Monday, April 21, 2008

Ten Ways To Save The Planet by Evo Morales

Ten methods suggested by Evo Morales, Presidente de Bolivia,
to save the planet, humanity and life in general.


1. Abolish the capitalist system.
2. No more wars.
3. A world without imperialism.
4. Water as a basic right.
5. Development of clean energy sources.
6 Respect for our mother the earth.
7. Basic services as a human right.
8. Promote the diversity of cultures and economies.
9. Combat inequality
10. Live well, but not at the cost of other people.


I challenge anyone to disagree with this list!

Thanx to Visiones Alternativas,
ttp://www.visionesalternativas.com/

17 Comments:

Blogger Graeme said...

Perfect. Us northerners should really look to countries like Bolivia on how to run an election.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous MCLA said...

Points 4 & 7 cannot coexist with point 10.

Cheers!
MCLA

11:11 PM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

Of course they can, and indeed point 10 would not be possible without points 4 and 7. Otherwise you end up with a society of gross inequality which means no point 10.

All you need do is compare countries that have well developed social services and compare them with countries that do not. It comes as no surprise that the Scandinavian countries have the highest living standards in the world.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Brad Spangler said...

Point number nine seems to be missing. The list I see goes directly from point eight to point ten.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

You are so right, Brad! Point # 9 is "Combat inequality"

So much for doing stuff late at night...

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Volodymyr Zyma said...

How does promoting the diversity of cultures and economies save the world? Should we have the diversity of having a capitalist economy? The diversity of having a nationalist culture?

3:46 PM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

Corporate capitalism in its neo-liberal phase is totalitarian in nature. Alternatives to it are suppressed, with violence, if need be. Culture under neo-liberal capitalism is corporate culture, other cultures are either wiped out or mined for resources to use in the production of corporate culture. I cannot speak for Evo on what he means by different economies, but there are a number of alternatives to the complete domination of corporate capitalism such as cooperativism, distributionism, worker-control socialism, council communism, mixed economy social democracy etc. A healthy world would be a healthy human eco-system with different cultures and sconomies. Domination by one system and one culture is one of the factors leading to destruction. (I for one would be willing to put up with a non-invasive form of capitalism if that is what people really wanted in some area, likewise a non-invasive nationalistic culture, but the likelihood of either of these not being invasive is pretty slim, given the historical record.)

4:39 PM  
Blogger Zhu said...

I somehow makes more sense than turning off the lights for one hour every year...

8:11 PM  
Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

How come you can confront capitalism, inequality and imperialism, but not compatibilism?

1:42 PM  
Blogger Renegade Eye said...

The struggle in Bolivia in certain ways, is hotter than in Venezuela. The workers have a sense of class of themselves. The demonstrations in Bolivia, have been violent clashes with the opposition.

Morales can do himself a favor, and squash that so called seperatist movement.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

The ruling classes are always super-patriots - until their profits are effected, then they will bust the country up in phoney separatist bids or pimp the country to imperialism. They should be crushed!

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Rich Baumann said...

Of course they can, and indeed point 10 would not be possible without points 4 and 7.
The word "service" itself implies actual human labor. If you claim the labor of others is yours by right, you are living at their expense. You have a right to your own liberty and produce, not the liberty or produce of others.

Present water "privatization" schemes are not based on legitimate claims of production or existing usage, but are rather state-granted privileges to control the legitimate property of the locals. If people make use of a river, they've homesteaded an easement on the usage of it and it is criminal to deny them use of it. If people build a well, the well is likewise theirs, and denial of their control over it is again criminal.

To go from oligopolistic corporate control to monopolistic state control is not progress, no matter what nonsense statists use to justify it. The statists create these supposed "market" problems, in collusion with their "private" sector political class brethren, and then claim they are the solution to those very same problems. It's a scam, and it's unfortunate that you've bought into it.

