Category Archives: Economical affairs

Many may feel there is little reason to give thanks this Thanksgiving Holiday

For more than two years, our world is facing a period of distress, where many of us are also challenged by difficulties to do our work and to have contact with others.

Several church groups probably will have the same questions as we receive and have to give reasons for their members to continue in the faith. In many church communities, these days are normally of good cheer, lovely family time and time to thank God.

Several people now wonder if they can rejoice in God no matter their circumstances. For many, it is clear that they are not enjoying a glorious or nice time. Some have lost their job and income, and once more they are facing a new lockdown.

We may not forget it was not always a delightful time for people of God. Can you imagine it must have been when they were used as slaves in Egypt and on top of that they had to cope with several plagues. They, too, lived in a time when not so many wanted to worship the One True God.

Ramses II, like all the pharaohs, claimed to be divine. Because he did not want to let Israel go, Jehovah set the stage for a long struggle between this distrustful ruler with an outsize ego and a prophet with a new understanding of Jehovah and His Power.

The flow of the White Nile is fairly even throughout the year because of consistent equatorial rains. The Blue Nile, on the other hand, originating in the headwaters of the Ethiopian highlands at the time Moses was bargaining with Ramses, got very high and wild by excessively heavy summer rains in Ethiopia. That flow washed powdery, carmine-red soil from the slopes of the hills. Around the Lake Tana region the blood-red torrent picked up bright red algae (known as flagellates) and their bacteria. Since there were no dams at that time, the Nile flowed blood-red all the way to the Mediterranean. It probably reached the delta region in August. Thus, this rare natural event, it is held, set in motion a series of conditions that continued until the following March. Nature seemed to have lost its course, and people got bullied by plagues of the frogs, gnats and mosquitoes.

Further, there were times men of God, like Moses, David, Elijah, and Isaiah had no easy time. With ups and downs in their life, they tried to keep their faith and trusted God, praying to Him for His Help and comfort. Some, like David felt miserable at a certain time, but knew it was better to fall in the hands of God than in the hands of those who think they own the world.

“David said to Gad,

“I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.”” (1Ch 21:13 NIV)

Yes it is even known that we as human beings can come in a time of inevitable distress.

“Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.” (Job 5:7 NIV)

“”Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” (Job 14:1 NIV)

We should know that our life will not always as easy as we would love it to be. Even those who seem to be so strong shall have to face moments of weakness and of difficulties.

“All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.” (Ec 2:23 NIV)

“If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!” (Pr 24:10 NIV)

“You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger.” (Ps 60:3 NIV)

“The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.” (Ps 116:3 NIV)

Today there are lots of people who came to blame God for what is happening to this world today. Job saw likewise but refused to blame God.

“In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” (Job 1:22 NIV)

When looking at our present situations, we should think of all those people who are living under the open air, in hot but also very cold conditions, not having enough food, having babies crying of hunger and pain. How many in our world of plentiful think of those in the poor countries and of those who have to live in places where wars are already such a long time part of their life.
When they would think more about them, they would see how blessed they really are. What if we would consider this Corona plague as once again testing from God?

“2 “If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! 3 It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas—no wonder my words have been impetuous.” (Job 6:2-3 NIV)

“For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.” (Ps 66:10 NIV)

“All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.” (Ps 73:14 NIV)

Russian icon of the prophet Habakkuk

An 18th-century Russian icon of the prophet Habakkuk, member of the tribe of Levi, (Iconostasis of Transfiguration Church, Kizhi monastery, Karelia, Russia)

Those men of God complained also at certain moments, but they also found time to thank God for all the good He also had done for them. In ancient times, the professional prophet of the Temple from the 7th century bce (probably between 605–597 bce) Habakkuk at a time when there did not come the necessary blossoms on the trees, no fruit on the vines and the produce of the olive failed, he and the people were in distress because the fields yielded no food.

“17 Though the fig-tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, (Hab 3:17 NIV)

Even when the flock was cut off from the fold, and there was no herd in the stalls, he knew from Who all the good things came forward. Overlooking what was going on, he recognised it all was not so bad as to what others had to endure. Therefore, he was willing to rejoice in the Most High and was willing to exult in the God of his salvation.

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Saviour. (Hab 3:18 NIV)

Also in this period of a pandemia we should look up to the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, the Most Powerful God, Who is our strength and can make our feet light and swift  like the feet of a deer, so that we can tread upon the heights.

Habakuk sang and played cheerful music to the leader with stringed instruments.

19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.” (Hab 3:19 NIV)

Habakkuk had wrestled with his God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, and struggled with the realisation that this Unique and Only One God was going to use the godless Chaldeans to judge his people Judah for their rebellion. Habakkuk’s struggle was ultimately one of wrestling with God.

Today some people also have that feeling, but they should know it has no use to battle with God. One is better to battle with the world, and go in against all that keep claiming one has not to be vaccinated or one has not to protect oneself against the Coronavirus.

