1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

A free store – New ways of crisis economy? March 30, 2009

I am always glad to hear about things that support my idealistic idea of another world – a world without greed and materialistic manipulations.

Recently a shop opened in New York (a stone’s throw from Ground Zero) where nothing is for sale and everything is for free! The store was founded by local artists Athena Robles and Anna Stein, who set it up with a $9,000 grant from a cultural organisation and the September 11 fund.

There’s only one ‘rule’, which is that customers should only take what they need (brilliant condition!!). Passers by have been spotted carrying off all manner of items, from DVDs and posters to stained glass ceiling fittings and children’s clothes. For more impressions and details read the GUARDIAN report here.

 (Photograph: Frederic Lafargue/Rapport)

Let’s see how long this idea will work and if something similar will be found elsewhere in the word – or may be even it would become a trend?

LOVE, axinia

 

Looking for alternatives: a symposium on the idea of communism March 17, 2009

(image by me)

An interesting article found in the GUARDIAN, let me quote some abstracts:

The speedy panic with which our governments agreed to throw billions of pounds away to restore “confidence” suggests that the dream is over and we are awakening to a strange new socialism, in which an increasingly authoritarian government has taken public control of financial capitalism in order to save it from itself. We read today that equal pay reviews no longer matter. Migrants are left to starve on the streets as the government heads off the far right by pandering to it. And so it’s precisely now that the question of an alternative must be re-opened.

Against this backdrop, Birkbeck College this weekend hosted a symposium on the idea of communism. Originally planned as a meeting of philosophers and those who enjoy hearing their debates, the unexpected material circumstances of history instead gave the event a genuine sense of urgency. Even the BBC came to hear Slavoj Zizek, Alain Badiou, Jacques Ranciere, Michael Hardt, Toni Negri, and others speaking on the possibilities and challenges of reinventing the communist ideal today.

The conference was happily free of dogmatism. No one on the stage was there to represent a particular party or doctrine. There were disagreements, but at heart was a simple proposition. Communism is an idea that has been with us in different forms for thousands of years, as Terry Eagleton pointed out. The task is now to think what the concepts of egalitarian voluntarism, self-organisation, common ownership of common means of production, abolition of class-structured society, and freedom from state power can mean today.

First, the question of the role of the state and the economy remains open. While Judith Balso, Toni Negri and Alain Badiou insist on creating new political movements at a distance from the state, Zizek and Bruno Bosteels point to the experiences of Bolivia and Venezuela as contemporary proof that by taking power, a progressive radical movement can survive even against overwhelming reactionary forces.

Perhaps the true question is: why communism? (more…)

 

Sorry, but I have to post it: the best of Russian propaganda March 4, 2009

Sorry for those readers who don`t know  Russian, but I really have to post this absolutely brilliant video:

it is a new propaganda clip which was forbidden because of being “too negative” – to me it is the best example of the a HARD TRUTH about us all, especially about the youth.

To me it seems to be highly motivating  – it burns the heart to start DOING something for my country.

BECAUSE THERE IS NO ONE ELSE WHO WOULD DO IT INSTEAD OF ME.

Great, simply great! It reminds me of the Matrix film…

I know it is propaganda, but damn it…it is so inspiring!!!

LOVE, axinia

 

Brainwash: how do they do it with you February 12, 2009

I ran into the topic of Propaganda on one Russian site  – the Encyclopedia of Propaganda (here) and was taken aback by the baldness of the facts and methods. My first reactions was – everone should read that!! Unfortunately I could not find such a detailed information in English, but will try to quote some important moments here.

Propaganda is generally an appeal to emotion, contrasted to an appeal to intellect. It shares techniques with advertising and public relations. Propaganda, in a narrower use of the term, connotes deliberately false or misleading information that supports or furthers a political (but not only) cause or the interests of those with power.

Propaganda has been a human activity as far back as reliable recorded evidence exists. Today we call it brainwash –the name that reveals the true nature of this phenomenon.

Common media for transmitting propaganda messages include news reports, government reports, historical revision, junk science, books, leaflets, movies, radio, television, and posters. In the case of radio and television, propaganda can exist on news, current-affairs or talk-show segments, as advertising or public-service announce “spots” or as long-running advertorials. A number of techniques based in social psychological research are used to generate propaganda. Many of these same techniques can be found under logical fallacies, since propagandists use arguments that, while sometimes convincing, are not necessarily valid.

Below are some of the typical brainwash techniques: (more…)

 

The Obama-test for America January 31, 2009

Obama 2008

 

A lot has been said about the hope Barak Obama has brought about in the USA and around the world.

To me personally the main intrigue of his presidency will be in seeing the impact of IDEALISM on MATERIALISM.We have just learned from the Davos summit that recently the 40% of worlds money (50 billions of Dollars) has vanished into the deep black whole (where it probably originally came from). To be realistic, there is nowhere to exept help and immediate recovery from.

