Culture and Globalization

Nov 20

In your post, write about the two articles you read from the End of Capitalism blog – what did you think was most interesting about those articles, and how do they connect to themes of our course? Also relate the articles to Beuttner’s article about the people of Ikaria – how does the life on Ikaria show alternatives to living under global capitalism?

61 comments so far

  1. albuquerque
    3:35 pm - 11-25-2012

    The first article from the blog that I read was “Who We Are, What We Are Building – Students for a Democratic Society”. I was drawn to it because of its title. I really find it interesting being a college student, how intense students get about things like democracy. Seeing everyone fired up over the presidential debates and comparing that to what this article had to say was very interesting. I have noticed that in a lot of our previous readings and studies about globalization youth has so much to do with it. It seems that students have a greater impact on the world than many people give them credit for. Students/youths have so much energy to put into making changes, and it can be good or bad but at least it draws attention to world issue. This is what brought me to the second article from the blog, “Social Movements Are the Engine of Change”. When I think of students supporting anything I instantly think of protest and rebellion, because that’s what we are good at. To me, after all the readings and studies we have looked at this course it is obvious that youths are what drive majority of social movements to their breaking points and into the international arena where change can actually occur. When I hear the term grass roots efforts, I always think of young people because it is the students/youths that push them to succeed. Lastly, the Beuttner article ties in again through the youth idea. After reading everything, it made me wonder what things Americas youth is doing and have already done that will keep us from being like the people of Ikaria. It is amazing how their lifestyle has preserved them and I shudder to think about the damage that we have already done and im not even 21.

    • msirico
      2:23 pm - 11-27-2012

      I agree with your points. Students and youth, especially lately, have been at the front lines of protest and rebellion, fighting to bring about change. Social movements have also paved the way for change, again with students and youth at the forefront. I like how you tie in youth with Ikaria and how western lifestyle has the potential to take this idea of longevity and happiness away.

    • btaborga
      11:39 pm - 11-27-2012

      Yea, I definitely agree with what you say on the damage that we have already done to society and to ourselves. In Ikaria maybe people are unemployed, but they can still survive by simply harvesting their crops. It makes me think of our society, and how damaging it is to live in the kind of world we live in today. Its such a stressful world, where time goes by fast and we cant sit down to enjoy the moment.

    • njelvani
      2:34 am - 11-28-2012

      I agree with many of the points that you states and it is unfortunate that the residual effects a fast past life style are so alarming. They are a cause for concern for Americans and Ikarians, but it is the values we place on preserving behaviors and habits that promote a healthier and longer life.

    • grivas3
      1:22 pm - 11-28-2012

      Good job on your respone, I also found the article “Who We Are, What We Are Building – Students for a Democratic Society” very interesting because it alloweds us to see how important the youth is to many of the current issues affecting the world.

      • tmarchan
        3:48 pm - 11-29-2012

        It’s nice to see youth get involved in social issues. A lot of older people look down on youth and say that we are lazy and selfish but this is proof that there are young people out there that do want to make a change.

    • rafae309
      1:18 pm - 11-30-2012

      I found your response very interesting. The youth and their contribution are very important to societal change. I also agree when you mention the damage we have done to ourselves. It’s interesting to see how the unemployment rate is so high yet the people can live together in harmony and take care of themselves and grow their own food.

  2. btaborga
    9:34 pm - 11-25-2012

    For this week’s readings I chose to read on the review on “The Black Jacobins” by CLR James. It caught my interests because it was the “first time in history an African colony revolted against a colony and won”. It was also the beginning of a wave of revolutions for independence in Latin America and the Caribbean. This review mentions that the book shows the main character as a hero and a Marxist trying to obtain freedom for many African slaves brought to Haiti during colonial times as slaves. It also shows the modern day part of it, where NGO’s and IO’s have established certain policies that have only made Haiti poor. In general this review of the book shows the heroic actions of the main character Toussaint L’Overture to gain independence from the “bourgeoisie” and establish a free and sovereign nation of its own. I found this extremely interesting because I feel that today; we are kind of seeing the same kind of revolutionary and socialist movements by Latin American nations like Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba. It seems like a new wave of independence and freedom, but this time instead of the indigenous versus colonials it is the poor versus the rich. The second article I chose what “What is Capitalism” by Alex knight. I had a strong interest in this particular article because they try to define capitalism in order to get some answers on what is going on today. I feel his definition of capitalism was to negative towards capitalism and simply shows what people are going through now days thanks to capitalism. Things such as injustice, financial inequality, based on profit etc… He even says that living under capitalism is like “Like an abusive relationship” I do agree with his claims to a certain extent, but we also have to see the positive side to capitalism and what it brings to the table. We can see that this article also ties to the theme of Marxism and the proletariat vs. the bourgeoisie struggle. To tie some of the points in these two articles to the Beuttner’s article, we can see that in this article they show that many people living in the island of Ikaria have proved to live longer, less stress, and live happier. People in the USA have had lives full of stress, many working several hours, they have to buy their foods, and constantly live in this capitalist society. In Ikaria people maybe are unemployed, however they have their own harvests and can still support their family and survive/live a decent life compared to as if you are unemployed in the USA. With capitalism you seem to always be competing for something, and most times you don’t win, and if you do it’s because you revolted against it. Ikaria shows a place where capitalism does not affect you like it has in industrialized nations like the USA (where you are constantly working long hours, spending money, making money and unhappy).

    • rgomez5
      12:27 pm - 11-28-2012

      Yes today we can see a new wave of independence/revolutions in Latin America, Started in the 60’s with Fidel Castro who tried to export it with violence/gorila groups and failed. Now Chavez has an oil wealthy nation to support his idea. However, I just see the idea as an excuse from skillful politicians to perpetuate themselves in power and inflate their ego by been able to influence other countries with their “revolution”.

    • shanaz
      2:02 pm - 11-28-2012

      I didn’t read “The Black Jacobins” by CLR James, but you gave me a great idea what it was about. I’ve read other articles that suggest that NGO’s can actually make the country/people dependent on other states. Instead of improving their conditions it actually worsens it. This is really interesting for me because I am interested in working with NGOs.

  3. scamp3
    4:34 pm - 11-26-2012

    The first article I read on the “End of Capitalism” Blog discussed the issues of capitalism on women’s rights. The article is titled “International Women’s Day: how rapidly things change” by Selma James. In this she not only covers the basic issues that are well known women issues, such as “abortion, childcare, rape, prostitution, pay equity”, but she brought up the subject of problems that women all over the world have such as “jobs, housing, clean water, peace and justice”. All of these issues are women’s issues as well as male issues, and as the recent presidential election points out, family issues. It seems the article argues that capitalism focuses too much on what we believe we need. James states “To undermine once and for all the sexual division of labour, we – women and men – must aim to work less”. This I believe connects to article “The Island Where People Forget to Die” by connecting to their relaxed and family like life style. Everyone their helps everyone else. No one is fighting for a higher position, but the cost for this lifestyle is traveling somewhat back in time. There are no 5 star resorts or theme parks. Here everyone lives for each day, not for money or items.
    The next article I read is titled “Cancer – The Number One Killer – And Its Environmental Causes” by Alan Grossman. This article discussed how cancer has become the leading cause of death. For a long time it has been believed that cancer is mainly caused by genetics, but studies now claim this to be false. A study done in Sweden helped prove this point, “If genetics were the main cause of cancer, if one twin developed cancer the other probably would, too. This was not found”. The environment is the leading cause of cancer, and while there is no cure for cancer, the best thing you can do is prevent yourself from getting cancer in the first place. While I would be tempted to say a solution would be to move to Ikaria, where people are known to live longer and healthier lives, it may be a moot point. The chemicals that are constantly getting pumped into our environment are not only amongst those living in cities, “even polar bears on the North Pole are getting dioxins built up in their fatty tissue” (Alex knight). Although, I do believe that if everyone lived a more Ikarian lifestyle, the amount of toxins in the world would rapidly decrease. While that is most likely the best solution, it is also most likely a solution that will never occur.

    • grivas3
      1:26 pm - 11-28-2012

      Great analysis on your aticles, It helped me better understand the article i read as well. I really enjoyed your conclusion that it would be nice to move to Ikaria as a solution to living a better life but that is also a solution that will never accur.

    • ender91
      6:19 pm - 11-29-2012

      I did not read any of the articles you chose in the End of Capitalism Blog so its nice to learn about the other articles in there too. It is true that the environment is being polluted everywhere and I agree that Ikaria is probably affected or will be affected too. I also think going back into more Ikarian lifestyle is not possible largely because many people won’t be willing or able to abandon their current lifestyle even though its healthier.

    • jhanse10
      9:05 am - 11-30-2012

      Great analysis. I did not get a chance to read the article regarding women’s rights but I enjoyed your take on it. Your writing has interested me in to going back and finding that article. As for the article on the Enviornmental effects, I too read that article. However I missed the comment of one way the theory that cancer was genetic could be disporved by simply studying a set of identical twins, where one develops cancer and the other one is completely healthy but they share genetic makeup.

    • vorozhko
      6:56 pm - 11-30-2012

      Very good analysis of the articles. I agree with you on all the points you make. The article about woman’s rights, which I have read too, suggests pleasant, but quite unrealistic solution of working less. I think that might only be applied to upper middle class households, where partners have achieved certain economic gain and are ready to sacrifice work for family. However, if both parents in a household work minimum wage jobs this option is not even on the table.

  4. tmarchan
    7:51 pm - 11-26-2012

    The first article I read from the End of Capitalism blog was titled “Capitalism is a Form of Patriarchy”. This article discusses the inequality in the workplace for women. What I found the most interesting about this article was the fact that attack on women has been a key part of the structure of capitalism since its origin 500 years ago. We can see this attack on women when men would accuse women of being witches in Europe, because they were knowledgeable or because they spoke out. This article connects with what Marx said about capitalism, “our real conditions of life and our new relations of our kind” . Women are refusing to play the “stay at home wife/mother”, what is expected of our society. They want to go out and work and be treated the same as men.

    The second article I read was titled “ Who We Are, What We Are Building- Students for a Democratic Society” what I found interesting about this article is what the organization SDS stands for. Their aim is for equality for all, a world beyond oppression, beyond domination, and beyond war and terror. They strive for social change. This article reminded me about what we learned about in the beginning of the course, the Arab Spring, and how the youth in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya stood against oppression and domination.

    Beuttner’s article about the people of Ikaria and the articles I read in the blog make me think about how calm life is Ikaria and how the people of Ikaria do not have much to worry about like the people in the United States and people in other capitalist nations. People in Akaria have enjoy long breaks, take naps, and eat healthy. People in capitalist nations, work long hours and usually eat whatever they find on their way home. I feel that are life is very rushed in our society.

    • msirico
      2:32 pm - 11-27-2012

      I find it very interesting to learn how capitalism has negatively affected women. It was briefly mentioned in the article i read about “zombie capitalism” as well. I agree with the point about how new relations affect capitalist life, with women going out into the workplace and refusing to stay at home. I also agree that life in western capitalist society is very rushed and stressful. Life in Ikaria is quite different. People there have a totally different view and amazing take on life.

    • ksalvucc
      8:28 am - 11-28-2012

      Great analysis of the two articles. I could not agree more with your last sentence of your post. I feel that in American society, we are always in a rush. Is it true that, “time is money”?

      • ksalvucc
        8:32 am - 11-28-2012

        Is it true what they say, “time is money”?

    • rafae309
      1:21 pm - 11-30-2012

      It’s very interesting to see how taking naps and taking long breaks is seen as unproductive. The ones who are practicing it are actually much happier than the ones who’re not. The life in Ikaria is so peaceful and calm, full of happiness, even when the unemployment rate is so high. It makes me wonder if people can actually live happily without material gains, greed for better technology, and simply enjoy social lives with neighbors and sharing attitudes.

  5. msirico
    2:17 pm - 11-27-2012

    The first article from the blog that caught my eye was the “Arrival of Zombie-Capitalism.” This article in particular caught my eye because I had just recently heard of this comparison between the two, and the idea stuck with me. This article ties in the recent phenomenon of the love of zombies with the slow death of capitalism. It is argued that the zombie obsession “reflects” the state of the world. The zombie is a dead body still moving, without thought, decaying but dangerous. On the same page, capitalism is slowly dying, but still moving. The earth can no longer sustain it; pollution slowly poisoning the earth, and recent rebellions and protests have started to poke holes in the love of capitalism that has existed in the west for the last few centuries. These protests, this pollution that is “zombie-capitalism” is not just local, but global as well. These protests and revolutions were aided by he global world of the internet and social networking, and through industrialization, pollution as spread to most every corner of the globe.
    The second article I read on the blog was “Who We are, What We are Building- Students for a Democratic Society.” This one caught by eye simply because I am a student, and have seen recent events where students have led protests and revolutions that have affected the world globally. In this global world, students and youth have fought to bring about change, and have succeeded in areas, with the help of social media and global media attention. This article is mostly about a specific student group, Students for a Democratic Society, but it demonstrates how, in this global world, small student organizations have the possibility to create great change.
    I feel that the Beuttner article ties in to these two articles. The people living on the small island of Ikaria live extremely long, happy lives. Life in Ikaria is quiet, where the people simply enjoy life. They wake up whenever, garden, nap, have a bottle of wine and simply enjoy life. The island is not developed, has few imports, and is basically self sustaining. This peaceful and calm lifestyle is something that is not really seen living in the “zombie-capitalist” world. There, stress is high, and life, though sometimes wonderful, is often quite difficult. However, the effects of the “zombiefication” of the rest of the world, including pollution and unrest, have the potential to spread to this quiet oasis and take it over.

    • btaborga
      11:41 pm - 11-27-2012

      This zombie comparison you mention from the article you chose seems very interesting. It is funny they are comparing capitalism to zombies because it is true. Maybe capitalism is dying, its still there, however it still has enough power to affect us all.

    • ksalvucc
      8:24 am - 11-28-2012

      I thought your idea about the “zombiefication” spreading to Ikaria very thought provoking. I can’t help wonder what the people in Ikaria would do, if that happened.

    • sbannach
      11:21 am - 11-28-2012

      I definitely agree that capitalism could potentially “pollute” areas of the world such as Ikaria where there is no similar system currently in place. However, I think the opposite could be true as well–the lifestyle of Ikaria could at some point “pollute” our capitalist society. As you indicated, there has certainly been a marked shift in the values of the layman; “communism,” while still inflammatory, is no longer the dirty word it once was. Indeed, a host of alternative systems has infiltrated the general psyche and has been gaining much momentum amongst the youth through social media. In my opinion, I think the contrary to your postulation is more likely, that the current system is slowly dying off and will eventually be replaced with a new one.