What we need more than anything in life today is renewed vision of God and to see things from God’s eye’s point of view. We should accept that He has given man the possibilities to battle this virus, so we should trust those scientists and be thankful that they can be instruments in the hands of God. Likewise, we should be thankful that all the medic staff can be an instrument in the hands of God. Out of respect to them and to the Divine Creator, we should protect ourselves and others, avoiding getting infected.

In the past, more than one man, prophet, king or judge, appointed by God trembled. More than once, those men of God knew for Whom to look and Whom to trust. Even when it took longer than they had hoped, they were willing to wait and to be patient. They found the power to wait on the Highest.

The prophet Isaiah knew what God had already done for His people and what He was still going to do. He also did not have it always easy, but he relied on God.

This Thanksgiving Day let us pray to our God and express our thankfulness for being with us in these difficult times.

“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall” (Isa 25:4 NIV)

Giving thanks to God helps us do just that.

 

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Preceding

Facing our existence every day

Many opportunities given by God

Time to be strengthened, thankful and to be prepared

Are you doing Thanksgiving

Altitude begins with an attitude of gratitude

The Gift of Giving

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Additional reading

  1. What is life? (Our World) = What is life? (Some View on the World)
  2. The time of year we remember our many blessings
  3. 2016 Thanksgiving and politics (Our world) = 2016 Thanksgiving and politics (Some View on the World)
  4. Give your worries to God (Our World) = Give your worries to God (Some View on the World)
  5. Life in gratitude opens glory of God (Our world)Life in gratitude opens glory of God (Some View on the World)
  6. Beginning of a festival of lights
  7. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  8. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  9. Coming to Thanksgiving day 2020
  10. Good time to sort out your friends and contacts
  11. Left in the dark or being in the dark seeing light
  12. Making sure to be ready and to belong to the escaped ones
  13. Fragments from the Book of Job #2: chapters 12-20
  14. Fragments from the Book of Job #4: chapters 27-31
  15. Ability (part 6) Thought about the ability of God’s Provision Bringing Glory (Our World) =
  16. Ability (part 6) Thought about the ability of God’s Provision Bringing Glory
  17. The chosen ones to fear or not to fear (Our World) = The chosen ones to fear or not to fear (Some View on the world)
  18. Signs of the Last Days
  19. In Coronatime thinking about death
  20. Today’s thought “When in need of encouragement” (May 18)
  21. Today’s Thought “Leaving you an example” (June 12)
  22. Today’s thought “Rooted and built up in him” (November 14)
  23. Today’s thought “The grace of God … training us” (November 27)
  24. Today’s thought “Crying to God” (August 04)
  25. If your difficulties are longstanding, try kneeling (Our World)If your difficulties are longstanding, try kneeling (Some View on the World)
  26. God my fence, my hope for the future (Our World)God my fence, my hope for the future (Some View on the World)
  27. Prayers for Rulers
  28. Thanks for our fathers
  29. Let them thank the Lord for …
  30. Thanking God by thinking of people (Our World) = Thanking God by thinking of people
  31. Give thanks to יהוה! For He is good, For His kindness is everlasting
  32. Bring praise to the Creator
  33. Praise and give thanks to God the Most Highest
  34. Always rejoicing Praying constantly Giving thanks for everything
  35. Praise Jehovah, ​You people

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Related

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  2. What is Distress? A 11-step guide to what distress is and how it can help you manage it.
  3. Confused about which way to go?
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  5. If God is Real, Why Does He Allow Bad Things to Happen?
  6. The Changing Seasons and The Unchangeable God
  7. Every day
  8. King of the Valley
  9. “Have Mercy On Me, O Lord, For I Am Weak” #2368
  10. God Is Our Safe Haven, A Place to rest our hearts
  11. My Father!
  12. Nov 8 May the Truth set us free
  13.  November 18 – Fully Sufficient
  14. Thanksgiving Boulevard
  15. God, Grace, and Gratitude

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Economical affairs, Lifestyle, Questions asked, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

State capitalism and climate emergency

A continued look at {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

Continuation of

Capitalism and relevance to climate change

Capitalism and The environmental record of the communist world

In his article “Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it” Gezwin Stanley confirms that the climate emergency couldn’t have happened without fossil fuel driven industrialisation. But there is more:

human technology plus the very human inclination towards short termism tends to result in environmental degradation. It isn’t just capitalism that caused the climate crisis. But it is clear that capitalism, or rather the different varieties of capitalism, meaning any system where the few both control and benefit from the engines of wealth creation, the very same productive forces that can damage the environment, while also being best able to use their position to shield themselves against any environmental side effects, did and will dramatically exacerbate environmental damage. And, comparing state capitalism with private capitalism, it isn’t markets or consumerism that appeared to make the difference: the West had those in abundance, but the Communist world did not, and the outcomes were similar: critical environmental crises. The implication is that mass-scale industrial technology, combined with the control of that economy by a few who are compelled to strive for growth at all costs and to disregard, even deliberately hide, all externalities, is sufficient to cause environmental collapse, even if consumerism and insufficiently democratically regulated markets really don’t help. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

