“Nowadays, people know the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” – Oscar Wilde
Good week to all!
At the bottom of this Awareness newsletter I share with you a short documentary called KONY 2012, which has been circulating the web for a couple of months now – it had a lot of criticism regarding the Hollywood-style of reaching out in the video and the way the gather money for help (typical of the big NGO’s). Nevertheless, I think that what is important to highlight in this video is its main objective of creating awareness among people, which you can see worldwide as thousands of people talk about this.
The documentary tells the story of Jacob, a kid from Uganda who grew up his entire life escaping from nongovernmental armies from his country (whose leader is Joseph Kony); violent armies with no moral purpose, but lucrative. Armies who abduct kids, forcing them to kill their own parents and making them join the army by force or torture if necessary.
It is very complicated to try and comprehend the geopolitical and economic situation of marginalized countries. These independent armies are a symptom of the actual presence of markets of violence in the world. The emergence of violent marketing is possible, in Harald Welzer’s words, thanks to the lack, or collapse, of the state violence monopoly, which at the same time –enhanced by conditions of lack or total loss of resources- ends up in eventual conflicts regarding land, water, etc., are not regulated by the state, this is, in a legal manner, but through direct violence. (“Climate Wars” Page 168)
And countries become chaos. Cases like Darfur, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Namibia, Ruanda, Congo, and not only African countries but under developed countries in general, like several south American countries, show how the earth is extracted, degraded, drained by external agents, and thousands of native men migrate when their lands are taken away from them, as well as their lives. Africa’s particularity is that the social entropy reach such a point in which the usage of direct violence is simply a quicker way of satisfying the interests of the few.
“The permanent wars constitute a form of violence with a great future. And the climate change consequences, which enhance the conflicts, are not even contemplated in the calculations. (…) certain climate change consequences, like the advance of desertification, can rapidly become opportunities for violence which afterwords the interests groups canalize and exploit in the mos diverse ways.” (“Climate Wars”, page 170).
What interests are we talking about? Basically, the markets of violence create chaos and panic within a country, in order to obtain international help y obtain an inflow of money, which is captured in the long term by the violence armies. (Movies like “Tears of the Sun”, “Blood Diamond”, “Lord of War”, “Ruanda Hotel”, “Darfur Now” show these realities, being the latter a very strong documentary)
“In other words: a genocide in Ruanda generates a moral dissonance in Germany, and in order to reduce that dissonance, whatever humanly possible is made to help the victims… or at least those who made it out alive. Travelling hospitals are sent, as well with doctors, nurses, meds, sheets, tents, food – whose transportation to the needed location (…) is complicated, costs a lot of money and always implies an important loss-. The actors of violence know quite well how to exploit this occidental way of reducing the dissonance; the exploitation reaches a point in which the occasions to generate moral dissonances in the West begin to be generated on purpose: you sow violence and harvest resources.” (“ClimateWars” page 166 – the bold is mine)
It really bugs me to get to know this reality of the world. I love to write. And in order to be sincere with the reader, I cannot avoid writing about these issues. A reality that almost everyone ignores –ignorance is complicity– or simple believes that they can’t do anything about it. The mass media try to marginalize the collective consciousness from this reality. Communication can serve to cheat, but also to illuminate.
“Do you smell it? It is the smell of bastards… it is also the smell of Truth… I smell ink…” – Paul Kemp.
I saw a movie a couple of days ago, The Rum Diary, which is the homonymous novel written by Hunter S. Thompson (author of “Fear and loathing in Las Vegas”) which tells the story of the journalist Paul Kemp who, in 1950, goes to work for a Newspaper in San Juan, Puerto Rico, when capitalism flourished thanks to external influences. Hunter S Thompson also went to work to Puerto Rico in the fifties, and the story blends into Thompsons own life. When the character gets to Puerto Rico, he is tempted to form part of an illegal multi-millionaire business, in which businessman, politicians and military people would gain a fortune by building a hotel complex in a virgin island, not minding a bit about the inhabitants, who would be forced to work there, and making the entire city rotate economically around the complex (as happens with casinos in small cities)
In order to do this, Kemp should write in the newspaper whatever he is told to do so. I tell you all this because I share the same feelings as the character. He says:
“I want to make a promise to you, the reader. And I don’t know if I can fulfill it tomorrow, or even the day after that. But I put the bastards of this world on notice that I do not have their best interests at heart. I will try and speak for my reader. That is my promise. And it will be a voice made of ink and rage.“
I leave you know with the video… until next week: