2012 – Global Women: Inequality is Interconnected

March 6, 2012 in Equal Money Blog

Women have been taught that, for us, the earth is flat, and that if we venture out, we will fall off the edge.  ~Andrea Dworkin

Abstract6a00e54ef837538833011168cbfb5c970c 500wi 2012   Global Women: Inequality is Interconnected

Keywords: Global Women, Inequality, Intersectionality, Feminist Theory, Sociological Theory

(The article was submitted by Anna Brix Thomsen as a part of an examination at Stockholm University in February 2012. A new foreword has been added for the purpose of this publication and a few comments has been added. All rights are reserved.)

The article draws on the initial inaugurators of intersectionality in social science, the black feminists, specifically with Patricia Collins as its representative[1]  with their initial aim of introducing intersectionality as critical approach to the predominant discourse in social science and from there place the term into a current context drawing on scholars such as Leslie McCall and a practical example that is indicative of a new type of inequality that also raise a discussion for a renewal of intersectionality as a methodological tool to analyze society in general and inequalities in particular. This example is chosen specifically to highlight the discussion about how intersectionality has progressed (or should progress cf. McCall 2005) in analyzing new inequalities.  Within placing the introduction text to Global Women in context to intersections of inequality that are emerging, my aim is to show how intersectionality can be applied to extract and understand the underlying inequalities that are playing out within the complexity of women migrating cross the world.

Foreword

The article is written from the starting-point of showing how global inequalities require global political solutions. It is the aim of the paper to show how global inequalities are created in interdependent relationships between the people that have access to the capitalistic system and those that do not. The reason why a woman in the Philippines is unable to efficiently support herself and her children and therefore has to migrate across the world is directly interconnected with how a woman in the U.S or in Europe is able to hire a nanny to take care of her child. It starts and ends with money and in between are the lives and stories of these women and their children. The children are the ones that in the end pay the price of an unequal money-system where no global policy exists and where money is all that matters to everyone because that is how we have constructed our world and our reality to function. These are the children that will grow up and become adults in this world, having to fight for their survival in a constant chase after money – exactly as do we all.

The article stands in support of a Global Equal Money System based on a Global democratic solution as the decision to change the systems and paradigms of this world with which we allow our lives to be managed, directed and controlled – to a system of equality that is based on the basic principle of what is best for all, as the practical living in such a way that all life-forms are equally supported to live optimally.

Introduction

In December 2011, I walked into a small classroom in the basement at Stockholm University for my first session in a course called “Doing Gender”; I had no idea that this course would alter my foundation as a sociologist as well as provide me with an entire new vocabulary and perspective on understanding global inequality. I had never been introduced to feminist theories during my years at the university and I had never before encountered the concept of “Intersectionality”.  Initially I was gripped by the fact that I had never before heard of intersectionality, because as it was introduced to me, I immediately saw the potential of intersectionality as an analytical tool and how it could expand the methodologies used in social sciences.

As someone who had never before encountered the concept of Intersectionality, I had, admittedly, a somewhat innocent and perhaps idealistic understanding of what intersectionality is and how it can or should be applied in social sciences. However, looking with fresh eyes at something that for scholars long in the field might seem more like a ‘sticky situation’ (referring to the debates within and about feminist theory in general), I hope to bring a grounded common-sense to the debate and through this, make an abstract and complex term simple and practical. Within this I also comment on the fact that the term that Intersectionality seems to have been applied and discussed mostly at a theoretical level and in academic feminist debates. (McCall 2005, Knudsen 2006, Shields 2008, Choo and Ferree 2010,) The critique is that Intersectionality is a “buzzword” that does not rise to the level of an effective analytical tool as its methodologies are not specific. (C.f. Prins 2006, Davis 2008 in Choo and Ferree, 2010)

The perspective I will share  thus contends Intersectionality as a vital approach within analyzing complexity in and through the social sciences, (cf. McCall 2005, Shields 2008) yet it is also the aim of this paper to investigate Intersectionality as a basic sociological method and the various approaches that have emerged and are emerging using the practical example of “Global Women”[2].

I refer to Choo and Ferree’s definition of Intersectionality as “the importance of including the perspective of multi-marginalized people (…) [in] seeing multiple institutions as overlapping in their co-determination of inequalities to produce complex configurations.” (Choo and Ferree, 2010, p. 131)

Patricia Collins and Black Feminist Epistemology

Patricia Hill Collins was as one of the first black feminists that criticized the way traditional social science was predominantly patriarchal. She contended that traditional science was actually preventing social change and presented instead a new black feminist epistemology that had a different starting-point within how it approached and viewed knowledge and the analysis of information; within this she called for a humble approach that was based on compassion. For Collins, Intersectionality could do exactly that through embracing the narratives of individual stories and expanding them into a broader analysis of emergent patterns of inequality and oppression, instead of as conventional science to separate the researcher from the research. The basis of Collins theory is thus that only those who themselves have experienced oppression on their own bodies are equipped of analyzing it fully. She calls for a dialog between the researcher and the research as “all knowledge is value-laden and should be tested by the presence of empathy and compassion. “P. 3) the approach thus requires accountability in the awareness that knowledge is created, selected and impulsed and not simply the act of presenting scientific facts.

