06.03.20

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2020: A Time for Resolutions or Revolutions?

Posted in Finance at 4:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The mainstream media appears trying to play up violence at the police riots, to rationalize the attacks by the police.” –Techrights associate

Two doors: Resolutions or Revolutions

Summary: There are nonviolent means by which the current system can be corrected; we need to convince peers and relatives to change the way they behave and not cooperate with unjust elements of the system

THE situation in the US has become very serious. So much so that SUSE’s CEO has just openly condemned the actions of the US Government on behalf of this German company (it’s nuanced, but it’s definitely there between the lines). Well done…

“SUSE’s CEO has just openly condemned the actions of the US Government on behalf of this German company (it’s nuanced, but it’s definitely there between the lines).”But…

The Linux Foundation did something similar years ago and it drew fire for it. People expect Zemlin’s ‘PAC’ to deal with technical matters and not meddle in partisan politics the way Mozilla does (their CEO too had done what SUSE’s did, roughly a day earlier).

We’re not an inherently political site (except Daily Links) and we won’t start dealing with the pertinent issues here. We’d rather focus on technology-related aspects.

“…things can be compelled to change and changes can be imposed by nonviolent means.”More and more people now speak about “revolution” (there are legitimate reasons for systemic reforms and complete overhauls). I, myself, want to think in lesser terms, such as “resolution”…

Now that many people work from home we need to adapt to a changing world. Next year, in 2021, I’ll celebrate 10 years in my current job (maybe there are attempts to cause me trouble again) and at the very end of 2021 I’ll turn forty. Yes, how time flies… it feels like only a few years ago I was still a student, having enrolled for the Ph.D. when I was 21 and ambitious (not yet anything like an activist, more of a coder).

I don’t condone “revolutions” in any form other than intellectual, either digital or verbal; things can be compelled to change and changes can be imposed by nonviolent means. Fiscally, mentally…

You can make demands and force things to change; by exposing corruption rather than arson.

The first step is to educate people; change their minds, change their behaviour…

“The first step is to educate people; change their minds, change their behaviour…”Weakening the corporate grid (greed?) which is corporations-owned and corporations-run media can help…

Switch off that darn TV. I gave up on mine almost two decades ago.

Now, start thinking how to defund bad actors. Nothing hurts them more than loss of revenue sources. Microsoft is laying off a lot of people already (whilst hiding its pain, of course!) and the US is estimated to have lost so much in value, never mind its massive national debt, due to bad leadership. See this week’s “CBO Projects $16 Trillion GDP Loss Due to Pandemic”.

We hear people say we should boycott China, or the US (for Trump’s policies mostly, not Bush or the wars — those did a lot of harm too). More and more people say we should boycott GAFAM (whether they do so themselves is another matter), but maybe that’s just too negative-sounding, verging on the tang of racism (is “American” a race?). Maybe instead of using the language of “boycott” we can use more positive language and say things like, “I want to share my money/labour with countries/companies that act ethically; all the rest won’t receive a dime.” Nothing negative about it.

“How about making resolutions, or promises? How about refusing to vote for racist parties? Or refusing to befriend those who do?”The current situation makes people desperate. They don’t have much left to lose, so radical action is seen as an opportunity with much to potentially gain. COVID isn’t the sole issue but a trigger; Floyd’s murder by cops isn’t the sole issue but the spark for protests. The whole system is unjust, morally bankrupt and usually financially bankrupt as well (too many personal and national debts that cannot be paid off). COVID and Floyd helped highlight the ongoing issues and aroused a sleeping giant.

There are various ways to communicate with states and with corporations. Financially is one, physically is another. It’s difficult to punish people for merely communicating with words and boycotts (how are those anti-BDS laws coming along?), whereas it’s easy to arrest people — sometimes spray them with gases and rubber bullets — for taking actions to the streets.

How about making resolutions, or promises? How about refusing to vote for racist parties? Or refusing to befriend those who do? It’s quite likely ethical to altogether reject people whose philosophy rejects people based on their race or colour. Just like we completely ignore Internet trolls. Their isolation may leave them drifting further stray, but many of them are a lost cause to begin with.

“The last thing they want us to realise is that the real looters wear suits, not hoodies.”In terms of finance, how about supporting your local stores? They need you more than ever right now. Install GNU/Linux, buy refurbished machines, buy your groceries not in the ‘Walmarts’ of the world (in the UK they own ASDA and Sainsbury’s). Stop buying cars (there’s not much to do with them right now; no place to drive to, not enough to justify the maintenance costs, insurance, fuel and so many other things). Stop feeding “Big Business” and think locally, support the local community (except the racists, of course!). A government system that depends on (and is funded/bribed by) “Big Business” will sooner or later collapse if people barter differently, e.g. give your neighbour one thing in return for another. If all of us do this (buying locally, rejecting provocative ‘public’ broadcast, driving less) the system as we knew it will rot away. It’s not sustainable anyway. It probably never was, but it was living on borrowed time and endless loans (from the very people who rob the system and refuse to pay their taxes, legalising their tax crimes by bribing ‘our’ politicians).

We’re living through interesting times. Things will never go back to the “normal” we once knew, but leaving cities ablaze and emptying local stores will hardly get us anywhere. Unless complete destruction is the real goal.

Stay home, stay safe, protest online and switch off that goddamn ‘news’ that divides us based on race rather than class (as our associate put it yesterday, “larger class question is hidden in distraction about legitimate racial problems”). The last thing they want us to realise is that the real looters wear suits, not hoodies. Their race is irrelevant, but their actions disproportionally harm particular races and sexes. They oppress everyone, but some groups are oppressed even more.

“There’s been class warfare for the last 20 years, and my class has won.”

Warren Buffett

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A Single Comment

  1. Canta said,

    June 3, 2020 at 11:35 am

    Gravatar

    I strongly disagree.

    The ideas may be cool. In fact, that’s how we progressists (is it “progressives” in english?) do our stuff. But, thing is, the proposals are just as unsustainable as the system itself.

    Come on… we’re talking from our chair at home. We have a job, even during the pandemic and global quarintines. We’re white, probably both cis, with hegemonic looks. We’ve gone to school. We have access to electricity, clean water, hot water, food…

    What I say is not about shaming. I’m trying to say this: we do our stuff because a) we CAN do it, and b) we represent a livable and improvable life. It’s perfectly fine for us to be progressives. We should keep on doing it, as we do, and as you propose in your post. But the people on the streets… that’s a whole different deal.

    I could make a long comment quoting point by point my differences with you, but will try to make it quick. My disagreement comes from the (very common) idea that the problem is in the method. And that idea comes with a hidden fantasy of “there must be a right method for this”. My posture is quite simple: there’s no such thing. So, when you ask “revolutions or resolutions”, I say “both”.

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