“…The economic dictatorship of the monopolies and the political dictatorship of the totalitarian state are the outgrowth of the same political objectives..”
~ Rudolf Rocker / Writer and Social Activist ~
Freedom. We all may agree that is the pre-condition for the state of a good life. If we want to begin a credo for the most righteous and just method for all mankind, it all must be founded on this tenet. Freedom. Once again, it’s essentially very abstract and relative philosophy. The question is : where can we find a true freedom? how can we bring a genuine freedom into being? what kind of freedom that would fit justly and equally into society? In this phrase alone, Rudolf Rocker – one of the founding-father for anarcho-syndicalism – excoriated the major forces on earth in establishing a systematic chaos under the cloak of freedom, although sometimes oppression can function without any pretext to safeguard freedom. Power system, no matter who control the lever, must always hinder the progress of freedom, socially and economically. No individual in this world, either they live under fear and threat from the powerful state or in the most open and free society, can determine the definition or grow the spirit for freedom -especially ultimate freedom-. Even when we think we have choice, virtually we just fall into a pitfall of fatalistic submission for cogs and machine.
Written by DHANA
“…Man is condemned to be free. Because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does..”
~ Jean-Paul Sartre / Philosopher & Social Critic ~
All men are born free. All men are deserved to be free and to have freedom. Essentially, in the concept of “free world”, that is practiced widely in many system and countries, are based on the liberty of all individuals. No open and democratic society, whose freedom is not safeguard by the operating system. But then, there is another case. If we contemplate more deeply : how free we actually are? Are we really a free man in this world? How many we can achieve with our ‘freedom’? Sartre, who has been recognized with his supreme intelligence, created a argument for our freedom : if we do proud of our essence and nature as a free being, which by all means that we should be liberated from any fear and burden, but why – no matter how open and free the system is – we never live in state of peace and serene? Hasn’t our constitution warranted the condition? Aren’t we all supposed to feel more safe and restful? Is it because of the problem lies in us and our fate or is it because of the oppressive power system functions, even within the democratic society and free world?
Written by DHANA
March 2013 – Money.Money.It’s all about money. That’s the least we can say about modern day’s life in this century. For vast majority, even among the poorest people who lives in pretty “backward” country, money nearly determines the totality of life in this planet. Living with less amount of money , and especially with no money at all, is hardly a thing we can do in this world today. A picture of living without money is simply ridiculous and ‘unacceptable’, particularly among nations whose service of wealth are relied on the circulation and the flow of money.
Money is everything. Money is the answer. Without money, we all will be doomed. It becomes not just a thing or a stuff that we all use to buy or spend but this is what we all use to value something. or everything. It not just can buy goods, but also trust, relationship and even pride. Indeed it does. So, is this the meaning of life?
A CASE AGAINST THE IMPORTANCE OF MONEY
Today, we all witness – although, sometimes it’s hard to admit – that we all take worthiness of money to a higher level.Yep. Nothing can be rated higher and bigger in the face of money-making machine and money-spending mindset of society.It’s not just merely an object that we all use to barter in the shopping market, but what more important is the value of money has determined our life as well. Without it, it equals death.
Water that we drink. Food that we eat. Sex that we have. We still must to pay for that. Although, it’s not necessarily the case but in many places, people even put prices on our most essential needs. Money has turned into a neccesity for every people to gain and pile up. Sometimes, it’s all just for the sake of self-satisfaction and soothing feeling to have “secured” our life, prominently in the future.
Even in the worst case, money oftentimes wreck the most pivotal cornerstone for mankind: our human relationship and our human nature. Our good relationship with another fellow human are hacked by money. Our nature as a good man are skewed by the grade of money. A long-time relationship with friends can come to an end, merely because the sum of money that they owe to us. Or a family man, who lives in poverty, must commit a crime and gain money in order to feed his children.
Most people constantly race to hound and stack up money as a way to go in this life. In a way,, not just that we take the worthiness of money to a higher level but money also takes human’s greediness to a highest degree.
So, in this realistic depiction, people can completely lose sight of their purpose, their life and even their most priceless thing by giving it all up to hoard more money. Money. Money. The thing that noone can live without. Or actually, does it?
