A Reply to the Article “Obedience” (ashiftinconsciousness.wordpress.com)

A Reply to the Article “Obedience” (ashiftinconsciousness.wordpress.com). PLEASE VISIT.



Impressive (depressing) figures. Thanks for sharing as this is of uttermost importance.

I’m practicing here for drafting letters to Gates and co.

Why do these rich/powerful not change the world for the better? Because they just habitually might not change their convictions that made them multi-billionaires? Because they don’t see the chain of causes leading to inequality?

Regarding Bill Gates, for example, of course, one can argue that the development of the Personal Computer did a lot of great things for some people (not the majority of the world population though). I believe, however, that likely somebody else in a similar environment would have come up with a similar advancement. We probably wouldn’t have missed out on computers without Bill Gates. And although Gates and Buffet are from an absolute number perspective praised to be the most generous donators to (their own) foundations, they obviously care before anything else to remain the richest people in the world. Is that really so adorable? They don’t change the game; they only fight some symptoms of the sick system they are profiting from. And maybe they fight also their guilty conscience and feel good about being applauded to be generous?

The rich and powerful who still could buy and influence everything with only a fraction of their current fortune could invest into social impact businesses, empower awareness and education, and enable cooperative governance models to foster democracy and equality to eradicate hunger. There are obvious (or not for them?) ways to let benefit more people from the earthly resources that are extracted primarily for the enrichment of very few. Even if the money is not inherited and if one justifies his/her wealth compared to others’ poverty with a superiority in smartness or industriousness, does that justify amassing, holding back money that could help children from dying of hunger? How hypocritical is it to revel in grief about natural disasters or accidents, while forgetting systematically human-made, constant, and long-term poverty that is the cause for more than 20,000 children dying every single day?!

Even when they have lived their life and could survive with a couple of billion dollars, why do they still not change for making an systematic positive impact? Whose slaves are they? Slaves of their fear? Fear of not being obedient to the capitalist system? They ARE the system of capital as they control a significant part of it. Fear of themselves? Fear of looking into the mirror?! I already hear the reasoning that I don’t have the right to speak that way as I also enjoy privileges. This is not entirely accurate, because when all the volunteering and level of modesty (avoidance of unnecessary luxury/waste) put into proportional perspective, it is definitively in better support of a sustainable world. And let’s not forget the impact of promoting systematic change for all (e.g., by fostering democratically, cooperatively (instead of capitalistically) owned companies), instead of one’s own elitist circles only.

These are the strikingly game-changing questions I’d like to ask them and other fearful obedient directly. Let’s help our children to become courageous and strong leaders, happy in modesty but ambitious in their positive social impact for all. 

  • Powerful ideas here. In considering the ways a class of privilege use their access and ability for good I’ve been considering whether or not they truly know what to do. Oprah talked openly in a Forbes interview about having come from deep poverty into great wealth and the various mistakes she made early in on after coming into her succcess. How do we respect where people are in their journey to becoming or understanding, whether they have money or not. Once we become aware how do we use whatever we might have, be it understanding, money, influence or any kind, while still respecting individual growth and free will?

    • Hi! Thanks a lot for your great comment.
      I agree with your focus and question regarding the respect (or not) for people’s level of awareness and integrity. Please allow me to add a little:-).
      We should always stay respectful. For that, it is essential for me to assume that people are good (too). However, education and advertisement make it difficult for many to see beyond the distraction and deception. Like in a vicious circle it is difficult to blame anybody specifically, while, though, we should be passionate about exposing possible misconceptions and adverse economic and social mechanisms as not the best alternatives as soon as we realize. Hunger on a planet that could feed everybody is not acceptable. From that perspective, everyone who knows about it becomes responsible for overcoming ignorance and fear and should courageously be fighting for a fairer future. Such real human virtue should be taught, cherished and rewarded more, rather than just the ability to create profitable businesses that make the rich ever unnecessarily wealthier, and too often even at the cost of others and the environment.

  • I agree. However, it’s important to put the supposed generosity of these people in a proper light.

