In our modern world system where organized life religiously revolves around money, non-monetary languages, discourses or narratives seem to have lost their potency, particularly when considered in light of the day-to-day activities of the global sheeple (human mass.) Trying to convey important subjects that impinge on existence (ex. life and its support systems) is becoming almost futile in the zombified social reality of our era, unless of course the whole discourse is sugar coated and confined within the logic/scope of the prevailing greed based mercantilist order. In a world of incessant accumulation one is hard pressed to find alternative means of communication/interaction to get critical messages across to the sheeple, bypassing the cynically manipulative global interstate system. Be that as it may, it seems only conversation about money; either the making or the losing of it, can solicit attention. In recent years, clever change agents have started to effectively capitalize on this defect of modern humanity, to achieve their desired goals!
Investment is a prerequisite for securing potential future profit, financial or otherwise. Divestment is its opposite; it is the act/process of withdrawing investment from various economic activities. Divestment is one campaign the greed based global profit system can hardly tolerate or withstand. In concrete terms, divestment is a process of denying potential future profit (for an enterprise, etc.) by withholding needed investment capital. Without investment, future income stream is hardly possible. We will cite a celebrated example to illustrate the persuasive power of divestment. Three decades ago, South Africa was under an apartheid regime. Apartheid was a system of governance where the privileges of the white minority took precedence over all the basic needs and rights of the black majority, including the ‘colored’ population. In an apartheid regime, rights of peoples depend on the tone of their color. If an individual was off white or colored, to use the apartheid expression, he/she was put in a better position than a solid black block, so to speak. Whichever way one cuts it, apartheid was a formidably brutal system, which was willy-nilly supported by western powers. In fact, some of the powers were so supportive they even allowed and encouraged the white minority government in its various destructive projects, including the development and production of all kinds of WMD (weapons of mass destruction), not excluding nuclear weapons. Obviously, such undertakings were kept secret and when many of these projects were finally disbanded, as liberation became inevitable, technical personnel (scientist, engineers, etc.) were promptly dispersed and were encouraged to migrate back to the north, most ended up in the good old USA.
Along with ANC’s (African National Congress) led armed struggle, the divestment campaign targeting the apartheid government was very effective! Once the global sheeple’s awareness (of the divestment campaign) was raised to an optimum level, it became clear that business as usual was not going to cut it. The divestment campaign took the imagination of the world’s sheeple and proved to be a potent weapon worthy of employing against formidable dominant interests. It is the above combination of hard and soft power that eventually broke apartheid’s back, so to speak. Other forms of protests were not as effective. For example, African countries boycotted the 1976 Montreal Olympics because New Zealand had some sporting engagement with apartheid South Africa and was still allowed to participate in Montreal. Even though the Africans were missed, the Montreal Olympics was not shunned altogether. In those days, apartheid South Africa, by and large, was excluded from many world events; entertainment, sports, etc. but these things, on their own, failed to bring down the hated regime. What did the trick was protracted armed struggle and divestment! Companies that were actively engaged in South Africa started to lose investment capital from many parts of the world. If they still insisted in helping apartheid South Africa, their products/services were targeted for ‘boycott’ elsewhere. The intransigent companies were ‘black listed’ (to use another apartheid phrase) by those actively working towards liberation and the information was promptly communicated to the global sheeple! Before long, the situation became untenable and the demise of the apartheid regime accelerated, ‘enshrining liberation.’ May be ‘enshrining liberation’ is too generous or strong a phrase to use, given the post apartheid reality of South Africa, but that is an interesting topic on its own right to be revisited sometimes in the future!
Climate Change, we believe, is much more deadlier than the stupid social organization that was set up by the global greed system and went by the name apartheid! Just like in those days of apartheid, the global sheeple need to use effective weapons such as divestment to tackle the impending catastrophe we have brought onto ourselves. See Heinberg ‘s article next column and others on page 33 & 46. Currently, there are over five hundred global institutions that have vowed to disengage their capital from polluting/destructive industries. See the articles on page 32. As our world order is based on the profit system, such actions would inevitably impact the activities of the polluting enterprises and their enablers. As we never tire of preaching, relying on the politicos that depend on the largess of corporations to address the grave issue of ‘climate change’ is tantamount to directly encouraging ecocide! Like the apartheid struggle, we cannot leave the critical issue of ‘climate change’ to the spineless paid politicos, whose world-view is as narrow as the needle’s eye! “Politicians don’t lead movements –people do!” 350.org. Good Day!