MONEY-STRIKE : THE MOST “RADICAL” LIFESTYLE AS A MEANS TO PROTEST AGAINST THE EXCESS OF GREEDINESS
In the world, mainly in europe, now there is a new happening called ‘anti-money lifestyle’ or a movement of rejecting money and in broader sense rejecting the whole monetary system. Although it was perceived to be “too radical” and even “too crazy” for anyone to be able living such life for today’s standard, it slowly but sure has gained more popularity and might even get wider. We might wonder : how could we live a completely “money-free” life?
Believe it or not, there are 2 people that can be a prime example of having embraced such ‘radical’ lifestyle. They both have been living without money for years and also experienced the same meaning of living such life, “it’s liberating and a real freedom”. And yet, as what they told in documentary called “Living Without Money”, they share a same motive of choosing this ‘radical’ way of life : “fed up with the greedy and excess-consumption society”.
HEIDEMARIE SCHWERMER : ” LIVING WITHOUT MONEY GAVE ME QUALITY OF LIFE “
One of whom is a grandmother from germany, who has been living without money for nearly 16 years! O My..But that’s true. 69-year-old Heidemarie Schwermer, an immigrant from russia who had settled in germany when she was still a little kid. When she grew up, she built a “swap shop”, which turned out, it became an “eye opening” moment about what kind of life in modern days is. While she undertook her business, she was witnessing a “money-hungry” people, whose life revolves around and always motivated by money and a vulturous spirit on fortune. Then she slowly became sick of greedy and consumptive society that keep prioritising money over ‘substance’. So, she begun to cut up materialistic lifestyle and change the course of ‘money-oriented ‘ into completely ‘money-free’ life by giving away all of her possessions, then later started to plunge into it in 1994.
In the documentary, she told that living without money is “very liberating. It gives me quality of life, inner wealth and freedom”. She also has written several books about her ‘unusual’ experience, which became a tiny-hit and later she demanded the publisher to donate her royalty to charity.
Now she became one of the most internationally recognized icon for “anti-money” movement and widely regarded as an “inspiration” for having engaged in a daring and bold choice in life.
MARK BOYLE : “I LEARNED FROM GANDHI”
There’s another case. Mark Boyle, an irish writer and activist who is widely known as a founder of ‘freeconomist’ idea, is one of the prime vanguard and probably pioneer for ‘anti-money’ movement. He described monetary system as a domineering apparatus that triggers an illusion of separation which tears apart society through money and of course, the value of money. He has started to ‘experiment’ living without money since 2008 and ever since, have dished out the tips and popularized the lifestyle through website and book, which came out in 2010 entitled “The Moneyless Man”. Since he begun to kick off the ‘anti-money’ website and lifestyle, it has drawn enormous media attention and attract widespread public curiosity.
Mark is a college graduate who took economy as his major, decided to give everything up when a chat he had with his friend, made him realized about ‘cruel and harsh reality’ that every single individual face up to : money and greed. Yet later on, after he finished watching a 1982’s film called “GANDHI” about the life of spiritual and political leader of anti-imperialist, Mohandas Gandhi, it became a turning point that led up to his life-changing experience. He came to conclusion about how much greediness on money have deprived everything. And in order to pursue his goal and dream of making a better world and attempt to root out the source of ‘conflict’, he dived into this so-called ‘anti-money lifestyle’
In his own word, “If we grew our own food, we wouldn’t waste a third of it as we do today. If we made our own tables and chairs, we wouldn’t throw them out the moment we changed the interior decor. If we had to clean our own drinking water, we probably wouldn’t contaminate it”.
And that’s how all people must start to really think.
ARE WE ALL VICTIMHOOD FOR MONEY-DRIVEN MACHINE?
So, are we really these kind of society? society who can not get away from money and live ‘happily’ in the bridle of money-making and spending lifestyle. I would say ” I wish we never had”.
But anyhow, our hope – despite how little actually is, at least as of today – never fades away. Through this ‘alternative’ lifestyle, our hope will always strive against all the odds, even it could become a strong opposition for the imperialistic economy of established monetary system.
