Thursday, August 18, 2011

Obama Hearts Monsanto

Here. The sad thing is that people are surprised.


JM said...

bill gates does too

Know what the worst thing is? You want to be happy(somewhat) for him because he wants to vaccinate children,but there's too much fucked up about how he deals with his philanthropy(not paying taxes, investing in harmful companies,etc.), that you just can't really muster up giving a shit. Same with Buffet's recent comment on the rich too; he apparently

fucked over fruit of the loom employees

Although that's from worker's world, so I dunno.
At least Paul Farmer's the somewhat sane one in all this. I just wish he could give Gates and Soros, and yes, Clinton, a good smack to the mouth for their ignorance.
Do you know of any non Gates affiliated foundations that also ensure vaccinations for Africa and the like?

t said...

Gates does spend some of his fortune helping people who are in dire straits, it's true. But my view about that is that he deserves no pat on the back for doing so; when you've accumulated such vast sums of surplus wealth, stopping someone from dying of an easily preventable death is not supererogatory... it's morally obligatory. To sit on one's wealth and not relinquish it in such a case is morally criminal. So, in coughing some of it up, he's approximating par. He deserves no extra credit for doing something that it would be morally horrific not to do. Of course, capitalist ideology presents figures like Gates to us as "billionaires with heart", as though they deserve huge heaps of moral praise for doing something that they are morally required to do on any plausible account of morality.

Then there's the top-down element of it all. Gates, simply because he's wealthy, takes himself to be in a position of savior, of an education expert, etc. etc. This is hubris. He doesn't want to truly empower people to take their lives into their own hands, for that would mean challenging the very system that made him one of the richest men in the world.

Then there's the fact that Gates, for all his philanthropic endeavors, is implicated in the global economic system that causes the very problems he aims to slap a bandaid over through charity. Famine, the underdevelopment of Africa, dire poverty and disease are the result of hundreds of years of colonial capitalist domination, neo-colonial economic exploitation, and IMF-imposed neoliberal "structural adjustment". In short, the economic system that made Gates into an extremely wealthy and powerful individual is the same system that dengrates education systems, destroys food autonomy and causes famines, guts the public sector of societies in the global South, etc. Yet, Gates, after taking and taking and taking, finally decides he's going to do a bit to clean up 1% of the mess caused by the system. And on top of that, he's using the leverage of his wealth to do it entirely on his terms. And, surprise, surprise, he's collaborating with other big corporate powers to do the things that he does. Big whoop. I don't want moderately benevolent rulers. I want for there to be no rulers at all.

JM said...

's true. Right now, the only thing I can see as good about him is vaccinations and up til a few months ago, I was kind of heartened to read in The Nation back in September that he was gonna try to work with teacher's unions,but then that went out the window again with this from
Same with Soros; the guy partially funds critical resistance, a prison rights group and J Street (not as anti Israel as some would like to think,but it's kind of been taking baby steps this year), but then like fiddlin with Haiti and Ukraine(which even he came to regret).
I'm sorry for obsessing over this; my dad is the head of the local united way, so I always fret over this community action stuff. For me, the best hope is that African/Haitian socialists can get their shit together and scoot Gates and co. out of the country. but right now, I consider all this a very, very mixed blessing.

Anonymous said...

JM said...

Weird, considering Zizek sorta said the same thing about Chavez in regards to his anti semetic remarks:

"He will have to make compromises with capitalism. So he is more and more unfortunately withdrawing into typical latinoamerican charismatic populism, which precisely is characterised by this logic of I put it in English to have your cake and eat it. To have socialism but to keep capitalism. To have it both ways you absolutely need…to have capitalism which is not antagonistic, but because capitalism is antagonistic somebody is to be blamed because its not the system, and so on and so on. So what am I saying here, my critical point? One should first make things clear about anti-Semitism.”"