Category Archives: Economical affairs

It’ s not me. It’s the monster

Globalization and neoliberalism. They’ve become the explanations du jour for the decimation of industries and the devastation of lives, for falling wages and slashed public spending. And there is, of course, truth to the claim. But capitalism was chewing up and spitting out its victims long before the market was globalised or liberalism became neo’d.

One of the great novels of the Great Depression, of the wretchedness of poverty in 1930s America, was written half a century before those words were invented. John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.  It tells the story of one family, the Joads, tenant farmers from Oklahoma, who are forced off their land by the banks, pushed into migrating to the promised land of California, and the even greater wretchedness they find in their Utopia. It is a story of the pitilessness of capitalism, the dignity of work, the horrors of migration, the disintegration of a family. It is in turns angry and tender, polemical and poetic, allegorical and melodramatic. Steinbeck does not ignore the history of the land and how it was acquired (‘Grampa took up the land, and he had to kill the Indians and drive them away’), but he unquestioningly stands with the farmers in their bewilderments and in their battles. There are times, especially in the second half of the book, where the anger seems to overwhelm the writing. But, given the subject, and given what Steinbeck set out to do – to ‘rip a reader’s nerves to rags ‘, as he himself put it – that is, perhaps, both inevitable and necessary.

– Kenan Malik

This is an extract from Chapter 5, that tells of how those responsible for evicting the farmers justified their actions. ‘We have to do it. We don’t like to do it. But the monster’s sick. Something’s happened to the monster’. A passage and a book that feels as meaningful and vital today as it did when first published almost a century ago.


From The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck,
Chapter 5

John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath

The owners of the land came onto the land, or more often a spokesman for the owners came. They came in closed cars, and they felt the dry earth with their fingers, and sometimes they drove big earth augers into the ground for soil tests. The tenants, from their sun-beaten dooryards, watched uneasily when the closed cars drove along the fields. And at last the owner men drove into the dooryards and sat in their cars to talk out of the windows. The tenant men stood beside the cars for a while, and then squatted on their hams and found sticks with which to mark the dust.

In the open doors the women stood looking out, and behind them the children – corn-headed children, with wide eyes, one bare foot on top of the other bare foot, and the toes working. The women and the children watched their men talking to the owner men. They were silent.

Some of the owner men were kind because they hated what they had to do, and some of them were angry because they hated to be cruel, and some of them were cold because they had long ago found that one could not be an owner unless one were cold. And all of them were caught in something larger than themselves. Some of them hated the mathematics that drove them, and some were afraid, and some worshiped the mathematics because it provided a refuge from thought and from feeling. If a bank or a finance company owned the land, the owner man said, The Bank – or the Company – needs – wants – insists – must have – as though the Bank or the Company were a monster, with thought and feeling, which had ensnared them. These last would take no responsibility for the banks or the companies because they were men and slaves, while the banks were machines and masters all at the same time. Some of the owner men were a little proud to be slaves to such cold and powerful masters. The owner men sat in the cars and explained. You know the land is poor. You’ve scrabbled at it long enough, God knows.

The squatting tenant men nodded and wondered and drew figures in the dust, and yes, they knew, God knows. If the dust only wouldn’t fly. If the top would only stay on the soil, it might not be so bad.

The owner men went on leading to their point: You know the land’s getting poorer. You know what cotton does to the land; robs it, sucks all the blood out of it.

The squatters nodded – they knew, God knew. If they could only rotate the crops they might pump blood back into the land.

Well, it’s too late. And the owner men explained the workings and the thinkings of the monster that was stronger than they were. A man can hold land if he can just eat and pay taxes; he can do that.

Yes, he can do that until his crops fail one day and he has to borrow money from the bank.

But – you see, a bank or a company can’t do that, because those creatures don’t breathe air, don’t eat side-meat. They breathe profits; they eat the interest on money. If they don’t get it, they die the way you die without air, without side-meat. It is a sad thing, but it is so. It is just so.

Alexandre Hogue The Crucified Land

The squatting men raised their eyes to understand. Can’t we just hang on? Maybe the next year will be a good year. God knows how much cotton next year. And with all the wars – God knows what price cotton will bring. Don’t they make explosives out of cotton? And uniforms? Get enough wars and cotton’ll hit the ceiling. Next year, maybe. They looked up questioningly.

We can’t depend on it. The bank – the monster has to have profits all the time. It can’t wait. It’ll die. No, taxes go on. When the monster stops growing, it dies. It can’t stay one size.