Even though Collins emphasize the personal narrative, she does not promote a collective categorization of for example “black women”, yet at the same time she recognizes that there are challenges that a black woman faces that is within a collective tendency. (Allan, 2009.) P. 3)

Collins furthermore accentuates that oppressed groups require a “space” where they can come together safe from the oppressive and hegemonic rulers. (Allan, 2009.) P. 5) This is something that practically and specifically can be placed into the context of Global women as we shall see, but it can also be used as a metaphor for how traditional science that is supposed to be ‘objective’ and ‘neutral’, is in fact indicative and product of a subjugating Eurocentric “white” hegemony.  Even though Collins meant it more literally, I contend that the intersectional approach thus can be a “safe place” where oppressed voices can speak and be heard. What Collins perspective on Intersectionality can contribute with is thus that an alteration in thinking can change how specific inequalities are seen and approached and consequently through that re-articulate points that might often be seen in the public sphere, but not articulated sufficiently to actually accommodate actual change. (Allan, 2009, p. 07)

In relation to gender, an accumulative result of for example Collins research on how knowledge is produced juxtaposed with power relations (c.f. Prins, 2006 p. 4), that in turn has a subjugating effect, has been an increased focus on and awareness of how one’s own social identity and cultural allocation affects how one sees gender.  It is therefore that the social location is a primary point to identify, allocated through an investigation of the intersecting identities that are at play. “In particular, gender must be understood in the context of power relations embedded in social identities”. (Collins 1999; 2000, in Shields, 2008, p. 1) And as we shall see, this becomes relevant in particular when investigating emerging and complex new social inequalities as exemplified by the text on Global Women and in Leslie McCall’s contends for a new approach to Intersectionality.

Intersectionality and the matrixes of domination

Within how we through Intersectionality can see the different forms of oppression and inequalities that interweave into and as a lived experience, Collins contends the fact that these are influenced by the predominant views on objective knowledge that can silence the voices of the oppressed. (Allen, 2009, p. 8, see also Shields, 2008, p. 1) To expose and expand on this, she focuses on the matrixes of domination as the organization of power in a society. (Allen, 2009, p. 08) These matrixes are featured by how the intersections are manifested according to historical, cultural and socially specific conditions, through which the systems of oppression operate. In this Collins accentuate four domains in which power is organized: structural, disciplinary, hegemonic and interpersonal. (Allen, 2009, p. 08)

These can be described roughly as legislative/ policy-based, bureaucratic, cultural and every day spheres such as education and community groups. What emerges when investigating intersections of oppression and inequality in relation to these spheres is a complex system of power relations that in itself intersects. This thus also brings a perspective to the nuances of intersections of inequality that shows that they are multidimensional rather than one-dimensional. The social categories through which intersections are defined are thus not static or permanent as the can alter and shift in level of inequality and oppression according to which sphere or dimension is influential and intersecting.

Leslie McCall on the Complexities of Intersectionality

McCall represents for the purposes of this article, a modern approach to Intersectionality that also encompasses a critique of the initial approach to Intersectionality. McCall criticizes how feminist theory so far has failed to expand Intersectional theory into and as an interdisciplinary field; she furthermore criticizes how this has failed to expand and develop Intersectionality as a methodology that potentially is capable of amending to an analysis of the new inequalities that has arisen over the last thirty years. Instead intersectionality remains within and as an anti-categorical stance and attitude on how to practically apply Intersectionality in investigating social inequality and oppression.

At the same time McCall criticizes traditional social science for not effectively implementing Intersectionality as a cross- or interdisciplinary methodology. She claims that there is a disconnect between reality and theory in both fields and that a new way of applying Intersectionality is thus required, that is able to embrace the complexities that are emerging with the new forms of inequality, such as the increasing gap between rich and poor. (McCall, 2005, pg. 22) The inequalities become complex because the conditions in and through which they play out are complex and inequalities and dimensions of inequalities overlap.

 “Reality is complexly patterned, but patterned none the less. We can determine the source of the complexity, we can describe it, and we can theorize it. In this view changes of patterns of inequality and in the underlying structural conditions of society are dynamic, complex, and contingent but also amendable to explanation”. (McCall, 2005, pg. 25)

McCall calls this the inter-categorical (or categorical) Intersectionality and argues that one of the reasons why feminist theory not yet have fully embraced such a theory can be explained within how they (as other theoretic fields) have not been equipped with being able to address the new forms on inequality that has emerged. (McCall, 2005, p. 23) She argues that the method is based in feminist theory yet invites to interdisciplinary application (McCall, 2005, pg. 25)

What McCall found within applying this method, is that inequalities as intersectional exist rather as configurations of several forms or dimensions of inequality specifically placed in the context of economic structure.

The advantages of the categorical methodology of Intersectionality is that it allows for a much more complex set of data to be used in a much more simplistic way than traditional approaches.

McCall’s analysis holds the categorical method up against two more traditional methodologies where the anti-categorical emerged with the black feminists with focus on narratives and the intra-categorical with a focus on single groups or individuals. She describes how the categorical approach investigates each element of inequality in a given dimension for then to analyze these within a holistic framework, for example held up against an economic situation or analyzing the relationship two groups at a time. This way the complexity of investigating multiple groups is managed.

What is perhaps the most different from the traditional approach is as McCall describes how the categorical approach within multigroup studies as “analyze the intersection of the full set of dimensions of multiple categories and thus examine both advantage and disadvantage explicitly and simultaneously.” (McCall 2005, p. 18) In the following section, I superimpose McCall’s proposal of an explicitly categorical methodology to show why such a methodology is specifically applicable for analyzing new inequalities, onto the example of on Global Women.

The intersections of Global Women

Global women present and represent an example of the new social inequalities that have emerged over the last 30-50 years with an increasing migration of women from the poor south/east to the rich north/west[3], conglomerating with the increase of labor market participation and the increase independent income of women in the west.

