TaN: Happiness is a choice – a personal choice. People think that happiness comes from possessing some material “trophy” – which offers only temporary elation but soon fades and then it is time to move on to the next “trophy”.
Happiness is eternal; the momentary joy that one experiences is not happiness but a deception. It is a fleeting elation that gives us a good feeling for a brief period. That is not happiness.
Happiness is not dependent on any external source. It comes from within. This is the reason why people are perpetually searching for happiness and not finding it. As is the saying, “Do not look outside for what is inside.” In other words, when you are looking for something in the wrong place/s, of course, you will never find what you are looking for.
Finally, since happiness is from within, when we have decided to be happy and not depend on external temporal things, we will forever be happy because it cannot be lost nor taken from us. This happiness is independent of anything material – including people. This is true happiness. This is satisfaction. This is contentment.
TaN: Free market is what got us into all this mess – global financial crisis, food crisis, job and unemployment crisis, health crisis, slave wages and inhuman working conditions, endless wars and disputes, etc. At first impression, “free market” appears to be a good concept, until we realize that what we truly need is “fair market” – the inclusion and application or implementation of ethical practices into transactions and dealings to ensure that all parties (inclusive of society and the environment) are not disadvantaged, fully informed and with genuine consent, and truly satisfied and served with and by the exchange.
Consumerism was born of/from the free market and it is this (unbridled and inconsiderate) consumerism that has brought us to the brink of ruin. Globalization sounds so wonderful, with all the promises of prosperity, of global markets, and of a cornucopia of goods and of services – so utopic. Everyone was lured – and many are still (blindly) convinced and brainwashed – into embracing globalization and, even after more than a decade, has not yet awaken to the stark reality that it only benefits mega corporations. Instead of being limited to domestic markets to plunder, the whole world is now open to ransacking – funneling ever more wealth and concentrating it to fewer and fewer hands, abetted by governments (through lobbying of and enacting of favorable legislation by Congress and implementation by well-placed cronies and underlings in key regulatory agencies and backed up by the Judiciary to ensure immunity against suits and damages). In addition, should Big Business blunder and collapse the world into crisis after crisis, they can be guaranteed of financial bailouts from taxpayers through the generosity of Big Government – anti-bankruptcy guarantor.
We are at – or, at least, very near the – crossroad of our history where there is an ever-widening gap from the resulting polarization between the haves (1%) and the have-nots (99%). Despite existing for quite some time now, it is still in its infancy that a global movement is emerging to assert its rights and its place in the scheme of things. Awareness of its potential and its birthright is still at snail’s pace – it could be all for the better. It is better to build slowly but surely to ensure a good foundation that will withstand any onslaught – from the powers-that-be to preserve their status and secure their dominance and control – that the prevailing 1% might attempt to disrupt and derail (from infiltration, to squid tactics, to outright harassment and threats, to confiscation and incarceration, to intimidation, etc).
The 99% must realize that all the wealth that the 1% has amassed and stored away came from their blood, sweat and tears. It is the 99% – labor – that created the wealth that the 1% so undeserving hoarded and so unmindfully and guiltlessly squander as though they, the 1%, were responsible for creating it. It is high time the 99% become aware of their true worth, their true capacity, their true contribution. Without the 99%, the 1% have nothing for capital was born out of labor – capital is excess labor…labor at rest. Before there was capital, there was labor. As Abraham Lincoln was quoted to have said (and I paraphrase), “How can capital be superior over labor? Capital came from labor.” How can the son be above the father; how can the created be better than the creator? It just does not make sense. However, the 99% – even now, still – believes that they need the 1% for all their needs and wants, when it should be the other way around.
When the 99% decides to work for each other, to trade among themselves, to deal with the rest of the 99% only, not to recognize and give value to money or any negotiable instrument used and enforced by the 1%, true freedom and liberation of the 99% will begin and live among themselves and apart from the 1%, then and only then will the 1% realize just how important and essential the 99% is and how insignificant the 1% is – as far as existing and everything in this world is concerned. And, since the very existence of the 1% depends completely on the 99%, it should be the latter that dictate the terms and conditions of how things should be.
The problems are: (1) the 99% – at least a great majority – still have not realize what they are capable of or that they are the key to everything that the 1% owns and enjoys; (2) the 99% – again, at least a great majority – are subconsciously desirous of what the 1% have and enjoy and do not want to upset the status quo, because they hope to be among the 1% someday and avail of the same; and, (3) the 99% – still again, at least a great majority – still cannot grasp the reality that they, if they act as one, can reject what the 1% is imposing and make another world, a better one, for themselves and everyone else.
All this ties to the 1% convincing the 99% – through whatever means necessary, like academics and training, like seminars and conferences, like peer pressure and advertising, like laws and government regulations – about the “virtues” and the “benefits” of a free market and get everyone into nothing thinking about fair market, which is what the 1% do not want to happen (otherwise all the good life will be lost).
Although free market sounds like a dream come true, it really is but only for the 1%. Meanwhile, the 99% has been slipping deeper and deeper into despair and morass. The free market plays on greed and pushes Machiavellian principles – to employ any and all means necessary to achieve your goal, which is to make as much money regardless of how many people will suffer, of how badly an underveloped or developing country’s economy will impacted (read: Confessions of an Economic Hitman, by John Perkins), or of how much damage and devastation will be subjected on the environment.
Fair market is the ethical version of free market.