Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Where Socialism seems to work well

Socialism appears to works well when:

1. You are inside a heavily gated place that is hermetically sealed off from the rest of the world,

2. Where there are little or no children, nearly no families or cousin-type relations around

3. Where majority of the population is transitory and will be gone from the place in a few years time, thus precluding the opportunity to study long term effects.

4. Where the age group of most of the population is the healthiest slice of the full age range and there are almost no invalids to care for

5. When there is a constant flow of large sums of money coming in year on year to fund everything, either from taxpayer money or/and from the participants' loans (again govt-backed) or parents' savings. And, just as importantly, the people bringing in the money consider themselves beholden to the people taking it rather than the other way around, and are locked in a perpetual awe of the whole thing, not realizing it's what they and scores of others like them brought to the table that made it.

6. Where there is practically no immediate obligation to the sources sending in this money for equivalent material or financial return, but rather a long-term promissory of externalised benefits ("it will generate overall wealth for society at large") that doesn't have any immediate conditions or implications on this place other than ensuring job placements. (And yes our more 'ethical' peers do frown upon the job placements part)

7. Where there is a worker underclass that is employed to do all the dirty work and keep things running and which for all practical purposes is invisible, doesn't have any voice in the way things are done, has no upward mobility to the other positions in that place (that janitor will NEVER become a professor or even a student), and is probably managed entirely by a hire-or-fire private contractor to whom the whole place outsources a contract.

8. Where there is a clear hierarchy and command-and-control structure in place, plus the population itself is much more conscious about the hierarchy they're in (freshers, seniors, undergrad, postgrad, teaching staff, admin etc.. different degree programs etc) and their daily life is also neatly structured along those hierarchies.

9. Where most of the population has to be diligently following the instructions given to them.

10. Where you spend much more time talking about how great it would be to implement Socialism, rather than actually implementing it.

Basically, Socialism seems to work very well in University Campuses which, when you ignore what the (very vocal) people are saying and focus on the physical realities instead, might just be the most extreme implementations of Capitalism and hierarchical society that there can be. But we're not supposed to notice that and after all it's all for that Higher Purpose™.

And because it appears to work there perfectly, that's the reason why so many people living in them (excluding the worker underclass that is) believe in and root for Socialism / Communism the most. The dreams of this Socialism, attached at the hip to fond memories of the "wonderful" and "care-free" university life, are strongly proselytised by that category of people who has decided they want to spend their lives in this heavily edited version of reality instead of the real one (professors). 

These dreams are then taken forward by the students moving from there directly into pole positions in industry, media, upscale NGOs, UN agencies etc where again spending their time in similar protected environs and insulated from the real world by thick paychecks they will want to start implementing bits and pieces of it wherever possible, without taking into consideration the larger picture, or how different the real world is from the world of University Campuses where it was possible to shield reality away.


Related articles I was reading that led to writing this:



Recommended site: http://thepeoplescube.com/

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Aadhaar-enabled crimes database, petition

https://rethinkaadhaar.in/take-action

Just look at this listing of Aadhar crimes. Consider for every one persons caught there are 99 others not.


My message in the petition:  
Centralizing everything and putting all our eggs in one basket is the perfect recipe for disaster. If you care so much about welfare then disburse all welfare funds to MPs and MLAs and put THEM, as elected representatives of the people, in charge of distributing welfare (as per central and state based schemes). The citizens will then know exactly who stole their money and will act at the next election. Discriminated populations will move with their talent and productivity to better constituencies and enrich the better MP/MLA. Our solutions lie in our democratic system, these other fancy contraptions are mere excuses to keep a bloated bureaucracy in power and to keep technocrats deluded with their false superiority complex.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Multiculturalism is NOT ok if it involves tolerating abuse of womens rights

Feminist in the west who proudly champion womens' rights when it comes to "fighting white male patriarchy" etc, have been quietly accepting glaring abuses of womens' rights as a convenient sacrifice at the altar of multiculturalism.

They look the other way out of fear of being called "racist" by their peers. 

They label all the people who speak out about these things as racists / bigots / white supremacists etc. 