    • shill10
      12:36 pm - 11-28-2012

      I enjoyed your summaries of all three articles. One thing that really struck me also was the fact that globalization is spreading even to the island of Ikaria. I find this information very saddening. The youth are drinking sodas now instead of tea. Even that could effect healthiness and I doubt that the future generations of the island will live to be as old as their ancestors.

  6. oliviab
    7:11 pm - 11-27-2012

    I first read the article about Ikaria…and now I know where I want to move when I get older! The lifestyle sounds so inviting and relaxing…completely different from the world we live in now; so different from the world of capitalism. The articles I read from the End of Capitalism blog I chose because they seemed to best reflect what was talked about in the Ikaria article by Buettner. First, I came across the “Who We Are, What Are We Building—Students for a Democratic Society” blog post. I chose this one because within the first paragraphs it was clear that this post was about the need for a change. Of course this post is much more political than the nature of the article that talks about what seems like a paradise lifestyle, there are still connections to be made between the two. In the SDS post, they right that they believe: “…another world is possible: a world beyond oppression, beyond domination, beyond war and empire. A world where people have power over their own lives…” This is the type of world described by Buettner. Buettner explains in his article the vast differences in the health and age of people who live a lifestyle such as the Ikarians. The statistics Buettner presents for the health of Ikarians compared to health of Americans shows that the American lifestyle needs to change. I think it’s pretty true to say that the American lifestyle will never slow down or become as healthy as the Ikarian lifestyle, but the levels of obesity and stress in US are reason enough to try to step away from our current capitalist way of life. The second article I read from the blog was taken from Russell Means’s speech “For America to Live, Europe Must Die.” Means’s purpose in his speech is to express the need for change in the US; that the United States needs to step away from only acting in one’s own interest to keeping the interest of others in mind and acting in ways that will have more positive effects for others. This post made me think back to the articles we read earlier about Native Americans and the careless treatment they dealt with on the reservations as a result of the US government uranium mining, etc. Again, Means’s speech reflects Buettner’s articles as Buettner explains the care that the Ikarian community has for each other: putting other interests in front of their own personal interests (ex. the community pooling money together for holiday and then giving the leftover money to the poor). I think the principles explained in all three articles are extremely important to the future of society and should be worked towards. Yes, I know this very idealistic, but…it doesn’t hurt to try, right?

    • shanaz
      2:08 pm - 11-28-2012

      I think in order for the American culture to change, our society as a whole needs to change, people need to change from an individualist to collectivist. Reading the article about the Ikarian people really tempts me to just move from this lifestyle to a more simple one, especially during the end of my semester.

    • tmarchan
      3:54 pm - 11-29-2012

      Olivia, I also want to move to Ikaria, life does sound relaxing. The opposite of the life style I live being a student, full time worker, and wife. Capitalism has it’s advantages and disadvantages.

  7. hsingh4
    7:49 pm - 11-27-2012

    The first article I read from the blog was The Arrival of Zombie-Capitalism. The word zombie stuck out at me so I figured I should read that otherwise I would have kept wondering what it was about. After reading through it I found it interesting that the author says that capitalism has been “zombified”. The author defines capitalism as the “power structure that currently dominates all human society, and which has done so for the last 500 years”. I find the author’s point of view that we are nearing the end of capitalism, quite intriguing. He says that the earth cannot sustain it because of limited resources, and that social movements reject the possible of increased exploitation. I don’t necessarily agree with this point of view, however it really made me think about the future of capitalism. The author also mentions that capitalism is nothing without us and “if capitalism is a zombie, it is only because WE are the cannibals.” I think we are fascinated by zombies because, in a way, we have become zombie capitalists.
    The second article I read was Who We Are, What We Are Building � Students for a Democratic Society. What I found interesting about this article is how important students can be in a political landscape. It also reminded me about our discussions in the beginning of the course of how the youth stood took the initiative in Egypt and Libya.
    The Beuttner article talks about the lives of people living in the island of Ikaria. Their lives and the lives of the people in capitalist societies are basically exact opposites. In our “Zombie-Capitalist” society, we rush to work, we rush to eat lunch, we rush to finish lunch, rush to finish work, then rush to get home after work. Life in Ikaria is laid back and simple, and they do everything their way. In a way, life in Ikaria could be considered more advanced than life in North America.

  8. kmilburn1957
    7:00 am - 11-28-2012

    I thoroughly enjoyed the articl by Buettner and his hunt for the reason for longevity found in the island ofIkaria. In our scientifically savvy world, we have determined the secret to long life is healthy eating and proper exercise, and at first his article delves into just that. He is sure he has found the answer in their healthy Mediterranean diet and the restful life they live. They sleep whenthey want, forego schedules, and in general disregard time as a limiter. But he soon finds that the social aspect of thier lives plays an important role in their long living.Being a part of a community, whether willingly or not, involves its members in their values and practices. Community members care for you and keep watch over you, making sure you are eating and feeling well. At the same time they monitor you and your family, taking measure of you. You are expected to give back to the community in time, materials, or service, and abide by their rules and values.
    In the article from the blog, Whiteness and the 99%, the author Olson discusses the Occupy movements. Although hiskep concept was to describe how the 99% of the Occupy movments are still composed of whites making the rules (white democracy), he also notes how the activists within the tent cities developed communities that cared for each other. Their sense of unity helped them to be able to “walk in each other’s shoes” and helped the author open his eyes to the injustices visited uon non-whites in everyday life. He mentions that the 99% must be cohesive and feels that by bringing the race issue front and center, we wil get away from the white democracy ruling not nly the 1% but the 99% a well.
    The last article read was the Arrival of Zombie Capitalism. This author raised some pretty interesting ideas about capitalism being a “dead man walking”. he states that capitalism must have a way to grow and spread and our world has reached some hard limits. He feels the “earth cannot sustain any more development or damage to its ecological base and that social movements across the globe are rejecting the possibility of increased exploitation”, as evidenced by the Occupy movements, Arab Spring, and others. He too touches on teh strength found ina community, arguing that one must join a collective to adequately fight for change. Communities offer care and aupport to its members, and fuel it for further fight.

    • ender91
      1:08 am - 11-30-2012

      I did not read the article Whiteness and the 99% so your post is interesting to me. The blog really advocates community building from the 2 articles I’ve read, one of them being the zombie one too and then this article about white democracy. It really is something that capitalism takes out from all of us with its focus on competition and individualism.

    • jhanse10
      9:10 am - 11-30-2012

      I shared your enjoyent for the Buettner artical. I find their lifestyles facinating. I truly believe that longevity is not a result of strict exercies and diet but also being happy in life.

