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Ethiopia is amongst the last of the peripheral countries to be incorporated into the prevailing modern world system and certainly not on its own terms! Like all the peripheral countries that acceded before it, the integration process has been rather swift or in the lingua of the world system; the country is growing rapidly. The underlying assumption being, with this ‘growth’ thing all other important factors contributing to decent life will automatically fall into place. Such insinuations, however, are not warranted. Just ask the Europeans, particularly the eastern and southern ones, not to mention the 99% of the global beast (human mass)!
To be sure, the whole idea of growth is predicated on increased consumption of non-renewable resources, oil, etc. Then how is continuous growth across the board (in all countries) possible in a finite planet endowed with finite resources? This is a mystery or putting it bluntly; one of the many stupid assumptions that go into the making (theories) of the prevailing world system. RT, which started out as ‘Russia Today’, but gradually transformed itself into the most trusted/respected of the global media (surpassing all other media networks by registering over a billion hits on its web site) has a slogan that resonates with that of ours: ‘Question More’! But given the global circumstances, questioning more might not be enough; we have to go beyond being decently selective!
Let us pick on some of the critical distortions of the global system. In the rush to become ‘developed’, many of the southern countries are aggressively piling up schemes/projects that are absolutely unsustainable, both from the point of view of nature and collective social existence. For example, can the general scheme of their ‘development’ still be maintained/sustained if the price of oil keeps on moving higher and higher, say north of 200 USD per barrel? Also the US originated system of expansive urban habitation- suburbia, which is being emulated blindly by those of us not used to questioning, cannot be sustained in the long run! This scheme, centered on the automobile is already having difficulty maintaining its glorified self, at least from the look of things on the ground and not from the point of view of the levitated 1%. Or, in the words of James Howard Kunstler, ‘suburbia is now toast!’ . Can the global economic system, which is debt propelled, withstand the shock of generalized bankruptcy (of individuals, corporations, cities and states)? Don’t take anything for granted, ‘question everything’!
How prepared are we to face, let alone adapt to the impending/inevitable change in our ecosystem (climate change, water scarcity, top soil erosion, etc.,) What will be the impact of such changes on our lives, even callously neglecting other forms of life? Is it really possible to domesticate what we still insist on calling ‘God’s Fire.’ Creating a radiation background, thanks to our infantile/imbecile flirtation with all aspects of nuclear energy (power, weapons, etc.,) will ultimately and catastrophically affect all life, including ours. Remember Fukushima? Yes it is not going anywhere, if anything, it will get much much worse before (if ever) it gets better, just mark our words but continue to question everything’!
We believe the ‘question everything’ disposition should form the bases of our various ambitions/tribulations. Relying only on establishment discourse will not take us very far, given the situation we find ourselves in. For instance, we now know there is an installed (memory) capacity already on the ground that is capable of saving all global electronic communications, (at today’s rate of generation) for more than a century! Lap/desk tops have their cameras operating in the dark to potentially transmit video images to interested spooks, so to speak. After all, all computers have their own unique serial markers, hence identifying users wherever they might be on earth! In some places (VIP hotels, etc.,) the mere operation of charging ones lap top can potentially upload (secretly) all the stuff in one’s lap top! Even if you switch off your mobile phone you can still be traced by those agencies of the powerful states, like the NSA of the good old USA. After all these revelations we don’t know if the mighty USA can still boast as the ‘land of the free and home of the brave.’ See Robert’s article next column.
To be sure, global establishment thinking discourages the ‘question everything’ mode, unless it is about dysfunctional psychopaths craving for fame in Hollywood, Wall Street, etc. The interest of the world system is to make sure all and sundry become just fellow travelers without interest to interrogate the basics of life. On this, most of the so-called educated oblige! The majority of the global elites (including ours) have chronic deficiency when it comes to observing reality in the raw. They seem to be good only at dreaming, daydreaming at that, probably the effect of watching too many Hollywood movies! To be fair, we cannot expect a whole lot from the global elites. Just because they have been through institutionalized learning, it doesn’t mean they are capable of thinking outside of the boxes in which they are/were put into in the first place, particularly if the so-called jobs/works they are given reward them handsomely! We have an affectionate phrase for such individuals; we call them ‘belly thinkers.’ On the other hand amongst the non-belly thinkers what usually transpires is something different, like the following: “When what is happening in your world doesn’t make sense, when it doesn’t conform to your beliefs about how things should work, it’s time to ask hard questions-question everything” George Mobus. Good Day!