Soft fingers began to tap the sill of the car window, and hard fingers tightened on the restless drawing sticks. In the doorways of the sun-beaten tenant houses, women sighed and then shifted feet so that the one that had been down was now on top, and the toes working. Dogs came sniffing near the owner cars and wetted on all four tires one after another. And chickens lay in the sunny dust and fluffed their feathers to get the cleansing dust down to the skin. In the little sties the pigs grunted inquiringly over the muddy remnants of the slops.

The squatting men looked down again. What do you want us to do? We can’t take less share of the crop – we’re half starved now. The kids are hungry all the time. We got no clothes, torn an’ ragged. If all the neighbors weren’t the same, we’d be ashamed to go to meeting.

And at last the owner men came to the point. The tenant system won’t work any more. One man on a tractor can take the place of twelve or fourteen families. Pay him a wage and take all the crop. We have to do it. We don’t like to do it. But the monster’s sick. Something’s happened to the monster.

But you’ll kill the land with cotton.

We know. We’ve got to take cotton quick before the land dies. Then we’ll sell the land. Lots of families in the East would like to own a piece of land.

The tenant men looked up alarmed. But what’ll happen to us? How’ll we eat?

You’ll have to get off the land. The plows’ll go through the dooryard.

Clyfford Styll Gleaners

And now the squatting men stood up angrily. Grampa took up the land, and he had to kill the Indians and drive them away. And Pa was born here, and he killed weeds and snakes. Then a bad year came and he had to borrow a little money. An’ we was born here. There in the door – our children born here. And Pa had to borrow money. The bank owned the land then, but we stayed and we got a little bit of what we raised.

We know that – all that. It’s not us, it’s the bank. A bank isn’t like a man. Or an owner with fifty thousand acres, he isn’t like a man either. That’s the monster.

Sure, cried the tenant men, but it’s our land. We measured it and broke it up. We were born on it, and we got killed on it, died on it. Even if it’s no good, it’s still ours. That’s what makes it ours – being born on it, working it, dying on it. That makes ownership, not a paper with numbers on it.

We’re sorry. It’s not us. It’s the monster. The bank isn’t like a man.

Yes, but the bank is only made of men.

No, you’re wrong there – quite wrong there. The bank is something else than men. It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It’s the monster. Men made it, but they can’t control it.

The tenants cried, Grampa killed Indians, Pa killed snakes for the land. Maybe we can kill banks – they’re worse than Indians and snakes. Maybe we got to fight to keep our land, like Pa and Grampa did.

And now the owner men grew angry. You’ll have to go.

But it’s ours, the tenant men cried. We –

No. The bank, the monster owns it. You’ll have to go.

We’ll get our guns, like Grampa when the Indians came. What then?

Well – first the sheriff, and then the troops. You’ll be stealing if you try to stay, you’ll be murderers if you kill to stay. The monster isn’t men, but it can make men do what it wants.

But if we go, where’ll we go? How’ll we go? We got no money.

We’re sorry, said the owner men. The bank, the fifty-thousand-acre owner can’t be responsible. You’re on land that isn’t yours. Once over the line maybe you can pick cotton in the fall. Maybe you can go on relief. Why don’t you go on west to California? There’s work there, and it never gets cold. Why, you can reach out anywhere and pick an orange. Why, there’s always some kind of crop to work in. Why don’t you go there? And the owner men started their cars and rolled away.

James Edward Allen Praying for Rain

The tenant men squatted down on their hams again to mark the dust with a stick, to figure, to wonder. Their sunburned faces were dark, and their sun-whipped eyes were light. The women moved cautiously out of the doorways toward their men, and the children crept behind the women, cautiously, ready to run. The bigger boys squatted beside their fathers, because that made them men. After a time the women asked, What did he want?

And the men looked up for a second, and the smolder of pain was in their eyes. We got to get off. A tractor and a superintendent. Like factories.

Where’ll we go? the women asked.

We don’t know. We don’t know.

And the women went quickly, quietly back into the houses and herded the children ahead of them. They knew that a man so hurt and so perplexed may turn in anger, even on people he loves. They left the men alone to figure and to wonder in the dust.

After a time perhaps the tenant man looked about – at the pump put in ten years ago, with a goose-neck handle and iron flowers on the spout, at the chopping block where a thousand chickens had been killed, at the hand plow lying in the shed, and the patent crib hanging in the rafters over it.

The children crowded about the women in the houses. What we going to do, Ma? Where we going to go?

The women said, We don’t know, yet. Go out and play. But don’t go near your father. He might whale you if you go near him. And the women went on with the work, but all the time they watched the men squatting in the dust – perplexed and figuring.

