Archive for March, 2009

It’s not just Darwin’s nightmare – it’s ours

March 13, 2009

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I posted the following today in response to a thoughtful article in the Guardian on the Madoff story:

I would say one thing for Madoff and that is that he had the balls to fess up and do the time. There are plenty who haven’t and won’t. We all have our inner capitalists, greed overcoming our inherent decency, that great deal that draws us in. We shouldn’t laugh too loud at either Madoff or his hapless clients.

Last night I watched a DVD called Darwin’s Nightmare, a film about the life of the Tanzanian fishing communities that survive in a society based around the Nile perch, an alien invasive species that has screwed Lake Victoria’s ecology. I’m getting to the point, I promise. The film featured prostitutes paid $10/night for the sometimes deadly job of satisfying the air crews freighting out the processed fish. It featured a security guard paid $1/night to watch over a fish research compound, carrying poison-tipped spears that he’d use to repel anyone trying to raid the place. it had street kids sniffing high from melted polystyrene, scrapping over what food they could get, dodging paedophiles. A real comedy, I tell you. It was, however, a very sympathethically piece which showed great respect and unusual empathy with its subjects. My point is this – the same driver was all pervasive in that film as is evident in the Madoff scandal. That driver is our money-driven global society.

We need to get to the heart of this issue because that’s where our problems are coming from. The way we allow money to be created, and by whom, defines who holds all power over our lives. From there grow our lack of liberty, democracy and justice and the apparent hopelessness of our planet.

These are all useful links talking about money:
http://www.moneyasdebt.net/

Here is a link to a whole series of explainers on the financial crisis:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb_R1-PqRrw

http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse

My own, pathetic response to the mayhem we face is to read, watch, talk, and share this stuff. I am staging a free screening of the Darwin’s Nightmare film tonight where I live in SW France. The screenings are a monthly event to which people bring food, eat together, watch and discuss political stuff without killing each other. It’s a great way to understand stuff better, to meet people around about who are as confused and bewildered by it all as I am. And it’s hopeful. We can’t wait for Dan Roberts or anyone else to do it for us.

Details of the screening can be found here

Ooopps, adendum post here:

Object lesson in engaging thoughtful brain before acting withless-than-thoughful fingers on keyboard.

There are some very damning criticisms around the film Darwin’s Nightmare, in French for example here and an English one here. I was going to look them up before tonight’s screening. I should have done so before posting here. Oops, my apologies. What I thought was a searing example of global capitalism is probably more like a rather tawdry example of dishonest film making – not quite such a momentous subject.

The points about money, I would still recommend.