    Not only do these people make significantly more money that they “donate” – they make it at the expense of the rest of the planet, continue this destructive system of Capitalism which causes uncounted numbers of people to live in abject poverty, create many more problems than their donated money helps and deviously use their donations as public relations while it does very little to help most people.

    Bill Gates owns a tremendous amount of stock in two of the most evil and corrupt corporations on the planet – Monsanto and Xe (formerly known as Blackwater).

    Monsanto, as virtually everyone knows, has littered the entire planet with toxic chemicals. Some of these chemicals, such as the dioxin compound TCDD (from the horrible chemical weapon Agent Orange they sold during the Vietnam War), has a half life of more than a century. It has decimated over five million acres of natural habitat in Southeast Asia.

    They created polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) which has poisoned our soil and water and traces of which have been found in virtually every living being on the planet. It contributes to many forms of cancer as well as birth defects and other serious illnesses.

    They created rBGH by combining a growth hormone and E. coli bacteria which is injected into cows causing the milk supply to be a major contributor to cancer as well as the beef when it is consumed.

    This is just a sample of what Monsanto has done. Why would Bill Gates want to own a ton of stock in this despicable company?

    And Blackwater committed heinous war crimes while making a fortune during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They’ve been a recipient of tax money as war has become privatized in recent decades.

    So Bill Gates is part of one company that has been poisoning the environment for almost 100 years and another that hires mercenaries to kill those who don’t obey the world’s corporate masters.

    There is so much more to mention about this man. And Warren Buffet made billions in the financial “industry” and owns financial companies which own food companies. That is definitely not a good thing.

    Until people learn that our selfish wants have been disguised as needs and are being manipulated to enrich a tiny portion of the population we will see the continued destruction of the environment, suffering of people and animals and injustice prevail over equality throughout society.

  • In the socalled 1st world only the rich are becoming richer each and every day, so poverty is increasing in a high-developed country like Germany, new working contracts often only temporary and growing number of precarious jobs with very low wages. What a lousy world!

      • Cooperatives are already existing for long time in agricultures (mainly comprising family-run farms or wine-producing small enterprises). However the EU policies more supporting the big agricultural companies growing and withdrawing the small business! So this old idea(l) has a real hard standing in nowadays world.

  • As I said before, it isn’t THAT black-white. I still refuse to believe it. Blaming ‘the rich’ for everything that goes wrong in the world, isn’t fair either, in my opinion.
    People need to own the businesses? A family who worked very hard together for many years to make their business a success, now has to give up their ‘say’?
    Again, I don’t think it is fair either. Yes, we should find ways to help ‘the poor’ (which by-the-way, the majority hates to be classified as that), but I am still not convinced your idea is the way…with all the respect, dear Mathias.

    • Dear Patty. Thank you so much for the challenge and please once more forgive me the long response (testing how much fits into a comment/reply box :-))

      It may not be “black and white,” but it is “money or no money” (or any other form of (material) capital). One can buy anything with cash. And without, people starve and die (every day 22,000 children die because of poverty (UNESCO)).

      I understand your hesitance towards the (seemingly radical) argumentation I suggest. In every case, it is an admirable attitude of yours that you are open enough to discuss it anyway.

      The rich are not to blame for everything, indeed. And it is not only the individuals to blame as they have socially learned and adopted the traditions, customs, and rites (as strange as they may sometimes appear later on). The all dominating system in our societies is capitalism. Capitalism is about capital. In case of competing capitalist and humanistic interests, the capitalist system is implemented to dominate. Because of our value system’s focus on monetary values over people there are humanitarian crisis. Example: Think of helping a wealthy family to save taxes, and you’ll get compensated abundantly. Help people in need, and you don’t get a penny, being left with doing volunteering.

      I’m not talking about confiscation of private property (your mentioned family businesses). I am talking about the next generation of entrepreneurs (can also be the existing ones who transform their businesses into more social enterprises though, e.g., giving more shares to their employees) who organize work more according to democratic principles as they are already quite familiar in political systems. This takes time. However, kingdoms and dictatorships sometimes were overthrown abruptly.