Georgia O'Keeffe Bones and Red Hills

The tractors came over the roads and into the fields, great crawlers moving like insects, having the incredible strength of insects. They crawled over the ground, laying the track and rolling on it and picking it up. Diesel tractors, puttering while they stood idle; they thundered when they moved, and then settled down to a droning roar.

Snubnosed monsters, raising the dust and sticking their snouts into it, straight down the country, across the country, through fences, through dooryards, in and out of gullies in straight lines. They did not run on the ground, but on their own roadbeds. They ignored hills and gulches, water courses, fences, houses.

The man sitting in the iron seat did not look like a man; gloved, goggled, rubber dust mask over nose and mouth, he was a part of the monster, a robot in the seat. The thunder of the cylinders sounded through the country, became one with the air and the earth, so that earth and air muttered in sympathetic vibration. The driver could not control it – straight across country it went, cutting through a dozen farms and straight back. A twitch at the controls could swerve the cat’, but the driver’s hands could not twitch because the monster that built the tractors, the monster that sent the tractor out, had somehow got into the driver’s hands, into his brain and muscle, had goggled him and muzzled him – goggled his mind, muzzled his speech, goggled his perception, muzzled his protest. He could not see the land as it was, he could not smell the land as it smelled; his feet did not stamp the clods or feel the warmth and power of the earth. He sat in an iron seat and stepped on iron pedals. He could not cheer or beat or curse or encourage the extension of his power, and because of this he could not cheer or whip or curse or encourage himself. He did not know or own or trust or beseech the land. If a seed dropped did not germinate, it was nothing. If the young thrusting plant withered in drought or drowned in a flood of rain, it was no more to the driver than to the tractor.

He loved the land no more than the bank loved the land. He could admire the tractor – its machined surfaces, its surge of power, the roar of its detonating cylinders; but it was not his tractor. Behind the tractor rolled the shining disks, cutting the earth with blades – not plowing but surgery, pushing the cut earth to the right where the second row of disks cut it and pushed it to the left; slicing blades shining, polished by the cut earth. And pulled behind the disks, the harrows combing with iron teeth so that the little clods broke up and the earth lay smooth. Behind the harrows, the long seeders – twelve curved iron penes erected in the foundry, orgasms set by gears, raping methodically, raping without passion. The driver sat in his iron seat and he was proud of the straight lines he did not will, proud of the tractor he did not own or love, proud of the power he could not control. And when that crop grew, and was harvested, no man had crumbled a hot clod in his fingers and let the earth sift past his fingertips. No man had touched the seed, or lusted for the growth. Men ate what they had not raised, had no connection with the bread. The land bore under iron, and under iron gradually died; for it was not loved or hated, it had no prayers or curses.

At noon the tractor driver stopped sometimes near a tenant house and opened his lunch: sandwiches wrapped in waxed paper, white bread, pickle, cheese, Spam, a piece of pie branded like an engine part. He ate without relish. And tenants not yet moved away came out to see him, looked curiously while the goggles were taken off, and the rubber dust mask, leaving white circles around the eyes and a large white circle around nose and mouth. The exhaust of the tractor puttered on, for fuel is so cheap it is more efficient to leave the engine running than to heat the Diesel nose for a new start. Curious children crowded close, ragged children who ate their fried dough as they watched. They watched hungrily the unwrapping of the sandwiches, and their hunger- sharpened noses smelled the pickle, cheese, and Spam. They didn’t speak to the driver. They watched his hand as it carried food to his mouth. They did not watch him chewing; their eyes followed the hand that held the sandwich. After a while the tenant who could not leave the place came out and squatted in the shade beside the tractor.

Mervin Jules Dispossessed

‘Why, you’re Joe Davis’s boy!’

‘Sure’, the driver said.

‘Well, what you doing this kind of work for – against your own people?’

‘Three dollars a day. I got damn sick of creeping for my dinner – and not getting it. I got a wife and kids. We got to eat. Three dollars a day, and it comes every day.’

‘That’s right,’ the tenant said. ‘But for your three dollars a day fifteen or twenty families can’t eat at all. Nearly a hundred people have to go out and wander on the roads for your three dollars a day. Is that right?’

And the driver said, ‘Can’t think of that. Got to think of my own kids. Three dollars a day, and it comes every day. Times are changing, mister, don’t you know? Can’t make a living on the land unless you’ve got two, five, ten thousand acres and a tractor. Crop land isn’t for little guys like us any more. You don’t kick up a howl because you can’t make Fords, or because you’re not the telephone company. Well, crops are like that now. Nothing to do about it. You try to get three dollars a day someplace. That’s the only way.’