As what has been clearly described, the lifestyle is not just simply as a way of liberating and freeing ourselves from a prevalent consumptive, demanding and greedy money-oriented life, but it also is a movement which would make greedy and materialistic value of our luxury lifestyle become ‘illegal’ per se. Therefore if everyone has a willingness to participate in this minor and somewhat ‘rebellious’ action against money and capital, it might enable and strengthen the feeble force to shake up the “Big Brother”. In a way, this harmless and liberating lifestyle acts can be counted as a revolution. A zealous and massive revolution, if at least 1/4 population on earth would follow their footstep.
On the ligther side, we also relatively will live a healthy and good life, physically and spiritually, because as what mark boyle said earlier, that by choosing this lifestyle we all are gonna be completely aware of everything. In lifestyle like this, everything that we consume and use, are a direct result of our own ingredient, which is made by our own hand so that we don’t purchase ‘factory-made’ products or supply our home with famous brand that is reproduced by abusing natural resources. So, the point is by acknowledging the root of problem, we can be a part of solution and cut down a catastrophic repercussion that we all have caused today and importantly in the future.
So, by all means ,we all will salvage our ecology by protecting tons of thousand and hundred of animal, humans and environment. It’s all can be done through this single-act alone.
Yep. In other words, money doesn’t just induce a vigorous zeal of greediness but also renders an established condition, in which all the products that we all buy in the market and consume it, completely embodies the utter destruction and devastation which were severely done behind us and have gravely affected our surroundings for a long time.
So, would you start to prevent this trend or would you rather stay in your comfort zone and shamelessly become a function of greedy, amoral and imperialistic monetary system that might affect and abuse our life, especially in the future?
It’s all about choice.
Written by DHANA
“…The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground…”
~ Thomas Jefferson / 3rd US President and American Founding Father ~
What could be one of the strongest proposal for a mankind to achieve a genuine liberty? Do we need to abolish a parliamentary state and displace them with an autonomous group of people to run the country? Or can we incorporate those ‘contrasting’ sets of idea and mold a country based on the consolidation and cooperation between state and society? According to one of the most influential founding fathers of America, Thomas Jefferson, freedom and liberty should the basis and cornerstone of every model for a great nation. We plant the “seed of freedom” and then the leaders (and it’s government) must cultivate it, build a solid and democratic leadership to govern the whole nation. So, the question is : what would be the perfect system to safeguard a genuine freedom? is it from anarchism? or socialism? or capitalism? *shrug*
In another philosophical thought, Thomas Jefferson amplified his proposition on freedom of mankind, by declaring : if mankind had achieved their freedom, the freedom of press would ensue. Unfortunately, in this century, that would even raise more question : how come if it indeed was a genuine freedom, the power is only confined to a few? Does freedom entail a control mechanism, wielded by the forceful “designer”?
“…It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong…”
-Voltaire / French Philosopher, Writer and Historian –
Voltarie’s works has been always regarded as one of the most forceful assessment in his era. In France between 17th – 18th century, his philosophical thought spawned a series of vigorious opus of anti-catholicism. Through countless of crafty satire and witty criticism, he rebuked the fundamental core of establishments and boldly opposed ruling authority. In one of his famous remark, he skillfully described a perilous situation when a man has an idea that contrast and dissent with the ruler. But why should it be the most treacherous? because that is where a man’s life will be threatened and intimidated by powerful state that can not be questioned or ‘agitated’. So what ensue is oppression and even painful death. Now, we all must ask ourselves : haven’t we just heard or seen that today? what if a man (us) can’t align with the powerful and the mighty? apparently what occurred during middle-ages and in 21thcentury isn’t that different after all, isn’t? What a waste of lesson..
“…I don’t like the spirit of socialism — I think freedom is the basis of everything..”
Bertrand Russell – British mathematician, philosopher and social activist –
The most pertinent critics that had ever been produced, is the body of work written by brilliant british philosopher bertrand russell. In 20th century, his essays have tackled a wide range of issues, spanned from political ideology to organised religion. One of his most fierce and adverse criticism was his attack on the rising of socialism in the early 20th century. He contended that marxist idea of socialism, while in theory advocate egalitarianism, abolish private ownership and diminish social class but in practice, was diverted into an abusive and malignant power of totalitarianism which ban democracy and violate human rights. So, what actually freedom is? Who is more worthy of defining the concept of freedom? bourgeois system of feudalism and capitalism which historically had enslaved mankind or classless revolution that bring a dictatorship into being? Bertrand Russell possibly would have said : Neither!
