Wednesday, 18 January 2012

If you want change, do it yourself.

Hello boys and girls (and greetings to the few grownups among you). I have a few things on my chest. If you can't handle it, tough. It's about time I did a "friend" cull anyway. If you disagree with me, unfriend me and save me the trouble.

Save species X. For fuck's sakes. Yes, we are haemorrhaging species like there's no tomorrow. This is indescribably horrible; biodiversity is irreplaceable. Do you know what, though? The poachers are not online. Neither are the corrupt immigration and parks officials who turn a blind eye in return for a greased palm. No amount of petitions will change the fact that bad people make lots of money selling our natural resources to foreign buyers. (Wait, that sounds like our government.)

Do you know how you stop poachers? You and some friends all buy guns (only automatic rifles and up need apply). You go into the bush and go shoot these bad people. All power is based on a threat of force. If the bad people will not listen to threats and you don't apply the force, then the threats are meaningless.

Save our resources. Of course I want to save the resources. It's too bad, however, that our government seems to be doing exactly what the poachers are doing: Selling off our natural resources to the highest international bidder. Our country is being fleeced by the very public servants we elected into power to stop this from happening. It's the banking system all over again... instead of robbing banks, the syndicates got smart and bought the banks. Do you know what happens when you put the fox in charge of the henhouse? Subprime mortgage crisis. Stock market crash. Recession. Fracking. Poaching. Telkom, Eskom, killing off the Scorpions... the list goes on. The fact of the matter is that there is something very wrong with this country and nobody worth listening to has the balls to call politicians on their shit. If you want to save our resources, go camp on top of them with a whole bunch of others and take force multipliers -- think "lots of potential violence". If you're unwilling to do violence upon someone's person to stop this from happening, you're not committed enough. Same goes for species conservationism.

What is the purpose of a government, when it comes right down to it? A government is a corporation which should maintain the local monopoly on violence. When someone threatens you with violence, it is the job of the government and its representatives to stop them before it happens. In the real world, however, we hire private individuals to protect us because the government seems to actively encourage violence against its own citizens, against the very people who got them into power. If you have a contract with ADT or a similar company, why not take that amount off your taxes? It makes sense -- if the the government's anti-violence services had not failed you, you would not need to hire somebody else.

Do you know what we need? We need geeks in Parliament. Not in the peanut gallery, either -- right in the middle of the floor. Geeks have excellent bullshit filters. Whenever a politician makes a statement which is evasive, dissembling or otherwise obfuscatory, the Parliament geek's job would be to say something along the lines of "Yes, but what does that actually mean?"

The easiest thing in the world is to complicate; the hardest is to simplify. If a politician is unable to boil down a complex issue so ANY of their constituents can understand it, they are a failure. Pure and simple. The entire point of representative democracy, after all, is to make the democratic process accessible to each and every voter in the country. Holding a rally and making a speech does not qualify as making democracy accessible. Ask most of the attendees at a party rally about the issues raised; I will bet my bottom ZA dollar that not one in ten can provide you with a succinct summary of the politico's speech. They can probably tell you about the dancers and the pap & vleis (porridge and meat) they got for free. Do you know what this is called? Bread and circuses. The Romans knew about this too -- you could go work out your frustration vicariously by watching the gladiators for a tenth of an unskilled worker's daily wage, and you got free bread. You go home fed and calmer.

Do you know what has changed since then? That's right -- the unskilled workers live in worse conditions than they did two thousand years ago. Rome had running water for everyone; we cannot even claim that.

Change happens in individuals before it happens in society. If you let other people take action on your behalf, nothing will ever change. If the internet has taught us anything, it is that we are many. Take ten minutes every day to do something revolutionary. That, I believe, will change the world.

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