Category Archives: Propaganda

After globalism comes …

This is far from a scientific article and it has a swedish outlook. I make no claims of knowing what I am talking about. This is more of an internal discussion put down in binaries.

It seems to me we are experiencing the times where old ideas die and new ones should be born.  Sovjet style communism died when the wall came down. Socialism lingers on but fails to be relevant. Capitalism has also turned out to be a disappointment if you were expecting trickle down effect and intelligent efficiency. So what is left? One would expect that when neither left nor right is providing solutions, the green center would be an alternative but sadly the environment is not on the agenda despite record breaking temperatures monthly and they fail to give us a vision of how a green future should look like.

I think it is a mistake to try to look at politics in the ordinary left-centre-right scale. Looking at recent events we have the failing economy of Greece, refugees, Brexit, the Trump candidacy and Islamic terrorism. In the Middle East we have an extremist Caliphate and an emerging Sultanate. In Iran and the Arab World the spring activism has died down in the headlines at least, as if people gave up after the Sisi coup.

So how have we responded to this? Both Brexit and the Trump candidacy seem to be a nationalist reaction to the refugee crisis and terrorist attacks but also in a wider perspective to internationalism and globalism. Brexit was also a push for a more local democracy, against the notion that decisions are made far from the people it concerns. Trump plays the same card claiming that he will take away the power from wall street and the establishment. When capitalism has failed to create prosperity to but a few, global and international structures are blamed instead of the lack of distribution of wealth.

It is easy to blame globalism, to point at all the jobs that have moved abroad without mentioning the profit that stays at home in the hands of a very few. But I also see a different reaction to globalism than the ugly nationalism of the 30’s. I will call it localism. Buy a little farm and grow your own food. Live off the grid. Urban gardening. Buy eggs and milk from your local farmer. Here globalism is all the large international companies who pollute our planet for profit. In this line of thought goods should be moved as little as possible but people roam freely. Refugees are welcome. Human rights are important.

So two types of reaction to globalism. White nationalism and green idealistic localism.

But there is also another aspect. The Arab spring gave hope for increased democracy in the Middle East. And the concept of democracy is under discussion. Elections have been held that have had outcomes which western democracies have had a hard time living with. Did the people really want a dictator that diminishes their freedom? The recent coup in Turkey has the essence of this question. How hard can you strike at supporters of a coup against a democratically elected president without suppressing free political thought and killing democracy? The removal of Morsi in Egypt is another example how things can go wrong.
Trump is blurting out statements that are anti democratic. Are we in the west also becoming more accepting of fascism? Poland has a right wing traditionalist party with a name that sounds like a bad joke, Law and Justice, trying to take control of media. Are we so scared of the economic situation that we again risk beliving that a strong leader will make everything alright again just like daddy?

We need to redefine democracy in a new global context. If democracy in Athens was just for the free males, today we can stretch it to white males and well off women. But we need to go further and to do that we have to talk about what it should mean to have democratic rule. It is not just a free election. It is not just direct democracy with majority rule. We have to discuss the right of the minority. And we have to save globalism and internationalism from the capitalists. It could be so much more than a way to provide cheap labor.

 

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Capital, Sapiens And Debt

I read three books during 2015 that really made a difference in my inner world. I had never had any interest in the subject of economics before but Piketty’s Capital changed that. The book made the subject relevant and accessable to me.

The realization that the prosperous years after the war was an anomaly historically in Europe and that we are relapsing into the pre-war society of upstairs and downstairs felt disheartening to say the least. Piketty’s remedy of taxing the top one percent looks distant when listening to politicians in Sweden and elswhere. (Could Corbyn be an exeption?) The swedish left doesn’t seem to have read the book even. Until we can stop fortunes to be hidden away in tax havens a tax on capital will be of little use. The most important point made in the book though is the threat these fortunes are to democracy.

It also becomes clear that making information available to every one on this planet is essential for democracy.

 

So feeling a bit down contemplating human greed I wanted to understand Sapiens better. We have an exeptional ability to organize ourselves using memes. Most of our world is just memes we have made up: religions, money and nations. The author of “Sapiens” states that memes are based on emotions and can not always be proven right objectively. We can harbour conflicting memes at the same time.

Does this mean that there is no objective moral truth? And what makes one meme win over the other? If we can’t evaluate the meme objectively it is just a fight meme against meme. Could cannibalism win in the future? It has in the past.

What is Utopia? A world without memes?  “No hell below us
Above us only sky” Back to basics. It seems like this is what some of us dream about.
Sapiens did not make me happier. We are an ecological disaster outside Africa.

 

After that I needed comforting and what could be more comforting than diving into ancient history? I always had a weak spot for Sumerians and other ancient civilizations, as if our roots could give us clues to who we are and what we should become.

Debt turned out to be such a stimulating read with so many layers. It covers the history of money but also religions. It explains our relationsships in society. Marriage, slavery and a different way of understanding communism. Anthropology is not a collection of exotic masks and shrunken heads in a museum. It might be the most exiting science when coupled with economics and history. Here might be a tool to find a humane way of organizing society that actually has scientific backing. I think I will have to reread it soon. And forget about barter. Currency came first.

Book titles listed below.

For absolutely no obvious reason more than that it is in my power; a painting of mine to end the post. (I think I need to work a bit more on the face. Elbow is fine)

Happy new year!

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Links to the articles on wikipaedia about the books:

 Thomas Piketty: Capital in the Twenty First Century

Yuval Harari: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

David Graeber: Debt: The First 5000 Years, Melville 2011. (someone should do a wikipage!)

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Konstbombar i Malmö – Art Bombing in Malmö

Jag konstbombar Malmö. Än så länge så är det  två små bilder instoppade i böcker på stan. Det kommer att bli mer. Kan man garnbomba så kan man konstbomba.

Varför gör jag då detta? Jo, jag vill dela med mig av den känsla det är att hålla ett original i händerna. Så mycket bilder idag är tryckta eller bara digitala. Alla skavanker har försvunnit i processen. Men att studera en original teckning eller målning och se penndrag, ändringar, den halvt utsuddade blyertsskissen, det är en annan upplevelse.

Bomberna utannonseras i mitt Instagramflöde.
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