Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

It Could Happen Here Weekly 55

It Could Happen Here Weekly 55

Sat, 15 Oct 2022 04:01

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In the next 30 seconds, one sweltering beach bomb will decide, It's just too hot. And want to move somewhere milder. And Essie's dreaming of a brisk outdoor jog, cracking up in a window, and the comfort of throwing on a light layer. He'll realize, I've got to sell the house and fix it and stage it and show it. Or skip the hassles, sell directly to Open Door, and move on to the things that matter, like that cool breeze. Get your free offer at slash new move. Eligibility and offer price may vary. Open Door is represented by Open Door Procreation license 02061130 in California, and Open Door Procreation LLC in its other markets. GM app is the perfect way to experience the excitement of wagering on live sports. Now and more markets than ever, visit for terms and conditions. Must be 21 years of age or older to wager, Virginia only. New customer offer, all promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility requirements. Rewards issued is non-withdrawable free bets or site credit. Free bets expire seven days from issuance. Please gamble responsibly. Gambling problem, call 1-888-532-3500. Let me guess. Unknown caller, you could reduce the number of unwanted calls and emails with online privacy protection. The latest innovation from Discover will help regularly remove your personal info, like your name and address, from 10 popular people search websites that could sell your data. And we'll do it for free. Activate in the Discover app. See terms and learn more at slash online privacy protection. Hey everybody, Robert Evans here. And I wanted to let you know, this is a compilation episode. So every episode of the week that just happened is here in one convenient and with somewhat less ads package for you to listen to in a long stretch. If you want, if you've been listening to the episodes every day this week, there's going to be nothing new here for you. But you can make your own decisions. It's sports. We're doing what we're doing. We're doing the five-yard penalty. The marineries. Howl. The angels have become the mariners. All the things are circles now. Not so. Body checking. Yep, this is the sports episode. Welcome to it could happen here. Your favorite sports cast. I'm not the host of this episode, but I'm talking for some reason. James and Chris, why are we talking about sports? To distract us from the crumbling of society around us. But more specifically to talk about how sports are used to launder the reputations of the tutorial regimes. And I know Chris has got some interesting stuff on Bolsonaro's Brazil and sports. Oh, this is this is this is really before that. Sorry. Yeah, I should mention this. This is okay. This is like this is this is this is this is some wonderful I PT era vintage crimes. Oh, good stuff. Okay. Yeah. I love for Brazilian crime no matter what the vintage. So I'm excited to learn about crimes. How the NFL legitimizes the military police state anyway. Um, Yep. And it's time for more is it. So multiple things they're doing wrong. I want to talk first about like the original instance of what we're going to call sports washing because of what else calls it sports washing to. So that's like using these big global mega events to launder the reputation of a pretty questionable regime. So the OG instance of this is the 1936 Olympics which were held in Berlin. You're probably familiar with who was in charge in Berlin in 1936. It was the Nazis. That's a spoiler. And the Nazis were actually given the Olympics. The Olympics were given to Vimebi, Germany, which was considerably less shit than the Nazis. But the Nazis took them on and they're really round with them. And lots of the symbology that we associate with the Olympics today that they're raising your flags during the medal ceremony, the playing of national anthems, the parade of flags, uh, the opening ceremony, the torch relay right the torch relay goes from OG, and appear in Greece to where the Olympics are being held. It's just big ceremony or thing, right? That all of these things were created by it's guy called Karl DM who was a Nazi to draw stronger links between the Nazi party and the ancient Greeks and position the Nazis like the inheritors of this classical legacy, right? And the civilized people in the barbaric world like the Greeks saw themselves. And obviously the Olympics if you aren't familiar draws it's legacy from a largely mythical construct of a games that did actually happen in ancient Greece, right? So they claimed to have been like a reconstruction of this Greek tradition. Except in the Greek tradition, everyone was naked, which I think would make the Olympics much more watchable. We could yeah, it's that is one of the things that's true. I would watch the male gymnastics way more. It's not just naked but oiled. Yeah, honestly, men's swimming would be a lot more interesting. Yes, it would. Anyway, yeah, naked Olympics we can get behind but they didn't bring that back. And obviously, did it bring that back? They did have some naked statues but they weren't big into nudity. But they fused a whole lot of fashy eugenics shit, right? So the reason that they started having these metal tables was very much to reinforce their idea of the superiority of one race over other races, right? Didn't really work out for them in 1936 because Jesse Owen's turned up and owned them. Lots of different events and Jesse Owen's being of course a black American sprinter and long jumper. And it didn't really well be the 1936 Olympics did exist to did help significantly in laundering the Nazi image. They hit away a lot of their bullshit like they for instance like all the Nazi party newspapers like weren't distributed for the time that foreigners were in the country, right? They hit away anti-Semitic slogans. They even had a Jewish woman on the German Olympic team because there was lots of sort of fuss and sort of their like neoliberal, liberal complaining, a gas about like, oh no, you're being anti-Semitic. Oh, you shouldn't. Oh look, there's a Jewish person on your team. It's fine. You guys are great. You guys aren't anti-Semitic at all. It's good. We're sorted. And the US did nearly boycott the Olympics but they decided not to. Whether this guy got every branded, she went on to be a piece of shit of some renowned. So like this 1936 Olympics, I guess, set the tone for the use of these massive events to put on a show to the world and bring me world's press and show them what you want them to see and hide the stuff that you don't want them to see, which I think is a nice transition to talking about Brazil. Yeah. So we've talked sort of about that a fact of it. The sports has a second sort of incredibly important internal political effect, which is that when you have a sports thing that's large enough, like when you have, you know, like we have a world cup, you have the Olympic show up, you have even some sort of Super Bowl. Like what it basically creates is this like, like it basically creates a temporary sort of state of exception where just like the sort of normal function of society stops, right? And you know, this can go in a number of different ways like, and anyone who's ever lived in Philadelphia, like, okay, there's a version of this in Philly where like after the Eagles win like for like 15 hours, there are no laws. Or like an engineering show where they just killed like 30 people. Yeah, well, that's not true. Like under 130 people did it. Yeah. Oh, was it 130 people did it yet? Yes. Oh my god. Yeah, 135, I think. Yeah. Yeah. A horrific shit. Yeah. Well, you got to head to sports for killing tons of people. I think that largely to blame with a cops, I'd rather than sports. Yeah, but I mean, but that, but this is the thing about sports, right? Is that in order to sort of like do security, blah, blah, blah, blah, blocks, etc., in order to like make sure the game is worth, you can do fucking anything. Yes, right? Just to fight nasty ass shit. Yeah. And you know, one of the things, one of the sort of like examples that I want to talk about, about this happening is one that is really not talked about that much, which is the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which wound up, I think, actually having a pretty big impact on the way Brazilian politics went and also just destroying the lives of unfathomable numbers of people. So okay, so this whole thing, like had been in, I guess it's happening 2014. It's been in the works since like Lula was in office in like the late 20, like late, late 2000s, right? This is like, this is like one of this is like one of the workers parties, like big things is that they're going to have this World Cup. They've taken a shit ton of corporate money to do it. They've taken, you know, they've spent, they spent enormous amount of political capital on making sure this is going to happen. And the consequences of it are just like ash and on, but something like 250,000 people lost their homes in order to make way for the fucking stadiums and the fields and all of this bullshit around all the security theater stuff, all of this, yeah, this is something that happens with Olympics too more famously. But whenever you have a sports event like this, there's just this giant cleansing that happens of anyone who's on the street who's homeless, right? Someone who's just sort of like doesn't look right particularly anyone who's black, just sort of like suddenly is like disappeared by the police from this area. But this particular one in in Brazil was interesting because this is happening in 2014. So in 2013, there were like enormous protests in Brazil. And actually there, there'd been another like set of soccer events there in 2013 and like something like 800,000 people were in the streets across Brazil like protesting it. But yeah, there were these like there was enormous street movements, like 6% of the entire Brazilian population was in the streets. They were like basically started as sort of like anti-astereity protest because cities were sort of like we're increasing the price of like fairs