Debt is Enslavement


Slavery in the modern world (for the most part) is illegal and highly frowned upon, as it drastically limits the rights of the individuals. However, leaving slavery behind also created a gap in productivity, a workforce that previously could be paid simply by the initial purchase and sustained with a minimum of food, water, and shelter, now requires a salary for a more decent lifestyle. So the economy required another way to produce so much in the long term (such as the slaves did), and with this we ended up with the most common form of slavery in our day (especially in the U.S. where it is almost impossible to live decently without it), debt.

The issue is not so much small debts, such as when you use a credit card to buy your groceries at the store, but rather larger debts, such as a house and car mortgage, and most of all student loans (the student loans being the most sinister for a reason that will be explained later). These are large debts that take many years for normal people to pay off (especially in a society where consumption is promoted, making it harder for the average person to budget their salary in the most efficient manner) and create a relation between the person and the bank similar to that of an indentured servant. It is even more akin to slavery when the person is allowed to only pay the interests, damning themselves to a lifetime of debt with the bank.

Although it is true that the exploitation is not the same, it does exist. Where before slavery was typically limited to a certain peoples (usually based on race) and were forced to do physical work for the direct benefit of the slave’s owner (whether that work be field work or nannying their children, such as could be seen in Ancient Rome), in this case the slavery is not restricted by population, but rather by income, and the lower the income, the worse the consequences of this debt. When you are indebted your options are limited, you need to earn enough to pay living expenses and at the very least the interests on your loan, while if you were not indebted your job options are not restricted by a necessity to pay of a large loan lingering over you.

The worst part of this slavery is not only that you are stressed and that your options are limited, but the consequences for not paying the bill. If you fail to pay the mortgage on your house they take it away from you along with everything else you have in order to pay off what you owed. However, this is not the case of student loans, which is why in the U.S. they are the most sinister of all the debts. As many U.S. university students will know, university in the U.S. is extremely expensive, the the point that in many cases people view no other option but to join the military which will pay it off for them (another exploitation that begs for its own analysis another day), a tuition that (with scholarships) can cost $20,000 a year (not including room & board, cafeteria, or textbooks) just for a four year major (the prices go up for masters, PHDs, and doctorates). This is a lot of money that the banks have invested in young people with little to no work experience in the real world and who are in a stage and environment where they will most likely spend more on their credit cards (as many do because the banks promote it, giving students a free pizza if they get a credit card with the bank). But what makes this debt the most terrifying (at least in the U.S.) is the fact that you cannot get rid of it. If you can’t pay your house mortgage they will take away your house, but they will also take away your debt, but in the case of student loans they cannot take away your education, meaning that even if you declare bankruptcy you are stuck you your student loan until you pay it off, or until you die.

These debts are tools to impoverish the middle class and keep the working class where they are while the rich (those who can pay off these debts much faster than everyone else) are able to keep more of their income and (once they have payed of their loans) maintain a much larger income while the lower classes continue their suffering and enslavement to the banks.

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How Entities Control Our Lives


We many times like to think that even if we are been spied on, and we have a government which is letting major corporations getting away with poisoning our food and water, that we are still free as individuals, and that we individuals do not willingly give in to our own incarceration. However, the truth is that we do, and not only that, but we think it makes us special, we think it makes us more important.

Most will not be wondering what I am talking about, but the problem is, we see incarceration and a dystopian society in a way similar to George Orwell’s book 1984 where there was a totalitarian government that controlled every aspect of our lives, and we hated it. However, what if instead of a government, the ones that are truly controlling our lives are multinational corporations, who play puppet theater with our government, and us.

Now, to what this has to do with you as a consumer, it has everything to do with you. Corporations have found ways to turn every part of our lives into a transaction, a business, something where they can make a profit. The most obvious example is the gym (in the U.S. cultural sense of the term, which is more like a club where people go to do exercise), where people take their cars to go to the gym to be there for an exact amount of time doing exercise that they could have done just walking around.

However, this applies to much more than just people wanting to do exercise. You have dating websites, which are taking an extremely personal part of your life and making it a business. They are taking something that should be personal between two people, a decision that they make by themselves out previous knowledge of each other, and turning relationships into a market where they can make a profit.