February 2013 – Henry.A.Kissinger. A household name which have gained popularity among many americans (yet the whole world) since he served concurrently as a national security advisor and secretary of state under Nixon’s and Ford’s administration. In american political chessboard, his name never fades away, even until today. Everytime people hear his name being mentioned, the image of a brilliant statescraft and a highly credible policymaker always come to mind.
But now, a harsh indictment against Henry Kissinger have arisen and sprung up. Plenty of accusations have emerged and partially “wrecked” his worldwide good reputation.The inclusion are a case for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Indochina, Chile, Cyprus, Bangladesh and East Timor, in which all of the conflicts were ‘handled’ under his instruction, as he served in the white house who was yet at the same time a recipient of nobel peace prize.
So, who is Henry.A.Kissinger?
THE DARK SIDE OF HENRY.A.KISSINGER
Henry Kissinger was born in Bavaria, Germany in 1923. Later their family fled to United States when Nazi party took over in 1938. Their family eventually settled in New York City, where little henry (around 15 y.old then) grew up and joined the US army. During the world war 2, he flew back to germany to fight over totalitarian society in Nazi-Germany. According to Walter Isaacson, a writer who made a biographical account of Henry Kissinger, henry’s rough past on holocaust experience really had him realized that nothing else that matters but power (referring to the mixture of most extreme pithy that occurs among survivors in post-holocaust : “never again” and the realism of wielding political influence, is the perspective what kissinger have come to terms with)
Power. It is what Kissinger have always pursued throughout his life. After he graduated from Harvard College, his interest on international diplomacy brought him into the attention from one of america’s wealthiest family : Rockefeller, whose one of their member was a governor of new york city, Nelson Rockefeller. But when he run for a presidential nomination from republican party, he lost it to Richard Nixon. Kissinger later steered his way into Nixon’s, who had initially offered him a position which kissinger turned down, and begun to serve a full-time profession in american diplomatic business.
During his term, Kissinger was accused of having conducted a cunning, vile and duplicitous policy in order to retain a strategic goal and secure american interest in foreign soils. Even before he was assigned as a national security advisor under Nixon’s administration, he already winded his way through opportunistic and underhanded tactics to get into power.
- One of the most irrefutable case was his callous role during presidential election 1968. At that time, a negotiation was gonna be held in Paris that involved both parties, south vietnamese and it’s enemy, national liberation front (vietcong). Kissinger previously had stated to President Johnson that the war is unwinnable but also he refused to pull troops out of south vietnam because that would damage US’s credibility. On the other hand Nixon, who worried about The Peace Paris Accord that would cost his presidential campaign, also planned out to sabotage the event that would take place in september 1968.
- Later, after Kissinger flew to Paris in september 1968, he secretly contacted Nixon’s campaign team to share the progress in the talk process. So, While Lyndon.B.Johnson’s representative had set out for peace talks with north vietnamese, Nixon and his team talked to south vietnamese’s president and offered them a “better deal” under republican government, if nixon was elected. Apparently the tactic succeeded to abort south vietnamese’s participant in the negotiation, which led to the collapse of the peace talks. His two-faced character and cunning tactic were a self-explanatory to what end he ambitiously pursued : whoever become the president, he’ll follow them.
So, as Nixon and Kissinger succesfully delayed the Peace talks in Paris, in a way they also had prolonged US military offensive in Indochina that led to the amount of war victims to balloon which cost both sides : south vietnamese civillians and american soldiers and servicemen.
Enough said? Unfortunately, not yet!
ENUMERATION FOR ACCUSATIONS AGAINST HENRY KISSINGER
His crafty tactic to attain power doesn’t stop there. As he took position in washington, he was immediately given an unprecedented power by Nixon. In many cases, he always created a “major plank”, which oftentimes he impudently shred the US constitutional law and abused the international jurisdiction to hound a strategic goal and so does personal interest. In the book “The Trial of Henry Kissinger” (2001), columnist and journalist, Christopher Hitchens, wrote a list of his unchecked crimes as well as his ‘unfettered’ status. Two of which might be his most infamous accusations.