for stuff. It gets, the protests get kind of weird very quickly because on the one hand, so like you have the workers party in power, right? And like the workers party has been sort of sliding right by this point. But you have a sort of like you have like a really billeted left that's in this street. You have a bunch of anarchists, you have a bunch of autonomous or sort of like doing stuff. But then also right wingers are showing up because it's a protest against the government and the government's like nominally left government. And yeah, this leads to just a really confusing state of affairs. But the next year, the protests keep going for like a long time. And even after like the largest ones are kind of peduing out, they're still, protests happening. But when the world cup hits, like the world cup is one of the sort of like the urge, like the law suddenly doesn't work anymore. Like in order to do this, you have to sign like there's something called the general law of the world cup, which is like a bunch of like laws that you have to sign that like physically change what your laws are. Like in order to fucking have this event magnificent. I mean, that's actually that's actually great. You should do more of that. The great thing about FIFA is that they've shown a commitment to human rights, equality and democracy. And so I'm sure there's rules are good rules. And oh yeah, no. So I so there are fun things like like literally like parts of the Brazilian constitution are suspended. Like what parts? Like well, so typically a bunch of about the right to strike. Like there's a special court that set up that like it like within 48 hours like, like decide on whether a strike is legal or not and what the thing is going to be. So that's not very good. Yeah, it's real that they're all very bad. Like there's there's the Brazilian government spends like $70 million buying basically police equipment and like from the US and Germany and from Israel, which is like the the whole utility of good normal countries where if you're buying shit from them, you're doing a good thing. See, I thought we were going to talk about how you know, there's moments in our society where the regular rules of engagement are suspended. And in such we can use this moment of extra opportunity to find new ways of liberate experiencing liberatory freedom. Oh, people tried that and and and instead of a bunch of fucking literally like they were driving tanks through the street like into like like blockading off like roads leading out of the favelas with tanks. Like it was fucking nuts. Like some incredible videos of this time. Yeah, there are like laws in Brazil about child labor, right? Guess what? Doesn't apply to FIFA so you can see so they can have fucking ballboys. They just made the basic. Basic. Child labor. They also have they they have these there are 20,000 people who are working for this event who are who are classified as volunteers. Okay. They play. You can like use them as basically they started doing slave labor. Oh, yeah, what's the deal? What's the deal? So shocking. Yeah, I know. Are they forced into this or do they actually volunteer kind of? Okay, so some of them see the actual. The actual. No, like, yeah, I don't know as like actual slavery because like slavery is not actual slavery. Okay. They don't do actual slavery, but like this is yeah, this is not quite that. But it's a bunch of people who are kind of it's on to. Yeah, but yeah, who have no labor rights like and the everything happens is there's there are enormous crackdowns. Like they just start they start doing the thing that like the US does it too, but I think like Canada is more of the US where it's like when when when they know a protest is about to happen, they like go find the like six people who they think are protest leaders and just arrested beforehand. They started doing that. They there's a bunch of people who get tortured. There's a bunch of like the police are basically just going ape shit. They like it. Yeah, they they there are some like there's a point in this where like the the garbage workers go on strike and they actually win because it turns out that if in the middle of the world cup, there's fucking garbage piling up on the street like it's really bad, but like yeah, like this has like this has a just like absolutely disastrous effects on like just just sort of what like everything that's going on in politics like what one of the things that Lula does I'm going to talk about this more in another personal episode, but Lula it like sent a bunch of Brazilian troops to invade Haiti. Which fucking sucks and then those troops came home and they were used to occupy the favelas in real while this was going on. And this kind of crushed like what was left of the sort of left that had been in this trees in 20 in 2014 like they just got like in 2013 like they just got they just got stomped because the Brazilian police are unterrifying and like literally they're deploying colonial troops like in the streets. And yeah, and so this is the sort of second kind of thing that you can get with sports, which is like on the one hand, they're used to sort of whitewash regimes and on the other hand, they're used as basically a way to like do fascism inside of a state where you can you know, like you could you could do a state of exception, right? Like the law sees to exist. The state becomes like this entity that can just sort of like do whatever it wants to order to preserve itself. And it's a way that you can just you know, you can socially cleanse 250,000 people in which something that would be like, you know, would genuinely be pretty difficult if you try to do this in any other circumstance, but you know, it's sports. So you can just basically do ethnic cleansings. And yeah, it sucks ass. And sometimes you can do it with the support of the other. So like the the the world cup is going to your guitar, right? And they one of the things is happening is it's quite unquote security consultants from the participating nations are coming. So you have this like incredible situation where like a the Katari and like police chief, I believe, has been like, Hey, for your own safety fans, if you do happen to be gay and it's illegal to be gay, right? In Katar like just guys, just don't hold hands with your partner because it's not us who's going to come and beat you up. It's it's the regular Kataries, right? Like you, you won't be safe and we can't protect you from their violent homophobia. And then we've got like Britain sending soldiers to be like, yeah, let us help you with your security consultations, guys. We need to keep this country safe. Oh God. Okay. So do you know what else does violent security consultations? Is it Britain? Yes. Yeah. We're now sponsored by the nation of Britain is better. It's better. Better help. Better help online counseling. Sign up for therapy, a military, a military team will break through your windows and force you to go to therapy with a cop. That's that is that is the better health guarantee. And we're back and I am not thinking about the people who I know who were physically dragged by cops in the therapy. Oh, it's great. It's a great country that we've never happened. Never happened. No one's ever been forced to go to therapy non-consensually. Oh, it doesn't happen. Yeah. Yeah, other things that don't happen include, include sports. Yeah, sports aren't real. They're a figment of our imagination if we simply stop. The ontology of sports is fatally flawed. They, one might say that sports are a way of teaching people to be compliant with rules and to be administrators in a colonial empire. Or people can argue that sports offer a gamified version of the world that allow you to recognize problem solving in fun and creative ways and encourage team building. So that's the one. I don't actually like sports very much. Yeah. And yeah, that dude quite like sports. I'm aware of the role they play. Okay. So this is like a big thing that the golf states do is particularly do the sports bullshit. And Carter I think usually is smarter about it than like Carter just has better PR people than the Saudis do. And I mean, they're slightly helped by the fact that they are marginally less bad than Saudi Arabia like Marge like this is a lie. This is a fucking a bar that is so low you can trip over it. Yeah. I think we can just say both bad. Yeah. So should we talk about the Catholic system? Yeah, let's do it. Okay. So the golf states have this thing called the Catholic. Now there have been some alterations to it and something that made it less bad in the last few years. But basically this is a system that lets. Okay. So there's a bunch. There's a lot of market workers particularly from Southeast Asia that like take jobs in the golf because they pay they have the golf states have a like a obscene, fanatical like world-rending amount of oil money. And so people you know come seeking these jobs because they need to feed their families and you know there's a huge amount of oil money here like they have just every petro dollar. But the way this labor system basically works is that like in order to like be in the country you have to have a job right. You like you like to be very specifically have to have a job and your employer has to be there. So very very bad things start to happen when you have a group of people who you can just like instantly destroy the life of. And so these will happen where for example like I saw you okay so you show up to caught her right. And your boss will just take your fucking passport. Yeah. And it's just gone right and you know it's like okay if you don't do literally everything they tell you like you're not going to get your passport back you're just fucked. And this creates a like a genuine lead like very close to slavery has a lot of the fucking horrors like you there were a bunch of stories people like fucking jumping out of buildings trying to escape and then like being dragged back like it's fucking horrifying labor conditions. Yeah. It's not it's not not indentured servitude. No it is. Yeah. It's yeah it is it is one of the worst it's one of the worst labor regimes on earth that is not literally slavery. It is it is it is in the category of technically not slavery but like very close. Yeah it is it is one of the worst things that exists a serious and genuine solution to if you want to solve like a bunch of the problems of all of the bullshit that's happening to go off region if you gave every single one of these migrant workers like several artillery batteries and a bunch of assault rifles like it like instantly like so many of the problems of this region would be solved. Yeah so I was just looking up statistics 6,500 of these workers have died in Qatar since it was awarded the World Cup. Like that's that's that's a pretty alarming number of like so it's from India Bangladesh and Nepal Sri Lanka prices like that right and I think yeah these people have absolutely no rights and they have incredibly dangerous working conditions. Yeah and also we got a bit like people are super fucking racist like yes. The like the it's it's the kind of racism that you get when you have literally like basically pure absolute power over someone it is a it is a fucking trip. Yeah people will literally have to pay off the debts they include like your pay or recruitment trophy or a travel fee to get these jobs like we're not messing around when we say it's an indentured substitute. Yeah and it's very hard to do that your your your employees could just you know like they can fucking just withhold your pay for whatever the fuck reason because yeah there's a absolute power there's like a few should I read this one there's an example of one of these debts that I could read if we want yeah yeah so this guy my two ballapoli I think his name is from India he was 43 he left his wife and his 13 year old son Rajesh in India to take a job in Carter in 2013 they never saw him again. One late night 2019 when his roommate returned to his dorm he found ballapoli's body on the floor like thousands of other sudden and unexplained deaths. It's passing with recorded his heart failure due to natural causes. Despite working for his employer for six years his wife and son received 114,000 rupees about a thousand pounds about a thousand dollars now as well in compensation and unpaid salary. Rajesh had no idea where he's farther died he had no health problems he said there was nothing wrong with him. Yeah pretty does I'll I'll will link the Guardian story but there are dozens of these stories of people who die and working in extreme heat for long hours with no breaks and terrible condition. It's pretty terrible shit. Yeah and a lot of these and also this is the other thing which is to point out is a lot a lot of people have died directly building. Yes the stadium. Yeah which is like. The absolute human horror of why on why are we using like why are we building a giant fucking soccer stadium in the middle of in like in the fucking desert like yeah Jesus Christ. In a place with no endemic soccer culture it's not that this stadium is like you know they're going to be packed week in a week out with the guitar reucturers doing T-Fo's and shit like it just exists for people to come once to to watch the spectacle and then leave again. I mean it's the same thing with all the Olympics stuff right like they they like tank a city as economy to build a whole like basically minnitude like village in town that then becomes useless after like a month. Yeah. We'll just get turned into like I don't know that's what the Olympics are for the Olympics are like a gathering place for a transnational bourgeoisie and they have always been that right like they when they started for a very long time the Olympics had an amateurism clause which meant that like quote unquote professional athletes couldn't take part which was designed such that like bourgeois people who had enough leisure time to train could compete but working class people who needed to take time off to train couldn't be compensated for that time off right they couldn't even be compensated for their time off taken to travel and compete at the games. So like the Olympics are doing what they're supposed to do which is bringing these elite people together but like yeah Coca-Cola benefits more from every Olympics and the city that hosts it. Yeah. Yeah. I mean and obviously it's the Olympics are heavily tied to nationalism and that has a whole bunch of you know not great much of the national symbology comes from the Nazis directly like that whole. Yeah exactly but also on the flip side of that there is other stuff like have like Taiwan having to compete as Chinese Taipei and not use their actual flag which is other like yes the alternative would be more you know embracing the country as like as a nationalist thing like as it's as its own nation. But still it's it's still that great that they can't compete under their actual you know it's like a name. Yeah and you know like and this is like caughters at kind of weirdly this is slightly backfire and on caughter a little bit because like caughter caughter works the best as a sort of diplomatic power when nobody pays attention to it and then like absolute fucking brain geniuses like a Atari roll elite were like what if we fucking drew attention to ourselves and that everyone was like wait hold on this place is fucked but this is not stopped it FIFA is like maybe the only ruling sports body more corrupt in the Olympic committee like it is is incredibly staggering like group of people who are figured out a way to just like help a city ethnically cleanse a bunch of its population and then extract you know what's about of wealth and then look good while doing it. Yeah it is it's an exercise and like pointing point to go over there while you steal someone's wallet you know. Yeah so I think that the last thing I think we want to talk about was talking about what the Saudis have been doing this too because yes. Well the sport I'm most familiar with obviously is like cycling that's the sport I competed in and it's recently seen this influx of money from petrochemical states right so we have like UAE team we had a Dubai team for a while and we there is like a tour of caughter and the tour of Dubai now that like these are not places anyone wants to go ride a bike right they're hot they're flat they're terrible but like a bike races have always served as a way to consolidate nations right that's why the tour to France exists it's like yeah it's literally a loop and being like hey you're included in this and like in in Europe they're often used to consolidate nations that exist outside of states right like Flanders Catalonia the bass country willonia all of these places have bike races that delineate who belongs in and who belongs out so different in these petrochemical economies because more delineate so look at us we're a great country and totally normal and you can come here and do sports and please don't look at the the way that we treat our workers from Southeast Asia like it's it's it's please ignore our 17 wars and like all the school buses full of children we've blown up like do not look at yes it's like yeah which also by the way I do want to just put this room in yeah Carter also fucking involved in Yemen same with the UAE they nobody ever talks about it they also are fucking doing this do not left them off the hook for this bullshit yeah yeah it's interesting to see like it's interesting to see some fan groups organizing like against this shit right and chiefly I think it's gonna it's about stuff that you're about to talk about I think which is the purchasing of clubs by these these very wealthy interests I find it fascinating to see that there has always been an anti-fascist element in in football ultra right there have always been clubs that have been anti-fascist those clubs have always tended to oppose like ownership of of the clubs that they are fans of by finance capital but it's interesting to see that now articulated against these petrochemical regimes in the Middle East right like it's Keith from fucking Bolton and his mates who go to the football match every Saturday now I'm fucking pretty strange because I allow an LGBTQ rights in Qatar but yeah it's very funny to see and also it's nice to see right like it's good to see people showing solidarity like you can't display in theory you can't display pride flags instead you're or anywhere else in Qatar right now know people we're talking about taking them anyway so maybe someone will do an epic like pride flag or TFO at the Olympics which would be I don't know I've never seen the world cup they might all get disappeared but yeah then the entire approach with caution yeah then the stadium collapses and we go yeah so the other thing that's sort of been happening is the Saturday's been buying up a bunch of clubs that they bought I Britain's Premier League you cast a united team there's like bought it they have they the Saturday's have this this thing called the public investment fund which is like it's kind of like a it's a sovereign wealth fund kind of they just use it to like it by shit and they've been doing a bunch of sports stuff they've also been pushing it to e-sports which has been interesting a disaster yeah so they bought the ESL which is the is it still stand for electronic sports league I think actually I think it still does so are you talking about e-sports now we're talking about fucking yeah okay okay oh yeah you're about to be a big hit and say e-sports on sports no their video games yeah it's no it's it's better than actually better than regular sports yeah they're different chest yeah well but the same the same shit is happening here so the ESL is like one of the it's it's it basically eight a bunch of the other so there used to be a bunch of sort of circuits for a bunch of different like e-sports games right things like counter strikes seems like a starcraft um those are those sort of I think there's another what's the other big one that ESL does um uh ESL seems to me mostly counter struck and they they basically consumed all of the like starcraft so they used to be i.e.m. and dream hack that did stuff and they've like eaten them all and the ESL just got like bought out by like the Saudi's fucking investment company by and by by a new sort of like media group thing at the Saudis forum that's headed by fucking former Activision CEO Brian Ward actually unbelievable yeah who who who's the guy who engineered the fucking Activision Blizzard merger and is now going on to uh do this bullshit the savvy games group yeah I mean like like you like you you sports as always there's fun as always like a bunch of the stuff is funded by like fucking crypto currency right now I can't I can't somehow find out about this version it's called these ports I just know I just can't take it seriously it's the best but yeah they the Saudis have taken my beloved starcraft league I will be waging an unending holy war against them until they fucking cease to exist and yeah yeah you become a stockraft to again it sucks all I know about esports is sonic fox and smash brothers that's all I know because everything else just seems like people who are having a fun time playing video games and that's great it was very so my my postdoc was funded by the IOC and like at the time I was there there was this massive like first of all there was like a lot of boomers discussing if esports for sports and then whether they should be incorporated in the Olympics and it was just extremely funny to watch like these people completely fail to understand the fundamental like you know sports a physical contest with the metal element right does not have you moving a thumbs or your whole body but it was very funny towards these people I want to say this because this is okay so it's really funny but also people get like really seriously injured doing esports shit like particularly with starcraft players there's a lot of starcraft players who like fucking paralyzed who have like like serious damage to their spines yeah because they they have like starcraft players like especially older days you know people like practicing 16 hours a day right and they're sitting in a chair and they're they're fucking with you know they have like 4 o'clock at the PM right so you're doing like like 600 actions in a minute and people people's wrist just explode like people get fucking like damage at their spines they get nerve damage like all the shavans it sucks I have a friend who's a human physiologist who used to work for the Department of Defense here in San Diego helping like you know like high speed army people be better at killing people uh and maybe people I guess in San Diego and then left to work for Red Bull in their esports division oh yeah yeah yeah to be the human physiologist who like yeah optimizes people set up so that they risked it right and go and like guess I'm actually training I guess we won't be happy until Taiwan is playing Fortnite in a democratized decentralized esports league that has union workers and I guess that's what we're advocating for now yep that's the one goal of this podcast there is a there's a Myanmar national unity government esports team actually there there was actually a whole thing in competitive starcraft where someone held someone held up a Hong Hong flag and they fucking like they they cut the stream and fucking fired the two like they not only fired the guy who held the thing up they fired the two fucking casters who like it who were just there well it happened yeah so respect that person is the the John Carlos do that's the raised fist moment of esports yeah so yeah fuck sports do bad things make them do good things overthrow your local government yeah I mean the the revolutionary pretend I mean this is been written about by like actual academics but the revolution but the revolutionary potential of like soccer hooligans and football hooligans are like is massive like yeah one one one one one one one table to an episode about the fucking the the the the the the the Turkish soccer altruz who fucking stole a backhoe and we're driving it around turkey doesn't dirty destroying fucking police barricades with it sick of shit every and lots of like in terrier square their Egyptian altruz were leading in the my dad it was Ukrainian altruz and there's a really good book called 1312 which people should read if they're interested in like the political uh potential of football altruz we we should do something about uh like hooligans in general but yes this was supposed to kind of be about the various ways that there's sports things that are kind of messed up yeah maybe one more thing yeah you can stop these fucking giant mega events from happening in your city like people people successfully do this they've done this with the Olympics have done this some lesser sell the whole cup but yeah and if you can do that like please do like don't you don't have to let these fucking sports company bullshit like execs ethnically cleanse your city you just don't you can stop look up no limpyx LA is something that people in the US should look up yeah that is that is your action item for today is look up no I think we've talked about no Olympics before but these fucking tuna Olympics on the podcast I think and the last thing I will I will give an Easter egg there's there's one sport I actually on like unironically enjoy curling no not curf- fuck you you racist unbelievable that's the other side football is back and bedmgm is inviting new customers to join the huddle and enjoy the action like never before sign up today using bonus code champion and your first wager is risk-free up to $1,000 you'll also have instant access to a variety of parlay selection features player props and boosted odd specials just download the bedmgm app today or go to and enter bonus code champion and 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Hello and welcome to it could happen here to podcast about the world falling apart and people who are putting it back together today we're joined by Jimmy and Rain from Mutual Aid disaster relief they are helping to put back together some of the parts of the world that are acutely falling apart right now my colleague Gare is here as well. Hi Gare. Hello. Hi. Hey and yeah we're gonna we're gonna get into it we're gonna talk about the response at Mutual Aid disaster relief have made to Hurricane Ian we're gonna talk about how we can solve these things without necessarily giving a bunch of money to the wrong people and people can help people in a way that is natural organic and good for everyone so Jimmy and Rain say hi everybody hello hey and can you explain to us a little bit first of all about what Mutual Aid disaster relief is and how it operates in these natural disasters. Sure Mutual Aid disaster relief is a people powered disaster relief network based on the principles of solidarity Mutual Aid and Autonomous Direct Action and we act as a Swiss Army knife for the larger autonomous disaster response and Mutual Aid movements and work with affinity groups local Mutual Aid groups uh and other disaster survivors uh to help form and foster a communal recovery. That sounds great that's very inspiring. Can you explain maybe for listeners who aren't familiar exactly what Mutual Aid means in this context? Sure Mutual Aid is a voluntary reciprocal participatory exchange among equals it's about sharing resources but it's also about sharing power. I was spending a lot of my life in poverty and I know that many people in the same experiences would rather not receive something than receive something that downward gaze. If something costs us our dignity it's not worth it and so Mutual Aid is the way to share with each other where we're sharing as equals um instead of a powerful giver of aid and a powerless receiver of aid and it also has a dynamic of addressing the root causes of of the need in the in the first place. Okay that's yeah that's really that's a good description thank you very much. What what you've done recently right is responded to Hurricane Ian which most people I think will know hit Florida and I think the Carolinas after that. So can you take us through some of the work that you've been doing down there? Sure a lot of what I've been involved in is supplies distribution so we're on every day loading up vehicles and going doing mobile distribution to trailer parks to public housing apartments and other communities that are hit and historically you know left out of top down relief models and providing tarps, water, food, other essentials that people need. Yeah sure that's very important. What's the situation like we're now quite like a with 10 days out something like that from when the hurricane first made landfall is that right? I'm not sure exactly right do you know? Yeah no time time is not a thing. It's just kind of like all the days go together or nights or both. Yeah. Yeah that's yeah that's totally fine. So what's it? You know in some places power is starting to get turned back on gas is easier to find than it was you know several days ago but there's still you know like a lot of need for solidarity-based relief there's just like every disaster there's many communities that are left behind and it's the same communities that are left behind by the disaster of capitalism and colonialism and white supremacy and so you know even though power is starting to get turned back on in some places it's going to be months or years you know before people recover from this. Yeah there's a lot of folks that are not like to me talking about there's folks that are renters who you know don't don't know what they're supposed to do with their with the apartment that they're in the roof is caving in and if the landlord's not responding and what are they supposed to do? So if there's folks on the ground they go in and they'll try to like help get the tarp up you know on the roof and things like that. So that's usually the kind of stuff I've been involved with when I'm when it's happening more in my area but there's a lot of us that are working like remote as well to help support on the ground like doing comms and organizing supply lines through the autonomous supply line chain that we have and just kind of trying to mobilize more affinity groups in the local areas like food and hot bombs um Savannah could food and hot bombs came down and helped down did a food share and so just trying to get everybody who's close by to be able to address the immediate needs and start planning for the long term because Jimmy's right it's going