Then, there is also the fact that nowadays people are hiring mentors for their children. The process of which is basically that you give one of these associations a request, and they give you a well rounded person to mentor your child. Something that should be done by either the parents, or someone that the family, and most of all the child, actually knows.

Then, there are these friend associations which are where they designate your child a friend to play with, that is considered socially acceptable. Which means they are taking you friendships and turning them into a business as well.

However, what do these have to do with your personal freedom? The fact is that these are all central parts of ones life where associations and businesses are giving you and your family people to socialize with that are specifically socially acceptable, and therefore act like the majority of people. Where these organizations can make sure you never encounter other people who are interested (as I would suppose the readers of this blog are) in alternative ways of living, in going against the norm, in rebelling against the current system. These people can stop you from meeting anyone else like you, and therefore turn you into a mindless zombie that can only talk about yesterdays football match, and how drunk your going to get this Friday, and if you’re a girl, who is going out with who, and what clothes you plan on buying this weekend.

But not only that, but then we end up with a society where everyone is booked from dawn to dusk (and later) with activities. I know kids who from 7:30 to 14:00 they are at school, then they have after school activities that last until 17:00, then they go to work until 22:00, and finally come home to eat some crap food and do homework while watching the latest TV show. And as I said in my post on Free-Time, most of these kids don’t even need these jobs, they just want to be able to consume more and more. But then, on weekends, they go shopping, they have more activities, they go to the gym, etc. People have their whole life on an agenda, and the only way to organize a time to meet with these people is to organize it weeks in advance.

So be careful what you do in your spare time, and how many activities you sign up for (and more importantly, what activities you sign up for). And always try to have at least an hour of free-time a day where you can sit down and just think about things. Think whether you really need to be doing something, or even more importantly, whether you really want to at all. Because life is short, and if you’re going to spend it by letting it go by so you can live a life as the majority, it’s not a life worth spending. Live your life, don’t waste time on these useless activities that you don’t need.

Western Culture


I wrote an essay for my Social Studies class on Google Drive, and I thought it would be a good idea to share on my blog. Click here to read the document, and you can ask me questions or reply to it here on my blog.

Thanks!

The Deterioration of Education


These days, education has lost much of it’s meaning. As capitalism has been expanding, schools have been focusing more on the entertainment of the students than expanding their knowledge. I will give the example of the U.S. since that is where I am currently studying, but this does not mean that it doesn’t happen elsewhere in the world, and if it’s not there, it will be. Here in the U.S. there are a few new philosophies of teaching that are going around, one of them is that teachers try to make the subject “fun” by adding useless things like videos, raps, or The Simpsons and using them as teaching methods.

The reasons people give for this kind of education is that they say one of two things: “everyone learns differently” or “we want children to love learning”. Now, here are my arguments for these. First of all, people do not learn chemistry through a Simpsons video, that is absurd. I did a little experiment with my brother, I made him watch one of these “Bill Nye The Science Guy” videos and after I asked him questions. He barely remembered things then, and when I asked him the same question a few months later, he couldn’t answer a single one. Meanwhile, try the same experiment with a book, and you’ll see that people will remember much more about the book than the documentary; especially if the documentary was made to entertain the students, not teach them.

The next thing about the “everyone learns differently” is that it gives even more reason to show you other ways to learn. The main method of learning they should teach in schools is by reading and writing, because those are vital parts of out society. For instance, if your a programmer and someone wants you to fix a bug, and they send you a word document on how to fix it; if you say “Could you put it into a rap for me? I can’t understand it if it’s not in a rap”, they will at first think you are joking, and if you aren’t, you will be fired on the spot.

Raps are good for nothing when it comes to education, and videos are only good for more physical things, like chemistry labs. However, this does not mean humor videos either, only serious videos about things like replacing bike parts or computer parts or something like that.

Now, as for the “we want children to love learning”, if you want children to “love learning”, you’re doing it the wrong way. You don’t teach someone how to play a sport by changing the rules of the sport, you make the child learn and adapt to the rules of the sport. Same in education, you don’t change education to make it fun, you make the kids think that education is fun, that learning is fun.

To make children love learning, you need to start early, and they need to be surrounded by an environment where learning is the most important thing. However, what people (especially parents) don’t like about this is that they have to make an effort to raise their child well; and for those who already have children, it means that they haven’t done their job as a parent. I know that if you’re a parent with a kid that doesn’t like learning I have basically insulted you by saying this, however, the best thing you can do in this case is to help your grandchildren.