Sorry, but it's not OK. Rights violations are NOT part of any culture. When you hear anyone justifying treating women as slaves or animals because it is part of their culture, then it's an EXCUSE that the oppressive patriarchy in that culture is giving. By accepting it, you're empowering the patriarchy.

Rights of human beings don't change from culture to culture, I reject that relativistic bullshit being pushed by the left and by social science departments of various universities.

Had we allowed this crap a century ago, India would still be burning a woman alive everytime some guy died. Multiculturalism is not worth that.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Swaraj University admissions and fundraising drive, 2018

Forwarding a mailer:

Hello, my dear friends and loved ones,

My name is Niom,

I write to you because an intrinsically motivated group of mavericks are bringing change into the lives of many young individuals. These people, have dared to ask the difficult questions, to which most people turn a blind eye. They have walked out from conventional jobs and education to reclaim their own lives. These people, for years, have passionately and persistently built and sustained a space where real learning happens. We call it Swaraj University. (SU).

Now is the time to support them in this endeavour, so that more individuals can continue to experience this wonderful journey and bring about great change in the world. I request you to support our efforts through monetary contributions. I am urged to do so because we have generously been offered a matching fund of five thousand dollars. (about three lakh Rupees), which expires on the 15th of May.
 
In short, Swaraj University is a two year program that aims to help young people follow their dreams, through Self Designed Learning pedagogy, peer feedback systems and community support structures. At the center of all this, are a few questions: How can we help the world flourish?, How can we as individuals thrive? and How do we bring about justice and overall change where it is necessary? For the purpose of figuring this out, Khojis (learners) have the help of facilitators, mentors, on campus mitras and a diverse group of co-learners from multiple cohorts.

The program aims to connect Khojis to their hearts' calling and support them to bring their dreams to reality.

A few ways we do this:

-We provide a self designed methodology of learning for individuals to explore and identify different learning styles.

-We connect Khojis to countless apprenticeships and internships with individuals and organisations throughout the country that enable them to develop their knowledge, skills and practices.

-We strengthen the confidence, dignity and self worth of learners as leaders through self designed initiatives.

-We do not provide a ready-made path or curriculum, but instead we bring the cohort together to create a nourishing environment where they explore genuine inquiry which is based on their own experience and which is grounded in their own reality.


As of May 2018, more than a hundred Khojis have experienced this program. A few of the interesting projects include,

Udaan: Learning center for rag pickers' children by Ravi Gaikwad K1

Takli: Eco friendly fabrics by Anuj Kothari. K4

Heartivism: Activism for the heart by Soud Hakim. K1

BRTS route map in Ahemadabad by Dhaval Shukla. K2

Coding, working with open data and connecting organic farmers to consumers by Nikhl VJ. K3

Eco construction and natural buildings by Samyukta Sarvanan and Stanzin Punchok. K6

Shades of the Sea: Documentation and activism around gender and sexuality by Harsh Khanabadosh. K7

Adri: Learning center for children by Satyam Srivastav. K7


Hear a few live stories from Khojis. Below is the link to youtube. 

https://youtu.be/tgQK01qwpJ0


Make it happen!!!

Opportunity you can create.

 Support needed.

Contribution goes towards.

Provide an opportunity for One Khoji to be able to nourish their learning for one year at Swaraj University.

130,000₹ (One lakh thirty thousand Rupees).

Basic necessities, resources, faculty, staff, specialists, workshop hosts, travel, maintenance.

Provide an opportunity for one Khoji to be able to deeply immerse in the full two year program.

260,000₹ (Two lakh sixty thousand Rupees).

Make a workshop happen!

30,000₹ (Thirty thousand Rupees).

Participants' board and lodge, host's expenses.

Support international resource person's travel expenses.

50,000₹ (Fifty thousand Rupees).

Power a Learning Journey that explores a city and work being done to make it better. Or power a Learning Journey based on social justice and activism.

70,000₹ (Seventy thousand Rupees).

Food, stay, travel, facilitators' expenses, gifts for organizations/activists.

Support a Cycle Yatra!

15,000₹ (Fifteen thousand Rupees).

Cycle rent, facilitator's expenses if any.

Give power to a Khoji project.

20,000₹ (Twenty thousand Rupees).

Food, travel, stay, resources, resource person's expenses, monetary contribution if any.

Provide the opportunity for a Khoji to visit, apprentice or intern with a mentor/ organization.

5,000₹ (Five thousand Rupees).

Gift a Hands on learning space to Swaraj University.

12,000₹ (Twelve thousand Rupees).

Instruments, art materials, carpentry equipment,

Increase the capacity of Swaraj University by one half! Gift a Geo-dome.

250,000₹ (Two lakh fifty thousand Rupees).

Materials, builders.

Double the capacity of Swaraj University! Gift two Geo-domes.

500,000 (Five lakh Rupe



You can send Contributions for Swaraj University to:
SHIKSHANTAR SANSTHAN
HDFC number is 01191450000460
IFSC Code:- HDFC0000119

Please contact us when making a transfer.
or Whatsapp to: 9783893956.

More ways in which you can contribute :)  you can forward this E-mail to people whom you feel might be excited to support or participate, you can tell friends whom you feel may be interested in the program to attend the orientations. You can also come visit and see it for yourself! Orientations for admissions are as per following:

26th - 28th May
29th June - 1st July

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27th - 29th July. (Attend any one).


Love, Hugs and Gratitude,

नीॐ।

Monday, May 7, 2018

Rethinking Rethinking Development

Please check out this video vis-a-vis Rethinking Development series that a whole lot of folks are doing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4NijLf3M-A
Australia's John Anderson & Dr. Jordan B Peterson: In Conversation -Jordan B Peterson, 2018-04-03

I'm also reading the speaker's book right now that is delving into this in great detail.

I particularly want to know why these aspects of 20th century history have been all but censored in our various interactions about capitalism in the alternatives sector and I expect in many political science, social studies type courses, especially since they involve explorations done at massive scales in the name of bringing about alternatives to capitalism. You'd think they'd merit a case study at least.

And whatever we say today about them in post-mortem analysis (including the most immature of them all: "Oh that wasn't REAL ___ism, my way will be sso much better"), the people who were "in the arena" in these events, the ones who were calling the shots and had vast resources at their disposal, themselves were very clear and had all rational backing to show that they were consciously doing something that is devoutly anti-capitalism, anti-hierarchy, pro-masses etc etc.

This shouldn't be something worth neglecting if we truly want to cover post-industrial-revolution human history. Getting to know not-so-good answers to capitalism can be crucial in the quest to find better ones and to avoid repeating past mistakes. Large collective experiences always have something to learn from, so dismissing them isn't a good idea. I'd have been comfortable with alternative reporting / explanation of what happened, but instead (and your experience may be different but hey mine counts too) what I've experienced is a blanket censorship, a conspiracy of silence about these things, accompanied by a very energetic, resourceful demonization of whoever speaks about these things including branding them as simply too evil to listen to, and that makes me uncomfortable and question whom to trust.


Especially regarding "Rethinking Development", I really want to know from that perspective, what happened in Cambodia. My personal take at the moment (subject to change on intelligent responses and stratify on angry ones) is that Pol Pot attended a Rethinking Development course and got a chance to put his learnings to practice.

[Let that sentence sink in for a bit..]

Do note that the word "rethinking" always involves challenging long-held assumptions, so naturally you will find plenty of recommendations from sources that you trust a lot, against considering any of what I'm sharing with you. Going by my anti-authoritarian leanings I suppose that shall always be the case. They will very likely want to make sure you never, ever get to the main content of these things. Why so, now there's a good question to ask. I think it was Aristotle who beckoned us to be able to consider competing ideas without needed to believe in them. I have preferred to get down to the content and make my own damn mind instead of seeking protection from self-assigned protectors, but I'll leave you to choose your own way.


PS: For those who are very concerned about fake news: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/576390452279831352/

PPS: Not offended yet? Check out more posts from my Rethinking series.


Saturday, April 28, 2018

What if the world's environmentalists focused on pesticides / soil health instead of CO2?

... then Monsanto wouldn't have been allowed to get away with calling their products a solution to climate change at least. They wouldn't have been allowed to net billions in subsidies based on that false claim. 