The tenant pondered. ‘Funny thing how it is. If a man owns a little property, that property is him, it’s part of him, and it’s like him. If he owns property only so he can walk on it and handle it and be sad when it isn’t doing well, and feel fine when the rain falls on it, that property is him, and some way he’s bigger because he owns it. Even if he isn’t successful he’s big with his property. That is so.’

And the tenant pondered more. ‘But let a man get property he doesn’t see, or can’t take time to get his fingers in, or can’t be there to walk on it – why, then the property is the man. He can’t do what he wants, he can’t think what he wants. The property is the man, stronger than he is. And he is small, not big. Only his possessions are big—and he’s the servant of his property. That is so, too.’

The driver munched the branded pie and threw the crust away. ‘Times are changed, don’t you know? Thinking about stuff like that don’t feed the kids. Get your three dollars a day, feed your kids. You got no call to worry about anybody’s kids but your own. You get a reputation for talking like that, and you’ll never get three dollars a day. Big shots won’t give you three dollars a day if you worry about anything but your three dollars a day.’

‘Nearly a hundred people on the road for your three dollars. Where will we go?’

‘And that reminds me’, the driver said, ‘you better get out soon. I’m going through the dooryard after dinner.’

‘You filled in the well this morning.’

‘I know. Had to keep the line straight. But I’m going through the dooryard after dinner. Got to keep the lines straight. And – well, you know Joe Davis, my old man, so I’ll tell you this. I got orders wherever there’s a family not moved out – if I have an accident – you know, get too close and cave the house in a little – well, I might get a couple of dollars. And my youngest kid never had no shoes yet.’

Clare Leighton Bread Line

‘I built it with my hands. Straightened old nails to put the sheathing on. Rafters are wired to the stringers with baling wire. It’s mine. I built it. You bump it down—I’ll be in the window with a rifle. You even come too close and I’ll pot you like a rabbit.’

‘It’s not me. There’s nothing I can do. I’ll lose my job if I don’t do it. And look – suppose you kill me? They’ll just hang you, but long before you’re hung there’ll be another guy on the tractor, and he’ll bump the house down. You’re not killing the right guy.’

‘That’s so’, the tenant said. ‘Who gave you orders? I’ll go after him. He’s the one to kill.’

‘You’re wrong. He got his orders from the bank. The bank told him, ‘Clear those people out or it’s your job.’

‘Well, there’s a president of the bank. There’s a board of directors. I’ll fill up the magazine of the rifle and go into the bank.’

The driver said, ‘Fellow was telling me the bank gets orders from the East. The orders were, ‘Make the land show profit or we’ll close you up.’‘

‘But where does it stop? Who can we shoot? I don’t aim to starve to death before I kill the man that’s starving me.’

‘I don’t know. Maybe there’s nobody to shoot. Maybe the thing isn’t men at all. Maybe like you said, the property’s doing it. Anyway I told you my orders.’

‘I got to figure’, the tenant said. ‘We all got to figure. There’s some way to stop this. It’s not like lightning or earthquakes. We’ve got a bad thing made by men, and by God that’s something we can change.’ The tenant sat in his doorway, and the driver thundered his engine and started off, tracks falling and curving, harrows combing, and the phalli of the seeder slipping into the ground. Across the dooryard the tractor cut, and the hard, foot-beaten ground was seeded field, and the tractor cut through again; the uncut space was ten feet wide. And back he came. The iron guard bit into the house-corner, crumbled the wall, and wrenched the little house from its foundation so that it fell sideways, crushed like a bug. And the driver was goggled and a rubber mask covered his nose and mouth. The tractor cut a straight line on, and the air and the ground vibrated with its thunder. The tenant man stared after it, his rifle in his hand. His wife was beside him, and the quiet children behind. And all of them stared after the tractor.

The images are all paintings and etchings from, and of, the Great Depression in America. They are from top down, Maynard Dixon, ‘Shapes of Fear’ (1930-32); Alexandre Hogue, ‘The Crucified Land’ (1939); Clyfford Still, ‘Gleaners’ (1936);  James Allen Lane, ‘Prayer for Rain’ (1938); Georgia O’Keefe, ‘Red Hills and Bones’ (1941); Mervin Jules, ‘Dispossessed’ (1938); Clare Leighton, ‘Bread Line’, (1932).

The image of The Grapes of Wrath is of the first edition in 1939.