We must remember that important pressures contributing to current and future ecological collapse include habitat loss, habitat degradation, and habitat fragmentation, monocultures, overgrazing, overexploitation of ecosystems by humans, human industrial growth and overpopulation. The Soviet Union sinned against the respectful use of the earth by the practice of growing the same crop each year on a given acreage. The Soviet government found out, to its shame, that their large-scale plan of mass production or to produce huge quantities of cereals, vegetables and fruit, impoverished the country and did not produce good harvests. This because nonlegume crops usually exhaust the nitrogen in the soil, with a resulting reduction in yields. When they wanted to make the fertility level of the soil higher, they introduced fertilisers that poisoned the soil. The idea of greater flexibility in planning the system to meet year to year changes in the need for various crops, failed dramatically with food shortages and starvation as a result.

That environmental damage will be even more extreme if the masters of the economy, under private or state capitalism, are actively competing with each other whether for profit or to hit targets mandated by some dictator’s latest five year plan. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

writes Gezwin Stanley, admitting that

 the vital experiment, of a technologically advanced society that combines political and economic democracy, hasn’t as yet really been tried, perhaps because it is so offensive to the powerful and power-hungry.

Would such a society be able to better balance environmental and economic concerns? It certainly seems likely in theory, but in practice all we have to go on are smaller scale examples, often embattled and created despite huge challenges, such as the Zapatistas in Mexico or Rojava in Kurdistan. While environmentalism is a core thread of the ideology of both these movements (see for example: “What the Zapatistas can teach us about the climate crisis” or “Rojava is trying to build a green society”), how that would play out in the long term, in more stable conditions and at scale, has still to be determined. Though social democracy may be precarious, because the super-rich often buy politicians, parties and media influence, the historically more thorough-going social democracies may offer a clue as to what would be possible environmentally if economic control was more democratic, with (again according to the World Bank figures here: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.CO2E.PC) per capita carbon dioxide emissions in 2018 for Denmark being 5.8 tonnes, for Norway 7.0 tonnes and for Sweden 3.5 tonnes, compared to the USA at 15.2 tonnes, though the Nordic countries are at a similar level of technological advancement and average prosperity and overall have a colder climate. The same figure for the Russian Federation is 11.2 tonnes per capita and for considerably poorer China 7.4 tonnes. It may also be worth contrasting how Scandinavia confronted the problem of acid rain from the 1970s with how the former Soviet Union attempted to “bury” its multiple environmental crises. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

For him, it is no wonder that the state-capitalist communist countries of the past or the present were the cause of environmental calamities.

There have been more human generated greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 than in the rest of history (see this excerpt from “The Uninhabitable Earth”, published in 2019). Nor should we ever forget the whole corporate funded global disinformation campaign of climate change denial , and now “greenwashing”. For example, Exxon knew of climate change in 1981, but it funded climate change denial for 27 more years. None of this is surprising as the richest have an incentive to care least about climate change, because they can most easily escape its effects, from basing themselves in less affected countries, through being able to afford air conditioning, coastal defences and other protections to participating in the growing market for elite bunkers and safe havens (see “‘Billionaire bunkers’ that could shelter the superrich during an apocalypse”).

COP15 Logo.svgIf the economies of at least the most technologically advanced and richest nations had been run along lines of distributed economic power, of economic democracy as described here: https://gezwinstanley.wordpress.com/what-is-economic-justice-and-how-can-we-create-it/ , then there would most likely still have been a climate crisis. We are not angels. But without hugely powerful billionaires willing to conspire to deny climate change, and able to rig the political debate in many countries such as the USA, we would have acted a decade or two, possibly three, sooner. For example, the climate change deniers’ “Climategate” conspiracy in 2009 sabotaged the Copenhagen COP15 Conference and alone may have set back progress a decade, while none of the conspirators or those enlisted to help with the subsequent public relations have ever been brought to book. All that lost time could prove to have been crucial.

To resolve this conflict of interest we need to place everyone in control of the things they need to live and make a living. Then no one can disproportionately reap the economic benefits while disproportionately avoiding the environmental costs. That ensures everyone has an incentive to co-operate to create environmental regulations, pricing, taxes and subsidies, that avoid collective catastrophe, because no one can rig the deadly serious economic “game” of balancing economic output against environmental costs by largely reaping the economic benefits while passing most of the environmental impact onto someone else. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

 

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  18. Is Singapore Truly Sustainable?: Greenwashing in the ‘City in a Garden

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Filed under Ecological affairs, Economical affairs, History

Capitalism and The environmental record of the communist world

Continuation of Capitalism and relevance to climate change

When looking at the pollution in communist countries questions can be posed if those communist regimes were somehow unable to regulate the use of their common resources.

