A UN Facebook System

To the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

 

Seeing that you yourself are using Facebook as the accepted global network platform to spread news and connect with people all over the world,

may I ask where I can submit a petition to create a UN-financed Facebook-like system?

The privately owned and run Facebook has created a real hunger for a global network platform where normal people can connect with each other via posts by News outlets, NGO, political parties, the UN, etc.
People discuss or debate under a given post which fosters an understanding for each other as well as for matters of public interest.

This hunger for networking and globally available political debate in the era of globalization and digitalisation can not be satisfied by Facebook.
Because it is privately owned it has its own “community standards” and not even those are upheld by knowledgable Facebook-Employees.
Meaning, for example, their Community Standard regarding freedom of speech is not interpreted under German legislation but rather “on a hunch” of whichever person sits in the Facebook-censorship office.
That would be okay if it were not the case that Facebook IS the De Facto equivalent to the ancient Greece market place where citizens discussed current political affairs.

If Facebook, as privately owned company, can not be moulded into the tool needed to connect people on a global scale and on the base of human rights, i.e. free speech,

then, in my opinion, it would be appropriate to add this kind of system to the list of required traditional infrastructure and get it funded by international agreement.

Could you let me know how I should go about to get this the attention it requires? Can I send or create an e-petition? Would I have to ask my government by e-petition to please state the case in front of the UN?

This post was submitted today to the UNDESA’s Facebook page. It is invisible and awaiting their approval and/or response. 

If you agree to the idea of a UN-funded Facebook-like system with CommunityStandards like human rights, it would be a good start to copy and paste this text into your own post on their page https://www.facebook.com/joinundesa/

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The Common Good vs profit

The Common Good needs a higher ranking in legislation and court rulings than profit.
The Common Good needs to be properly bound into international and national law.
The Common Good cancels all claims of share holders who are to be viewed as already compensated by pro-Common Good decisions.

The strive for Common Good has to be implemented as a mandatory KPI for companies listed on stock exchange.
Companies without achieving the KPI shall not be able to benefit from capital raised via stock exchange.

A new earthquake near Fukushima:
I’m glad, European countries in earth quake prone zones don’t have nuclear energy.
I miss the conclusion that mankind as a whole has a responsibility to clean up and prevent such disasters. Including the share holders of energy companies.

Vattenfall suing the state of Germany for loss of earnings is a perversion of neoliberalism.
Do the human beings running the company – and the share holders – not benefit from the prevention of nuclear accidents?  How much is their own life or their children’s life worth?

On their website, Vattenfall argues somewhat apologetically* they have a responsibility toward their share holders and that is why they have to sue.
It’s really perverting how a society should live together.
The Common Good needs to be properly bound into international law.

The bit on the side: this will also affect how whistleblowers are treated.

*http://news.vattenfall.com/en/article/why-vattenfall-taking-germany-court-ICSID

““If we suffer a major loss and believe that we are entitled to compensation, then it would be irresponsible of us not to try and obtain it. That has nothing to do with whatever general feeling one may have about nuclear power.””

Replace “general feeling” with “Common Good” and the perversion jumps in your face.

Imagine Ireland – Neoliberalism in practice

Imagine Ireland.

Lush green pastures studded with white sheep. Heaps of rain, of course, and therefore lots  of time in pubs with warm fires in the corner to snuggle up to and ballads sung by the regulars to listen to.

The land of romantic ruins by the side of the road.
The land, drenched by centuries of fare-well tears, shed when yet another generation of young and hopefuls left their families to find a better life abroad.

For Ireland is poor. And always was.

No money to fill the potholes in the roads. No money for re-forestation – and every downpour is threatening the rivers to flood the pretty pastures, the old towns, and the water works, as well. Leaving more poverty in their wake. And polluted drinking water.

In comes Apple. And that’s my shining example for neoliberalism.

Attracted by the tax-lift of the Double Irish, Apple (replace that brand with any other! like Google, Facebook, VMware, Trendmicro, HP…) set up shop in Cork to grow its wealth and the wealth of its shareholders.

Pretty soon, the employees were in the thousands. And not – by far! – all Irish nationals from Cork.
On the contrary.
Helped by the neoliberalistic idea of Europe’s open market and the ease for workers to cross former borders, Apple was able to fill the multi-lingual  need of its technical support callcenter with French, German, Italian, British, Spanish … the list goes on.

Oh, and some Irish for administration and the small manufacturing plant.

These employees drove on the potholed roads – which made them worse – and complained about them to every ear they could find – except to Apple.

