Monday, 27 February 2017

Rojava - Democracy for the People

It's pretty hard to argue that Western systems aren't failing. Between homelessness doubling in Britain in the last six years, the NHS being systematically defunded whilst nuclear armament has money pumped into it, unjust wars like those in Iraq and Afghanistan and the frightening apathy of governments and populations towards refugees from nations like Syria, its hard to say our systems are working well.

So imagine my amazement when I read about Rojava earlier this morning. Rojava is an area in Syria where new systems of democracy are being implemented. The state has been scrapped, in its place a combination of local and district assemblies, running all aspects of life in a democracy built from the bottom up rather than from the top down. Their new democracy allows for equal rights for women, people of different faiths and different nationalities. They are implementing different forms of justice in an attempt to improve on the typical system of state dictated punishment.

In short they are doing an awful lot of inspirational things, things that many nations may well benefit from if they could only snap out of their state induced apathy.

You probably haven't heard of Rojava, or of the developments there, because our media has hardly even mentioned it. It's a real shame, this sort of forward thinking is something the world sorely needs to embrace. We must try to improve ourselves and our way of life, we must save our nations and democracies by improving and fixing them. The same, of course, goes for the planet, which could perhaps be given greater emphasis in a better run democracy?

The problem is the nations surrounding Rojava; Turkey, Iran, Iraq et al, are doing everything in their power to crush it. They are blocking trade, humanitarian aid for the war torn areas affected by ISIS and the broader Syrian conflict and even cutting off the supply of electricity and water. If these aren't terrorist acts then what are they?

People need to take it upon themselves to read, to look into things, to educate themselves, to challenge their preconceived notions of things. Then we can sort out our governments, our democracies and our environment. Rojava seems like a great example of what a democracy could and should be, we all owe it to ourselves to learn about it, to spread the word about it and encourage our governments and our people to help it grow and flourish.

If you want to know more about Rojava take a look at these links:

https://www.ft.com/content/50102294-77fd-11e5-a95a-27d368e1ddf7

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rojava_conflict

Credit to https://radicalglasgowblog.blogspot.co.uk/ for first educating me about Rojava.


Saturday, 25 February 2017

Changing Priorities

When I started this blog it's because I wanted to blog about anything and everything, things that interested me, things that were important to me. It was largely about veganism, gaming, movies and other geeky things.

More recently I've dedicated the few sporadic posts to my issues with depression and the changes that I have gone through to get to a healthy state: discovering the ideas of mindfulness, minimalism and anti-consumerism. These things, along with veganism, are now the most important things in my life.

I still enjoy video games and movies but want to dedicate far less of my life to them, I want to enjoy what I enjoy but don't want to fuel what I see as quite horrible industries - industries of environmental destruction and unfair wealth distribution. Don't get me wrong, films and games are great fun and often great works of entertainment and art but the cost, in terms of environmental impact and the ludicrous situation of actors being millionaires unsettles me greatly. I also want to own less, spend less and take time to focus on what is important to me for my life: friends, family, preserving the earth, being happy and healthy.

I am more politically engaged, more environmentally engaged and more personally engaged than I ever have been and this makes me happy. I want to keep blogging, about my experiences, about what's important, so I asked myself the question of whether or not to start a new blog. With my most recent posts the tone of things here has taken a dramatic shift and that shift is only going to continue. But I have decided to stick around here, my love of geeky things and the posts about them will remain and ill be able to look and see how I changed and when.