Nice to notice that Gezwin Stanley finds it more reasonable to posit that the communist failures were also failures of capitalism, specifically “state capitalism”, the economic system in which the state undertakes business and commercial (i.e. for-profit) economic activity and where the means of production are nationalized as state-owned enterprises (including the processes of capital accumulation, centralised management and wage labour). He writes:

The environmental record of the communist world, once it finally started to be revealed with the fall of the Warsaw Pact and the at least partial “opening up” of China to Western business interests, was, at times, disastrous. The proposition is essentially that ownership makes owners take more care of the environment, and that the communist record is one huge tragedy of the commons (for example, see: “Marxism and the Failure of Environmental Protection in Eastern Europe and the U.S.S.R.”). {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

Though in the idea of communism is included the ownership of everybody of everything. Everything is namely part of that what we are allowed to use or to be confronted with. We do not own the world, but we may use the world, as having it in loan. As such in communism is expected that everybody shows respect for the goods of others and for the nature where we are allowed to live in.

We agree that in the communist system we have seen it evolve in the wrong way, in the Soviet Union going to dictatorships as Stalinism and Leninism, which have not much to do with real communism, as well with the hypercapitalism we can see now in the Republic of China.

The communist world’s track record on the environment really is rather catastrophic. The most infamous examples include the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, the shrinking of the Aral Sea and the irradiation of northern Kazakstan by the Semipalatinsk (present-day Semey) nuclear testing site. The Soviet record in terms of air and water pollution is also very poor. Shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, in the early 1990s, Russia’s Hydrometeorological Service, which monitors air quality, reported that 231 out of 292 cities exceeded maximum permissible concentrations (MPCs) for particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, or carbon monoxide, with eighty-six cities exceeding MPCs by a factor of ten. At around the same time 75 percent of Russia’s surface water was polluted, 50 percent of all water was not potable according to quality standards established in 1992, and an estimated 30 percent of groundwater available for use was highly polluted (http://countrystudies.us/russia/25.htm). {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

Gezwin Stanley looks at (a) communism where there is an economic system where the things that people need to live and make a living are controlled by the few. For him it doesn’t have to mean “free” markets as many capitalists aim for and sometimes achieve oligopoly or monopoly.

Also, though “control” normally means “legal ownership” that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case: there are situations where very effective control of the things that people need to live and make a living is possible without formal legal ownership, from a company where directors are able to laud it over shareholders to the situation we are about to explore: state capitalism in the Soviet Union.

One very clear reason why we should take the concept of “state capitalism” in Marxist-Leninist regimes seriously is that it is not an invented phrase imposed on such regimes after the fact. It was, in fact, a phrase use by Lenin himself in 1918, not to describe a state of affairs that should be avoided, but as a stage in a plan to modernise Russia as part of its road towards socialism. Basically the idea was that, to transition to a system where the workers would take over the means of production, large-scale, centralised industries had to be created first, under state control, but using the techniques and expertise of capitalists.

The main aim of “state capitalism” was therefore to build, in relatively backward and agrarian Russia, the very capitalist enterprises that the workers could later control as part of socialism. From the very inception of Soviet “state capitalism” though there was a secondary aim: to modernise the economy of Russia so that it could better defend itself militarily against foreign hostility. In 1918 Russia had just lost a war to a much more industrially advanced Germany. This was a further driver influencing the nature of state capitalism in the Soviet Bloc that would persist for the duration of the Soviet Union. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

Here was how, in 1918, Lenin who claimed that World War I had transformed laissez-faire capitalism into the monopolist state capitalism, described his plan for state capitalism:

“What is state capitalism under Soviet power? To achieve state capitalism at the present time means putting into effect the accounting and control that the capitalist classes carried out. We see a sample of state capitalism in Germany. We know that Germany has proved superior to us. But if you reflect even slightly on what it would mean if the foundations of such state capitalism were established in Russia, Soviet Russia, everyone who is not out of his senses and has not stuffed his head with fragments of book learning, would have to say that state capitalism would be our salvation.

I said that state capitalism would be our salvation; if we had it in Russia, the transition to full socialism would be easy, would be within our grasp, because state capitalism is something centralised, calculated, controlled and socialised, and that is exactly what we lack: we are threatened by the element of petty-bourgeois slovenliness, which more than anything else has been developed by the whole history of Russia and her economy, and which prevents us from taking the very step on which the success of socialism depends.” (Session of the All-Russia C.E.C. April 29 1918: https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1918/apr/29.htm)

The greatest problem is man’s love for power and control and often when people come to power they start enjoying their status and often want more. Often those who got in power want to stay in power and do not want to share their power with others.  The article writer notices this also and writes

once a state capitalist system under the control of Communist Party apparatchiks was created, any transition to actual socialism was stalled indefinitely.

Joseph Stalin

Joseph Stalin, secretary-general of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–53) and premier of the Soviet state (1941–53), misusing his power eliminating everybody whowas in his way or did not agree with his ruling (and dictatorship).

“State capitalism” had severe effects on how the Soviet system would deal with environmental concerns. As with western style capitalism this was partly because those in control had much more to gain by, say, maximising production, than they had to lose through environmental degradation. It was those at the top, higher up the party structure, who by driving up their production figures, could gain promotion or at least, at times, and especially during Stalin’s rule, avoid being purged. Also, as ever, it was those at the bottom who were generally least able to escape the effects of environmental degradation, as in the “exemplar” Soviet steel producing city of Magnitogorsk, where party officials enjoyed a comparatively luxurious life in the wooded “American town” that was originally built for specialists from the United States in 1930, while many workers lived in barracks where filthy conditions and a lack of clean water contributed to the spread of deadly disease ( see “The secret history of Magnitogorsk, Russia’s steel city”). {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

Magnitogorsk: monument

Magnitogorsk: Monument depicting a steelworker giving a sword to a Soviet soldier, Magnitogorsk, Russia. – Photo © ekb/Fotolia

The whole command and control system of the Soviet Union felt compelled to drive for economic growth at almost any cost, and did not mind losing lives for it. It became so bad that there was an obsession with economic growth and with high status on all levels, but in particular in sports and arts, like ballet. Any opposition to the ideas of those in power had to be killed by the root, as that could endanger targets.

The “Plan” and the careers, or at times lives, of individual apparatchiks. Similar to how in the West the climate crisis was first concealed with well-funded and orchestrated denial and then greenwash, in the Soviet Union the true state of the environment was kept hidden by deeming environmental statistics to be state secrets. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

Next: State capitalism and climate emergency

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Capitalism and relevance to climate change

Gezwin Stanley (if that is the name of the writer of the WordPress site gezwinstanley) does a small attempt to hold back the dark and summon the dawn, and seems to tackle some interesting points,though sometimes wanders off too far and presents too long articles, which better would have been divided in chapters or sub-articles.

For us today his article “Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it.” receives our interest and has some points we find interesting to share.

He looks at the relevance to climate change which is (according to him) likely already obvious. He writes:

Insane as it may be, even if collectively it threatens the extinction of human civilisation, singly, as individuals, organisations, businesses and countries, it might make sense for each not to worry too much about climate change. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

Such an attitude of ignoring what is happening in nature does not show much compassion for other living beings in nature. He then poses some questions, as:

Why, for example, pay for a more expensive carbon-neutral energy supply when a fossil fuel one is cheaper?
Why not let others make the sacrifice, allowing us to be richer? {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

For him

It is therefore clear that the “sinks” for our carbon emissions, the atmosphere and the oceans, are really just another “commons” liable to “tragedy”, and that we are all trapped in a giant “prisoner’s dilemma” but one where, if we take the selfish course, we end up not with a custodial sentence, but a sentence of death. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

He continues:

This is why addressing the issue cannot be left to individual action. Action cannot be entirely voluntary, because then the selfish will just try and freeload on the altruistic. Collective action is essential, from subjecting entities that don’t change their ways to peer pressure or “socialised sanctions” such as boycotts, through public measures such as regulations, carbon pricing and green subsidies, to directly taking control of key industries in order to force rapid decarbonisation. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

We can agree with the fact that:

Coordinated efforts are needed all the way up to the global level: carbon dioxide is no respecter of borders. Individual actions alone won’t work, and the extremity of the emergency means that only the more rigorous measures towards the end of the preceding list are likely to be effective enough quickly enough to avoid catastrophe. {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

He looks at the tonnes per capita of carbon dioxide emissions and notes:

The 2020 Oxfam “Confronting Carbon Inequality” report estimates that “from 1990 to 2015, a critical period in which annual emissions grew 60% and cumulative emissions doubled… the richest 10% of the world’s population (c.630 million people) were responsible for 52% of the cumulative carbon emissions – depleting the global carbon budget by nearly a third (31%) in those 25 years alone,” while “the richest 1% (c.63 million people) alone were responsible for 15% of cumulative emissions, and 9% of the carbon budget – twice as much as the poorest half of the world’s population.” {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

And remarks:

This shades into another discussion. If greenhouse gas emissions are associated with inequality, especially when the rich get even richer, because wealth begets wealth, and then end up consuming more and more, and if capitalism exacerbates inequality, and ruthlessly strives for economic growth, to what extent is capitalism itself responsible for climate change? Or is the crisis just an inevitable consequence of human technological development, coupled with easily accessible, energy-rich fossil fuels and an understandable desire for a better life, especially during the prolonged period when the full import of greenhouse gas emissions was unknown, and with a large helping of human short termism added into the mix to make matters even worse? {Why capitalism massively intensified the climate crisis, and why only collective action can solve it}

That question brings us to another chapter, facing capitalism versus communism and Marxism.

Continue reading:  Capitalism and The environmental record of the communist world

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From now on, a direct link to the little South America

On this website you could already read about a webshop that tries to support local small farmers and artists by buying their goods at decent prices and selling them in Europe.