The employees had their apartments flooded and had to queue up in front of water tanks to fill their bottles with water for cooking and drinking.

They complained that the council had not properly protected the water works against flooding. They complained that the water tanks set up by the council were too far away for their convenience. They eventually stopped complaining about the regular floods – nothing was done about them so why keep complaining.

They did not complain, however, that Apple did not chip in. All, the employees at Apple came up with as helpful in that situation was: paying for and setting up port-a-loos in the campus’ yard when the water was turned off in Cork for a few days.

The people working at Apple had no further inclination to reach out and help the community.
They didn’t even remotely brush the idea in their tragically brainwashed minds that Apple, the rich and powerful global player, could share the load of the community council and help people, employees or not .

Nope. Nada.

It is always people who come up with ideas, you know. Not some de-humanized robot called “Apple”.

The people did not come up with the idea of “company responsibility”. Because the people    are utterly convinced that Apple should grow the profit for its shareholders while the government takes care of the rest.

So potholes in roads, flooding and polluted water…and?

ah yes: in comes the latest complain:

the housing situation in Cork.

Apple employees and their families need roofs over their heads, of course.
Landlords are totally happy that the property market is met by comparably rich tenants: the Apple employees. The Irish can go f* themselves if they can’t afford any longer to rent or buy. That’s the social darwinism, a result of neoliberalism, all individuals are educated to and never really doubt. Greed is okay. Greed fosters competition. Competition is the base for a healthy economy. A healthy economy enables growth. Growth satisfies the greed of the rich entrepreneur who then invests a little more to harvest even more.  Growth is good. Competition is good. Greed is good.

Now there’s a new kid in town: some other big company also sets up shop in Cork.
I think I read about 1000 new jobs are being created. Again filled with international / EU citizens.
And what do Apple employees complain about?
Exactly!
The government’s failure to provide affordable housing.

Does anybody at Apple have an inkling that may be, only maybe, it would be within the responsibility of the company to provide housing options? Especially since the company brought in all the non-Irish employees to fill its business needs?

No. Of course not. Because neoliberalism says outright: the infrastructure has to be provided by government and paid for by the general society.
The rich entrepreneur should not be taxed for it.
The rich entrepreneur should be left to strive freely for more growth and wealth.

Tax the workers instead. They get paid salaries, don’t they? Their salaries enables them to pay for the roads, the re-forestation, the houses they live in and everything else.
It is not the responsibility of companies or their share holders to deal with such trivia. Their duty is to compete with each other, make their employees compete with each other, hone individual greed – and ultimately make the rich richer.
Oh, and pay a salary to a worker. If it can’t be helped, that is.
Okay.

So it’s clear, isn’t it? How neoliberalism is perverting how we live together in communities?
How neoliberalism has been hammered into our brains so we don’t even consider the possibility that things could run differently?

How about Apple employees scout for building sites and start building affordable housing for the community? (No, not only for the Apple employees, luv!)
How about Apple employees begin re-forestation projects around Cork to mitigate flooding?
Filling the potholes in the roads?
How about that?

And how about that: the name of the brand suddenly stands for justice, for accountability and social responsibility. Pretty cool, aye?

I wrote: “It is always people who come up with ideas, you know. Not some de-humanized robot called “Apple”. ”

Unless, the system we all live in, sort of dictates the ideas we produce. If it were common sense that multinational shareholders should directly intervene and help shape for the better the living space of the communities they operate in,

if that were common sense, if that were a specified KPI for the success of a company,

then every company in every location would have a dedicated department to look for opportunities and come up with ideas and see them through to realization on a regular basis.

As opposed to the unexpected charity runs PR departments organize once in a while and make a big hype about.

Let’s end this bit with an uplift:

Every company in every location will have a dedicated department to look for opportunities, and come up with ideas, and see them through to realization on a regular basis to help shape for the better the living space of the communities they operate in.

P.S. Of course, Apple in Cork is a mere example. Replace with Google, Facebook etc in Dublin, or HP or TrendMicro and VMWare.

Neoliberalism – what Trump taught me so far

2 common thoughts these days:

“Greed is the reason why humans are so fucked as a species.”
“Government are only pawns of the really rich.”

The mind looking for answers finds the simplest one.
But I also see that compassion and other ethical values as prominent.
So how come greed dominates?

 

Because of Neoliberalism.
That’s the ideology behind the reason why “government are only pawns of the really rich.” It hails competition as being the true defining force in people’s relationships with each other.

