Tag Archives: Keil

Waging Peace

18 Nov

By Charlie Keil

This was written over a decade ago and hasn’t  been updated, yet. But the basic thrust is as valid as ever.

Contradictions (a short introduction to “Waging Peace”)

I am adding this introduction to “Waging Peace” plus a “free copyright” notice to encourage its circulation, and sending it out again because it seems more obvious each day that time may be running out. IF the next rounds of terrorism here hit a few nuclear power stations and chernobylize big portions of east and west coasts, IF more bacteria and different kinds of bacteria are released, etc. etc. etc. and IF the West keeps acting out the scenarios of retaliation scripted by terrorists, then this country will not have the resources to help solve the world¹s problems even if it should eventually summon up the common sense, common decency, and the willingness to do so.

Diction = what is being said. Contra = against. We need to counter what is being said about the “war” on terrorism and challenge the assumptions behind this diction.

The old Marxist sense of the word “contradiction” must be remembered too; at certain points in time the dialectics, the oppostional forces, become so glaring and obvious that people will act in order to change the world system before it kills them.

You know it is time to “look at the contradictions” and to speak out against what is being proposed as a solution in the centers of power when:

  • the rich are obscenely rich and the poor are desperately poor all over the world;
  • world militarism (800 billion annual budget) is sucking up diminishing resources and destroying the biosphere and this “consciousness” experiment we call humanity;
  • 40,000 children die each day of starvation and preventable diseases;
  • many fields needed for food production are filled with landmines;
  • topsoil is flowing down all the rivers of the planet;
  • ozone layer, global warming, pollution levels disappear as issues because we are “at war” and now we really just don¹t have time for these deeper underlying problems;
  • deadly bacteria sent by Bush Sr. from Rockville, Maryland to Iraq in the 1980s may be returning to Washington D.C. to threaten Bush Jr. and the rest of us;
  • your home and backyard could be irradiated by the next terrorist attack.

This list could be much, much longer.

There is another long list, of cleansings or “administrative massacres” about to happen in Europe, Asia, Africa: against the Roma in any one or more of half a dozen east European and Balkan countries; against the Chinese or the next minority in Indonesia; against the Pagans and Christians of southern Sudan for the tenth or fifteenth time; as I write, the news reports 100s killed in Benue State Nigeria where we lived for two years ­ again, the list of ongoing and potential scapegoats is long and getting longer. I don¹t believe that the UN or the regional organizations are ready at this moment either to prevent these events within states or to attempt an intervention once they get started. Looking back, the Saddam Hussein regime should have been sanctioned and arrested after the gassing of Kurdish villages in 1988. Intervention was 8 years late in Greater Serbia. No one intervened in Rwanda. The illegal and ineffective missile attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan by the Clinton administration in response to embassy bombings in East Africa should have told us that the era of “war” with inappropriate technology was over. We don¹t know how to stop cleansing or terrorism, twin evils that threaten to plunge all of us into chaos. Continue reading

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An Ecological Declaration of Interdependance

3 Mar

219 years ago our originators “brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Today we have less liberty. Inequality has reached obscene proportions as millions die of preventable diseases and starvation each year, and over a billion children suffer sociogenic brain damage worldwide, as the rich get ever richer. We have been engaged for many years in stalemated, unwinnable wars that waste Nature and bankrupt us spiritually, morally, economically and politically. If, seven generations from now, we are to celebrate freedom and the proposition that all humans and all lifeforms are part of the Great Order Of Diversity, the Great Equality Aspiration, we must renounce fear and war, victimization and alienation, to participate fully in Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness following faithfully “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” that guided our founders.

We, as a united people, mindful of our consumption and numbers, must dedicate ourselves to consecrating Earth, hallowing this planet and all its creatures great and small, so that future generations may live in peace, ecological balance and liberty. This Declaration of Interdependance introduces a Great Transition that places joy, well being, and sustainable economics first.

In this spirit we resolve that this nation, under “the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” shall have a new birth of freedom . . . and that government of the people . . . by the people . . . for the people . . . shall not perish from the Earth.”

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Peach Si! Bomb NO!

1 Mar

Some observations by Charlie Keil on a text by Ruskin.

Peach Tree
Peach Tree by punkin3.14 at Flickr.

From John Ruskin’s Ad Valorem

“Ad Valorem” is the third essay from the work ‘Unto This Last’: Four essays on the first principles of Political Economy.

. . . it matters, so far as the labourer’s immediate profit is concerned, not an iron filing whether I employ him in growing a peach, or forging a bombshell; but my probable mode of consumption of those articles matters seriously. Admit that it is to be in both cases “unselfish,” and the difference, to him, is final, whether when his child is ill, I walk into his cottage and give it the peach, or drop the shell down his chimney, and blow his roof off.

The Aim Of Consumption

The worst of it, for the peasant, is, that the capitalist’s consumption of the peach is apt to be selfish, and of the shell, distributive; but, in all cases, this is the broad and general fact, that on due catallactic commercial principles, somebody’s roof must go off in fulfillment of the bomb’s destiny. You may grow for your neighbour, at your liking, grapes or grapeshot; he will also, catallactically, grow grapes or grapeshot for you, and you will each reap what you have sown. It is, therefore, the manner and issue of consumption which are the real tests of production. Production does not consist in things laboriously made, but in things serviceably consumable; and the question for the nation is not how much labour it employs, but how much life it produces. For as consumption is the end and aim of production, so life is the end and aim of consumption.

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