MILITARY COUP D’ETAT AGAINST SALVADOR ALLENDE (CHILE / 1973)
Back in 1973 the victory of socialist candidate in chile, Salvador Allende, brought a “grave concern” among US elites, including Henry.A.Kissinger and President Richard Nixon. Salvador is widely known as the first marxist to have democratically elected in south america. When he assumed power as a president, it was marked as the triumph for labour union and workers in chile. But on the other hand, for a handful of trans-national corporations and their stooges in white house, it was definitely not a good news at all. The winning of Allende would be a giant wallop for the source of american major profit in foreign soil.
Then later on, General Augusto Pinochet entered the picture. He was readily set to cater US interest and execute their foul plan : bring down Allende! Prior to that, Pinochet had been doing business with plenty of international (western) corporations and cooperated with them to secure both side’s interests. Soon on september 1973, a political unrest ensued as General Pinochet wielded in a military coup de’tat to overthrow Allende, took over chilean leadership and eventually established military junta.
And who was the white house chief that had commanded the covert action? Henry Kissinger. His major role in the violation for democratic values was completely despicable. Chile was not at war with United States and have an open society and democratic system but nevertheless, US still supported General Pinochet who was renowned internationally as dictator and had conducted countless violations against human rights.
THE SECRET BOMBING OF CAMBODIA (INDOCHINA / 1969 – 1970)
In 1969, after the collapse of negotiation in Paris, military conflict in indochina was escalated by operation menu or widely recognized as the secretive (and illegal) military operation in eastern cambodia and laos under Nixon’s policy. The whole operation was lasted for over a year and have destroyed the whole region as well as claimed hundred thousand of innocent civilians. The main target of this extensive and heavy attack was the secret base for People’s Army of Vietnam and armed fighters of Vietcong (National Liberation Front) in cambodia, which eventually failed to weaken their strength.
Prior to the covert action, Kissinger had said to President Nixon – who publicly had delivered a speech about his purpose of bringing the war to the end – that the only peaceful and just end for this war is through military forces. So, by all means, the withdrawal was completely off the table.Previously, the aerial attacks over cambodia and laos had been conducted under Johnson’s administration before it was expanded under Nixon. The operation was entirely supervised by Kissinger.
Following the failure of operation, both the purpose and it’s moral justification, it sparked a wider protest from anti-war activist, negative report in media and yet debate in US congress. Avowed non-combatant country which maintaned it’s neutrality, Cambodia (under the rule of then-prince Norodom Sihanouk) had to suffer a massive destruction from mega-tons of bombs being dropped for over a year. One of the mastermind for this controversial policy was Kissinger.
INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL IS RESERVED FOR HENRY KISSINGER
Beside those incidents, another case for war crime and state-terrorism have allegedly also been conducted by Kissinger. In Bangladesh, Cyprus, East Timor and even in Washington where he had been indicted to have authorized kidnapping, murder and torture.
In here, we can clearly see the reality of judicial law : “too strong to detain the weak but too weak to hold the strong”. The core for system of justice and law are not just evidently ‘wishy-washy’ but extremely corruptible as well. In addition, this case also explicitly shows the contemptful and despicable act against democracy, which basically uphold the principle of human rights and safeguard the peaceful state in the world.
Instead of leading america in accordance with what it suppose to function, Kissinger had done plenty of vile, underhanded and brutal tactics and operation that remains undisclosed and sealed under the cloak of national security. Now, the stark contrast between his outward image and his actual reputation makes Kissinger as a recipient of Noble Peace Prize an absolute paradoxical. His great career as an academia and later as a respectful and brilliant statesman were tarnished by his obssessive and ambitious pursuit of dominion and his shamelessly opportunistic approach.
As what former staff of national security council under Nixon’s administration Roger Morris said, “my own view is, if we held henry kissinger to the standard that we’ve begun to hold other leaders, other policymakers in germany and in japan after world war 2, Yes! Kissinger is ought to be the subject of international tribunal, ought to be the subject of legal process in the united states and elsewhere”
So, who actually is Henry Kissinger?
(based on the book “the trial of henry kissinger” (2001) and documentary-feature with same name (2002))
Written by DHANA