Is it human destiny to become destitute and malnourished on
the rotten grain we have sown for ourselves? Will we be able to rectify our
currently doomed direction and choose a new path?

I wonder this at times as I look over the land to see vast
economic devastation and environmental destruction.

The incredible contradiction of the deepening immiseration
of the world?s poor alongside the monopolization of the greatest amount of
wealth to ever exist never fails to sicken me. The ongoing saturation of our
world with toxic compounds threatens many, especially in the developing world.

Corporations with interests directly opposed to both mine
and yours inundate the halls of government with the rancid stench of
corruption, while black voters are disenfranchised here, and Iraq has no
democracy at all under unjust and unwanted occupation.

This same class of crooks then proceed to profit from every
possible circumstance, including the privatization of the infrastructure in
periods of crisis. Whether in regard to the schools of New Orleans or the water
and natural gas of Bolivia, or the oil fields of Iraq, neoliberal economic
policy continues to eviscerate the public interest. In my personal political
development surrounding the question of why this was happening and how it could
be reversed, I came to discover a school of thought known as sustainable
development.

It is the simple idea that our development on the earth be
logically coincident with a long-term objective of our mutual survival with
other living things. It sounds crazy, right?

I studied this subject for two years, and when I was
finalizing my thoughts, I realized that the economic system of capitalism makes
this realization impossible. As long as we accept the idea that a minority of
the population has an inherent right to control all of global production for
their own profit, we cannot have an economy that is run on the basis of human
need.

As long as we do not have equality and economic democracy,
we will not have political democracy, and our institutions will be corrupt
regardless of who is in the White House. As long as it is more profitable to
dump chemicals into the systems we all depend on to survive, it will continue
until we no longer have a place to support life. As long as we see our power as
dependent on the proportionately small amount of cash in our bank accounts and
what we do with it, we will never overcome the power of multibillionaires who
are crashing our economy and destroying our planet.

We need a movement that can.

The question of how we can adjust our course is an essential
one. It begins with people taking their destiny into their own hands and
recognizing the power they have. When the city council of New Orleans met to
decide to destroy undamaged public housing and give the land away to private
developers, hundreds of people almost succeeded in entering the meeting after
breaking through the armed guards and iron bars designed to deny them their
voice. What if this happened every time our government did not do what we
wanted?

When the Iraqi oil workers union went on strike in 2007
against the oil privatization law forced on Iraq by the U.S. Congress, they
were taking matters into their own hands. What if the Iraqis can keep the oil
out of the hands of foreign corporations and use it to help their own
impoverished people? When the hundreds of thousands of Bolivians rose up and
called massive strikes against the neoliberal U.S. puppet government and tossed
it out, they were moving closer to control of their own destiny. What if people
tried to do this in other countries where people want real change?

We need to build and expand these sorts of movements today
and strengthen them with the knowledge of the past so we can fight for, and
win, a better future for us all.

Join us for a presentation and discussion on ?Disaster
Capitalism? and the movement for a better world on Wednesday Feb. 13 at
7:30p.m., TITU.

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Ben Daniels ([email protected]) is a member of the International Socialist
Organization.

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