I use this example for three reasons: firstly, I use it to exemplify the increasing complexity that McCall describes and the consequent requirement for a re-assessment of the methodologies of Intersectionality. Secondly I use it to show how an intersectional approach in general can assist to analyze and understand such emergence of complex intersections of inequality and why the intersectional approach can be one of the most important methodological analytical tools of social science today. Thirdly, I pose a somewhat polemic stance within how it through an intersectional view on the emergence of the new complex social (and economic) inequalities, can be seen that what converges is a global phenomenon that is clearly not being met adequately by the policies currently being applied to accommodate the consequences of such global inequalities.

 Global Women – Emerging new social inequalities

The introductory text to Global Women focuses on the narrative of a Sri Lankan woman named Josephine who works in Athens as a nanny. Already on the first few pages a conglomerate of intersections is playing out: the role of being a nanny can be categorized within the intersection of class as well as within how a woman from a poor country is working for an affluent family in a more wealthy country and the intersections of South/East versus North/West. The woman being from Sri Lanka relates to culture, nationality, ethnicity as well as language (and language barriers). There is furthermore a generational element, wherein Josephine’s ability to travel and work abroad is defined as “an independence her mother could not have imagined” (Ehrenrich and Hochschild, 2002, p. 11). This suggests a generational shift economic independence and women’s ability to participate on the labor market.

This is furthermore described directly in relation to how Josephine is not receiving help from her ex-husband and thus suggests an intersection of gender inequality. Josephine is saving up for a “modest dowry” for her daughter and is paying off on a bus that her son is driving, a reference to gender and class as well as cultural differences. (Ehrenrich and Hochschild, 2002, p. 13) Finally, the parents of the child for whom Josephine is hired as nanny are characterized as “devoting” themselves to “careers and avocations” (Ehrenrich and Hochschild, 2002, p. 13). This again refers to an intersection of class, but also a specific unequal discourse of valuation within that, where Josephine’s job is seen as survival, her daughter’s dowry as “modest” while the affluent Greek parents have “careers and avocations” that they are “devoting” themselves to, something that suggests choice as well as a view on work as personally or professional fulfilling. The intersection of race is seen within how the migrating women are largely “women of color” (Ehrenrich, p. 3) and through a notion among the Western women that employ the migrating women as nannies of seeing women from 3. World countries as more in touch with nature and traditional values, quality that is valued in relation to caring for a child. (Ehrenrich, p. 9)

What we can see here is a multitude of intersections that are influencing how and why and what Josephine’s story imply within a bigger picture of emerging new global inequalities and this is still barely touching upon the intersections related to the Western women involved in this story as well as Josephine’s Sri Lankan family and how they are affected by Josephine’s leaving to work abroad.

According to McCall’s theory on the categorical approach to Intersectionality that is required to be applied to understand an analyze new emerging inequalities, we would now have to analyze each of these intersections “in its own right” for then only after to bring all these dimensions together in a holistic analysis of for example the entire phenomena of Global women migration and the general inequalities that are playing out here.

What is effective with this approach is that it does in fact encompass Collins notion of Intersectionality as method that works with humility and compassion within the principle that to understand oppression, one virtually has to be able to place oneself in the shoes of the lives of the people one is researching.

A dimension that further more speaks for a juxtaposition of Collins notion of humility relates to the emotional dimensions of the story of Josephine, which reveals complex emotions that has emerged as a result of a global “care deficit” (Ehrenrich, p.3 ) that in turn reveals a broader global inequality that influences the lives on both side of the deficit.[4]

With Collins approach we can thus place ourselves in the shoes of the women whose lives we are investigating and with McCall we can place that information into a more structural and global context without its losing its humility, because we in fact take each dimension pertaining to the specific intersections of inequality into consideration.

Discussion on emerging new inequalities

What can thus emerge when we extract the complex dimensions of inequality involved in this one example, through applying an intersectional point of view and methodology, is in fact a wholeness, a holistic perspective on the global situation, from which we can see that lives are not only influencing each other reciprocally, but are indeed intertwined; “Third world women achieve their success only by assuming the cast-off domestic roles of middle- and high-income women in the first world.” (Ehrenrich and Hochschild, 2002, p. 3)

It is interesting that the third world women within migrating to the west to be nannies or maids are defined as having achieved “success”. Within this it can be argued that a discursive vocabulary is revealed that assumes that all women in the world have become “liberated” and “independent” and thus successful, also connecting this to travelling and uprooting oneself. A different perspective is that success is defined as one’s ability to make money and as such women like Josephine are successful in fact – simply because they do make money.

However this can also be seen as a form of oppression that serves to silence the voices of the global women, who might not feel successful, free or independent, because their fears and worries and concerns are still revolving around how to survive and how to feed their children as well as the intense emotions that can be related to having to leave one’s child in the care of others.

Within looking at these points the question emerges whether equality and independence of “Women”[5] has in fact increased or whether the inequalities have simply shifted around and shifted places. This perspective is only possible within viewing the world as a whole and that is made possible through the consideration of each dimension involved in the intersections of a certain inequality.

This thus also brings the discussion of Intersectionality back to the question of power relations and specifically shows how and why Intersectionality was coined within and through a political movement to expose and abolish inequalities where the black feminists sought to give a voice to the voiceless black women as a “significant political as well as intellectual demand, since only by inclusion of the perspectives of these groups could the political issues emerging from their experiences be addressed by movements, law or policy-relevant scholarship.” (Choo and Ferree, 2010, p. 131)

Conclusion

Within the new emerging inequalities among the migrating women are nation and culture specific migration patterns and streams which results in for example Eastern European women going to Western European countries or Algerian women migrating to France. However, there is also a relevance in talking about Women in general, as the patterns that are emerging at culture-geographical level show that it increasingly are women that are migrating to work abroad as well as in regards to the changes in the lives of women in the Western countries, facilitates the demand for care workers from abroad. What often happens is that these women migrating to become nannies, maids and sex workers in the West, become isolated as their jobs are within the home and not on public display and therefore not receiving media attention. (Ehrenrich and Hochschild, 2002, p. 3-4)

What are emerging are thus new forms of inequality and a new way lives intersect that is complex within how multiple inequalities intertwine at a global level. To address this, the ability to analyze global tendencies from a multidimensional perspective, Intersectionality can potentially be utilized to bring these complex inequalities to the surface, both politically and academically. Polemically speaking, one could say that global issues require global policies. Although it might be hard to comprise a monocausal analysis when taking all the dimensions of how inequalities intersects (Choo and Ferree, 2010, p. 135), there is the silver-lining of an unequal monetary system where a global corporate world acts transnationally while few global policies are made to countervail or interfere. The consequences for women migrating, such as Josephine, can thus be that they have no rights or choices but to follow the stream of migration as they are caught between intersections of inequalities that are caused by global problems. The women who migrate have a greater chance of making money and supporting their family if they leave their home-countries to work in the west as nannies, maids or sex workers. But they pay a price within being separated from their children and often within not actually being integrated into the culture or country they are living in (sometimes for the rest of their lives) because they are merely there to serve a service function that is seen in many cases as empowering by policy-makers and in the media, because they can then send money home and as such “support the country”.  So the discourse around the empowerment that the migrating women experience in comparison to past generations, might exactly is a part of that same hegemony that is responsible for the continuation of global inequality. The Solution is an Equal Money System because within its implementation, it is acknowledged at a fundamental and practical level, that the interconnectedness of human beings lives requires solutions that are able to encompass such interconnectedness and interdependence. The current financial and political systems and institutions are prioritizing segregation and profit  and do not take human beings actual lives into consideration. The result is a world of disconnection, where everyone is able to abdicate responsibility because there is always someone else to hold responsible and because the system is not set up in such a way that it is even possible to take responsibility for one’s own life, even if one wanted to.

The effect of an Equal Money System is in fact that all forms of intersectionality of inequalities will be absolved, because it is  acknowledged, into the very core of the policies implemented, that only a holistic solution will ensure equality for all.

For more information I refer to the Equal Money System Wikipage

In the following video I expand on the points brought up in this article: 2012 – One Woman’s Liberation… The Solution to Global Inequality

Bibliography

Allan, K. D. (2009). Patricia Collins: Intersecting Oppressions. http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/13299_Chapter_16_Web_Byte_Patricia_Hill_Collins.pdf den 01 01/ 2012

Choo, H. Y., & Ferree, M. M. (2010). Practicing Intersectionality in Sociological Research: A Critical Analysis of Inclusions, Interactions and Institutions in the Study of Inequalities. Sociological Theory, 28:2 .

Deutsch. (2007). Undoing Gender. Gender and Society, 1.125: 51.

Ehrenrich, B., & Hochschild, A. (2002). i B. Ehrenrich, & A. Hochschild, Global Women: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy (ss. Ch. 1 – 2 ). New York : Metropolitian Books.

Knudsen, S. (2005). “Intersectionality—A Theoretical Inspiration in the Analysis of Minority Cultures and Identities in Textbooks. Caught in the Web or Lost in thte Text Book?, (ss. 61-76). Paris.

Lutz, H., Vavik Herrera, M. T., & Supik, L. (2011). Framing Intersectionality: An Introduction. Ashgate. Hämtat från http://www.ashgate.com/pdf/SamplePages/Framing_Intersectionality_Intro.pdf den 25 12 2011

McCall, L. (2005). The Complexity of Intersectionality. Signs, Chicago Journals, 3(3), 1771 – 1800.

Prins, B. (2006). Narrative Accounts of Origins : A Blind Spot in the Intersectional Approach? European Journal of Women’s Studies, 13.

Shields, S. A. (2008). Gender: An Intersectional Perspective. Sex Roles, 301 – 311.

West, C., & Zimmermanm, D. (u.d.). Doing Gender. Gender and Society, 1.125: 51.

 

 (The article was submitted by Anna Brix Thomsen as a part of an examination at Stockholm University in February 2012. All rights are reserved.)


[1] Even though Kimberleé Crenshaw is famous for coining the terms, I refer to Collins because she is a sociologist (Crenshaw is a professor in law) and because of her specific approach towards Intersectionality as intra-categorical and because of her view on Intersectionality as providing a needed compassion in the social sciences. (Allan, 2009, p. 3)

[2] I use the term in italics when referring to the text and without italics when referring to the actual lives of Global Women.

[3] I use the terms ”south/east” and ”north/west” loosely to describe the differences in global income and living conditions according to how the text “Global Women” uses these terms to describe the divide between women of affluence and women of poverty in the respective regions and continents.

[4] Referring to Ehrenrich’s description of how the West is experiencing a care deficit because of the increasing number of women on the labor market, which creates the demand for nannies from abroad but at the same time how the migrating women are too leaving their own children behind in the care of others. (Ehrenrich, p.8)

[5] As Collins referred to (black) as having a “collective standpoint does exist, one characterized by the tensions

That accrue [sic] to different responses to common challenges” (Collins p. 28, emphasis original in Allan, 2009, p.4).

Q and A – “Do we need an Academic Elite to Change the World? “

March 9, 2011 in Equal Money Blog

The following Question was asked by Tood as a reply to the article: “Academic Education – A Waste of Space, Mind, Money and Time?”in my column on The Sociology Journal

Q – from Tood: great thinkers 300x280 Q and A   Do we need an Academic Elite to Change the World?

Do you not think that your call to action in creating an imagined world of equality is also a product of one of these theories of university education which you denigrate in your article? Before action can be taken toward any goal, what is required is a thorough analysis of the situation at hand. This will require thinking, not acting. After this task is complete (and it is not), you must subsequently be able to define the goal toward which you would like to steer society as well as to justify that goal as a proper goal. Given that your goal seems to be equality for all, in all aspects, the next step would be to formulate a process of transition from the current situation to the desired one– a plan of action. This will require an immense amount of interpretation, theory, data-gathering, statistical analysis, historical considerations, etc. (e.g. consider Karl Marx’s more than 3000 page collection of volumes known as Das Kapital). Before beginning work toward global equality, we ought to consider its feasibility, desirability, and complications it may bring– questions which, by the way, are being asked and answered inside the University (consider, for example, the work of analytic marxists such as G.A. Cohen in “Self-ownership, Freedom. and Equality”). I agree with you that the University has a socializing function, and that success in the university is at least contingent upon learning the language-games of academia, however it also functions to open up a space for the dedication of oneself to inquiry– a space which is not generally provided outside of the University. And as a final consideration: when is success outside of the University going to be devoid of the socializing function of the University, or of its criterion of “learning the lingo”, apart from living a hermitic life?

A – My reply:

Hi Tood – When I (and when most people) were a young child, my basic outlook on the world situation was that of: “Why are people starving, when there is enough food?” – “War is stupid, why can’t we simply be friends?”

6a00d83451d12469e200e54f191dcb8834 800wi 300x225 Q and A   Do we need an Academic Elite to Change the World? Thus my perspective was that of Simplicity and Common Sense – without moral judgments towards those creating wars: I saw the World and the people within it, as Equal. Therefore the call to action – based on the basic Principle of Equality is not an ideological conception constructed in the Academic class- room.

Unfortunately we have as adults, covered and sugar-coated ourselves in fancy words and knowledge to hide from ourselves within ignorance and abdication of Self-Responsibility – which Actually for any Child, is Common Sense. Thus – we will back up Self-Deception with Self-Righteous regurgitation of useless knowledge simply to postpone the Moment, where we literally have to ACT – where we Actually have to Give up this armor of theories upon theories and see the World and Ourselves for what it is.

It is plain to see, even within the theories of Social Life: Common Sense Perspectives that All can agree on is being reproduced, mutated an twisted into oblivion, even though they always say the same: That to Change the World, we require to Change Ourselves first – because whatever We are, is what the World is too. I have heard professors regurgitating the glory of knowledge and thinking as enlightenment and cure to the disease of ignorance and inequality. Yet – we see none of those professors or students Changing anything in their own Participation. Instead the regurgitation of knowledge is used as the justification for NOT ACTING and thus being reproduced and recycled with every new batch of students in hope of Changing the World.

ar119056881934158 236x300 Q and A   Do we need an Academic Elite to Change the World? We do not require anymore “thorough analysis as thinking” of the issues at hand – The sustainable solutions to the World’s problems ARE invented – we are simply not Applying them. If every Child can see the Common Sense of war being stupid and not even blaming those that create war, but simply suggests for us to stop it – it is clearly not assisting to create long theories upon the impracticality of War. It is basic Common Sense: 1 + 1 = 2.

If the 1 eats all the food, the other 1 will starve and the 2 will exist in inequality – which is Clearly not what is Best for All. This requires not Socratic or dogmatic systems of approach – It does however require Self-Honesty of each of us as re-educating ourselves to take Self-Responsibility for what is Here.

The plan of action towards Global Equality is to create a Global Political Party based upon the Principle of Equality, where each commits themselves to Stand Self-Responsible in Common Sense Equality and do what is Best for All – at a Practical, Physical level – in All ways.

This we are doing with the proposal of the Equal Money System, which of course requires thorough planning – but within the Principle of Equality as what is Best for All, no ideological discussions are necessary, which will give us room to investigate and research Practical, Real Life Solutions. hands3 Q and A   Do we need an Academic Elite to Change the World?

Even though the tradition of the universities place themselves within the “honor” of the objective inquiry (aka truth producing business) – this is in Fact not so and the Space of universities as learning facilities could be utilized for so much more fruitful and practical purposes – not simply to reproduce knowledge for it to be reproduced. Activism without Practicality as well as knowledge without Application, is useless…

Participate – Become an Practivist – An Activist Practicing Common Sense and Self-Responsibility

World Equality Process – Join the Equal Money System

Inner Equality Process – Join the Re-Education to Self-Honesty

Practivism is Activism with Common Sense

in Oneness and Equality

The Game of Survival – Inequality Equations and Miss-Calculations

December 31, 2010 in World Exposed Blog

Most of the ‘great thinkers’ throughout history have seen parts of this, hinted and circled these points like vultures for truth and reason. But it has become the norm to either avoid setting Principles before preference, to allow ‘free-will’ to ‘run it’s course’ – or to set norms that are constructed with flaws of abdication of Self-Responsibility, placing faith in ‘higher powers’. But if we start a calculation by making one plus one three, suddenly three plus three becomes eight and so whatever we do, will be miss-calculated – every single calculation from then on out, will be flawed.