  9. emyers
    8:04 am - 11-28-2012

    These articles I think outline a lot of what Marx was thinking, how capitalism has turned us into a consumer society, constantly competing for the next big thing by pursuit of individual gain and success. It sells itself on the idea that the sky is the limit, you just have to work your way up there but doing that creates greed instead of communal efforts. I think a great example is the technology industry like we have seen through articles on social media and increasing technologies, and the price we pay for these “must-have” products. Albert Einstein once said “The day technology surpasses human interaction, we will have a generation of idiots”, and I see that becoming more and more true, we are so engaged in our own personal bubbles, we keep buying more and more technology to make the last one more efficient and really all that is doing is secluding ourselves to these devices, there is so much information out there we could spend a lifetime searching the web. Pointed out amazingly in the article about Ikaria, what we benefit the most from is human interaction, learning from personal experience. They emphasize self-sufficiency, working to live a good life not at the expense of others, but realizing that we need each other to survive. The unemployment rate on this island was quite large and where here that would judge our poverty and inequality level, there is just shows that we don’t need all these extra things to survive, as long as we have each other and our basic needs. Theres no need to create all these products and industries for the sole purpose of creating jobs and boosting the economy, we could live so much more simply, like Silvia Federici says in her interview, capitalism has separated humanity and nature. We live and breath because the earth provides us with trees for oxygen and plants to eat but we now see everything with a value of money on it and as a commodity. Natural resources are the root cause in so many conflicts around the world because we are exploiting them, fighting over whos land is whos, it is everyones really, we all live on this earth together and capitalism has separated us to believe that we are individuals here for some higher purpose, working against each other to achieve our goals. There is such a set plan for our society to get an education to get a job and earn money that we forget what the education is all about and we find ourselves hating our jobs, working long shifts and spending all of our time at home sleeping and watching TV, but is that really worth it? Is that what we worked so hard to achieve? The Okinawa population has a saying, “ikigai” meaning the reason for which you wake up in the morning, why do you wake up in the morning? I don’t think we were put on this earth filled with abundant natural resources, of which if distributed evenly could support every human being currently living, to destroy them all and become workaholics trying to move further up in the chain towards power and status. I think we are here to appreciate life and the things it provides for it naturally, because those things in itself are amazing. We build huge skyscrapers and roads and wow at these big cities, but look at the mountains and forests we have that provide so much more! Stamatis Moraitis didn’t beat cancer because he went to the top doctors and hospitals, he beat it because he was able to live more simply, stress free, happy, eat foods provided by the earth, foods that are the ingredient, not made up of lab based chemicals made to mock the real thing. He survived because he was lucky enough to live in a place where the negative effects of capitalism have not hit, he has a sense of community, appreciating others and thinking of others instead of just himself. He got the love back as well, he received visits from his friends and was able to appreciate something greater than himself. The people in these villages live so long because they are happy, and they have people who contribute to their happiness and people to share it with. We on the other hand share our happy thoughts with our phones and social networks, we know what other people are doing and maybe have a large network of people, but thats usually facilitated through an LCD screen, if we want change, equality, and true democracy where the people have a say, than we need to include the people as equals rather than placing them in a hierarchical scale.

    • sbannach
      11:28 am - 11-28-2012

      You definitely make several interesting points in your response. Most could certainly agree that the lifestyle of the Ikarians is much more desirable than that of the everyday city dweller in the US. Without a doubt, the love of money has replaced the love of life for most Americans. Nowadays, most people do not attend college to major in something they are passionate about but rather choose to pursue a career that they believe will guarantee them a sizable income upon graduation. People do spend their lives trapped in jobs they do not care about only so that they can afford the products that are deemed “necessities” by the rest of society. Although there is nothing inherently wrong per se with choosing this lifestyle, alternative options should be available to those who are dissatisfied with life as is broadly accepted today.

  10. ksalvucc
    8:17 am - 11-28-2012

    I found the article from the End of Capitalism blog, titled “ Who We Are, What We Are Building – Students for a Democratic Society” to be very interesting. The article discussed how people are beginning to have power in their lives, and taking action through certain movements. I find it very interesting that we are now seeing these movements in society today. This article relates to the themes of our course because it shows the globalization of people. Meaning that people are starting to come together in their communities, and have one voice. Even though it did not state it in the article, most of these movements are organized through social media, and followed through social media. This relates to our course because we are starting to see a world community coming together through social media, which is one way globalization occurs.
    Another article that I found interesting was “‘Occupy Wall St. Rediscovers the Radical Imagination’ ”. What I found interesting from this article was that these young Americans would be in great debt, even after they completed college. This really was surprising to me. This article relates to the themes of our course because this movement was seen as a type of globalization movement. By that I mean, this movement brought together the younger generation in America, giving them one voice.
    After reading the Beuttner article, we see a new type of lifestyle, that in America, we are not used to. The lifestyle on Ikaria seems to be a more laid back lifestyle. The life on Ikaria shows an alternative to living under global capitalism because they seem to not really take the issues of global capitalism really seriously. People are not so concerned about the monetary part of life, business, corporations, etc. They just eat good food and enjoy their life.
    As we compare the Beuttner article to the articles from the End of Capitalism blog, we see a major difference in perspectives. The people of Ikaria are not that concerned with capitalism, while the articles that were seen in the blog website, the people were starting social movements in one article, and opposing capitalism in another. We see in the other two articles, that there is a sense of force or wanting change amongst those groups of people. This ideology is not the same for the people of Ikaria. They don’t take that much issue with capitalism and wanting their voices to be heard, as much as the American youth, that is organizing these movements.

  11. sbannach
    11:15 am - 11-28-2012

    In the article “The Arrival of Zombie-Capitalism,” author Alex Knight discusses what he views to be the impending end of the global capitalistic system. He argues that as it exists today, the capitalist system in wealthy Western countries such as the U.S. and Japan has reached stagnation. Ecologically, he claims, the Earth cannot sustain the resource-driven system. Furthermore, Knight contends capitalism is doomed due to the rapid increase of social movements around the world against it such as Occupy Wall Street. Thus, to Knight, capitalism is essentially a “zombie”–it’s already “dead” in that so many signs point to its current failure.

    Alex Knight furthers his “dying capitalism” argument in another posting entitled, “Occupy Oakland is Dead. Long Live the Oakland Commune!” In this article, Knight discusses the Occupy Wall Street movement and its impact on the country as a whole. He claims the Occupy movement in the city of Oakland in particular was incredibly groundbreaking because it “liberate[d] space that is normally policed to keep the city functioning smoothly as a wealth generating machine and transform it into a node of struggle and rebellion.” Due to the physical encampments in the Oakland movement, it came to be known as the “Oakland Commune.” And while the encampments themselves have long since been evacuated, Knight argues it is the spirit of the movement as a whole that matters. He contends the ideas behind the movement are still very much alive and will continue to gain momentum as times passes. These beliefs and ideals will continue to fuel revolt and eventually will help finally stave off capitalism for good.

    Buettner’s article on the Ikarian people demonstrates the ideas put forth by Knight in his blog. The people of Ikaria operate on a system completely opposite that of capitalism; resources are pooled by the community to ensure the health and well-being of all its residents regardless of income. Like the short-lived Oakland Commune, the Ikarians live and work together instead of competing with one another like in Western society. Since Ikaria can survive without capitalistic ideals, perhaps this indicates that there are indeed other alternatives to our current system. The fact that people look to Ikaria as a sort of paradise coupled with the ideas propagated by the Occupy movement may indicate there is widespread public interest in living outside capitalism. Thus, Ikaria serves as an example of how people can survive without capitalism.

    • njelvani
      12:08 pm - 11-28-2012

      I totally agree with your comment and analysis of Beuttner’s article. Well said.

