The Austerity Monster

It’s about time someone punched that austerity monster right in the nose. Go Greece Go! If they were smart and brave they’d give the EU bankers the metaphorical finger, renounce their debts, re-issue their own currency and re-organize their economy from the bottom up. Someone’s got to get this whole world-wide revolution underway. Why not Greece? Spain might join the cause and renounce its own debts and issue it’s own currency as well. Then maybe Italy? Why not? Before you know it, the euro would collapse and all the individual countries in Europe would be forced to issue new currencies and re-organize their economies. The pendulum has been swinging in the direction of globalization for a long time now and it’s about time for the pendulum to swing back towards localization. The only way that can realistically happen is through the democratization or localization of the money supply. If Greece, through its intransigence, does manage to bring down the Euro, maybe some smart young whipper-snappers here in these United States will get their heads filled with bright ideas and declare economic independence for their state or region and issue their own alternative currency. Can’t you just imagine the court battles, the long impassioned debates and the irrationally screaming pundits? And once Vermont or Texas or Oregon has it’s own money, another state will do it and then another. Before you know it, the entire structure of the world wide capitalist system will collapse beneath the weight of it’s competing currencies.

That is my optimistic thought for the day even if it is not likely to occur. In the real world, the Euro is backed by NATO and the dollar is backed by the U.S. Military. And those two institutions have all sorts of ways to apply pressure to reluctant governments. Indeed, the tendency now is for smaller national currencies to be subsumed by larger, more powerful currencies. Some would even suggest that US foreign policy is designed ultimately to achieve the goal of establishing the dollar as the single dominant world wide currency. Is that really what the whole game of international relations and perpetual war is all about? An empire of dollar bills? Accordingly, Greece will probably buckle beneath the weight of economic stress and sell out to the EU banker demands. But hey, I can always keep my fingers crossed and hope.

For me, at least, hope usually happens in the form of metaphor. It’s Greece after all, the perfect setting for an epic clash…

Staring at the monster praying for a chance. All you need is one shot. A single hook right across the jaw. Take the bastard out.

It’s teetering on its hind legs as it is. Injured and delirious; the beast stumbles about in a frantic daze swinging madly in all directions. Too much is going on. The monster is juggling too many hot hand grenades. The aggressive flailing claws are burning; the interior supporting infrastructures are collapsing. Things are breaking loose. The center is not holding. The beast is crazed and swirling out of control. It seems ready to go down down down. All it needs is one good shot to take it out completely.

Then, finally, we can begin again. From the rubble of now, an idyllic future is born. The problem is, of course, the transition… The crazed and angry monster is not likely to go down peacefully. It may get ugly. How do we get from here to there?

Live well.

And have a very happy day.

Not the Typical Indian Guru

Not the Typical Indian Guru

I never had a guru or spiritual leader or specific teacher whose message I follow.  Instead, many different humans have played that temporary role for me for brief periods of time.  This is the story of one of those people… and one of those brief periods of time.

I met Sunny at an outdoor café in Pushkar, India sometime around the turn of the century.  He was, perhaps, the wisest man I ever met.   I’m not sure if holy is the right word but he had that way about him… a sacred sort of presence.  I only knew him for about five days and I only talked with him at the café.  But we had several lengthy conversations over tchai and bhang lassis as we watched the crazy corner street traffic from our outdoor tables.  Truthfully, at the time, I didn’t put much importance on the conversations because I was distracted by a delightful little romance with a pretty young German woman.  But now, 15 years later, I’ve mostly forgotten the romance but I still think frequently about those conversations with Sunny.  I wonder why that is?

When I first saw him, it was kind of a mind twister.  I’d been traveling for several months around India but had only just arrived in Pushkar in the early morning.  As per my usual routine, I dropped my backpack in a cheap room and went looking for a centrally located café.  I found one on the corner of the main square and took a seat at an outdoor table.  That’s when I noticed two blonde haired backpacker guys sitting at the table across the aisle from me.  They were having a very animated discussion with an older local man.  The older man had long greasy grey hair, dark skin and shabby Indian clothes; he looked like he belonged in Pushkar.  He might even be a Sadhu except a real Sadhu would not be sitting in a café.   The strange thing was that the older guy answered the young guys back in their European language (Swedish, Dutch, or German?).  Not just a word or two, but full, complete and apparently complex sentences.  I remember even now how my brain was slightly confused by the situation because the language coming forth did not match the character speaking.

Later in the afternoon, on that same first day in Pushkar, I return to the centrally located café.  The house is packed this time and the server points me to the one empty seat.  I’ll be sharing a table with the strange older guy I saw in the morning.  He speaks to me in English.  It is one of the six languages he speaks.  He says his name is Sunny.

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Change the Metaphor

This is another supplemental essay. A full story will be posted later in the week.

Change the Metaphor.

How do you change the controlling metaphor? That right there is the first and foremost challenge? Maybe it’s impossible. The metaphor is in the government, the metaphor is in the economic system, the metaphor is in the media and the metaphor is in the education system. The metaphor is so ingrained in our life that we hardly even know it’s there. What I mean by metaphor is the made up story that serves as the foundation for our day to day lives. The metaphor isn’t true but if you stop believing it a large part of what you do will be a complete waste of time.

It’s easy enough to change the metaphor for me. I simply don’t believe it. I have traveled a good part of the world and lived among people who believe different metaphors. Thus, it is easy for me to step back and look at my society’s metaphor critically. And when I do so, the metaphor seems kind or ridiculous. Most people who live here, however, believe the metaphor to be true without ever really thinking about it. Indeed, the mass media here is so powerful, that if I just watch it for a little while, I will start to believe the metaphor again. But no, not really, a quick trip to a nearby forest and I am back to reality. Continue reading

The Game

All that love and romance is just wonderful, but now it’s time to return to my non-traditional adventure traveling roots. In that regard, I have been editing and organizing a number of stories from my extensive collection of hand written notebooks. If I don’t get too overwhelmed with stonework, I will continue posting these new old stories in the coming weeks. Additionally, it occurs to me that many of these stories vaguely refer to my radical theories on international politics and economic systems. As such, it might be helpful to occassionally spell out these theories more clearly so that the vague references of my main character (me) have some substance behind them. Accordingly, I am going to start adding short essays “explaining” some of my various theories. The long winded traveling tales will continue, these shorter blogish things are going to be an added feature. This is the first one.

The Game

Let’s not kid ourselves with weasel words like globalization and neo-liberalism, the name of the game is world conquest, and USA inc. thinks it’s going to win. There are, however, several other big players at the table. China inc. and Russia, inc. still have strong positions, and you can’t forget the Euro, inc. or India inc. or Brazil, inc. either. South Africa, inc. is rising fast while Great Britain inc., Canada inc., and Australia inc., still like to pretend they are independent of USA, inc.. A good part of the world consists of subsidiary corporations who operate with a veneer of independence but are mostly managed by USA inc..

Realistically speaking, neither China, Russia, nor anyone else is going to “win” the game. Indeed, some would suggest that they are not trying to “win” but are merely trying to stop USA inc. from doing so. It is, you might say, the ultimate question on the international stage for the 21st century. Are we going to live in a unipolar world with USA inc. as the big bossman with their currency involved in every asset transaction and their military on the scene to provide protection for assets. Or are we going to live in a multi polar world with many smaller governments, decentralized power and localized control of the environment and natural resources?

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