Thus Nietzsche had a point, when he called for a re-evaluation of all values – of the courage to Face ourselves within the Self-Delusion that we have Allowed to become the very ‘foundation’ of ourselves. Only then can we be able to begin making decisions that are based on Principles before preference, where we Dare to Will ourselves to Stand by these Principles no matter what. All morals that have existed so far, has been inherently immoral, therein lays the flaw and the miss-calculation. We have not Considered Life and from there seen what is required to be done, but have placed ‘more’ value and ‘less’ value, making ourselves the judges of Life, yet abdicating the Responsibility for the decisions we have made within that process – and more specifically, not Daring to Face the fact, that we might have made a mistake within the course of the ‘progress’ that we call ‘evolution’.

Ulrich Beck also has a point when he calls for a Cosmopolitical Global community that dares making local politics Global, which does not only mean for the System of governments, but for the governing of ourselves as well. Within the current system, we are existing in separate well-defined boxes as nation-states and personalities bound to these nation-states, in separate projects that we call ‘a life of our own’. But around us already exists a Global system with the ability to get in anywhere, to move anywhere, to move anyone and to direct the course we collectively take without any foundation in political decisions based on Common Sense Principles and Considerations of What is Best for the Whole of Earth. They seem to be having ‘a life of their own’, yet behind every move made, are Human Beings.

This system functions only within the Acceptance of all of us in it, through the belief that no matter who you are, you have a fair chance. But when you are born chained to the debt of your parents, your country or your continent, the prospects of ‘a fair chance’, equal to someone else in a prosperous situation, is virtually non-existing. Yet we have used this belief to justify the Suffering that we have Allowed and to hide within ourselves the deep dissatisfaction that we too are living only to survive.

From Canada to Cameroon, for each of us finance is about our private lives, earning a living, feeding our children, buying a home. But for some, finance is a game – a game that only they know how to play, a game where it is other people’s money that is at stake. It is a game of speculation, of digits jumping off screens and into the pockets of those fortunate enough to know the rules of the game.

The problem is that each of us, the one’s that worry about our mortgage, about college tuition for our kids, about providing bread on the table the next day, and the next, are not aware that we are part of the game, that we are game pieces, the pawns and ducks and that it is our personal finance that makes up the game board, from which the lucky few have their laugh.

We do not see that we are connected, that we together without knowing it, provide the bolts that make the wheels of the game of finance keep turning. We are all a part of it, from New York to Nigeria – but for some the stakes are higher than for others – some play the parts of the constant losers, generation after generation depleted and exploited: natural resources, education, health-care, clean drinking water and the ability to make a living. Others play the part of the middle-class, the masses of endless consumption, who more willingly take their part in the game, because they might, they might get a shot of getting ahead, of securing their future, of being the one’s that get to play – and win. The secret that no one has told us and that we couldn’t figure out for ourselves because we didn’t know the rules of the game, is that we are playing whether we like it or not, whether we are aware of it or not. And it is within each of us, playing for ourselves, for our own lives that this secret lays. Because we believe that we are not connected, that we are not playing a game – because it is our lives, our childrens lives that are at stake. Yet that is exactly what keeps the game playing itself – the investment of our lives, the fear of not surviving and the desperate comfort when we do.

So essentially there are two games being played on one chess board:  One is the earth with its cities and its cornfields and its oil rigs and its slave labor. The other takes place in the clouds of speculation, making up the rules as it’s goes along for the other game to provide the necessary fuel and finance to ensure that a few, a lucky few, remain the winners. These gamers take media, banking, wars and governments and shape them to fit their need. Everything that we see, everything we eat, every cent we give to charity is carefully calculated to ensure that the game keeps going. It is essential to the game that only a few knows how to play it. So the rules are made complex, requires special education that one can only achieve by investing oneself in the game – a network of gamers, that has been compiled through generation after generation , shell-company upon shell-company that seems endless and off the map. Brands with family names that project loyalty and sincerity, yet are transnational and not bound by any Principles or laws. But behind them are people, behind it all is always people. It is not an evil conspiracy, but it is the Human Nature of greed. And who of us can say that we would not ever have done the same, were we in their golden slippers or golf shoes today?

The point to get across is not the revolutionary notion of the proletariat fighting the evil bourgeoisie – but to understand that the game is kept going by all of us investing ourselves in the game, whether we like it or not, whether we know it or not. The nature of the game is to keep depleting the Earth, its animals and people, through a carefully orchestrated centrifugation of land, crops and oil. How it ends up being real money in the hands of real people, lies within the structure of our systems: our faith that banks are institutions of the people, that governments are institutions of the people, that corporations simply supply the demand of the people, that media serves the interests of the people. And so – we support, we participate; we live our lives, with pensions and debt and cravings for new merchandise to give us the feeling that we are getting somewhere, that we are moving up in the world. The farmer or factory worker in Nigeria or Cameroon has no chance of breaking the chain. The guys on top of the food chain have no interest in stopping the game. They are just as scared of loosing what they have as the rest. And in between are the rest of us. The middle-class that do no harm, the ones that are not responsible. We each live our lives, privately, separately, only meeting in banks, shops, churches, on game shows on TV or even on Facebook. Many of us see that something needs to change. Some place their fate in spirituality, in positive thinking and in the belief that everything happens for a reason. Cleaning the body, the soul, the earth has become a business of its own. Others want to fight the system, the rich, and the governments and unite in small groups of resistance, going ‘off the grid’ often based on feeling powerless and angry. A vast amount of people play computer games, smoke weed, drink or eat because they don’t know what else to do – and then there are those that embrace the system, exercise, build careers and families, believing in the progress of the Human race.