    • acoreas12
      12:39 pm - 11-30-2012

      I really like how you connected the Oakland article to the Ikarian article as groups working together instead of competing with one another. I think this cooperation and solidarity among these two groups contributes to their success in making their voices heard in Oakland and being self-sufficient in Ikaria. I agree with you that using the Ikaria model as an alternative to capitalism may help spread this idea that we can survive without it.

  12. jhanse10
    12:02 pm - 11-28-2012

    The first article I chose to read from “The End of Capitalism” was the article titled “What is Capitalism?” This article is more of a video blog of Alex Knight event where he defines capitalism through a series of talks. I found this talk was especially interesting in the way he compares capitalism to a global system of abuse. He repeatedly interchanges capitalism with the phrase abusive relationship and explains how our economic system has the same emotional traumas and side effects as being in an awful relationship. He shows through a series of examples how the world has ruined our kindness and given us a sense of competition that has made it acceptable to treat others awful as a way to gain independent success. He uses the example of the BP oil spill that occurred a few years ago and how the disaster illustrated the core of capitalism. Although when this crisis happened it killed more than 10 people and basically killed the biosphere within the gulf the strength of our capitalistic mindset allowed BP to basically get away with it and continue making money. The BP oil company sprayed toxic chemicals over the water to disperse the oil under the water surface and the whole ordeal became “out of sight out f mind”. This was a prime example how the greed of our nations has made harmful matters irrelevant as long as there is a way to continue making money. The second article that I chose to read was titled “On Capitalism and the Mystery of the Cancer Epidemic” written by Alan Grossman. I find this article extremely interesting and somewhat of a hot topic on modern society. Alan spends time discussing how the number one cause of cancer is industrial pollution and contamination of our environment. Cancer is not a result of genetic mutation but instead a product of our own activity. This article interesting enough pertains to my research paper on Globalized Mass Consumption and Production and its effects on modern society. It can be linked to the article written Beuttner because once can compare life spans of both populations. First, we examine the population of the United States where the country is driven by capitalistic greed which has caused us to poison our own lands to produce excesses that are not needed to survive. Then we can take and compare it to that of the population of Ikaria where their lives are lived in an old fashioned manner we can see that the U.S holds a greater percent of cancer patients. Does this mean that the lifestyle that we have developed over the years has become toxic to our own life? Maybe if as a society we came less driven by capitalism and wealth and began to model societies such as that of the Ikaria, we could live longer and healthier lives.

    • shusain
      10:30 am - 12-3-2012

      I didn’t read those articles, but you did a great job describing what it was about. Also, what I found interesting in your post was, “Cancer is not a result of genetic mutation but instead a product of our own activity.” I read the article titled “Whiteness and the 99%” where the author stated that race is a human creation as well, which makes sense.

  13. shusain
    12:03 pm - 11-28-2012

    The first article I read was, “Words from the Wise.” I watched the interview that took place with Malalai Joya, who is an Afghan activist. She definitely had a lot to say from her perspective of the war in Afghanistan. She is arguing for her country that the Afghan people feel as though Americans are taking the lives of innocent people in Afghanistan, in retaliation to how innocent Americans died during September 11th. She also argues that instead of killing innocent people, the warlords and Taliban are the ones who need to fall victim. She stated that the Americans occupied the country for their own interests: regional, economical, and political. I was surprised that she had so many arguments that were very harsh. Some I agreed with and some I did not. I was also shocked that she had survived four attempted assassinations, and yet she still continues to do her work from safe houses. Also, the article made me think back to the previous articles we read about how the Europeans took over the Indians reservations, and compared that to how the US took control of Afghanistan. Moving on the next article I read which is titled, “Whiteness and the 99%.” The most interesting thing I read in this article was the author’s definition of race. The author claims that race has never been able to be really defined because race is a human creation. They compare race to money saying that it exists because humans invented them. Race was only created to conserve the land and power of the wealthy. I think ethnic groups are found in all societies. Various aspects such as religion, language, and skin color are all used by ethnic groups to distinguish themselves from others. Race is found in Beuttner’s article because the people of Ikaria were able to live longer due to the Ikaria diet. The diet mainly consists of vegetables and olive oil. However the author compares that to the American diet. The diet industry spends $70 billion in efforts to convince Americans that eating right and doing the right workout will make others healthier and in turn live longer. Yet this is sometimes not attainable according to the article because, “The problem is, it’s difficult to change individual behaviors when community behaviors stay the same.” The people of Ikaria had a different way of living they’re lifestyle and were successful in a society that had no form of capitalism present.

    • acoreas12
      12:28 pm - 11-30-2012

      I agree with you that race was only created to conserve the land and power of the wealthy, because it was an easy way to exclude the vulnerable or undesirable populations from the affluent ones. I feel like this idea of race is only a major factor here in America because worldwide, division among communities tends to be between the rich and poor, religion and ones ethnic background not necessarily one’s “race”.

    • vorozhko
      7:02 pm - 11-30-2012

      I have also read the article “Whiteness and the 99%”, and I agree with you that author makes a ridiculous notion defining race. I also felt like he contradicted himself by first saying that race is a human creation, like money, but at the same time he wants us put racial divide on top of the 99% agenda.

  14. vorozhko
    12:05 pm - 11-28-2012

    I started this week�s readings from a very inspirational article �Island where people forget to die�, that aims to discover the secret of living longer and happier lives that people of Ikaria seem to know well. A healthier diet of fresh Mediterranean vegetables, greens and wine in combination with fresh sea air and outside work help people to maintain a healthy body and mind. This is proved by the very limited number of doctors on the Island. However, the real secret of living longer and healthier life might not be entirely the Mediterranean diet, but the positive outlook people hold on the �magical� island of Ikaria.  People on the island live off the land for the most part, while holding a job or two to sustain their families. The atmosphere on the island is very communal: people do not hold secrets and have their life at a public display of the neighbors. Community also serves as a security net, people of Ikaria try to help one another and support those in need, until they are back on their feet again. This sense of community seems to be the real recipe for longer and healthier life. People of the island believe that life needs to be enjoyed and treasured; one does not have to constantly be on the run, but instead try to find peace of mind even during a lunch hour in the office.

    I also read the article �Whiteness and the 99%� and �Capitalism as a form of patriarchy.� The articles focus on the underrepresentation of the needs of ethnic minorities and women in the political process. I agree with the argument of �color blindness� presented by the author, however, I think that he concentrates solely on one issue of racial divide, and is not looking deeper to analyze the grassroots of poverty instead.  The fact that people of color �are more likely to be in debt� does not make a white male with a load of debt living in poverty feel better about his economic and social conditions. In addition to that, I wanted to point out that author went too far trying to defend his argument. He claimed that race is a made up phenomenon that does not exist in nature but is manmade. That is simply not true: �The biological definition of race is a geographically isolated breeding population that shares certain characteristics in higher frequencies than other populations of that species, but has not become reproductively isolated from other populations of the same species�. (Source:
     The author of �Capitalism as a form of patriarchy� also raises a problematic topic in her article, while not suggesting a real model for solution. The problem of combining a career with raising a child is eternal. I do not think there will be a compromise that fits every household, but we, indeed, should start with expressing our interests to increase government spending in the sphere of pre-elementary education.

  15. ngibson3
    12:14 pm - 11-28-2012

    The first article I read was “The General Assembly is a Healing Process.” The way he addressed criticism was very insightful. Criticism can help you in two ways, either it shows you a place you need to improve at or it highlights a place where your movement is being successful, highlighting its strength against the system.
    Also the way he addressed the chaos of the General Assembly was cool, he shed the typical “orderly, pragmatic” western thinking and saw what the people were doing in a positive light, that everyone had the ability to share their opinion, have their voice heard, and they were.
    The article, “Occupy Wall St. Rediscovers the Radical Image,” reminded me of an article I read for another one of my history classes. During the Great Depression the prevalent “ideological” topic in newspapers was the debate centering around if capitalism works, or was it just a failed experiment. There were many movements and groups who wanted a complete system change. As history goes we know they didn’t get that but they did get a complete over hall of the government’s approach to regulating the economy, an approach that stayed in policy till the 80’s. Having your voice be heard is incredibly important, and even if it doesn’t cause all the changes you want, it will cause change, to a lesser degree, which will probably be easier on a countries public as a whole.
    I loved the line “The Youth can feel it, we know we have no future within the existing system.” I can’t stand when people refer to us as the “lazy” or “apathetic” generation, I just don’t believe that.
    I think the want of the people for what the Island of Ikaria has is an undercurrent of the articles. The self-loathing of what capitalism requires some to be, which is fast passes, stressed and competitive.

    • shusain
      10:33 am - 12-3-2012

      I didn’t read the articles you did, but I got an idea of what the main focus was in each. I enjoyed your passion about our generation because I also feel like we are making a difference, however there will always be critics. I don’t believe we are lazy at all.

  16. rgomez5
    12:18 pm - 11-28-2012

    I came across the article “The Arrival of Zombie-Capitalism” these days zombies seem to be more popular than ever, and I think it is kind of funny that someone can link it with capitalism. I found the relation with Zombies and capitalism interesting because like zombies looking for brains people living in capitalistic societies may also lose their will by being trapped into working and making money. Sometimes we forget what life is about, enjoy things, family, friends and we spend almost all our time doing jobs we don’t like. Also another similarity I can find is that people are dragged by consuming and purchasing things they don’t need, and find themselves again short of money, just following the zombie herd to work more. I also found very interesting the article “the Black Jacobins”, the fact the Haiti was able to revolt against their masters and form and independent nation with former slaves is fascinating. The down side in my opinion is that sometimes these revolutions can bring freedom, but at a high price. The new formed governments can be even more oppressive and controlling that the former colonial powers and as a result adopt Marxist style policies that may bring the country into poverty and misery. Latin America can be a good place to measure this results in one side we can see Haiti the poorest country in the hemisphere and on the other side we can see Chile, one of the most successful economies in the world for the last decade. Both countries got their independency at about the same time early 1800’s but the difference in performance is considerable. My point is that the main thing is not just the romantic idea of revolving because empires are evil and exploit people, but have a clear plan with realistic ideas of were to take the nations after to avoid sad examples as Haiti today in which a large percentage people die of hunger, violence and deceases.
    I could relate the article “The Island Where People Forget to Die” to the Zombie article, in this case we see a totally different idea, in the island of Ikana people worry about living and enjoying whatever they like doing, without having to join the zombie mentality of just working/spending. By living relaxed and happy people there manage to live healthier and longer.

    • shill10
      12:30 pm - 11-28-2012

      I agree with your statements about the zombie article and I thought that one was really interesting too. I felt the same way–that the people of Ikaria were the opposite of the zombie-like people who are controlled by capitalism. I am curious about what the zombie author wants instead of capitalism. he says that it is dead, but doesn’t really state want he thinks would be the next best move.

      • rgomez5
        1:09 pm - 11-28-2012

        That is a good point; many authors criticize capitalism but fail in proposing any realistic alternatives. I find it hard to see any other options that don’t involved authoritarian government control over people.

      • hakunanahtata
        7:01 pm - 12-10-2012

        He gives three options of what to do about capitalism. Either revive it like we have been with massive bailouts, backtrack on the social progress we’ve made and reinstitute slavery, kick out all the immigrants, etc to make it seem like projected profit forever is available or to have a revolution/let it die and work it out as we go since its not going to end abruptly or at least it would be preferable for it to be a gradual transition. The website really opened my eyes and my mind to thinking about the flows of capitalism and the way the world works in a different against the grain light.

  17. shill10
    12:25 pm - 11-28-2012

    For this week’s readings, I was most interested in Beuttner’s article. I think that it is fascinating to look at what effects life span. In America, we are told that dieting and exercise are the way to live a long, healthy life. However, the article’s research stated that the residents of Ikaria did not regularly exercise, drank a lot of coffee and wine, and that they didn’t necessarily diet, but rather ate what they had. I think that this alternative to living under global capitalism is awesome, but I wonder if people who are used to capitalism would get bored. I like the idea of not worrying about food or money and having a close-knit community to help me through life.
    One the articles I chose to read was “The Arrival of Zombie-Capitalism”. I thought that this article was interesting because it related our current system to decaying zombies. The author feels that capitalism is dying or even dead and that instead of finding a way to rejuvenate, it is simply sucking the life out of whatever it can before it finally ends. I really liked the author’s definition of capitalism:
    “the power structure that currently dominates all human society, and which has done so for the last 500 years. It is a system based on ecological and social exploitation for the profit of the wealthy few… Life under capitalism is increasingly one of work, consumption, debt, isolation, and emotional and spiritual emptiness. We are losing connection with the two most vital sources of meaning in our lives: community with other people, and communion with nature.”
    I agree that we need to find a way to return to a more simple life (like that of Ikaria) in order to appreciate people and the world.
    The other article I read was “Who We Are, What We Are Building – Students for a Democratic Society”. This one was basically the guidelines and promises that this organization wanted to abide by in order to create a new democracy that was not a repeat of past failures. I liked the idea that they wanted to remain autonomous and also accountable. Both articles were about trends of global systems-capitalism and democracy. As these spread and become more global, people need to be more informed to better understand their lives.

  18. acoreas12
    12:50 pm - 11-28-2012

    The first article I read that fit perfectly with Dan Buettner’s reading is “On Capitalism and the Mystery of the Cancer Epidemic”. This article looked at how capitalism and industrial pollution are the culprits for the cause and epidemic we have of cancer today. It was sad to read that even people who live in remote areas like Ikaria are not safe either. Due to the fact that “Big Businesses” only care about profit, our environment is being neglected and contaminated, thus increasing our risks of cancer even more because our food, water and air contain the “toxic and carcinogenic substance” of dioxin these factories produce. I find it interesting how the author believes that ending the capitalist system all together is the answer to our problem. However, I find it very unlikely that it will happen just because it seems like everyone is so connected and dependent on this system, because of the amount of money it brings into the global economy.

    The article titled “Mining through Roots..” looked at gold mines in Papua New Guinea and how the waste dumps have “devoured homes, schools and areas for gardening” making the indigenous populations dependent on money instead of being self-sufficient like they had been in the past. They are being displaced from their homes and the land is being used for making money by building factories, depleting the natural resources and robbing them from actually sustaining themselves off the land. This reminds me of the article we read about the contaminated uranium mines and the Navajos, and how they were also victims of transnational corporations’ greed to make money. It’s frustrating to know that so much money is being made by these companies at the expense of those most vulnerable in today’s society. It’s also sad to know how areas like Ikaria are at risk of one day being taken over by these MNC’s and losing everything they have like the indigenous people in Papua New Guinea and the Navajos in Utah. The wonderful and healthy life people in Ikaria have now, of living off the land and not worrying about time, stress, cancer and pollution like everyone else is amazing and is a lifestyle we take for granted and one I would have loved to have been exposed to.