to take years. Yeah that's really fascinating I think you're right that often like I think we should contrast actually that like that they sort of don't the large global nonprofit model or the service provider model that that contrasts with this right which often kind of floods in area with resources whether or not it needs them and then withdraws kind of wants attention is going to win people left to rebuild their lives kind of on their own right yeah yeah I'm in time again um from Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Maria you know a rain you know uh in Louisiana has experienced a number of hurricanes you know in recent years um you know time and time again we we we we had we we learned over and over again that the state is not coming to save us the market is not going to save us the nonprofit industrial complex is not going to save us we have to save each other we have to take care of each other from below yeah I think that's very true I remember like in I suppose 2018 when the last seven midterms came there was a large migrant caravan that came to Tijuana which is just south of where I live and there were a number of like these big international nonprofits but they weren't actually allowed to enter the area where these people were so you had these people in a football stadium and you had large nonprofits outside and they cut off the water to the place where these people works they wanted them to go somewhere else and it was this bizarre scene where you had tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars of resources sitting outside and then you had little children who hadn't had a drink of water that day sitting inside and it was really illustrative to me of how these massive nonprofits can raise a shit time of money and still completely fail people when they need help the most so it's great that you guys are out there doing that can you take us through some of the you mentioned Hurricane Katrina you mentioned being in New Orleans like can you take us through some of the other natural disasters and how you've helped um well uh in 2016 when we first kind of got our paperwork um official or whatever uh we had the flood in that Rouge in Louisiana and it was one of the most historic floods since like the early 1900s and it barely made the news and there were several of the major floods that happened in climate caused floods in the Midwest that um summer that barely made the news and now people are starting to talk about it right starting to talk about climate change because it's inevitable every single disaster is you know multiple just more and more frequency or higher intensity storm more rainfall in a shorter amount of time and so we had that flood and we hit the ground pretty much running just doing lots of mucking and gutting and organizing a lot of folks coming up from uh Texas and south in like New Orleans area and you know east from Florida all the way over Mississippi um and then like Jimmy said we just kept getting hit and hit I can't remember everything after that I know there was Irma and we responded to Irma we had national comms running um which was really cool people were signing up for workshops and helping out on the ground all people were running around and um getting transportation and getting people out of places delivering supplies helping you know again with targeting or like things that might have happened to homes um and then we've had in Maria I went down to Puerto Rico for that um and helped out with some of this solar and water issues there and then we have Laura and Harvey and I cannot even remember all of them at this point Jonas they're just all they're all gonna keep coming either into the Gulf or they're gonna head along the east coast because of the way that the climate has affected the currents and the surface water temperatures and the Gulf and the Atlantic. Yeah and like you say they're gonna have a disproportionate impact on people who are already marginalized. What is it you were talking about people signing up for work that's interesting so do you I'm seems like you're mostly a volunteer organization do people who have special skills just got to a website and say hey I'd like to help or how does that work. It happens in a lot of ways sometimes folks will reach out via the email on the website um or they'll reach out on one of the social media where they'll know somebody and be like hey I want to get involved um it's really grassroots some people are in the ground there's a lot of folks that have gotten involved more long-term because um you know there was a response on the ground in their area they kind of got into it just because that's you know what ends up happening when there's no one else around you rely on each other and you build that community it's kind of it's kind of just what happens. Yeah that makes sense so what's your sort of national do you have a sense of how many people how many volunteers you have on a national I'm guessing your national or international scale now. It varies you know like in times of you know when you know between disasters uh you know there's you know dozens of people involved or you know like 100 or 200 but then we're very you know participatory and so when a disaster happens you know there's a lot more people involved hundreds and thousands of people that participate in one way or another. Yeah like in Louisiana we've had um a lot of different like DSA groups or SRA groups come out and help out like mobiles on the ground and kind of come out as if in 80 groups and do different jobs or help out with different homes and so really it's just like it's a network of facilitating anyone who's interested in ensuring that all of us have what we need when we know the response is going to be slow from those that are supposed to be handling that quote unquote. Right and then you guys can connect people with skills or people with time to people who need help. Yeah so really anybody who has an awesome skill of any kind or not is welcome. That's great uh yeah where can they find that do people do want to sign up? Um I guess the easiest way would be via I don't know Jimmy you want to answer that? I'm on the ground a lot. Check out our website, NeutralA and our email is mutualaid disasterleaf at we're on all the social medias as well and yeah we we love it when folks reach out to us and tell us how they want to be involved. I wanted to ask you there are obviously some other organizations who like maybe I would name and you can if you want to who have received a lot of national press for doing helping people in times of disaster and maybe you can expand while like some folks wouldn't necessarily be comfortable asking them for help or going to them if they needed help. Yeah um so oftentimes uh you know like organizations you know um you know top down at organizations you know they partner with you know uh police or homeland security or carceral institutions like that there's a shelter after um uh when hurricane Michael hit the panhandle um you know people uh who had warrants you know we're we're signed into the shelter and then police came and scooped them up and brought them to you to jails and prisons and you know so you know um and also you know even with you know with those you know extreme situations aside um you know the the top down approach is patronizing it's stigmatizing it um can um at sometimes provide the water or the food that that people need but oftentimes comes at a too high of a cost uh and people long for a communal recovery that's how we heal from disasters like this from crises events is being part of you know a communal recovery where we're all able to pitch in and receive what we need and and give what we can. Yeah can you tell us could you give us an example of a communal recovery like that something that's happened somewhere where you guys have been able to assist a community or a community to assist a family or an individual in recovering. Yeah um one one example that I think is really representative of of our approach is um there there there's a family who who was evicted you know the um illegally you know after after a disaster and uh that you know single mom was looking after the other single moms making sure they had you know uh fuel for you know uh their generators to um you know to power their their phone in different different devices and that they had diapers and that they had you know what what they needed to get by even though you know they they no longer had a roof over their head and so when mutual aid disaster relief comes across people like this our resources are their resources you know so so when we both local mutual aid groups just the matriarch on the block who's taken care of of the other folks on the block mutual aid disaster relief exists to uh to share you know um this this network of supplies and labor and you know a backup and support uh with with efforts like that that are spontaneous uh that arise after every crisis okay that makes sense the last thing I really wanted to get to here was like like as you mentioned right climate change is causing these natural disasters and and the worst that things get then the worst that things get and like you guys have started this organization that helps people to help people and i'm wondering like what a like how can people organize to help and be how can people in communities organize to be more resilient in an in the time when natural disasters are becoming more and more commonplace so one of the things that i think what Jimmy spoke to regarding like a nature of underbut building that community in advance and after if it happens to just be after which is kind of what happens a lot of times is when it's that forced um i don't want to say forced but out of necessity right like necessity is the mother of invention right and so there's these iterations of what community can become every time there's a disaster there's like a clean slate and there's a vacuum in which something can be created because there may be nothing and so if you can see an opportunity and if you if you have any kind of network on the ground to eat or you in it spontaneously it rucks then that can be the new growth or the light or however you want to phrase it but i think for the resiliency to happen that solidarity in the long term is built from those networks on the ground those people recognizing each other and seeing each other and i think COVID is so interesting because people had become so nuclear and like isolated with technology and then forced into these pods of technology and obviously only we've been existed and then all of a sudden there was this need to be around people like people like no no no i really want like human contact and so i think that kind of speaks to the reality of what we need to survive and that's going to be through disasters through pandemics so building that building community garden like saying hey to your neighbor finding out who on your street is like an elder and maybe doesn't have anybody checking up on them like knowing what is in your what are the resources whether it's people whether it's a food bank whether it's like a water fountain like what are the resources in your area and where can use spontaneously take over areas when something happens there's so many empty lots different places that are you know really on the verge of being gentrified and when something happens if you can help in the areas where you can maybe take over a building that would help maintain that building for the person to it otherwise be getting pushed out soon right like we've worked with people that allow us to set up school libraries for example in their areas while we're re while we're doing disaster response and we help build that like house or that community center or that school of while we're there and creating a community space for people to then run with that concept of what they wanted to build like what they wanted to put there the best way you know to prepare for disasters is ongoing mutual aid projects and groups and efforts you know the more that we can connect with each other the those relationships and those connections they're the groundwork for a vibrant people-powered disaster response you gotta know who's who you gotta know what people are are able to do wanting to do know what are people's strengths it really is about that resiliency knowing who you can count on for something like who knows about you know wiring who knows about plumbing who knows about you know the the streets who knows the area the best you know certain members in the community that are founders in the community that others will respond to or navigate or gravitate to I got you yeah yeah that makes a lot of sense that like I think it's really interesting to contrast this with the model of like surviving natural disasters that we've seen portrayed so often especially on like TV shows like Preppers right which is like I will sit on my own with a shitton of ammunition and shoot anyone who comes after my ramen noodle castle but what are you gonna do with that when you're surprised right now then when you who are you gonna rely on all we have is each other we're not we're not I mean more power to the you know outlier individual out there that can literally do everything to themselves but I just don't think that's humanity's function we have we have much more when we share with each other then we have individually when we pull our resources together we have enough for everybody we you know we take what is in our cabinets you know as far as food or supplies we take what's in our medicine cabinets we make it a liberated communal space and supplies and and very quickly things snowball and a small first station becomes a wellness center or a clinic and and and that's you know the power of of sharing with each other and building building alternative infrastructure infrastructure together yeah the alternative infrastructure for me is really important too um I think for us to be resilient and we we have to teach each other the skills we have to start learning the ways in which we will be able to actually build back the way we want the way we foresee our communities could be whatever that looks like but we need those skills if we are going to divest if we are going to have autonomy yeah I really like that model of thinking of your natural disasters like an opportunity to re-build in a more a more equal way rather than thinking of it as the thing which just has knocked down you know the amount of stuff you've accumulated or whatever instead seeing those opportunities really positive it is an opportunity to re-evaluate is it an opportunity to see each other to see your neighbors an opportunity to be more sustainable in the rebuild which is a thing that I really struggle with in a lot of responses um is just the dependency on the existing supply chains and the existing methods of transportation like that that also needs to be addressed for resiliency in the future there's got to be an entire real world of how we respond in some ways in general if we're going to divest the way we want no I think that's the sustainability thing if just reminded me of something which like for whatever reason I bought one back last time I was somewhere but uh people can't see this being an audio podcast but uh one of the things you'll often see in natural disasters is these things that are called humanitarian daily rations and it's like a it's like an MRE and it comes in a pink packet and everything else comes into packet and like it's within like two days and obviously this is a time when like it's sort of systems for disposing of rubbish have been overwhelmed within two days these things on the foil packets and little brown spirits of fucking everywhere and it's just it always strikes me as so sad that like we've taken this time when people are in crisis and we've made it time when also that their environment is in crisis now as well yeah and so a lot and that's one of the things I struggle with with water as well water is kind of like my thing I know that irony but um when whenever there's a response there's a heavy dependency on bottled water and there's other alternatives but it would require you know a little bit of advanced skill training a little bit of advanced infrastructure development but that response could be prepared in advance and I think in in some cases there's communities especially in the Gulf South where that advanced thinking about it's gonna happen right it's gonna happen here right it's gonna it's gonna have it's gonna happen everywhere in the Gulf Coast and it's gonna keep going up and up and whether it's a fire whether it's a hurricane whether it's a massive tornado whether it's a drought in a food shortage or a pandemic if we're not thinking in advance and you just and I don't want to sound like you know necessarily proper individualistic but as a community thinking in advance like for example small plug but cooperation Jackson is thinking about building um their own water infrastructure so that they're not going to be dependent on just municipal water which is yeah I mean why not even if it's small scale why not start developing community-owned microgrid water treatment facilities why is it just capital large capital like Jimmy said we're stronger together so if we pool together in these communities out just like old school CSAs we can do that then we can essentially it's an other opportunity to invest to build it ourselves we can do it before we could do it after but I think for resiliency for me finding ways around those existing models and supply lines is critical to avoid the gap in the disaster and the response yeah talk us through a community-owned water sustainable water project like that I think what does that look like what are the what are the components of it it would so that's fabulous question um but it's also when that I personally can't answer I can because I'm not the entire community so there's so many questions that are involved with that like who's gonna who's committing to maintain it financially operationally maintenance wise you know how many people is it going to be used by how frequently is it intended for all the time use for just as a response in a backup so there's a lot of things that are involved there and also financial structures there's so many different ways that that can get set up and like Jimmy knows I do not like to involve myself with money aspects I'm just straight hammers and like you know solar but there there's a lot of the good examples of community owned by regrets for solar and that's really the I don't know that there's that many especially in the US community owned water systems but if you look internationally that is likely different um yeah but as far as solar that's a pretty common thing yeah don't go to diversity well there's a lot of different ways micro goods can get set up and who could own it so again it depends on the scale right like who's going to fund the operation at the beginning if you have a few angel donors that want to do it or if you have a community that's willing to pitch in an equal amount per person you know and how much they want to use for it so you'd calculate how much you need for each person's use you know with the distribution area how many canals do you need and how are you going to get it to everybody are they going to have battery banks for autonomous use or are they going to be like tied in so there's that it's a lot of models that you could do for some of these just before hurricane just before hurricane Ian hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico um and it wiped out you know for for a time the whole islands power grid but the autonomous off-grid solar infrastructure that was built up at the central state point of mutual and mutual aid centers across the island state the light stayed on and they were able to continue powering their communities through autonomous infrastructure infrastructure oh yeah that's really cool I know some indigenous nations and on the west coast certainly have their own micro grids as well nice yeah it's a smaller scale like how many like people are in the communities right yeah the small-ish scale I think like maybe a few hundred to maybe a couple thousand something like that that's good yeah it's an area of interest I know for other indigenous people for very obvious reasons right and but yeah that's really cool if