Pequeña Sudamérica, or “Little South America” offers a variety of products on the European mainland. In the future, in addition to the multiple wines that the webshop already offers, it will also present the wines of the father of the Argentinian founder of the webshop. But apart from wines, beers and other food products, you will also be able to find items made by the Argentinian’s family members and friends. These handicrafts make the collection of offered objects unique in a way.

The webshop will regularly feature explanations and recipes in addition to offers so that you can get to know the products they offer better and make good use of them.

Also on yours truly’s blog, you will be able to find more information about those beautiful countries and their cuisine. On the blog Pequeña Sudamérica on WordPress, you will be able to make a virtual surprise tour and find more trivia and news from that kitchen. You are welcome to visit Pequeña Sudamérica on WordPress and to further explore the Pequeña Sudamérica webshop.

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Previous

Let South America come to you #1 Reasons to stay away from South America

Let South America come to you #2 For those with a good taste

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To get in the mood:

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Further glimpses on Latin America

With Let South America come to you #1 Reasons to stay away from South America, Let South America come to you #2 For those with a good taste, The Science Says Everyone Needs a COVID-19 Booster Shot—and Soon we had a look at South America.

This Month’s Region of the World: Latin America has a look at the huge region where many of the people in this region are spiritually blinded to the hope of the Gospel by the darkness of false religion.

In line with those articles you may be interested to read further how most of Latin America is still far from the horrific conditions prevailing in Venezuela, where output has fallen by a staggering 75% since 2013. But, given the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe there, and the spectre of political instability elsewhere, investors should not take a sustained economic recovery for granted.

The current disconnect between market calm and underlying social tensions is perhaps nowhere more acute than in Latin America. The question is how much longer this glaring dissonance can continue. > Under the Latin American Volcano

While the United States and other advanced economies are returning to normalcy, Colombia reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths to date during the last week of June. > Colombia’s Triple Crisis

Once a peripheral presence in Latin America, China has become one of the region’s most important partners. Bilateral trade expanded from $12 billion in 2000 to over $300 billion in 2020, raising China’s share of the region’s total trade from 1.7% to 14.4%. China has also become an increasingly significant source of foreign direct investment in Latin America, accounting for nearly 10% of inflows in recent years. > How Latin America Should Navigate US-China Tensions

At a glance, the Latin American venture capital and startup market appears similar to what we’ve seen from other growing ecosystems. Like the U.S., Canadian, European, Indian and African startup hubs, Latin America is seeing venture capital activity set records. Early-stage venture capital fund Newtopia VC launched Monday with $50 million to invest in tech startups based in Latin America. > Why Latin American venture capital is breaking records this year

Big problem in several Latin-american countries is the repression. In Brazil police actions against peasant areas have intensified since the announcement of “Operation Rondônia,” using federal and state forces to repress the just peasant struggle in the region and particularly the combative and honorable peasant organization LCP – League of Poor Peasants of Rondônia and Western Amazonia. The troops of Bolsonaro and the military police (MP) of the governor of Rondônia, the puppet of landowners, Colonel MP Marcos Rocha, seek to concentrate forces to attack, acting shamelessly with the support of paramilitary forces, actually hitmen in the pay of the latifundium [large, monopolistic landowners -Ed.], under the cover of a “private security” company. > Brazil: Bolsonaro National Force, Military Police, and Gunmen Shoot at Peasants.

The situation is very serious, all the more so because the fascist and genocidal Bolsonaro himself, gives free rein to landowners and murderous troops to commit their crimes against peasants with impunity, as denounced in a statement by the LCP, “Bolsonaro arms landowners and says the police can kill peasants who will go unpunished”

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Let South America come to you #2 For those with a good taste

When you can not go to South America, why do you not bring South America into your home?

For those with a good taste

From waterfalls to wines

South America is the continent that is home to a vast array of rich cultures, history, traditions, food, and once-in-a-lifetime places to visit.

Angel Falls, Venezuela | © David Kjelkerud / Flickr

When you would love to go exploring South America it would not be bad to prepare yourself and to get already some taste of it before you take the long voyage. A place you have to visit is the waterfall in the Guiana Highlands in Bolívar state, southeastern Venezuela, on the Churún River. Before you would like to fly over Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world, coming in at over 3000 feet it would not be bad to feel a bit like an angel tasting all sorts of well-tasting goods from that continent, which will bring you to the seventh heaven.

You also do not have to go straight away, deep in the Amazonian rainforest to find a melting pot of indigenous traditions and a perfect place to see centuries of Peruvian history and culture coming together.

Before you would go to the Belén Market, the largest traditional market in the Peruvian Amazon, and a place where visitors can taste and see the food, textiles, and wares of the region, on the web there is a place where you already can have a peep-show of some handicrafts from the South American continent

Mendoza, Argentina

Wines

As state and local governments order people to stay home to limit the spread of the virus, toilet paper and canned goods are not the only items people are snapping up. Wine sales at wine shops are soaring and large, highly-distributed wine brands are struggling to keep wines on the shelf.