Competition equals greed.
But because neoliberalism, i.e. greed, has been officially accepted as the best political and economic strategy to have at least some prosperity trickle down to the masses – as a mere side effect of the !unregulated! rich striving for yet more  –
this universal antisocial character trait was honed into perfection in the individuals, as well.

It’s tragic, really, that the devil was embraced to help accomplish a heavenly goal.

I highly recommend this article. It helped me put a name to observed injustices. Know thy enemy.

It’s also hopeful to understand that it was and IS a conscious decision of politicians and governments to follow that course.
There is hope in understanding that it is not (only) the corrupt minds and greed of the individual politicians that hands over policy making to multinational companies.
Because if their logical reasoning has led them to follow neoliberalism, they can be persuaded otherwise through logical reasoning.

It’s got a name! The enemy of the people and communities has got a name.
And now, I feel I have leverage to challenge it without having to think that I am facing a host of psychopaths incapable of empathy. It had made me feel so helpless in the past. So helpless that I did not really follow any political development anywhere in the world – until Trump happened.

Of course, I personally do believe that the brains which have originally come up with this system were indeed “psychopathically challenged” brains. Who else would seriously and happily sell out the moral lessons and  values gained from WWII? And who else could be proposing such a abhorrent system and make it look as if it were actually to the benefit of the population in general? Only a brain incapable of compassion would even propose that competition, i.e. greed, is the foundation of human relations.

The article, of course, paints it in the darkest colours.  That’s not the “version” that’s governing our society. Now, I face the overwhelming task of having to understand how, nowadays, it is still taught and accepted.

After the understanding, I will have to logically depose it as not merely morally wrong but also as economically and politically wrong, at least when viewed from where we are now as a society. “Morally wrong”, perversely, does not bear  enough weight to entice change. That perversion is the direct result of the brainwashing we were all exposed to. Psychopaths and their ideas don’t care sh* about morality and ethics. It’s just not in them, poor sods. And we follow their charismatic leads, do a good job and feed the cat in the evening. Poor sods.

After logically deposing it, I will have to come up with alternatives and feasible strategies how to implement change.

It’s not enough to shout “Injustice!” An idea of where to go from here has to be available. Or everybody will just nod, shrug their shoulders and continue supporting the status quo (, do a good job, and feed the cat in the evening).

I feel too small for this task. But I also feel the motivation of the unexpected explanation. Thanks to Trump.

Update: an illustration for understanding, including the 1st idea for change.

Trump: surprise surprise surprise!

My surprise this morning, so soon after the surprise about the Brexit referendum, illustrates how much I prefer to perceive what I want to hear. How much I want to stay in my bubble.

“They” are not stupid under educated idiots. No Western country even has 50% of those.

“They” are in a bubble that’s completely alien to me.
If they have been “choosing the lesser evil” then that led them to not vote for the Democrats – and their illegally pushed candidate. Maybe, and this is only 1 example, that “illegally” factored in much more than I wanted to realize. I had completely forgotten how the democratic party leader had to step down during the campaign for conspiring against Sanders.

Anyway, I am surprised about how surprised I am. I want to be more open-minded in the future.
Be like me: like the political Facebook-Page that’s least favouring your own view, read some of the comments under their posts and stay informed about what’s happening outside your own bubble. Maybe even commit to 1 comment of your own per week, politely and constructive. Take notice and take action. 🙂

Edit Nov 12:

A thought I haven’t read anywhere else so far:
how about Trump really going through with what he got most applause for, like all the sick stuff white people in US and Germany and other EU states are so keen on?
Just for 6 months or a year maybe.
Wouldn’t that bring about the catharsis needed?

And in synchronous observation: the economic disaster for UK’s Brexit and the fascist dictatorship in Turkey.

If 50% of the people now alive need a practical hands-on lecture in Hitler-History, so be it. Just make it short, please.

The Wiki-paragraph “Public Opinion”on Obamacare shows pro and contra percentages on several issues some of which, I think, are mirroring the election outcome —> A lack of empathy and humane responsibility when the own purse is allegedly at stake – just like here in Germany. Yup, I think I’m correct with the needed lecture. But Trump’s not the man to force it on us – he is already braking his pre-election promises. Sissy.

Over to you, Recep Erdogan.

 

 

Update 2 hours and several repeats of  Jonathan Pie’s video  later:

I am going to revisit my conviction that casting my vote is my duty, regardless of what candidates and programs are on offer. After 10 years living abroad and not participating in any German election, this year had me grinding my teeth when voting for the lesser evil just to prevent the rise of the AfD.

No more.

I don’t have to condone what I regard as blatantly wrong. Corruption, lobbyism, in-transparency, sell-out of accountability, handing over policy-making to anonymous international corporations.