Teacher’s also don’t like the idea that the learning aspect mostly happens at home, because most teachers like to think that they are a vital part of their students’ lives. Truth is, the teachers are as important as the child’s distant cousin that they barely see. This is not to say that teachers have not influence on the child or that they are not important, but don’t think that teachers are the key to everything in a child’s life.

The reason we like to think that teachers are the most important thing is because of Hollywood, which constantly makes movies of how a teacher changes a class full of delinquents to a hard studying class. Truth is, this never happens, and even if you ask the people that were actually involved in this event (since a lot of those movies will say “based on a true story”), you will see that they say that it wasn’t like that at all, that the teacher didn’t change the whole class, just the lives of a few people.

The best example would be this: you go to school with a group of other people, you are in the same classes and same teachers with all these people throughout high school. Why is it that you all end up very different, and some more successful than others? The reason is because the teacher isn’t the key.

So, in general, the key to how the child ends up is at home. So to make sure that the child grows up to be an educated woman/man, you would have to make sure that at home he is taught that education is important.

Now, when I say that you have to teach them that education is important, I don’t mean that you have to be persistent about their grades, only 100% on everything. What I mean is that at home, instead of watching CSI: Miami or the latest season of Supernatural, you should watch a serious documentary about science, or math, or something like that. Or instead of playing games on a computer, find a way to teach them how to program one (you could enroll them in a class, which I would be happy to help you find one, because I personally have a hard time finding good computer programming classes).

Now, this is not to say that this is all they should do, I am the first one who would tell you that the most important thing for a child is to have some free-time (which gives me an idea for my next post, because free-time doesn’t mean the same thing everywhere), and socialization with friends and family (by family I mean extended family) every day (I don’t mean you have to see your grandmother every day, I mean you have to socialize every day). All I’m saying is that when it comes to teaching you child, you should show them to learn, instead of passively consuming what others have already done. You must teach your child to be productive, not just a consumer.

In conclusion, I think that schools are going to wrong way trying to educate children, that they are wasting time with things that don’t matter. We can’t do anything about this to help others, all we can do is to help the people we know, and hope for the best.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it,

The City


The City – Nicolás Ortega

It’s never dark
The sky never turns black
The stars are all covered
By the lights of the city

The moon shines bright
But is covered by clouds
Dark clouds of evil
That are caused by our pollution

There is never silence
Always noise
Noise of the city
Which clouds our minds

There’s too much stuff
Things that cloud our minds
Luxuries that chain us
Trapped in homes which are our cells

There are lights on all night
Of peoples televisions on all night
Indicating those that are infected
Needing the noise to sleep

This is life in the city
A place of noise, violence, and evil
Where people are infected with individualism
And consumerism which haunts them daily

The Battle Continues


In Spain, the miners continue to fight back against the police and the anti-rioters, but now, with even more support than before. Spain has been cutting everywhere to save more private banks that are going bankrupt, which means that all social workers are having their salaries cut, along with health and education. Many of you that are American (from the U.S.) might notice that the miner complains that they now have to pay 1 euro for medicines. Well, before they didn’t have to pay (I know that here it’s damn expensive, as is everything), but, now only that, but think about people who are so poor, that they cannot afford it, or retired people (note, that as I said before, their income will also be cut) who need 10 different pills.

Because of all these cuts, the situation in Spain is getting massive, people are angry, and even the police and anti-rioters are protesting after their shifts, telling the Spanish government “Remember, your security is in our hands!” outside public buildings. Along with the miners, who have all gathered in Madrid, Spain’s capitol, where they protest in front of government buildings, hosting the largest protest that Spain has had, since they started recording with the protest against the fascist government, during the rule of Francisco Franco.

Here is a video of the protests, it is in Spanish, but it has English subtitles:

Working Class Hero – Green Day


This is a song originally by John Lennon from “The Beatles” that “Green Day” modified to make their own version. It talks about the pain and suffering that the working class endures, and how even then the rich and powerful try to prevent an uprising by giving us cheap commodities, defending their power with religion and to keep on telling us that we can all be at the top, when in reality we are doomed in this system to stay at this dreadful state. I hope you like this video:

Here is the original song by John Lennon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njG7p6CSbCU

Thank you, make it a good day or not, the choice is yours!