fund their communities.
            People join these communities for many reasons. One may want to live by the values they hold. Others join them to experiment with new lifestyles or to live in a community of like-minded people. In the case of egalitarian communities, some people including myself feel these communities can show others how alternate systems work, and perhaps reveal the benefits of egalitarianism.
            [To learn more about Intentional communities check out ]
            With capitalism the means of production are privately owned. In spite of the countless poor and homeless the United States still worships the dollar. In order to eliminate or at least lessen poverty the shortcomings of our capitalist system would have to be seriously examined. There are little advantages to being destitute in a society that has no obligation to ensure the wellbeing of its members. One needs money to make money, this fact makes getting out of poverty nearly impossible for most people. Monetary gain is put over the welfare of those in need, so why should the poor have any loyalty to a society that forsakes them?

            Many poor people are willing to reject policies that would directly help them because those same policies would also help people with different complexions. Political leaders and pundits subtly advocate group division based on superficial physical differences and nonexistent genetic variation. Racial identity is so ingrained into most Americans that even the most well intentioned people cling to these ideas. The very concept of race is inherently racist and unfortunately these ideas are still here.
            The reformist political system of the United States offers no real way to combat the ills of capitalism and racism. [Before I continue, let me make it clear that I do Not advocate violence as an alternative to making necessary socioeconomic changes.] One reason for not relying on the reformist electoral system alone is because the US government is bought and paid for by capitalists [the rich]. The mainstream media is also funded and therefore also own by the same people. Examining the negative effects of capitalism would most likely cut into the profits of these capitalists. As for racism; well, race would have to be the ultimate wedge issue. This concept keeps the proletariat at each other’s throats rather than working together. I would never discourage voting, but seeing that the system belongs to the capitalist, one shouldn’t expect significant changes to be made by voting alone. Capitalism and racism are such integral parts of our society that I don’t believe they can be removed through normal reformist methods. If one truly wants to change things then alternative [Non-violent] methods are worth considering.
            In 1948, after years of struggle, many like-minded people declared themselves a nation and named their nation Israel. Of course I’m leaving out the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the formation of the state of Israel, but they aren’t relevant to this essay. The individuals who founded Israel shared a common religion, and the belief that they had a common ancestry. Whether the biblical accounts of their ancestry were true or not, they believed it, and that belief motivated them to create the modern day state of Israel. This is by no means an endorsement of the tactics used in the formation of Israel, or its policies. The point is that people can build, and have built nations.
            In nature, national boundaries and the laws of man obviously don’t exist. In our minds though, these things can be as real as the morning sun. We carry out the rule of law making it real. When it comes to space and time, we divide them up in our thoughts creating borders and time zones. We then organize our lives around these temporal rules and enforce these border laws. We then define ourselves and our societies by these land claims.
Land claims though, aren’t needed by all communities, tribes, or nations. To my knowledge, some groups don’t rely on ideas of land ownership nor do they have to be in the same geographic location to maintain their status as a people.
Mainstream culture takes great pains to discredit all nonconformist thought. Often ideas are dismissed before they are fully explained or understood. Simple notions like cooperative work and sharing responsibility in a meaningful way are looked at as too radical to be considered. Whereas, competing over vital resources is somehow promoted as beneficial to society. The idea of individuals with common goals adopting each other as brother and sister isn’t bad, although it may not be everyone’s preference. If we open our minds we might see that we have the tools needed to create the system of our preference, at least in part. Of course creating such a system would also require a lot of hard work.
Race, ethnicity, and nationality are all imaginary and these concepts can be re-imagined. The ideas expressed here are radical in the context of current societal norms, but in theory still possible.

[Edited on 8/17/2011. Please let me know if you spot any mistakes, and please keep in mind that I'm not a writer.]