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Cartoon of the day 2020 August 12

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Dependent on imports

At the European continent, we have come dependent on a lot of import to provide enough food.

Now with this corona crisis many think we do have to change our way of life and our way of consumption.

Let us go back in history to think about today. Andrew James Chandler writes:

from the 1840s, was the demand for rails, wheels and frames for rolling stock necessary to build railways around the world. Britain was providing perhaps forty per cent of the world’s manufactured goods by the mid-century. The spread of steam power, for both railways and shipping, also created a great demand for British coal. In terms of imports, British demand for wool from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa grew significantly. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Britain had been self-sufficient in basic foodstuffs, but developed a great demand for ‘luxuries’ from the tropics such as sugar, tea and coffee. They soon became cheap, available to all social classes. Home agriculture was protected by the Corn Laws until 1846, restricting imports of basics and kept prices of bread and other staples high. By the 1850s, population growth had made basic food imports absolutely essential, and protection was abandoned for free trade. By the 1850s about a quarter of Britain’s food needs were being met by imports. {Poverty, Emigration & Empire, 1821-1881: Australia, New Zealand & South Africa.}

In the future, we shall become more dependent, if we are not careful, on more food coming into the country we should make sure it is correctly produced, without slave labour, without toxic fertilizers and non-necessary additives.

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Corona part of much too many or not enough

There are people who consider that the last few years we had so many sorts of corona viruses because we are with too many and have are animals locked up with to many in one cage.

About the matter of keeping too many animals in a cage, there is a reality we have to face. That creates a lot of diseases we could avoid when we would give those animals much more space to move around.

We do not think we are living in an overcrowded world. There is still enough space if we are willing to use that space properly and ecologically right.

Thomas Mathus (born 1766), a mathematically-minded person, who was convinced that people multiplied at a much greater rate than food was produced. For him the outcome, unless former was controlled, would be starvation and misery.

‘Son of the manse’ Andrew James Chandler writes:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 033-2.jpgPart of Malthus’ solution was to discourage marriage and any other relationship which might result in childbirth. He also deemed it wise to encourage individuals and families to emigrate. He regarded the colonies as a receptacle for excess inhabitants, and had a formula to back up his ideas. There were also a number of schemes which were capable of translating his notions into practical terms.

The collection of reliable statistical information was only begun with the first decennial census in 1801, but this was a barely reliable source for contemporaries and historians alike until 1841. There were no reliable government figures relating to unemployment until 1921. {Poverty, Emigration & Empire, 1821-71: Atlantic Crossings & North American Settlement.}

Avoiding getting children is one idea several people used to have control abut their ‘people of the state’.  Many forgot that those living in poverty were more often creating kids in bad circumstances. Also wages could create a condition to have more or less children, and got families moving from the countryside to the cities.

Although industrial wages may have been a little better in the Midland towns than in the villages, living and working conditions were generally worse, so that it was not until the beginning of the last century that people were drawn in any significant numbers into cities like Coventry, Oxford and Birmingham from the surrounding countryside. Although Birmingham and the Black Country had become heavily industrialised by the mid-nineteenth century, it was only at the end of that century that Coventry became a city of many trades, with the decline of the traditional craft industries of ribbon weaving and watchmaking, and the birth of the cycle trade in the 1890s, to be followed gradually by motor-cycle and car manufacture, and the establishment of Courtauld’s works in 1905. {Part Three: 1861-1914: Poverty, Progress and Prosperity}

When people had to spend a lot of time in the factory they had less time to create new children. But when there were strikes or people had no work they had more frustrations and man got to work it out at their wives and made more kids.

The growing urbanisation of the country which many thought aggravated the problems of the poor, also made it easier to deal collectively with some of the worst injustices in the early years of the twentieth century. Towns provided an increasing range of free services, and local government expenditure almost doubled between 1900 and 1913.

008Free school meals and school medical inspections helped to improve health among children and better attention in hospitals which catered mainly for working-class patients in conditions that were generally much better than richer classes who still preferred to be treated in their own homes or in private nursing homes. Workmen’s trains, electric tramcars and cheap, second-hand bicycles enabled many wage earners to escape from the congested areas of towns to the suburbs, leaving more room for those remaining.