We all know that a change is required, yet we do not believe that we are the ones required to make it happen for whatever reason we make up for ourselves. It is the governments, the corporations, our parents, God’s, the system’s Responsibility – yet it is clear that none of these are capable of taking Responsibility within their current condition. What we do not see, and yet do see without admitting it to ourselves in full awareness of what that implies, is that our World is the Whole World and that these private lives and ‘worlds’ that we experience on a day to day basis, are based on this illusion of Separation and within this the fear of not surviving and the justification of competition with All other ‘parts’ of life as something ‘natural’ and unchangeable. It is supported by the delusion of ‘free-will’, which is really just a fancy word for self-enslavement – the master becoming his own slave and throwing away the key.  If we take a good, long, hard Self-Honest look at the World and ourselves within it, we will clearly see that the ‘free-will’ that we worship is determined by one thing only: Money. Thus we become our own slaves in the belief of ‘free-will’ as something real – willing to give up everything, to sell ourselves, to become workers pretending to work towards ‘self-realization’ within a career as the main purpose of our lives, most of us secretively desiring to be somewhere else, to be someone else, yet not even able to admit that to ourselves having accepted this basic self-deception of ‘free-will’, determined by the silent taboo of money.

When do you ever hear people talking about money? Really talking about money? We would say; “everyday, all the time” – but that is not so. People talk about survival, about the game of survival, either in frustration or relief or brag about their ability to survive. We do not talk about what is behind money, what we, through the symbol of money, and what money to re-present, have done to ourselves. Some will see it and they will see that what is required is to stop the money-system entirely. But what they are not seeing is that the blame and thus the Responsibility for this condition is placed outside Self – trying to fix the illness by making the symptoms go away – be that money, the system, the government or god. We have allowed money to be the re-presentation of ourselves as individuals and as a whole – dis-playing before our very eyes on an everyday basis, the cruelty and the absurdity of the game we play. It is obvious that if we are playing a game without knowing the rules, we never had a chance of winning in the first place. But if the game cannot continue without us playing, knowing the rules or not – we cannot stand by say that we are not Equally Responsible. The question is thus if we dare changing the rules of the game and even more so: what will happen when we do?

Within the Equality Equation of One plus One being two, it is clear to see that it is possible to change the course of the World through a simple Application of Common Sense. This is not about ideological or life-style politics, it is not about debating between a socialist or capitalist society – It is the Basic Common Sense Realization that we All Participate Equally in this World, though through a System based on Inequality and Separation, a flaw in the Equation that can be solved through the Application of Principle above preference, but where some are in a position currently to make a difference, while others are not. It is those of us who are in a position to make a difference that has the first Responsibility to do so – but that also means the Responsibility to sort out our own miss-calculations and Inequality equations within whatever we Participate within and as, inside ourselves as well as in our daily life experiences, as the One plus One plus One plus One – that can Change the game of Survival to a Life in Equality of All Beings – a Life where we can finally start having fun and play together instead of fighting each other in the delusion of separation and survival that was never more Real than what we have Allowed it to be. Support The Equal Money System to End All Inequality Equations through Self-Responsibility For All as One as Equal as Life.

The Academic Elite – A Waste of Space, Mind, Money and Time?

December 4, 2010 in World Exposed Blog

brain The Academic Elite   A Waste of Space, Mind, Money and Time?

Academic communities and higher learning facilities like universities are the places where great knowledge is born and passed on with the purpose of ‘enlightening’ our societies for the better.

It is where the great thinkers of our world has been shaped and formed into the greatness, making the world prosper and develop through science, philosophy and through all possible fields of knowledge and technology. It is the world where great men, since the days of Plato have sought and thought the solutions that would create the best world, the best societies and the best Man.

The academic world is a special world; the world of Academia – the world of reason and objectivity, where freedom of thought transcends the shackles of survival and the bounds of religion and politics. Galileo was one of its martyrs, the great thinking, and in all but different ways, so was Oppenheimer. In the days of Plato, the man who could think the Best was the man that could take civilization to a new level. The legacy lives on today with universities being the hatching ground for all great men, be that politicians, scientists or doctors. These are the experts of our world; the one’s we look to for answers about the Universe, about today’s economy, about avoiding cancer and even about the meaning of life. We educate ourselves to BA’s, MA’s and doctoral degrees with the purpose of getting a head (pun intended) and we go through years of writing papers and reports with our eyes fixed on the microscopic detail, with our heads in the books, in classes, attending seminars and lectures until we become something more than we were when we started: The Academic scholar, the intellectual’s – The Elite.

When I was working my way through the years towards the time of deciding upon a future career, I deliberately chose not to go to university. At the time I was rebelling against the shackles of ‘The System’ and I believed that were I to venture towards a university degree, I would be soiled and spoiled by the academic world and by the knowledge that I feared would make me stuck up and arrogant, because that was what I was seeing in people who had been through the limbo of college and university – they came out as different people, believing they were more than the rest, speaking in a secret code that only they could understand. In the end, I ended up exactly where I was pre-programmed to be: At university – that was what my parents had done, what my sister had done and what they had all wanted me to do; become smart, become something, making something of myself.

Thus as a participant rather than a critical observer, what I am seeing is that the world of Academia does exactly what I had feared it would: It indoctrinates and socializes its students through the academic language and culture and through the seductive nature of knowledge being power in this world. We learn that the point of gaining power through knowledge is so that we can make the world a better place. The actuality is that most knowledge simply produces more knowledge, useless for anything than itself, and that the reasons for why we obtain university degrees in the first place, is for self-interest only. When we stop having to worry about physical survival, we can begin worrying about social, mental and spiritual survival.