Imagine billions of dollars of taxpayer money focused on restoring small, real farms producing real food, overturning fraudulent court cases filed by GMO companies against small farmers, instead of being put to line the pockets of billionaire energy company bosses and politicians like Al Gore. 

Imagine not seeing state-sized toxic lakes forming as a by-product of a taxpayer-funded green push

Imagine thousands of environmental studies courses around the globe spending just as much time on teaching about soil health as they do about CO2. 

Imagine an intergovernmental organisation under the aegis of the United Nations collating a 97% consensus from the world's scientists and calling on all world governments to put a halt to subsidizing runaway pesticide companies.

CO2 and the single-minded, monocropping-style obsession with it and it only, has been a major distraction from real environmental solutions that would have prevented the problem far upstream. But the people who will point that out have been classified by our high-horsed friends as climate change deniers to kill off their voices. Their inputs will not make it to policy consultations because they have been demonized.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Josh & Rebecca Tickell
Date: Sat, Apr 28, 2018 at 12:24 AM
Subject: What's up Bay Area? Kiss The Ground Book tour coming your way...


Dear friends and family,
Maybe you saw the cover of the New York Times this week, maybe you heard your neighbor talking about it, or maybe you're already a soil hero amongst us but if you haven't heard yet? SOIL (aka "dirt") has been the hot topic lately. I know I know, we've been talking about it for years but guess what, the world is finally waking up. And now is a more critical time than ever to keep the movement alive and turn this conversation into action!
If you live in the Bay Area or want an excuse to get out of town next week, join us for these very exciting Kiss The Ground events happening (and stay tuned for more dates and cities to come in the Kiss the Ground book tour!)
Tuesday May 1st
7pm-9pm PST at Book Passage, Corte Madera
space is limited so reserve your spot here


Kiss The Ground Book Signing & conversation with
Josh Tickell and Carla Vernon, President of Annie's Homegrown

Join Carla Vernon, the President of Annie's Homegrown and Kiss The Ground book author, Josh Tickell for a Conversation about the importance of regenerative agriculture and healing our soils. Learn about Annie's commitment to advancing regeneration through their production model and get an inside scoop on how a big business was able to commit themselves to soil health.  Oh, and get your Kiss The Ground Book copy signed by Josh while you're at it!

Wednesday May 2nd
7pm-9pm PST at The Victorian Theatre, San Francisco
space is limited so reserve your spot here

How to Regenerate the Earth and Reverse Climate Change – a talk by Kiss The Ground Book author, Josh Tickell.
Featuring opening acts by the SeaStars

Join Sundance Award-Winning, Oscar Shortlisted, NY Times Critics' Pick author/filmmaker, Josh Tickell for an eye-opening, heart-palpitating presentation that reveals the true hidden story of what is happening to Earth's climate and how to fix and reverse some of the largest trends we are experiencing today. Drawing from his book and upcoming film, Kiss the Ground, Tickell  will unravel a powerful story with hope, tools and life-changing takeaways. 

Help bring about a rapid shift from a degenerative economy to one that supports the mutual thriving of people and planet. Join Josh May 1st - May 4th in SF for the ReGen18 conference where hundreds of world changers in philanthropy, business, government and citizen activism will convene to foster the emergence of a new regenerative society. 
In other news, as part of Ojai's Earth Day celebration, Rebecca organized a friendly but firm protest against the spraying of Roundup herbicide on our local public parks. (Roundup contains an ingredient called glyphosate which is suspected to cause cancer). As a result of the political action, which was joined by a number of local concerned parents, children and citizens, the Ojai valley Land Conservancy agreed to stop spraying Roundup at a popular local park. Not only did the protest make an impact, but the community is now looking at natural weed reduction methods like using goats and herbivores, as well as organizing community hand and mechanical removal of weeds. Thank you to all who showed up to voice your support this Earth Day!
We are so excited to show the Bay Area some love next week and can't wait to see you there! As always, if you can't make it, you can always catch up with us on Facebook or instagram :)
Love,
Josh, Rebecca, and the team at Big Picture Ranch 


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