I know I promised to talk more about my experiences in philosophy grad school in this post. In fact, earlier I promised to talk about the history of life and civilization, to give more context for current events. But changes are happening quickly now, all over the world, so maybe it's time to get back to the point.
During the next 3-30 years, our society is in for some massive changes. There is a lot to be excited about, but also a lot to worry about and prepare for. Countless websites have sprung up all over the web talking about the "collapse" that is coming, and many of them have done a good job of uncovering and explaining what is going on right now and why. You've got entire towns of people who are trying to live sustainably and self-sufficiency in Oregon, Vermont, and all over the world. But I'm not yet satisfied with the "big pictures" that are out there yet. I started explaining my own views in a previous post ("An Alternative Perspective on Collapse"), but there is still a lot I'd like to say. It's all just too big. There's no way to sum it up in one post.
So let's come back to what's happening right now. As oil and arable land have become gradually scarcer, food prices have been rising around the world. Over the past year a series of floods and droughts has made the harvests especially bad. Poverty is at its worst in decades throughout Asia and Africa. Almost the entire Middle East is on the cusp of revolution. The Tunisian people have already revolted entirely and their president has gone into exile. The Egyptian people have been protesting en masse for a week now, and though food, police, and many basic services are in jeopardy, they have vowed not to stop until they have an entirely new and democratic constitution. Similar protests are happening in Jordan and the Jordanian king has already fired his cabinet and started sweeping reforms to avoid a similar fate as Egypt. There are further protests and talk about revolution in Libya, Sudan (which just yesterday and today had massive protests in its capital), Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Israel is shaking in its boots (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2045166,00.html).
Basically the entire nation of Egypt is on the streets calling for the resignation of their "president" (i.e. dictator), Mubarak, and the drafting of an entirely new constitution by the people. These are mostly peaceful demonstrations -- the violence that has occurred has been largely due to criminals and a few radicals. Mubarak, who's been in power for 30 years, seems to know that his time is up. He's told the army not to fire on civilians, and has agreed to leave office this September. But the protests are continuing as before, because the people want to rid themselves of the current government entirely.
The Egyptian people are crying out for freedom and democracy in clearest and most courageous way you could imagine. Yet the Obama administration continues to send military aid to Mubarak's regime, and has no plans to stop.
But why would our leaders support dictators? you might ask. Is this even believable?
The U.S. economy is heavily dependent upon goods produced by cheap labor overseas, including oil from the Middle East. Democracy and prosperity in China, Saudi Arabia, or India would be bad for the stock market and could lead to another crash. Our leaders know this, and so they are doing everything they can to maintain "stability" in these regions.
For details see:
and a 15-year-old Egyptian boy who discovered the truth:
This is unacceptable. It's the most blatant example of hypocrisy from our leaders that I've seen since the 2008 bank bailout.
If I were politically active, I would be out circulating petitions and taking part in protests right now. The 80 million brave citizens of Egypt deserve our support, not our oppression.