    • hakunanahtata
      6:56 pm - 12-10-2012

      The article you reference mining through the roots relates to the video I watched on the website by Alex Knight. He spoke of the privatization and seizing of lands in the 1500’s that changed the system of sustainable farming by peasants to them having to pay for the land in order for someone to make a profit off of it. The prblem in mining through the roots seems to be similar, people just want to sustain and live a happy life but if there is a profit to be made off the resources in/on the land they will be pushed aside by the people in control of the money. The article about cancer being caused by pollution makes sense but I think that there is another aspect that is at play with the relationship of globalization and cancer. In a documentary I watched called forks over knives there are two studies that are explained that are able to correlate the rising rates of cancer in places like china to the introduction of western foods and nutritional standards.

  19. saehwan72
    12:52 pm - 11-28-2012

    Stamatis Moraitis and his Greek heritage completely differ from capitalism. Ikaria (the Greek community) in which a sense of community is very prevalent. Everyday life in Ikaria is centered around the community, and this article shows an alternative to capitalism and everything that comes with it. I read two blogs from the End of Capitalism, “Who We Are, What We Are Building- Students for a Democratic Society” and “Occupy Oakland is Dead. Long Live the Oakland Commune!” Occupy Oakland consisted of similar ideals of Occupy Wall Street, however the people involved chose to implement their strategies in a different way. “Here we fed each other, lived together and began to learn how to actually care for one another while launching unmediated assaults on our enemies: local government, the downtown business elite and transnational capital.” The Oakland movement was sparked by an act of rebellion, when people climbed on top of an Oakland Police Department cruiser and started kicking in the windshield to the cheers of the crowd. Much like Occupy Wall Street, the Oakland Commune is for many people in our generation the first glimpse of struggle against a “systematic critique of global capitalism and a militant street politics of disruption.” Both of these instances (occupy Wall Street & the Oakland commune) relate to the cities section of this class, where the city becomes a battleground for political changes. The democratic society article, shows the development of networks through college. The use of social media to promote their ideals and practices is relevant to the first set of readings. Buettner’s article shows an alternative to capitalism and the strains that come from it. The Oakland commune shows the issues of capitalism while the Democratic Society shows the positives.

  20. grivas3
    12:57 pm - 11-28-2012

    For this week readings I chose “Who we are, what we are Building- Student For a Democratic Society”. This article was interesting to me because it demonstrates the very special role the youth now has on important subjects in our society. We can see that young people are now being part of important events and are recognize by other groups as an important part of many great decisions. I can connect this to the presidential debate and how much the youth has been part of this elections. We can see that gaining the votes of youth was a priority to the candidates because they know this would affect the number of votes. As a student here at George Mason I can notice how much students are involved in helping the community and through this and other examples in class we can see how youth has been a great part of Globalization.

    The other article I decided to read was “The Black Jacobins” by CLR James, this article graved my attention because it was really interesting to read about slaves and their revolt against the colony. Marxist is the main character and hero because he fights towards the freedom of African slaves found at Haiti during the colonial times. The struggles and injustice described in the book are an eye-opening towards understanding the many difficulties this people had to face throughout their history. This connects to modern day NGO’s establishing policies that instead of helping poor people in Haiti have only made the situation worse. In Beuttner’s article we can see that people that live in the island of Ikaria are happier, healthier and less stress than those living here the USA, in a capitalist society. We can notice that with capitalism you are always dealing with other problems that many times lead to war and conflicts in the nation.

  21. hakunanahtata
    12:58 pm - 11-28-2012

    The articles by Alex Knight The Arrival of Zombie Capitalism and What is Capitalism? give a new prospective of capitalism that blows Marx criticisms away. Alex breaks capitalism down as existing since the end of feudalism 500 years ago and formed by uprisings, the crushing of them by the system and the creation of institutions so the system remains in control. This structure dominates all human society and minds. Knight gives a great example of the core of capitalism by using the BP oil spill as an example. Its rig blew up, 13 workers died, oil spilled throughout gulf, destroyed the ecosystem and societies living near the gulf. BP was let off the hook depute creating a socially and ecologically traumatic problem and the capitalist system let it happen. BP was more concerned about its image in the press instead of investigating, cleaning up the oil and solving the problem they sprayed toxin dispersants to spread the oil under the surface. Their is a total lack of accountability and all they care about is profit. The US government ended up bailing them out for the cost of their clean up further perpetuating the system. In his Zombie Capitalism piece he basically says are we going to be zombies and stay trapped in our culture with short-sighted desires or are we going to use our minds to consider our goals and actions in order to change the system. He relates zobie-ism or death to life and says the core value we need to fight for is life. Three ways Knight says we can answer capitalism are recovery, relapse and revolution. Recovery is what we are doing right now with credit extensions and it wont work. Relapse is returning to feudalism, basically giving in to the system and backtracking in order to make capitalism work. The solution knight proposes is revolution by trying to heal and build a culture of solidarity and democracy.

  22. njelvani
    1:04 pm - 11-28-2012

    In, “The Arrival of Zombie-Captialism”, problems and stressors of the general population in the U.S. are illustrated with the myth of a Zombie. A zombie is a resurrected person that still moves routinely but is spiritually bereft and does not have a conscience. Its body is operating but it does not actually stop to recognize or relate to its surroundings nor does it introspect. A Zombie pass through existence without fully comprehending of understanding the truth, it conforms to a system that is immutable to fit a limited and confined mold that is in fashion. In this article, it is argued the U.S. and Developed countries have been stupefied by the mode by of capitalism and the short lived fads of pop culture that float in the air like zombies… easily bored, cynical, disinterested in human interaction, self-absorbed, indifferent and decomposed. The harm in this is the misappropriation of commodities that are disproportionally distributed as well as controversy and disparate views on how the economy should be fixed with such biases that are residual.
    In, “Occupy Oakland is Dead. Long Live the Oakland Commune!”, Knight suggests that the demonstrations that took place in Wall Street were a unconventional break from the norm and that is was a step towards reviving the youth and future of wall street. That this break occurred because the social mass movements of younger generations that are entering the work force and their protests are building momentum as they challenge older generations that have been zombified and stagnant. Their fresh and new ideas are reviving the economy and the media and are in demand because they offer more of their energy, time and expect less compensation.
    The Beuttner’s article on the Ikarian people is nice to read and compare the relation between Americans. For instance the Ikarian people seem to mold a set of traditions that were not adopted recently but have been in their culture for several centuries. The American Pop culture within the frame of capitalism does not meet the same standards as the culture in the U.S. is adopted by more rapidly as it is accessible worldwide. It seem that the Ikarian people are happy living simply without the worries of the future.