someone was interested in that let's say I'm at home with my community and I hear this and I'm like oh yeah that's what I want to do can they reach out can they reach out to you and be like hey help me help me join together these 15 a Prius car batteries or would you be able to help them with the like planning stages of that or is that beyond the scope of your work um so my my main area of knowledge is around water um and I dabble with solar a lot but um there are a lot of folks in the network who have in same skills like we have people working on all kinds of projects so so many cool things so I would say yeah reach out um because that's kind of what the network is it is a lot of really cool people trying to just make positive change with super awesome skills a lot of folks have pretty cool skills yeah in the beginning of this interview you mentioned how you felt like times just kind of slowed down or like it's all kind of blurred into one um is that like a common feeling whenever these things happen and people are on the ground the type of other worldliness or how everything feels so stretched out what how does that kind of like what's your experiences with with that feeling um yeah I think that feeling is partly trauma right there's a lot of trauma associated with the work and you know those conversations happen a lot and it's um really I mean personally I won't speak for everybody obviously but personally I find a lot of um support just in our collective network everybody's um I feel really focused on the same thing so I personally gain strength from that but I think there is a lot of um I feel like you can get a lot of hopelessness sometimes right like you start to see the the long term need and the fading of the spotlight because the next disaster happens and I mean there's literally still people in Banroo's who still have houses that haven't been fully rebuilt and that was from the 2016 flood and there's still places that don't have electricity in Puerto Rico right now and it's been like you know I don't know what over a month so you know Flint, Michigan just like name the thing right so I think my my I don't think I could do this work without the support of other people who do this work who have that same feeling who experienced that and the time the time work I think is partly for me again partly exhaustion partly trauma partly um like excitement there's so much excitement right seeing seeing it's seeing the love like I don't want to make it sound all bad like there's like beautiful moments every day with the love that you have on the ground with everybody um and so yeah it goes for him. Often um you know Dorothy Day after the San Francisco earthquake over a century ago said while the crisis lasted people loved one another and what oftentimes we experience after a major crisis or disaster is is that our lives before were disastrous you know that capitalism and colonialism and the isolation and alienation and the meaninglessness drudgery of the work and selling ourselves to the highest bidder so that we can survive you know um all that is an ongoing invisible disaster and in in the moment where the uh the ruins are around us and we see them you know we we come together in a way that that draws on on on that feeling of solidarity and love and and those those ideas of a better world that we that we protest for that we march on the streets for that we you know envision coming you know sometime in the future in a microcosm they exist here and now in in these local pockets of people taking care of each other against all odds. Captain. Yeah I think that's really that's really well put like it's sort of it made me reflect on like I've reported from and worked in uh lots of natural disasters and like that time when the like alienation boredom and despair that you associate with sort of everyday drudgery under capitalism goes away and you have a purpose and everyone's working together and you're not also on like all the time. It's very and in time stretches and at the same time compresses it's it's it's very addictive in a sense like it feels wonderful and hopeful and then it's the feeling that an uprising tries to replicate. Yeah it's it's this moment of peak experience that makes you it forces you to fall out of the kind of the drudgery of collapsing capitalist infrastructure and you're forced to actually live around people and it's the weirdest feeling and it happens when horrible things happen like disasters with like wildfires hurricanes or people getting shot people getting shot yeah yeah yeah the moment of like national uprising as well it gets the same it's the same function and for a brief moment you're able to actually live the things that you like preach um and you're able to see them get applied in the world. I think a lot of us getting away from that just being a peak right and having to come back down because I'm really here. Yeah. It's to build that resiliency right to to create it so that with the lights don't go out and we just keep rolling and if they do go out you know we've got a backup plan like you know there's a wood burning stove and we make some pizza I don't know but like you know I think yeah the the peak shouldn't be a peak there should be it just a shift right. Yeah so how do we how do we keep that right how do we rebuild and keep that momentum that that net for each other. Yeah it's I think you got the question yeah that's the thing. That's the thing. Yeah I think when it had an answer to that did it did not work out the best. Well it's so did Croponkin yeah and and we're still here. Yeah yeah here we are listening to progress bit. Yeah I think that was wonderful. I really enjoyed that. I think your point just to close out that discussion about like how you guys have a network to support people. Some of the most profound depression I've experienced has been not like directly around disasters or conflict but coming home and feeling useless so I think that like checking in on people and continuing to feel like you're pushing in a positive direction like more people will experience a natural disaster after listening to this and have done before listening to this and next year we'll be bigger than this year and it will get worse until fuck knows but like you will feel elated and that's okay and you will feel devastated and that's okay and checking it on people is super duper important. And speaking of that network and making connections where can people find and support the work that y'all do. Alright I mean this year. Well can go to or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, mechelaiddisasterleaf on Twitter is mechelaidrelief and our email is mechelaiddisasterleaf at We'd love for more people to join this movement you know both mechelaiddisasterleaf, their local mechelaid project and other other similar efforts. Or start one. Yeah that's a question we get a lot is like oh you guys talk about mechelaid and stuff but there's really nothing in my area. I don't know what what there's to do. Like okay well. Maybe there's someone that could fix that problem. Yeah. Yeah. I would like to ask you guys. Do you have any resources to help people figure out how they would? Absolutely. On our website there's our resources tab and one of the sections is mechelaid about diving into the subject of what is mechelaid and how to form a group or a project and in other resources along those lines. We also have a newly formed mutual aid toolkit relief toolkit that's on our website. So if there are local mutual aid groups this is a public forum. So there's a big bold like warning about it and having as public for intention. We have our own obviously like internal threads but this is more like for folks who maybe haven't ever plugged into mechelaid before like being able to see where's all the different mechelaid projects and what they're doing. So again we talk about the resiliency. So this is kind of our attempt to be able to map for each other a way where we can see whatever where where everyone is that's interested in responding and doing with everything. So if it's a female farm group or like whatever your mechelaid thing is that you're doing. If you want to join on to that that's a fun way to see who might be in your area if everybody starts filling it out. Fantastic. Well thank you so much for taking time out of the stretched out a more fist concept of winning a progression of time to to talk with us about the fantastic work that you are all a part of. 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In the next 30 seconds 20 parents will send their children off to college and decide it's time to downsize and finally get that RV and as they're thinking of open roads diners and how they're going to fit a king size mattress don't realize we've got to sell the house and fix it and show it or skip the house sells directly to open door and move on to the things that matter like that mattress get your free offer it slash sold eligibility and offer price may vary open doors represented by open door brokerage in glycine 0-2 0-6-1-1-3-0 in California and open door brokerage LLC in a southern markets let me guess unknown caller you could reduce the number of unwanted calls and emails with online privacy protection the latest innovation from discover will help regularly remove your personal info like your name and address from 10 popular people search websites that could sell your data and we'll do it for free activate in the discover app see terms and learn more at slash online privacy protection. Hey everyone and welcome to it could happen here I'm Andrew YouTube channel andruism I'd like to borrow some of your time today or tonight when I've been listening to talk about movement the fact that humans move around and the most Indian restrictions on it in our modern world today I'm joined by my co-hosts hello garrison here hi it's James as well right glad to be here and to be here with you guys so even before I was an anarchist I would say there were three things I really despised things I despised from like a fairly early age that being the education system advertising and borders I believe freedom of movement is fundamental I don't know if that's controversial or anything