Meanwhile, small wineries that depend on restaurants and on-site sales are trying to figure out how to survive. The question on the mind of everyone in the wine business is what will things look like on the other side when they get the virus under control.

Having poached the Malbec grape from Europe and turned it into a roaring superstar, Argentina is rightly celebrated for its wine producers.

The Mendoza region, in the western central part of the country in the Cuyo region, dominates Argentina’s wine scene. It enjoys prestige for the wine produced on its vineyards. It also can be refreshing to see genuine contenders from elsewhere, such as the Bodegas Callia from the San Juan province.

In the Mendoza region, you may find one of the original Bordeaux grape varieties from the Bordeaux region of France, namely Malbec. Because grown on a higher altitude then in France the wines tend to have a higher level of acid, which makes them ideal to go with the Argentinian meat.

The Cabernet Sauvignon which was introduced in Argentina in the 19th century by the French agricultural engineer Michel Amié Pouget. He further introduced Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Malbec vines to Argentina and founded the first vine nursery and agricultural school in his new country.

Located in the Tulum Valley, Bodegas Callia aims to produce the best Shiraz in Argentina.

Since we cannot go to South America, we will have to bring the heat and sun here. And what better way to do so than with a few good bottles of wine? Certainly when those wines earn it to keep on the palate.

Navarro Correas Cabernet Sauvignon 2016The dry, hot climate of Argentina is really great for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes ripen very easily, so these Cabs are almost always filled with tons of blackberries, cherry, pepper and vanilla with a little bit of mint. If you like rich, full-bodied wines with dark fruit flavours, then you might want to try a Cabernet Sauvignon from Navarro Correas Private Collection which since a few moths you now easily can get over here in Europe by an excellent deliverer.

When you are looking for a nice rich tempting wine with a big, nutty, creamy nose or bitter cherry awash with orange peel and gravely splendour, you might find it at Pequeña SudAmerica.

As the second largest country in South America and the eighth largest in the world by land mass, Argentina could even offer much more in case the country would have been more organised and receiving more support from those in charge.

Beers

Beer Trial PackStylistically Argentina is perhaps the most European of Latin American countries, especially when it comes to cuisine. You can find the traditional wineries (the world’s fifth biggest wine producer) and you also may find the principal beer types which were based on central European styles of lager and wheat beer. It is impossible to taste every beer produced in South America, Pequeña Sudamerica offers a very good selection of 6 or 7 selected beers in a trial pack.

The historical influences in South America which have created a cuisine that offers a variety of delicacies has also brought some very, very tempting sweets around the corner. For diabetics is it not always so easy, because a lot of sweets and drinks are very sweet.
But nimble fingers and kitchen princesses can already prepare a lot for those who want a taste of that delicious South America.

Craftworks

It might not always be easy to bring Argentinian wines over to Europe, but for traditional artisans, it is even more difficult to get their goods over to Europe. Those craftsmen in particular have serious difficulties to virtuously market their products.

Carla Scalia

Carla Scalia

With corona-restrictions the Argentinian Carla Scalia, now living in Belgium, could only go twice to her home country to bring some beautiful handicrafts from her family and friends with her. Therefore those craft works are very limited. And because they are not made in a factory they are all individual pieces of art, which makes them special. This makes that when you might see some sculptures or drawing on the website, next time you come onto the website they already might be gone.

Mate Alados by Noelia Álvarez

All the South American accessories Pequeã SudAmerica is offering are hand made by local artists, and by selecting it properly at the artist’s workshop this is how they ensure to always offer you the best quality. As such they present mate cups of the best quality in an exclusive and unique design, hand painted and varnished for complete protection.

You also shall be able to find a selection of original accessories for your kitchen and table.

From the southern United States to northern South America the Lignum vitae, with its evergreen leaves can be found. As a source of a very hard and heavy wood that is brownish green in colour, the wood being relatively waterproof because of its high fat content, makes it ideal for making kitchen utilities. It is used to make pulleys, shafts, axles, and bowling balls, and Pequeña SudAmerica is offering the tropical wood in magnificent small objects, like food and toothpicks.

Argentinian artist Noelia Álvarez, who has performed incredible exhibitions in San Rafael, Mendoza and Buenos Aires in Argentina and Catalonia, Spain, is not only responsible for a great variety of mate cups with a unique design. Although her work focuses on paintings with incredible designs and details, Noelia has taken her passion to the limit and from painting large murals and paintings in acrylic on canvas, she designed very beautiful and exclusive wooden mate cups.

For sure, the founders of the webshop Pequeã Sudamerica took great risks to start their business to bring Sud American articles to the European continent, whilst there was and still is a Coronacrisis, limiting them going back and forth to Argentina to contact local traders, to support them and offer them a fair price for their goods. At the moment Carla Scalia her parent’s wines are not yet available, but perhaps this would be made possible in the future (when some good shipping arrangements could be organised).

Pequeña Sudamérica, or “Little South America”, has the goal to make South Americans in Europe taste home again, and get Europeans to experience their great specialities.
In addition to the best known mate tea brands, you shall be able to find a wide variety of drinks, delicacies and accessories.