  23. rafae309
    1:11 pm - 11-28-2012

    The first article I read was called Whiteness and the 99%. I found it very informative and it helped me understand how the few rich white people were able to maintain control by creating a division between the working class of poorer white citizens who seemingly had �more rights� than the slaves. This helped create a division in which the poorer citizens respected property and helped in land grabs. The article also talks about white democracy in which the wealthy elite even control how the movements would be run. The race class is a man-made creation, not a natural existence. What I found most interesting about this article was how movement debates were held so important and how the speakers were meant to be critiqued and analyzed with what they proposed. The article also mentions attacking the White Democracy, which can be compared to the Global North and its domination and control over all others through creating divisions and classes among others.
    The next article I read was called Review of �The Black Jacobins� by CLR James. The Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803 was the first time in history that an entire colony of African slaves revolted against their masters and succeeded in establishing independence. It also talked about the horrible treatments the slaves went through in Haiti. It talks about Toussaint L�Ouverture�s life and how he was painted in the Haitian Revolution as Lenin. The Island Where People Forget to Die was a very enjoyable article where it talked about a small island called Ikaria near Turkey which housed around 10,000 Greek nationals. The article was very accurate in a lot of aspects. Lifestyle and the people around you are very important to have a healthy lifestyle. The article also mentions how the people of Ikaria regularly consumed good and healthy teas, coffee, wine, and beans. They very also very community-based where everyone was welcome and there was never a hurry to get anything done. Sounds like the complete opposite to what we have here. The people are happy. They�re self-sufficient. They�re friendly and warm. Even when unemployment is high, they can still take care of themselves by growing their own food and sharing. There isn�t a lot of greed or drive to make money or profit. Their food intake is also very different and healthier than many others around the world. Their entire lifestyle, their mentality, and the place where they�re located all contribute to a healthy, happy and long-lasting experience. That, in my opinion, sounds like a much better and happier alternative than living under global capitalism.

  24. ender91
    1:15 pm - 11-28-2012

    The first article I read from the End of Capitalism blog was the Who we are, What we are building – Students for a Democratic Society. It was basically the mission statement of SDS, what they are and what they plan to do. It was interesting to read and as a fellow student, I can kind of feel the fervor the words evoked from it. To relate to the Beuttnerâ��s article on the people of Ikaria, I could see the big contrast between the lifestyle of Ikaria to the lifestyle we experience here in the United States or any other modern or should I say â��civilizedâ�� countries. Here there are â��unseen wars of empire, power and profit against peopleâ�� as described by SDS that they want to be liberated from. I think from the SDS article I can see how people nowadays especially the youth today are longing to escape from the lifestyle we have today and I think they might desire to live a more simple life like the one in Ikaria. Also, it can be seen from their statement how they are also building a more community-based society instead of the me or only I individualistic society today which is what we do have now. The Ikaria article shows that maybe this type of lifestyle isnâ��t necessarily the best or the happiest. Then the next article I read was The Arrival of Zombie Capitalism. I had an idea as to what the author was alluding to with the zombies because its an idea that Iâ��ve come across to before but still I thought an article with zombies in it has got to be interesting. Now this article clearly emphasized the contrast between the life in global capitalism and life on Ikaria. The author wrote how capitalism has severed our connection with two vital sources towards lifeâ��s meaning; â��community with other people, and communion with nature.â�� He basically describes what they have in Ikaria which weâ��re missing in a capitalist world. I think its fairly true what the author says. In capitalism we are zombies who are forced to wake up at 6:00 by an annoying alarm clock, drive to the exact same route weâ��ve driven to hundreds of times to work where we are seen as merely tools or surplus values of a company, then go home, sleep and start all over again. We do gain temporary or short-lived happiness when we get our paychecks and get to buy a new high-tech iphone or drinking with friends on weekends. However its completely different from Ikaria where there are no clocks and friends come whenever theyâ��d like. Ikaria seems to be doing something right because they are living longer. I donâ��t actually desire to live for a long time but I do wish to have a more relaxing day like they have in Ikaria.

  25. shanaz
    1:48 pm - 11-28-2012

    After reading Beuttner’s article about the people of Ikaria, I read the Who We Are, What We Are Building – Students for a Democratic Society”. This caught my attention because I am taking a class on Democracy and was interested to see what this article would say. The second article I read was “Social Movements Are the Engine of Change”. The involvement of youth in social movements are crucial, we can see that in a contemporary with the Arab Spring. Without these youth in these countries, there would not have been such a successful uprising. I have been part of numerous student organizations, these organizations have made me realize how important it is for the youth to be involved and actually how easy it is to actually make a difference.

    Both of these articles go hand in hand with the paper I’m writing which relates to collective action. It was nice to see a new perspective for my paper. After reading these three articles, I looked at the diet of the people of Ikaria and compared it to my own. I’m surprised that they only eat milk and bread for dinner, but after reflecting on my own diet. I realized that after fasting for a month during the holy month of Ramazan, my food intake actually decreases. This makes me think that we are over-consuming in food. Another interesting part of these people’s life is that they don’t seem to work too much, but life a very simple life. Makes me wonder if working 40 plus hours a week is really worth the money, time and stress for the lifestyle we imagine we think we need to be happy.

  26. navery
    3:04 pm - 11-28-2012

    In the blog I read “Zombie Capitalism” and “Whiteness and the 99%.” I found this particular blog almost startling in its views. There was rarely a time I’ve experienced someone challenging the current capitalist system in earnest. So when I read both of the articles, I not only found them interesting, but they delivered new opinions to those topics for me. Zombie Capitalism says that all of us are zombies as a result of capitalism. He writes that it causes us to lose some of the very things that make us functioning, healthy humans. Instead of being human beings, it states that capitalism turns us into “servants of capital” It is the death of this system and many of its original glorified ideas have left us to lifelessly search for “selfish, short-sighted desires,” and capital. The other article writes that the idea of race never existed until we actually invented it as a concept. Race was originally developed to allow wealth and power to be sustained. However, it was made to be sustained at the expense of minorities for white people. While many people would like to believe “race” as the problem, it is actually the people. Because of this way of thinking people may desire to have a safer, better society with better schools as the article suggested; however, this ideal of societal glorification is achieved by keeping the non-whites down. This is a result of making race “absolute center of everything we are fighting for,” This particularly reminds me of many of the race-related articles we went over in class. For example, the two articles discussing the effect of minorities in urbanized areas and how their political voices could be heard.

    The lifestyle of a society can plainly be seen through the political and social structures of the nation or the group of people. I find this particularly true with all the articles this week. Capitalism affects the lifestyle of the nation’s citizens, making them more zombie-like. “Racial issues” cause people of “minorities” to be put down and to live in less than equal living qualities. Lastly, the article about people living in Ikaria was quite incredible. The freedom from the very rigid, capitalist, western, government changed people’s lives for the better. It influenced people to live in a different way. It allowed them to live in a way that actually promoted longer, more meaningful lives. Many of the people that lived on Ikaria were healthy senior citizens living past the 100’s and surviving their doctors. Instead of conforming to the usual idea of retirement and life. There was no need to follow a clock or a tight schedule, and there was a healthier eating lifestyle. More of the food was organic, there was greater time to nap, relax, enjoy time with friends and drink red wine. As people had more time, they also began to grow their own vegetables and eat olive oil more often. Although there was no single reason for the greater life increase, it was the collective change of lifestyle that was possible without global capitalism. It amazed me to see how capitalism could go wrong, and how there were actually legitimate alternatives that could be benenficial.

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