      Indeed, the “poor” don’t like to be given pittances. Just receiving charity is degrading and not solving their problem. They want to work, they want to take over responsibility, as we were given the opportunities (sometimes through inheritance, social status, education, supportive environment, good health (thanks to good food and medical system), etc.); but they are often not given the opportunity; poverty is a vicious circle difficult to escape. If underprivileged people got the same opportunity as we had regarding education, etc., the majority of them would be able to lead the same (materially) successful lives as we do. They are the same human beings, just presented with different external conditions.
      Today, the low production cost system is exploiting natural resources and cheap labor. Profit maximization is also based on minimizing production costs, including cheap labor. The system wants/needs cheap labor! If it doesn’t find it nearby, it outsources to where there are still low wages. That is reinforcing the increasing imbalance between “rich and poor.”
      A worker-owned company would decide differently, in favor of their employees’ wages, the survival of the company, and the protection of the local resources, environment, and communities. Profits would be re-invested or benefitting all rather than be used to enrich relatively few investor shareholders.

      The co-operative model has proven to be feasible and make a difference. This is a good and tangible starting point. However, I also think that there needs to be some innovation as the co-op movement remained still marginal compared to traditional business sectors during the last 100 years. That is why I am not just complaining, but have founded the Platform Cooperativism Japan (PCJ) Consortium to create further positive examples for all (https://www.facebook.com/platformcoopjp) actively

      • I thank you again, for taking the time to debate with me. I do understand this all. Do you believe it is due to ‘only’ the opportunity to gain profit/money, we started the traditinial business sectors in the first place? Since, I think we came from a period in time/history we had what you are trying to establish again?
        Somehow, I just am reluctant to believe we all were that stupid?
        Anyways, I agree…a change is necessary and long overdue. The website of PCJ (so, so sorry) still on my ‘to-do-list’.
        My husband works for a big multinational and I challenge him with your views and thoughts too 🙂
        If I may ask (maybe you already posted an article about it, trying to catch up), talking to CEO’s about the PCJ, do you also get ‘no’ or ‘not interested’? And if so, what are the arguments against it?

      • Thank you, Patty!!!! You really engage, that’s awesome!

        What do you mean by “establish again?” There was never wide co-operativism as far as I know. The today’s Spanish Basque region with the Mondragon organization is the maybe biggest example of a community that is strongly influenced by the co-operative way. Co-operativism would not restore communism or the like; rather it is about member-owned for-profit organizations in competitive markets. And it is about democracy at the workplace, like in the political system too.
        We are not stupid. But we are social “animals,” often following the herd:-).

        Reactions to the co-op and PCJ idea in specific are: (1) people didn’t know/think about that option as almost all schools don’t teach/promote the idea despite its proven sustainable qualities, (2) they find it logic, good, and interesting, after I could show them feasible ways and practical examples, but (3) they don’t want to be first-movers as they are preoccupied with materialistic benefits while missing other less familiar values, or they don’t trust others capacity for cooperation. (Regarding your example of possible moderation: social comparison is a significant influence. If they have three unnecessary cars, it is because others have too). There are also more extreme examples, either upfront declaring the concept very remote to reality, or they are excited and already started to support the movement or creation of their own co-op enterprise:-). The PCJ is creating the latter cases:-)

      • Before money was invented/implemented, I think people cooperated more?
        I will explore the PCJ more, Mathias, I promise. So many questions and I am sure you all covered them at the site.
        Thanks again and till soon! Big hug, XxX

      • Thank you, Patty. No hurry and thanks again for today’s debate! Yes, the platform cooperativism movement is interesting and high-potential. (See also: http://www.platform.coop). Regarding money: The issue is ownership, whether this happens directly or through a currency. People own their destiny when they own (co-own, have a saying in) the country, land, home, company, and workplace. They cooperate when they are taken as equal opportunity partners. In contrast, they give up (resignate) when they are left behind. If I know I can’t change anything and nobody will hear me anyway, then I don’t even try. That’s why a real democratic voice (based on co-ownership) is important. Sometimes the right is not used when the representative management/government is doing well, for example. But the right to claim the workers interest could be exercised, which is not the case in today’s working world.
        I can’t stop promoting it, pardon! I’m just really excited regarding the possibility for a fairer future of work. Thanks again for the exchange, take care and till soon