Better grocer shops, such as Sainsburys and Liptons, football matches and other sporting events on Saturday afternoons,  excursions by trains, music halls and then silent films, public houses with bright lighting, were all additional signs of an improvement in the quality of urban working-class life, and a departure from the past.  Working-class women benefited the most from these changes. There was a preference for smaller families, making their domestic lives easier, and the arrival of the typewriter and telephone were among the developments which provided more employment opportunities for girls.  There were also more scholarships, often to new secondary schools and technical colleges which gave bright young people of both sexes opportunities for further education and better jobs, encouraging greater social mobility than their parents had experienced. However, these changes were not as rapid as sometimes supposed. There may have been more women teachers, nurses, shop assistants, telephonists, typists and machine operators, but there was still a vast army of female domestic servants. There was little understanding of the home conditions of many of the domestic servants among those whom they served.

One child from a prosperous family, who had employed two maids before the Great War, later  admitted to the BBC that she had very little idea what poverty was. Her maids never complained of poverty. Neither did they complain of the hard physical work and sense of alienation that many of them endured in  service.

Alice Cairns, from Staffordshire, was placed as a maid in a big old rectory in the same county. It was still lit with oil lamps, not even by gas, and she had to clean the big range and get the fire going every morning before she could boil a kettle. After that she had to scrub the big kitchen, which had a floor like gravestones, scrub the tables and then take the cook a cup of tea before seven. …

It is doubtful whether British Society has ever been so beset with contradictions as it was on the eve of the First World War.  Old age pensions began to be paid by the state only at the beginning of 1909, and health and unemployment insurance at the beginning of 1913. However poverty was still alarmingly extensive in 1914, especially in the countryside. {The Fires of Perfect Liberty: Labouring Men and Women of England, 1851-1951: Part Three}

Who had enough food at that time and who had the children to have a lot of worries or to have no worries at all?

Today in the west the families are very small, two or max three children, or when it is a family with more than 5 children it is what they call a newly composed family.

Until now everything seemed to go alright, but since March 2020 lots of people have a totally opposite idea of the future. It is expected we shall get some population explosion by corona-kids. People having had enough time with their partner to enjoy themselves but also trying to forget the negative prospect of soon being without work and without pay.

For some it might look lie we are going to face some serious economic crisis after this health crisis. soon we might have again some more children, but with the temperatures rising, getting more dry and wet period endangering the food production, the matter or question:

Is theere going to be enough food?

is going to rise again. This in a time when the rich have become richer and the ordinary man poorer, and work prospects not so great.

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A looming danger for youngsters

It looks like CoViD-19 is going to be here around for many more months and companies are feeling the pressure of more difficult months to come. (Worldwide at the moment 16.341.179 infected, 650.792 deaths)

Some companies already make misuse to re-organise or restructure their business. Several layoffs are in the air.

Shannon Allen, a Second Year Undergraduate student studying Sociology at the University of Portsmouth, gives some advice to her peers at her blog Bloggit. she gives some key tips for gaining experience, especially in digital marketing, and seems herself also on the lookout for groups or media posters, perhaps to find like-minded young women who will literally chat about anything and everything!

She also started volunteering with a local volunteering centre, and with good reason brings this under attention, because many more people should find such a way to use the free time they have now in lockdown. Also, for those who work now from home, a lot of time has come free because they do not have to lose so many hours in traffic for going to work.

For the other free time and for meeting others, at night, she writes

Often, when I see my friends there is alcohol involved, often leading up to a night out. As the clubs have remained shut in England, this has been off the cards so we have had much more trips to the park or the beach, and nights in watching Disney+ and playing on the Nintendo Switch. It is so important to spend quality time with people, especially as after next year we probably won’t see each other very often as we start the next chapter of our lives. {Boost the positive vibes!}

We only hope she does not come together any more with more than 5 people, who would always be the same people from the same circle or bubble. In Belgium and France we have seen too many youngsters gathering in all sorts of venues like nothing is at hand and corona would not exist. Such irresponsible attitude is totally disrespectful to all health care providers.

Instead of clutching or to stick together those youngsters could meet more via social media and use more time to take some extra schooling.

Miss Allen writes

Over lockdown, I have been trying to complete as many online courses as I can. {Experience Unlocks Doors!}

which is a very good idea which we would promote very much.

