“As technology grows, the need for humans in the force will continually be diminished. This creates a serious clash that proves the falsity of the monetary-based labor system.” ~ from the movie Zeitgeist: Addendum.

And yet, the point of technology has always been to free us from labor. But free us to do what? In a monetary-based labor system, it frees us to starve. And yet, the enemy is not the machine, but the system that requires labor for money.

I had previously thought that the quote from 1 Timothy 6:10 (For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.) was simply a bit of religion hyperbole, but I see now that this is the case.

More from Zeitgeist: “In the United States, the most privatized, capitalist country on the planet, it should come as no surprise that it also has the largest prison population in the world [including prisons run for profit!], and growing every year. . . . as long as we have an economic system which prefers, and in fact creates, scarcity and depravation, crime will never go away.”

A Japanese friend, one deeply concerned with the problems created by the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, published a blog arguing against the protests since in his mind, demonstrations merely caused more conflict while changing nothing. More importantly, from his point of view, demonstrating is simply begging the government to do something (other than it would normally do). He rightly asked, ‘Why beg them?’ Governments do as the wish. Governments do whatever they need to perpetuate their own existence. He called on his readers to graduate from such childish behavior.

In response I wrote:

This is very true. Revolutions seldom fulfill their stated goals; frequently conditions worsen. Demonstrations also often have the opposite effect. The images from the Vietnam Era shocked the people of the US, but the protests shocked them more, resulting in a shift to the Right that continues today. Just look at the US presidents since Carter; Right-wing Republicans and Centerist Democrats.

The anti-nuke protests will do nothing except cause the government to dig in its heels and insist that it taking the proper course. After the protests of 1969, the Japanese government revamped the education system to crush creativity and independent thought. This government is typically not that competent, but they managed this. Why? Because people are easily lulled by the comforts of a ‘healthy’ economy.

Yes, the government will disregard the will of the people (or buy them off) and restart the plants. It will because all governments are slaves to those who support them, i.e. the corporations. They will pay lip service to democracy (the great sham of the 21st century) by arguing that the plants are necessary to keep the economy going, which of course is most important because, hey, everyone wants more stuff, right?

As long as we live within a system based on perpetual economic growth, the paramount issue will always be the economy. They will argue that Japan must retain its position in the world, that Japanese companies must continue to churn crap we don’t need, crap we must be manipulated into buying. Any fool can see that this neither guarantees nor even provided true happiness. The US economy is 3 times larger than that of any other country, but are Americans 3 times happier or even better off? Not even close. Except perhaps those 400 individuals that control 50% of US wealth.

Now I read in the paper that the Japanese government is still encouraging people to marry early and have more children. When considering the power situation, and the food situation, and the sheer cost of everything, an intelligent person could easily see that a declining population is a good thing, but the Japanese government cannot see this; all it can see is the threat to its current tax structure. The government needs to forget about more babies and deal with the situation as it exists.

Tokyo Exile

Posted: 18 September 2010 in Uncategorized
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Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower

As a writer, life in Tokyo feels like exile since there is not much in the way of a writing community, or writing culture, of the type one might find in an English-language urban environment. Of course, many native English speakers live here, and many of these teach English in some capacity. I imagine that many of these individuals do write, but if there is any kind of writing community here, I’ve yet to find it.

I must confess that I have not tried all that hard, and the problem, if there is, in fact, a ‘problem’, may simply be one of logistics. Tokyo is large, transportation is not all that cheap, and everyone, particularly those teaching English, works absurdly irregular hours. In my case, I start at 8 am and usually finish around 9 pm, but have large blocks of free time in between. This is a new schedule for me and should provide plenty of time to write.

We’ll see how it goes.

Tokyo Tower