Aug. 30th, 2011

the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Mining for El Salvador's Gold -- In Washington

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to travel to Cabañas, El Salvador, to meet with some of the bravest and most successful environmental activists in the world. Ordinary villagers in this remote area of the country have joined with religious groups, research centers, and others to take on the powerful international mining companies that are seeking to plunder their country's gold. So far, the activists have been winning this David-vs.-Goliath fight. Two successive Salvadoran governments have denied permits for gold mining on environmental and human health grounds.

Last week, however, these activists suffered a setback — not from their own government, but from an obscure tribunal in Washington, DC. Two transnational mining companies have used rules in the "free trade" agreement between the United States and six countries in the region to sue the government of El Salvador. They are demanding hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for the denial of mining permits. The first company to file suit, Pacific Rim, has just won the first stage of the proceedings by overcoming the Salvadoran government's effort to get the case thrown out on jurisdictional grounds.

The tribunal's decision to give the green light to this controversial case should send shudders down the spines of advocates for the environment, community rights, and democracy. The type of investment rules employed by Pacific Rim to mine for gold in international tribunals are contained in thousands of bilateral investment treaties around the world and more than a dozen existing and pending U.S. trade agreements. What's happening to El Salvador could happen almost anywhere, despite the struggles of activists to defend their environmental rights.


MORE



via [livejournal.com profile] romp


Like Witchsistah said today...

One thing I love about all the current and past talk about environmentalism (and by love I mean side-eye and severely smirk at) how First World Whites are all about blaming ALL of mankind for the current polluted state of the earth. "We need to save the planet!" "We are destroying the earth!"

Um, who is this "We," White folks?

Why not put blame where blame is due on Industrial Revolution-derived, White Western technologies?


As well as greedy-assed, I will steal your shit and how dare you try to stop me fuckery like this???? Why not, indeed?
the_future_modernes: (fury)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
MI5 files reveal details of 1953 coup that overthrew British Guiana's leaders
Documents released by National Archives show prime minister Winston Churchill feared the colony would turn communist


Secret documents declassified on Friday by MI5 reveal in detail how in 1953 the UK under prime minister Winston Churchill overthrew the elected government of British Guiana – now Guyana – because he feared its leftwing leader and his American wife would lead the British colony into the arms of the Soviet Union.

The documents reveal how British spies kept up intense scrutiny on Cheddi Jagan and his wife Janet, who together founded the People's Progressive party (PPP) to campaign for workers' rights and independence from British rule for the sugar-producing colony in northern South America.

The UK had agreed a new constitution in the early 1950s which allowed British Guiana's political parties to participate in national elections and form a government, but maintained power in the hands of the British-appointed governor.

Christopher Andrew, MI5's official historian, said the files provide new details of the coup and "further evidence that MI5 played a more important part in British decolonisation than is often realised".

The Jagans – a US-educated former dentist and his wife, born Janet Rosenberg in Chicago – seem an unlikely threat.

But the 39 folders of files released by the National Archives are crammed full of tapped phone conversations, intercepted letters and accounts of physical surveillance over more than a decade.

In 1951, the year after the Jagans founded their party, an MI5 agent based on the nearby island of Trinidad described them as "something new in British Guiana politics".

"Both are able and intelligent and the mere fact that Janet Jagan is white, young and not unattractive in appearance lends considerable interest to her activities and those of her husband," he said.

To British authorities, the Jagans were a headache. To the Americans, they were a potential communist threat on America's doorstep.

MI5 concluded that their party was "not receiving any financial support from any communist organisation outside the country".

Nonetheless, amid worsening strikes and unrest, Britain grew unhappy with the Jagans' "disruptive antics".

MORE
the_future_modernes: (books in the grass)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
If you needed another reason to side-eye the hell of out Freud and many of his relatives... like Edward Bernays. A seething mass of desires: Freud's hold over history


Tyrrell: The Century of the Self was for me and many others I've spoken to, by far the best TV series for a long time. In four 60 minute programmes on BBC2, you showed how the ideas behind psychoanalysis were responsible for the development of mass consumerism and self absorption in western society. You also explored the link between consumerism and politics in ways that were terrifying to contemplate. How did you come to piece this amazing history together?

Curtis: I'm a journalist who stumbled over a story, not a historian. For me it began when I came across the intriguing information that Freud's nephew Edward Bernays had invented public relations, specifically using his uncle's ideas about human beings and human nature. From there came the idea that I should look at how Freud's ideas have been used generally in social and political ways, not telling the history of psychoanalysis but the history of how psychoanalytical ideas have been applied. When I started to research this I found lots of different stories about the application of psychoanalytical theories which had been missed out in the history of it, largely because psychoanalysis, as I am sure you know, is a very hermetic world …

Tyrrell: … a closed system of thought.

Curtis: Yes, both in the way it treats patients and also in the way psychoanalysts think of themselves. So what I did was to pull together various stories about how psychoanalysis was applied in different ways by some powerful 20th century figures in both business and politics.

As that started to come together, I began to make connections with another idea I was working on — about how today we all talk about our 'selves'. A hundred years ago, people didn't do that — a few rich people did, and you read about it in novels, but most people didn't. The question lurking at the back of my brain was "Why do we now always have this obsession with the self?" MORE


The Century Of The Self 1 of 4 | One: Happiness Machines
Read more... )

The Century Of The Self 3 of 4 | There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads, He Must Be Destroyed
Read more... )

The Century Of The Self 4 of 4 | Four: Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering

Read more... )


When I consider this in conjunction with Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine and Beyond Elections docu, I start making some interesting connections. Milton Friedman's shenanigans start making more sense to me. I need to reread The Shock Doctrine then rewatch this. And I will say that as I watched the first episode, one of my thoughts were: "Well damn. They treated their own people like shit. No wonder they thought that American people of color were less than dust beneath their feet. Nevermind the people of color who had the misfortune to reside in places with natural resources that these elitist, greedy assholes could steal! I mean DAMN that shit got spelled out for me in this series!

Profile

Discussion of All Things Political

January 2013

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728 293031  

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags