Friday, January 13, 2006

Undercurrents of R-Evolution

Are we seeing a change in consciousness throughout the globe? Are people beginning to understand how the corporate empire is abusing the people of the world in the name of profits? Anti-corporation waves are building throughout the globe and the currents are strong in the southern hemisphere of the Americas. Just last month Evo Morales accomplished a landslide victory (54%) over seven other challengers to become the new democratically elected president of Bolivia. Morales' platform appealed to the poor because he opposes the policies of the administration in the U.S., as well as the IMF and World Bank, which favor foreign corporations which exploit the country's natural resources and working people. Argentina's president Kirchner has paid off the country's debt of $9.8 billion that it owed to the IMF, and effectively liberated them from the IMF's imposed economic constraints.
"With this payment, we are burying a significant part of an ignominious past," said Argentina's Peronist president, Néstor Kirchner, when he announced the final repayment last week. The centre-left Kirchner is commanding a stunning 80% approval rating in opinion polls, thanks in part to his hard-nosed attitude towards the IMF and his friendly ties with anti-Bush Latin American leaders such as Fidel Castro and Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. In a recent address to the nation, Chávez described the new close ties between Kirchner's Argentina and oil-rich Venezuela as the "Axis of Good", a description that may not sit well with Washington officials, especially given Argentina may be considering the transfer of some of its advanced nuclear power technology to Venezuela.

Of course we are all aware of Hugo Chavez' attitudes toward the Bush regime and the corporate exploitation of the people. Harry Belafonte recently spoke out in support of Chavez and voiced his thoughts on president Bush.
Harry Belafonte has really gotten under the right-wingers' and racists' skins -- and that's a good thing. As part of a thirteen-member African American delegation to Venezuela, Belafonte called George Bush "the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world" ... a sentiment shared by a huge chunk of world opinion.

Equador's president Gutierrez has been thrown out of office by a grass-roots revolution when he continued to dance with U.S. oil companies. The corporatists are calling the South American current an "Axis of Socialism" and they're really beginning to worry about this wave spreading across the globe. The economic and political currents are actively and quickly changing as the people's awareness continues to grow and it's the people who are progressively changing their governments. It's got the global capitalists calling meetings of their think tanks and creating new initiatives and NGOs in an attempt to curb these grass-roots, people powered movements and to ask the question, "Where Is Latin America Headed?"

And it's not only in Latin America that we can see these undercurrents of rebellion against the corporate agendas. The undercurrents have been seen in Africa as well with their disapproval of the "Imperial Agenda". In Asia, while the U.S. promotes the free trade agendas of APEC, there is a powerful momentum building toward the formation of an East Asian Community. Of course we have the 'news consuming' situation in the Middle East. And Europe and the EU is still out waiting for the jury's decision. And we can't forget the people within the U.S. who are just as sick of the corporatism, which was apparent in the New York Transit Worker strike. People are getting fed up with the failing economic system which only rewards the few rather than all of the people and it's very apparent that this feeling is a world-wide awakening.

Why is this happening? It could have something to do with the income ratio of the one-fifth of the world's population in the wealthiest countries to the one-fifth in the poorest went from 30 to 1 in 1960 to 74 to 1 in 1995. Or maybe it's because federal taxes paid by U.S. corporations is now less than 10 percent, down from 21 percent in 2001 and over 50 percent during World War II; one-third of America's largest and most profitable corporations paid zero taxes -- or actually received credits -- in at least one of the last three years. Why does the world keep rebelling against the U.S. policies abroad? Perhaps it's because out of the 100 largest economies in the world, 51 are corporations; of those, 47 are U.S.-based. Or maybe it's because transnational corporations have taken control of much of the production and trade in developing countries. Just consider the ration between CEO pay as compared to an average manufacturing employee. Back in 1980 the average American chief executive earned 40 times as much as the average manufacturing employee. For the top tier of American CEOs, the ratio is now 475:1 and would be vastly greater if assets, in addition to income, were taken into account. By way of comparison, the ratio in Britain is 24:1, in France 15:1, in Sweden 13:1.

Change is innevitable and yes it is a bit scary and the uncertainty of what comes next is a very real concern. But the r-evolution is happening and there is no stopping it and there really seems to be no way to actually steer it. It is alive and it adapts and changes as it sees fit and it is being controlled by the people of the world, not just through the direction of one or two or three individuals. It comes in waves and it is devouring past principles and policies which no longer constitute the best interests of the planet's sustainability or it's populations. It is my honest opinion that the "times, they are a changin" and I humbly quote one of my heroes from my lost youth.
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'


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