The only real right to water is the right to make non-contentious use of some existing water resource (e.g. taking water from an already used river, if it doesn't negatively impact existing users) or trade with the builder/maintainer of a well or reservoir. Anything else by definition requires living at the expense of others.


Otherwise you end up with a society of gross inequality which means no point 10.
Non sequitur. Though extremely unlikely, gross economic inequality could come about without any exploitation. If A is an absolute genius, and builds a bunch of machines which make his life extremely easy, B, who is not a genius and has no such machines, has not been exploited by it. If A is, instead, a brute who uses B for slave labor, then there is exploitation. If A builds his machines, and then uses force against B to prevent him from building similar machines, there is again exploitation. When it comes to exploitation, only means are relevant, not ends.

Just means do, however, tend towards equitable ends. That's why Ben Tucker said "Laissez Faire was very good sauce for the goose, labor, but was very poor sauce for the gander, capital"; it's why big corporations and the labor aristocracy are the biggest supporters of government intervention into the market.

All you need do is compare countries that have well developed social services and compare them with countries that do not. It comes as no surprise that the Scandinavian countries have the highest living standards in the world.
Tell that to my friend Mike; he's an American who lives in Sweden and I'm constantly hearing horror stories. The locals don't think anything's wrong because they're used to it, but he's not and he sees how bad things are. Most recently, there's the story of the daughter of his wife's cousin. She's three years old, she was constipated, and the government doctor gave her some medication for it. Fast forward a few days, and her large intestine literally fell out. Naturally, her parents were scared out of their wits when this happened, so they called the government hospital. The doctor actually, literally, said "Well what do you want us to do about it? Just stuff it back in!" and then promptly hung up on them. I don't know what kind of weird metric you're using to gauge "living standards", but as far as I'm concerned they can keep theirs. As bad as state capitalism is, it pales in comparison to the problems of state socialism; oligopoly may be bad, but monopoly is still worse.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Deus X. Nihilo said...

Why would an anarchist promote the ideology of a member of the ruling class, such as the president of Bolivia?

And why would an anarchist sing the praises of government "social services"? I'm confused. Are you against the state or not, Mr. Gambone?

10:33 AM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

1. I am not singing anyones praises. I just published it without comment. My personal sympathies are with the workers and peasants who put Evo where he is. Publishing something does not necessarily require total agreement.
2. The people's needs come before ideology. If populists and democratic socialists are doing things to improve the lives of the people, good for them, and let's have the courage and decency to acknowledge it.
3.It is not an either or situation with government provided social services.They improve the lives of the people. In that aspect - the social aspect - anarchists support them - it is their statist, bureaucratic and controlling aspects we reject, proposing mutual aid and community control in opposition to it.
I don't know of any SOCIAL ANARCHISTS who think much different from this, though most individualist anarchists don't agree, and I respect their opinion. A group of "hard-liners",
like yourself are handy to have to keep the mass movements from sliding into social democracy.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

Rich,
Ultimately our differences are not resolvable, since they are rooted in the differences between social anarchism (mutualism, anarchist communism and anarcho-symdicalism) and a certain form of individualist anarchism . It is also rooted – as shown in our debate on free will, on irresolvable epistemological differences.

"The word "service" itself implies actual human labor. If you claim the labor of others is yours by right, you are living at their expense. You have a right to your own liberty and produce, not the liberty or produce of others."

The notion of "rights" exists only because people have been robbed of their property to begin with and/or the social solidarity aspect – the core of what makes community - has broken down.(ie capitalism, that evil child of the state.) Where community exists, as say in many tribal societies or stateless peasant societies, helping the weak and the less fortunate is done as a matter of course, for solidarity is natural and tacit. The notion of Rights is restorative, to ameliorate historic injustices and restore a notion of solidarity. It is also the least invasive, least painful way of dealing with the unfortunate. Throw them to the dogs or the pitiful table scraps of "charity", and you have high crime rates, social break down, an eventual stagnation/decline in mental and physical health, increase in the death rate etc. Ie the difference between a Third World Hell hole and a European social democracy. Remember, There Aint No Sech Thing As A Free Lunch. Right wing Free Lunchers think they can deal with the powerless, the poor, the mentally ill by ignoring them or making it a police issue. But the problems created by this action are greater and more costly than instituting a few social reforms.. Not that I am a social democrat. Anarchists ought to convert the social services into democratically controlled ones (mutualize them as much as possible.) A society without the state and classes, is our ultimate goal , where everyone has access to the wealth of society and a say in how that society is run . Most of the social problems that capitalism and the state have created will disappear, and with it the need for restorative social reforms.

"To go from oligopolistic corporate control to monopolistic state control is not progress, no matter what nonsense statists use to justify it. The statists create these supposed "market" problems, in collusion with their "private" sector political class brethren, and then claim they are the solution to those very same problems. It's a scam, and it's unfortunate that you've bought into it."

Not in the least. Water as a basic right does not imply statism. Typically water is community--owned or some kind of cooperative effort. Nor do the Bolivians favor statist solutions but cooperative ones. Here in Canada water is a village and municipal concern and the water systems worked very well – until the piratizers started meddling. For Oscar Olivera on community control of water see http://www.counterpunch.org/olivera06102005.html

Otherwise you end up with a society of gross inequality which means no point 10.

"Non sequitur."

Not in the least. No basic social rights = gross inequality, gross inequality = most people do not live well. States with the greatest inequality are places where 90% of the population do not live well and a tiny, sociopathic minority lives at the expense of everyone else. States where there are at least some basic rights to water, food, education, health care, are states where the majority are much better off. This is a fact.

“Tell that to my friend Mike; he's an American who lives in Sweden”
How unscientific can you get! (Right-wingers are always spouting these horror stories, They do the same with the Canadian medical system. They are mountains made from mole hills.)The real test of Scandinavian social democracy is comes in its vital statistics, its Gini Quotient, how many hours people work, holidays, working conditions, pensions etc. I live in Canada, which still has a lot of social democratic aspects in spite of the far-right attempting to impose reactionary American ideas on us. We live longer than Americans, have lower infant mortality, far less crime. I have never worried about being unemployed or about the need for health care, or about being fired without a proper work-related reason. . If I was a USian, I would be worried about these things. I have spent a fair amount of time in France and they are even better off than Canucks (Sicko is not wrong about the French system.) Of course, their right-wingers want to destroy this, but French workers are not lying down, but fighting back.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Werner said...

Looking at ways to "mutualize" or perhaps "remutualize" the welfare state is a point of agreement for most social anarchists, or as we tend to say "up here", libertarian socialists. Co-operative medicine did exist in Saskatchewan before Medicare and in England about the time I emigrated to Canada. So in some ways we are trying to put our time machine in reverse to start reclaiming the partial benefits currently available. So how to do we begin doing this? What practical steps might be taken? As I just commented over on Molly's Blog I am getting tired of some of the "thinking" that comes up from south of the border on these kinds of subjects.

8:21 PM  
OpenID omadeon said...

Hi, I just discovered your blog. It seems our ideas are compatible, if not very similar.

I was surprised to read objections like "Points 4 & 7 cannot coexist with point 10."
Points 4 and 7 have been solved in a great variety of societies and social systems and they seem elementary; unless of course we face some form of extreme scarcity (of water and basic service materials, etc).
Of course point 7 is trickier; but there is no necessary contradiction between it and 10, except under coercion (physical or economic coercion, the first being associated with authoritarian leftism and the second with capitalism).

Perhaps more creative thinking can come from contemplating the apparent equivalence of all forms of coercion. I.e. physical / hierarchy-induced coercion is equivalent to financial coercion, in some way. There are two ways to kill a person: One to shoot him and the other to make him starve. The two are identical in their result, which is death (this is extreme of course).

All the best of luck in your blog (and life in general). You are now part of my "International Co-operativism blog roll"! :)
(unless you have objections, of course! -hehe)

8:32 AM  

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