A good place to look for these, if you’re looking at digital marking related ones, is the google digital garage and futurelearn*. I have also started an 3 day internship with ‘Brightside’, in ‘Business, Operations and Marketing’, which was free to join and you also gain a certificate from! It involves networking with business professionals and learning key skills within this business realm. {Experience Unlocks Doors!}

LinkedIn Logo 2013.svgFor sure what is going to be very important in the coming months is to make sure there are job securities to look at. As such it is not bad to make yourself already be known on the business and employment-oriented online service LinkedIn and to search for job/ voluntary roles and groups

LinkedIn is a great way to start, it tailors role ads to your cv, depending on your experience and where you live. It is also a great place to find groups to join that post related content. Following tags is the simplest way to start, for example I follow #digitalmarketing which is regularly updated with interesting posts. {Experience Unlocks Doors!}

*

Ed.note:

File:MOOC poster mathplourde.pngMassive open online course (MOOC) aimes at unlimited participation and open access via the web

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Choose Carefully

Source of Inspiration

sequoia park

If you want to build a community,
gather those who dream and yearn
for like-minded ideals. Make
friends with those who share your
values. Being too open minded
can be a trap, too.

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Modern Slavery

Too many people close their eyes for products which are so cheap they could not be produced under normal conditions. But there are also companies which do not mind to sell their products at a very high price, but had them made in cheap labour countries.

In this capitalist system there is too much slavery going on and not enough people reacting against it.
The capitalist system has made many working people into slaves of a company, and more and more workers have to work for less income, whilst a a minor group of happy few can make themselves very rich by (mis)using all those ‘poor folks’.

Lots of multi-billion dollar companies which make money from our hard work even do not have to pay taxes whilst the workers have to pay a lot of taxes and can only dream of having a better world.

*

To remember

Slavery =  practice or system of owning slaves” + evolved to be a part of social norms.

slavery to a job, slavery to society, female domestic slavery, child slavery, slavery to live, slavery to abide by law, slavery to family and many many more.

live in a society > merely puppets with strings

age of retirement in UK = 66 for women and men. By 2026 = 67 or more.

exploit > work to make others richer

YesRickyThings

So this is a series of blog post that I have been meaning to start for a while now. I will be uploading content about controversial topics from different ends of the spectrum. I am merely trying to express my thoughts on certain topics looking at things from all different angles. In this aspect I hope to create a discussion to see what people think. This goes along with my interest of psychology and trying to understand how different people think and what their cognitive processes are.

This post is about modern day slavery. I would like all readers to read this with an open mind and be open for discussion. First, we must define what is slavery. There are many definitions for it however I will be taking oxford dictionary as a base definition. Slavery is defined as “the practice or system of owning slaves”. Now, when you ask…

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God calls us His people, and we call Him our God

The Bible’s frequent refrain — ‘His people’ and ‘our God’ — repeatedly reminds us that we are a community — part of God’s family. Like a body, each part has a vital role to play. The Lord has formed us for a collective purpose. We are dedicated to adopting the values of God. We are committed to doing the works of faith we have seen in Jesus, and the very ones we hope to perform with His constant aid.

Faith can grow abundantly when we understand and fully embrace the fact that God has put us together on purpose.
Accordingly, the Christadelphian community is committed to a vision of Cultivating Faith Together.
After some hard thinking about how they can make the biggest difference, the WCF got structured to advance that vision as effectively as they can.

Like our Christadelphian ecclesia in Belgium the WCF is focused on faith because it is the bedrock of our relationship with God and His Son. It is what compels us to walk with them for good, for a lifetime. And our faith  is what is tested in the daily trials and decisions of life.
The WCF and our Belgian ecclesia is committed to cultivating more faith together.
We hope you will join us in this great cause. We seek those who want to give their hands, their hearts, their financial resources. We know that, together, we can truly grow more faith.

°°°
All financial help is welcome
BE37 9730 6618 2528
BIC ARSPBE22
“Preaching funds”

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Going to the end of 2018

Once again a year has gone by. Everywhere we heard about fake and other bad news. sometimes we forgot that there could be something like “Good News”. Though we do hope we could give some light in a certain darkness.

Our ecclesia in Heverlee received very bad news in June. We had to leave the place for Starbucks and Burger King taking away our facility to meet and to have our Breaking of Bread at those premises. At the moment we use brother Marcus his living room in Leefdaal and the bar at the Warande in Tervuren, but that public space is not ideal or practical. It would be nice if we could find a better solution.
For Nivelles and Mons nothing changes and for baptised members there is still our internet meeting Sunday morning, though now one hour earlier than last religious year.

Financially the red ciphers grew. Brother Marcus and Steve paying already a lot from their private funds, but next to rent, publishing, internet, copyrights we also have mounting portocosts. In Belgium there seem not to be many people interested to help us in our preaching work. Several people three-monthly receive our paperwork magazine “Met Open Bijbel” and receive the books they request for. But none ever thought or thinks about contributing something to cover the costs.