And I don’t have to excuse those wrong-doings with “it’s the dance they have to dance, poor sods”.

Not even to prevent AfD.

Hm, that’s a very comfortable corner I put myself in, now. It means, I can sit back and bear witness to the landslide happening – and not feel bad about myself, either. For the landslide will bring about the catharsis.

Hm. Frightening…

Helplessness

How Herschel Grynszpan came to do what he did, is comprehensible from the information we have. He held in his hands what Hitler-Germany was doing to his family: the postcard from his sister. And he could do nothing [else] about it.

Not so with young Zehra Epli.
I don’t know what had happened that made her believe only guerilla warfare can help against Turkish discrimination, nor what made her join the militant female-only subgroup of the PKK and fight with them for 3 years. Until she was captured and imprisoned in May 2016.

Seeing her picture and reading that, yesterday, she set fire to herself and burnt to death in an East Turkey prison has an emotional impact on me. Helplessness is a feeling I am not good with.
Something that is going so wrong has to be fixed.
Who is going to fix it?

I am not brave enough and I am not intimately involved enough but I feel the helplessness as very painful, too.

No Western news agency has picked up the incident so I don’t even know if it’s true or not.
But young Kurdish women like Zehra Epli do radicalize themselves. And fight with weapons in Iraq and in Syria for the Kurdish cause.  Those are just not viewed as  “dispicable terrorists” but get support from the US in the war against IS.

It’s a dirty business. My tear ducts react. It’s not easy to feel the way I do and not do anything to help

Zehra Epli.

etha-20161107-zehra-epli_ext.JPG

On Radicalization Abroad: a seemingly new phenomenon in young migrants

He was hungry and tired. He had only just returned to his lodgings after another long, fruitless day of job hunting, when he opened the letter box and found the postcard from his sister.

He hadn’t seen his family for a long, long time, now.
His sister and parents had stayed behind when he had decided to look for a better life and had gone abroad.
They had wished him all the luck in the world and had told him how brave he was, all of 17 and nobody to look after him in the foreign country. They had told him, he was sure to be lucky because such a gentle and pious young man like him was due to be lucky!

He missed them. He wanted to take care of them as good as possible from afar – that’s why he so desperately needed a job in Paris.

A better life. For all of them.

So far, nothing had come up. His meagre funds were evaporating. His belly was empty and his heart was lonely. A soft-spoken, modest and shy young man is never noticed by the busy crowd around him. And so he hadn’t made any friends.

A better life.

His sister had written the postcard. Her writing looked rushed and every word ended in a peculiar downward slope.

Something wasn’t right.

He took the postcard closer to the nearest light bulb to better read the few lines.
Then shock and pain, fear and rage warred with each other and warred with himself inside him.

They had been taken! They had been taken in the middle of the night! They had not been allowed to pack a few things. They had been taken with only the clothes on their backs.

They had been taken to a camp near the Eastern border. With many, many others like them. Without food and shelter they were held, apparently waiting for the neighbouring country to let them in. It was the end of October and already getting really cold where they now were.

His sister asked him for help!

Wiring money, sending a parcel of clothes – a coat for their frail father – anything. Help. She was asking for help. From him.

What could he do?
Frantically, his panicked mind listed the available options and probable consequences.
It was a short list of options. The consequences were dire.

He didn’t have any money to send.
He didn’t have any clothes to send.
He couldn’t go to them, himself, for he had lost his passport on his flight to Paris and now wasn’t allowed to leave the country or face court and jail if captured.

Then he remembered a remote uncle or cousin living in Paris, once removed from his mother’s side.
Maybe they could help?

Eagerly, he searched his belongings for the piece of paper with their address.
There!

He grabbed the postcard and his coat and ran back into the night, straight to his relative’s address.

They were at home.
They were poor, too.
They gave him some money.
It was too little.
He thanked them and left.

The night swallowed his dragging foot steps on the cobble stones.

****

After 3 days and nights spent in the darkness of his heart and soul, the following morning, he had made up his mind.

Hopelessness is a sin. Someone had to be punished.
And he was to make sure that that happened.
Who else would?
He would.

Someone was responsible for his helplessness.
He would find them. And he would sentence them to death and he would be their executioner.

****

So he went and shot the German Ambassador to Paris.

A few days later, the Ambassador succumbed to his wounds and died in hospital.

That night in the dark, it was the 9th of November, many sinister lights glowed on millions of shards in Germany.

It was the year 1938 and it was the beginning of

The End