Emma and I were guest speakers at a Health and Wellness fair yesterday at Falcon Rock, a lovely ‘country venue’ at the base of a small mountain called The Lady’s Slipper. It’s about a 5 minute drive from our acre of land on the Van Stadens gorge.
There were stalls where people were selling goods or food, or advertising and showing their services: reiki, music therapy, massage, etc. On arrival, a meditation session was underway, which I joined briefly before setting up for the talk.
Emma started, focusing on the current dominant global food production system and the massive issues with it. She then spoke about permaculture as an alternative.
I then picked up from where Emma left off and took a conceptual approach to the political state of affairs that underlies the global systems that have resulted in the eco-crisis. I used a few quotes from sections of my Ph.D. that featured in this blog over the past year, so I was worried that this would bore people, but everything was received with attentive nods.
I moved on to speak about some of the specific things that we have done to regain sovereignty is a system where it is simply assumed that governments have the right to sovereignty. They do not. As it states in the declaration of human rights, the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government. But consider this quote from Nadar, something everyone can see from brief investigation into the state of political/business affairs today:
Government has been hijacked to a degree beyond anything we have seen in the last 70 years. It’s been hijacked by corporate power, the multinationals mostly. They have their own people in government. They run [for elections] their own people, they appoint their own people, they get corporate lawyers to become judges. And when that happens you no longer have a countervailing force called government arrayed against excesses of what Jefferson called ‘the moneyed interest’. Instead, you have this convergence, almost a phalanx, of business controlling government and turning it against its own people.
The will of the people is not the basis for the authority of government; rather, it’s the protection of business interests that secures government’s authority. This has nothing to do with the liberty of the people, and everything to do with private business interests. To quote Mill, the people have historically had “political liberties or rights, which it was to be regarded as a breach of duty in the ruler to infringe, and which if he did infringe, specific resistance, or general rebellion, was held to be justifiable.” Rebellion hey? Food for thought.
Please see the chapter 4 posts that are already up on the blog for more info in this regard, especially this one: https://perspectivepro.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/democracy-in-a-neoliberal-free-market-capitalist-system/
We’ll be talking more in the near future: at the march against Monsanto on May 23rd.