Recently I attended a seminar where an esteemed German theorist claimed that it was through thinking more and better that we would be able to rip the veil of delusion that is the cause of inequality in this world (Marx would have turned in his grave). He had a romantic notion about universities being the places where peace and respect is born, where knowledge makes the student become self-reflected and thus able to empathize with others. He claimed that it was through the enlightenment of consciousness (he was a sociologist, not a new-age guru), that we could stop social inequality. I asked him if he really thought that thinking was the solution to stopping social inequality and suggested that it might be problematic to simply think and not act. He responded in a way I can only describe as unable to compute, so effectively designed as a great thinker, that he could not even fathom the concept of action being required in stopping social inequality.

I hear professors talk about ‘society’ and never once have I heard any of them state that what is tacitly implied in this word is ‘The Western society’. When I have asked about it, they agree that it is problematic and go on to saying that globalization sure is a hot topic these days. They say that there is no more hard labor, no class division, that we live in a knowledge society of freedom and innovation, but fail to mention that the rest of the world is doing the dirty work, while we wash our hands with Eco-friendly products. I see academic and intellectual people using long and complicated words as synonyms, instead of common words that everyone can understand, for no apparent reason. It is the language of the scientific method I am told, the language of objectivity and empiric proof and therefore it is the language through which all conclusions made about this world becomes valid and true.

As I am studying the classics of sociology and philosophy, I often find myself surprised that someone three hundred or eighty years ago was able to state the obvious and that we now haven’t gotten further than to re-produce the same words in new books and that we seemingly not have learned a single lesson. I often find myself asking: what if all of these great thinkers are all right in their theories and conclusions about the world? Often when I read I can agree with all the theorists, even if they are conflicting, because each of them has a point, but from a specific view or corner of the world. If that is so, is truth or Reality then not multidimensional and thus made up by every single being in this world, all the time changing, as we change and therefore irrelevant as a philosophical project or discussion?  Bernard Poolman once said that ‘There is no truth, only denial of what is Here’ – so while we philosophize about concepts like peace or love, war is as real as it has ever been and it is lived whether people like it or not – not only thought.

When something is invented and created for the purpose of practicality, it holds no status or value besides how much someone can make off it on the market, while academic knowledge is valued and honored in itself, as though it was the holy grail of man’s accomplishments in this world. It seems that the head is the master and the hands, feet and body, the slave. Knowledge is seductively and endlessly spinning in on itself, like the magic of a kaleidoscope. But we forget that it is our hands that turn it, that it is our eyes that look through it – that it is merely pieces of glass reflected by light and that the magic we put into it – is a mental projection.

Universities are where What is Best for All is supposed to be thought and developed. It is where we are supposed to come up with Solutions to stop social and economic inequality, to unite people, to create awareness and reflection – But the academic world is the Elite’s world, excluding everyone that does not understand the academic language, including only those fortunate enough to have money. It is where we are seduced by the value and authority we have placed in knowledge.

Higher education holds no validity if it is not producing results that makes the world a better place. This is after all the whole point, isn’t it? Or is the point to reproduce the Elite, to make sure that the Have’s still get, that the intellectuals are stocked, inbred and isolated on an island of good intentions, but without a grip on the Reality, where for many, every day is a living hell?

We could claim that the difference between an educated person in the developed world and an uneducated person in the developing world is that the first is smarter and thus more civilized. But if We were to spend every moment of every day trying to stay alive, we would have little time or reason to consider ‘enlightening’ our consciousness. The severe exploitation of animals and humans is also a result of the educated western world, where the smarter we get, the crueler our methods of turning life into profit become. All brought to you, the live studio audience, the masses whose human rights have been reduced to consumer rights, whose democratic influence is as powerful as getting to choose between organic or regular eggs. And the academics are the one’s developing the justification that we need to keep our moral balance in check, feeding us expert opinions on the lack of sentinel awareness in animals or that an Indian does not require a higher living standard because he is used to less.

The academic world is not a place of education and development – it is a place that reproduces inequality, justified as the place where these problems can be solved – producing theory upon theory by people who have never had their fingers in the dirt. Academic Education is a waste of space, mind, money and time – if it is not applied towards making the world a better place for everyone. From the days of Plato this was the whole point with educating ourselves – to make ourselves the best we can be.

It is not through big thinking and big words that a difference is made in this world – it is through practical, sustainable Solutions that are most often simplistic and straight forward. Small children are great examples, saying that war is stupid and not understanding why mom has to work for money and not play all day. We require solutions that does not exclude some for the benefit of others, solutions that benefit everyone and makes no one special or more or less than another, simply because; we’re not.

And it is not because we are not capable of actually coming up with these solutions, just look at the development in sustainable energy, in water purification and medicine to name a few. We simply do not prioritize the knowledge and actions that places what is best for Everyone, at a physical, practical level, first – because knowledge in itself have become the grand prize and the token of greatness; we think therefore we are – Really?

Imagine if all education was focused upon working together towards making this world a better place for everyone. Imagine if we were able to focus on creating the best solutions in any given field or subject, without the competition between egos over who knows the biggest words or has the best memory. Imagine a world with Equal Money for All – where Everyone had an Equal Right to a Dignified Life, where Everyone had an Equal right to Equal education and that knowledge was merely a tool used to create what is Best for All.

Is that too much to ask for?  I think not.

See also my vlog on You Tube: The Academic Elite – Big Thinking Creates BIG Problems

Within an Equal Money System The Solutions that Considers what is Best For All comes first and so education will no longer be a waste of space, mind and time. Investigate for yourself at: http://equalmoney.org

At Desteni Real Education is provided for Everyone with One purpose – For each to take Self-Responsibility and for All to join together in a Common language and goal: Equality for All Life. http://www.organicrobot.co.za/ITD/

http://desteni.co.za

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