We would say:

Enjoy some chocolate and dulce de leche products at your afternoon tea.

And enjoy South America at your home in our wet regions, so that the sun (at least) may shine in your house.

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Please find the shop:  https://pequena-sudamerica.eu/en/

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Preceding

Let South America come to you #1 Reasons to stay away from South America

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The Iranian American Frieda Afary looking with (republican?) American eyes at Iran

We wonder where the Iranian American Frieda Afary  gets it from that it would be

leftists and so-called socialists around the world who support the Iranian regime as “anti-imperialist” or refuse to criticize it.

Lots of leftists and communists groups are totally against the Iranian regime and any form of oppression of citizens in general. We do know that there are several by Americans “so called leftists” or “communists” are doing good work to support people in Iran and Afghanistan and even are working hard to get them out of the hands of the Islamic murderers.

Frieda Afary should also wonder who is helping a lot of the protesters in Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq. the “leftists” and “communists” are bringing slogans on the streets like:

“Down with Dictatorship.”, “Down With Khamenei”, “We Don’t Want An Islamic Republic”, “The People Want the Regime to Fall.”

InIran: A New Wave of Mass Protests and StrikesFrieda Afary for the rest of her wrong remark (perhaps part of her American citizenship and paranoia for everything that seems “social”) seems to bring a very good overview of the terrible situation. She also seems to overlook that there are leftist groups who support the people and not the regime, even though she brings the words of a statement of solidarity by the Tehran Bus Workers’ Syndicate:

“The lack of water in Khuzestan today is rooted in the unprofessional, rapacious and profit-centered policies of the prior decades of capitalism in oil extraction and use of water for the steel industry, the income from which does not go to the people.  These insatiable policies have deprived the people of Khuzestan of safe drinking water.  Water is shut off for long hours and it is lacking for basic needs.  Farmers and cattle growers have also been damaged and lost their livelihoods.”  (https://www.akhbar-rooz.com/%d8%b3%d9%86%d8%af%db%8c%da%a9%d8%a7%db%8c-%d8%b4%d8%b1%da%a9%d8%aa-%d9%88%d8%a7%d8%ad%d8%af-%d8%b3%d8%b1%da%a9%d9%88%d8%a8-%d9%88-%da%a9%d8%b4%d8%aa%d8%a7%d8%b1-%d9%85%d8%b1%d8%af%d9%85-%d8%ac%d8%a7/)

She writes:

The latest protests have followed a series of nationwide strikes of temporary contract workers in Iran’s oil and gas industry which is also heavily based in Khuzestan. The strikes which began on June 19 and have spread to a hundred production sites, are demanding permanent employment status, a $500 monthly wage, safe working conditions and the right to organize and be free of police surveillance. Haft Tapeh sugar cane workers on strike in Khuzestan are also asking for COVID vaccination and expressing solidarity with protests against the lack of water.

In her interesting article she further looks at:

  • Economic Crisis and COVID Pandemic
  • Women Prisoners and Afghan Refugees
  • Iran’s Continuing Regional Ambitions and U.S. Imperialism’s “Solutions”
  • Needed Progressive Solidarity with Struggles inside Iran

Any effort to engage in solidarity with the struggles inside Iran begins not only with calling for the removal of U.S. sanctions and an end to Israel’s attacks, but also simultaneously holding the Iranian regime accountable for its repression and exploitation of the people and environment of the region.

Frieda Afary should know that several “leftist”, “socialists” and “communists” groups go against all the American interferences in the Middle East and urge for the immediate release of political prisoners, expressing solidarity with striking workers, feminist and environmental struggles, oppressed ethnic, sexual and religious minorities, and demanding Iran’s withdrawal from Syria, Iraq and an end to its interventions in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Yemen.

Please find the article to read > Iran: A New Wave of Mass Protests and Strikes

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Iran’s water crisis stokes another round of protests

The 42 years of Islamic fundamentalism proved that this so religious system is as corrupt like any other system where people in power try to earn as much they can for themselves (at the cost of the population).

We shall have to face not only political refugees but soon more ecological refugees.

Democracy for Iran

By Struan Stevenson

July 26 (UPI) –Prior to the 1979 revolution, Iran’s population of 34 million people relied on a stable water supply, sourced from millennia-old underground canals and aquifers. The Iranian revolution, hijacked by the mullahs, changed all that.

The theocratic regime handed control of the nationalized water industry — and indeed over 80% of all other business, industrial and service sectors — to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the regime’s equivalent of the Gestapo. The IRGC answers directly to the elderly supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It pays no tax and corruptly siphons vast financial resources into its own pockets and into financing proxy wars and terrorism across the Middle East and further afield.

The IRGC members use oil revenues stolen from the Iranian people to race ahead with the clandestine construction of a nuclear weapon and ballistic missile delivery systems capable of reaching Tel Aviv, Israel…

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