At the same time the amount of faith and optimism connected with Obama`s avatar is truly fascinating – millions do hope that he will perform a wonder and save the sinking world…

The USA has a notorious image of being a very materialistic country. My theory and a strong personal belief is that it is only idealism and high spirits of people that can perform wonders. (more…)

 

Where did all the crisis money go? January 6, 2009

Last week I visited Frankfurt/Germany and saw THAT (see images)… And I suddenly realised where all the money disappeared – namely into this marvelous hole on the new building in the city of Frankfurt 🙂

I have no idea what was the inspiration of the architect, but that monster  seems to be the perfect symbol of what Russians call ” flew out into the hole/pipe” вылететь в трубу meaning “have lost loads of money”. That was my first thought when I saw it! (more…)

 

Global Trends 2025: state capitalism on the rise November 21, 2008

image by axinia

Today’s newspapers all over the world seem to be much impressed by the latest NIC report Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World  where National Intelligence Council, a body of analysts from across the US intelligence community, gives a new perspective on how major global trends may develop in the next 15 years to influence world events.

You can read the whole report here, and some things I found the most interesting and insightful below:

  • “No single outcome seems preordained: the Western model of economic liberalism, democracy and secularism, for example, which many assumed to be inevitable, may lose its lustre – at least in the medium term,” the report warns.
  • “Today wealth is moving not just from West to East but is concentrating more under state control,” giving the examples of China and Russia. “In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, the state’s role in the economy may be gaining more appeal throughout the world.”
  • At the same time, the US will become “less dominant” in the world – no longer the unrivalled superpower it has been since the end of the Cold War, but a “first among equals” in a more fluid and evenly balanced world, making the unilateralism of the Bush era no longer tenable.
  • The impact of climate change will be uneven, with some North economies, including Russia and Canada benefit from longer growing seasons and improved access to resources reserves.
  • While emerging economies like China, India and Brazil are likely to grow in influence at America’s expense, the same cannot be said of the European Union. The NIC appears relatively certain the EU will be “losing clout” by 2025. Internal bickering and a “democracy gap” separating Brussels from European voters will leave the EU “a hobbled giant”, unable to translate its economic clout into global influence. (more…)
 

“Let’s Make Money” – A Film Review November 2, 2008

Last night I went to watch the brilliant documentary “Lets make money”  – an eye-opening well reasearched film by Austrian Director Erwin Wagenhofer. After his earlier mind-blowing documentary “We feed the world” where he traces the origin of food we eat (Every day in Vienna the amount of unsold bread sent back to be disposed of is enough to supply Austria’s second-largest city, Graz. Around 350,000 hectares of agricultural land, above all in Latin America, are dedicated to the cultivation of soybeans to feed Austria’s livestock while one quarter of the local population starves), Erwin Wagenhofer explores another sensible and very timely topic – the background/and backyards of neo-liberalism: what banks actually do with our capital.

Wagenhofer follows the tracks of money through the worldwide finance system. For example in the Costa del Sol region of Spain. Even though 3 millions (!) homes are standing empty, the building frenzy is still going strong after 18 years, spurred by the belief that real estate is a lucrative investment. Blown by the investment drive, there are over 800 golf-places along the beautiful Spanish coast in Andalusien which are not being used but being watered and require water sufficient for 16. Mio. people.

There are no expert comments in this documentary – Wagenhofer makes the “player” speak for themselves.

Here is the trailer with short interviews in German, English, Spanish and French, with German subtitles.

One of the investors, specialist for Emergin Markets points out that “you have to buy when there is blood on the streets” – he knows where and how to invest the funds, also our rent funds.

Another interesting figure is John Perkins, an American Economy Professor, World Bank specialist who calls himself “Economic Hit Man”, he explains in a clear and understandable way the American foreign policy from the different (insider) perspective.  (more…)

 

The book that changed the world October 19, 2008

 

The booksellers all over the world report the recent increase of sellings of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital/Capital. Apparently it is the young people who are looking for that treatise on political economy – trying to understand the current economical crisis.

So what is there is that 2000 page work, which is being second widely spread book after the Bible?

Though Marx is very concerned with the social aspects of commerce, his book is not an ethical treatise, but an attempt to explain the objective “laws of motion” of the capitalist system as a whole, its origins and future. He aims to reveal the causes and dynamics of the accumulation of capital, the growth of wage labour, the transformation of the workplace, the concentration of capital, competition, the banking and credit system, the tendency of the rate of profit to decline, land-rents and many other things. (more…)

 

The end of American capitalism October 15, 2008

image by axinia

Those of you who know me can easily imagine how glad I am about the recent crash of the capitalistic system.
In my earlier post on capitalism I wrote that I was trying to introspect and understand what is actually irritating me so much? Why does capitalism seem to be so unnatural, unhealthy and even anti-human? There are many critical points that are rather well known. But in my meditation on this topic I got a very interesting answer, which explains everything to me: Capitalism is driven by the weaknesses of people, not their strength. Lust, greed and envy are the driving forces of the modern consumer-society. And that will never help people to evolve!
The process of the global transformation of the humanity is taking place NOW and logically the system that works against the human evolution is ought to collapse, sooner or later. As we observe today – sooner.
The results may be rather hard for all of us, and no one can forsee the true impact of the value shift. Only one possible version: (more…)
 

 
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