In case you want to help our preaching work, this shall be very much appreciated. Any gift is welcome, at BE37 9730 6618 2528, with notice “Ecclesial help”.

Remarkable things are happening around us and as we circulate our English printed newsletter today we see France troubled with rioting on the streets, the UK Government hamstrung by its perplexing Brexit challenges, a White House which lurches from crisis to crisis, New Zealand having to apologise for the murder of a backpacker – and in many other places suffering, hunger, displacement and fear. Even the hardest heart cannot be unmoved by these things. Whatever the remaining days of 2018 may bring, let us hold fast to the promise of Christ’s return and be encouraged by the bright prospect of his glorious reign. Mankind’s many insoluble problems will then, finally, be at an end. For “all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord”.

We wish you a lovely end of the year and a good new start for 2019.

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Beginning of a festival of lights

Next Sunday is a double celebration. The Jewish people begin the Festival of Lights — Hanukkah, the Dedication of the Temple, and many Christians will light the first Advent candle in preparation for Christmas.

The Winter-season started to give signs it is on its way. We did not get the Autumn storms, but temperatures went already under zero. We also got already very gruesome days were we did not see much of the sun. and when we got some flashes of sun-rays in the afternoon it became already dark around 5pm.

As we enter the last couple of months remaining in 2018, our thoughts turn to giving thanks for everything the year has brought.

Sometimes, many forget how lucky we are to live in a wealthy country where there is no war and where there are not so many real problems. After Thanksgiving lots of people went mad and invaded shops like they had been without food and goods for months. Their greed brought them even to fight with each other to be first and about getting certain goods. We could see many video’s of people shrieking, being grabbed, poked, whistled at, yelled at and stuff fought over.

In many American families Thursday turkey was on the dish and in other countries on Sunday nice food could fill the stomachs after prayers were said. Though looking around and at social media more eyes where fixed on Black Friday and Cyber-Monday trying to get some stuff cheaper. Already a few days before Black Friday through Cyber Monday our inbox was flooded with discount announcements even from Christian organisations. They did not seem to dare to go against that American consumerism that got infecting West Europe as well.

A few years ago Thanksgiving was a day of free and meditation time and when it was on a Tuesday or Thursday a bridge was made giving the employees some extra free time to celebrate with the family. Today capitalism and consumerism lets employers to call their employees to work for Black Friday. It is as there may not be a moment of silence and meditation considering what blessings we do have, living in our industrialised world.

The world wants also to give a picture and the feeling that man can not have enough and that those who are happy with not much are fools. Those who don’t feel the need to constantly be buying the latest and greatest stuff seem to become an exception. Those who spend more time being careful about what they purchase and those who prefer to save their money for fewer things that they can enjoy much more, seem to become “strange birds”.

Society is pressing to consume and the majority of people are loving others to see that they can be better off without god and limited ways of living. They do forget that perhaps that minimalist way of life can be a much better and a much happier life. The moral of today seems to have gone far away form from real ethical moral ways and for sur far away form the Law of God.

Coming to the close of the year 2018 at out Christadelphian ecclesia site we present an overview of some important matters.

Starting with “The Way of the LORD” we want you to give some keys to open the way to a better living, much more filled than with the worldly goods. It goes from the “Eagerness to learn and to teach others” to ” The Call of Christ” looking at the Book of books and why Jesus had to die at the stake. giving some time to explain why we have to live a certain way and why we have to look for a certain future and and a certain king. You also shall find reasons why we do have to  be a believer in Christ and should look forwards to his return.

The coming days let us also look at the many religions and their festivals. Look at their power and authority. Nothing of God does tell we may not enjoy life. Nothing of God does tell us that we may not come together with family to enjoy the blessings we can find around us. The only thing God requires from us is that we abstain from the heathen rites and feasts and live according to His Will.

The darker and colder days may have us looking for more warmth. You may do that. Do so with pleasure and with gratitude for what you receive from God.

Let the coming festivals of light bring light and warmth to your soul which you shall want to share with others.

Let us this coming Sunday dedicate ourselves to God, like Jesus did in ancient times. When you eat potato latkes on Sunday remember that such a holiday treat traditionally fried in oil is to remind the person who eats them of the miracle that God performed with the oil and the dedication of the Temple. Let us these coming days think of the black period in Jesus his life. Let us see how he had also his weak moments, asking his heavenly Father for help, even at one time asking why God would have abandoned him. We in our weakness are materialistic, spoiled,and often forget what a wonderful Gift God has given us . It is that only begotten son of God which is the most precious gift we ever could get. And for that we should be most thankful.

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