but these days it feels like it has reached a point of like really great restriction more so I think then at most points of human history so I want to talk about the history of borders the role of borders and the fight against borders now to give you some context guess you can tell by my accent I'm from the Caribbean particularly from Toronto to Bego and being from an island nation a twin island nation actually I have been made aware of the constant through history that has been into island migration while they are talking about the Polynesian migrations across the Pacific whether you're talking about even within the Malay archipelago or the Philippine archipelago or even when you're talking about of course the Caribbean there's always been you know this movement of people going from Ireland to Ireland you know like Trinada is very close to Northeastern Venezuela only 11 kilometers off the coast of Northeastern Venezuela our Northern range literally called Northern range is an extension of Venezuela's maritime and these mountains but the connections to end there human settlements in Trinada dates back at least 7000 years in fact one of the oldest human settlements discovered in the eastern Caribbean the Banuari Trasite is found in south eastern Trinada one of the leading theories of human dispersal across the world places the migration of the Caribbean as beginning in Trinada and going up the Antilian chain a lot of the indigenous groups that settled in Trinada in in the other islands north of Trinada have for the most part migrated up the orinocular river in what is now Venezuela so exchange and migration between the continent and the island has continued undisturbed freely for thousands of years before the arrival of this Spanish and today in our free quote unquote postcolonial quote unquote world was once a norm is now criminalized now you have to go through this proper process in order to migrate you have to ask permission from governments who draw these invisible lines or in some cases violently physical lines in the sand and demanded that France and yet still migration continues because migration is a constant of human existence legal and illegal the recent Venezuela crisis and subsequent migration is just another uptake of the same refugees desperate to escape the present term of American imperialism and Venezuela and government mismanagement and all the component is used of course Venezuela crisis have been fleeing to Colombia to Brazil to the Dutch Caribbean islands to the other Latin American countries and of course to Trinada but this migration is extorted by opportunists facilities by the organized crime of human traffickers because when you try to restrict that kind of demand when you illegalize that kind of movement the people on the margins will try to take advantage of those who need to move around because that need is still there and so lines also of course not necessarily creating but they serve to exacerbate issues like xenophobia which is you know only amplified by the existence of borders and they also deal with due to their people as status a lot of gross exploitation because they struggle to find work and secure the basic necessities of life the Venezuelan refugee crisis is a disaster I've seen unfolded for my own eyes when I have witnessed firsthand and one that is facilitated and exacerbated by the existence of borders and I've seen similar issues occurred at the part of the world too you know borders are enforced between the US and Mexico between Haiti and the Dominican Republic between Spain and Morocco between Europe and the Swanaree-June between India and Pakistan between Australia and Indonesia between Palestine and Israel and being journalist some short guys have experienced perhaps food time other examples of the violence enforcement of borders James have any experiences yeah for sure I actually live just about the same distance you live from Venezuela I live about the same distance from the US border with Mexico so I've spent quite a lot of my journalistic career crossing the border and reporting on the border and like it's as you said it's become increasingly violently enforced and it's just ugly scar on and on the landscape now and it's uh and I often like to say the border doesn't protect people it controls people it's yeah it's a very cruel and vicious and and entirely arbitrary distinction between what is Kumi island to the north of the border and Kumi island to the south of the border in my case yeah exactly exactly the way that borders have cut through um the whole landscape of any different indigenous groups has been absolutely disastrous for them this is taken place and of course the US um and most I suppose recognizably in Africa uh where these colonial borders have been causing tremendous harm to the steam yeah yeah it's a very good point I remember just talking of like weird border things I remember in 2020 just before the pandemic I was in the border between uh Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and uh when you did it just seems so absurd like to think that you know somewhere literally some I'll do in in England to align on a map or whatever in Germany but one of the things that it creates is this weird situation where plastic bags are illegal in Rwanda because they're trying to protect the environment and they're not in Congo so there's like this illegal arbitrage like trader of of plastic bags across this border and it's just such an odd and constructed and entirely unnecessary and strange sort of legacy of the colonial plunder of Africa yeah I didn't even hear of that before and that sounds quite interesting um he says between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo yeah I think it's Gisene the border town there um right yeah people will come across with their plastic bags be interesting to see all that develops I know they're attempting to unify the Democratic Republic of the Congo Tanzania Kenya Uganda South Sudan um I think Djibouti and not Djibouti um and Somalia and a few other places I think into like an East African Federation so be interesting to see how those um yeah I mean I see these and laws develop yeah there are Wanda border with Congo is there's a soldier every 50 meters with a with a big machine gun even going right through the middle of the like Nyungwei rainforest which is very remote by Rwanda to Dandertwanda so a busy country with lots of people but yeah that's a very militarized border right now right yeah yeah that reminds you it's a less militarized example um I mean people point out the disparity between the US Canada border and the US Mexico border yeah but I remember reading a story somewhere about how uh pushing on the Canadian side um had like they could very easily cross over onto the US side but there was like a state trooper or something just standing there and it's like if you cross over have to arrest you and it just it's like you're right there we're literally having a conversation face to face and yet if I walk over this arbitrary designation I have to be jailed yeah it's bizarre there's a very arbitrary the the border between Myanmar and Thailand is it's a funny example like that where like it's a river and um this is unfortunately resulted in people trying to cross it here where I was just whim dying which is terrible right but one thing that happens is like if you're in the river you're in neither country and so people will make stills like little stands on stills which come up to the level of the river bank uh such that they can stand in like no man's land or every man's land maybe every one's land uh and sell alcohol without paying the tie taxes and fees to people who are standing on the bank in Thailand and again it just really illustrates how stupid now that trade is how things are yeah so as we're talking about the absurdity of borders I suppose it's only fair to get into their history because for most of the world and for most of human existence really free movement has been the status quo traders migrants huntigadras no mards they freely traversed this little blue marble as they call it of course many ethnic groups or maintained certain relationships with particular lands but even when city states on such rules it was rare for rulers to delineate precisely where their realm ended and another's began the first like large scale restrictions really arose under the Roman emperor Constantine in the fourth century when he forbade serfs from leaving their lords land documents of course had to be created to request safe passage to ask oh king will you please allow me to move from point A to point B my lord your majesty soon whatever what will make all the first passports is what quickly enrures the medieval era essentially bound large parts of Europe's population in place by siftum and movement was view by rulers as ruin us to the other one order they needed static populations to stay in place so that taxation and the reason of troops and whatever they wanted to extract could easily be extracted because you know if these peasants were able to just move as they pleased they would probably try to evade taxation that got a little bit too excessive they would probably try to evade the oppression of their rulers and that they did I mean throughout feudalism peasant revolts and uprisings were very commonplace and it's due to those revolts of the masses that siftum would come into a decline as wage laborer was in the 15th and 16th centuries but that didn't mean that free movement came back because now people were commodity that a countries government wanted to keep within its borders so rulers offered citizenship and tax incentives and wanted to encourage migration and yet while they were encouraging migration they were also kicking people out so countries like Spain and France were either executing or expelling ethnic and religious minorities in mass so this period also bring about the rise of you know nationalism which were tapping to an earlier sense of I suppose connection and sort of subvert that from connection to community to connection to this abstract notion of nation state the imaginary community of the nation nationalism in Europe would attempt to unify a past and a worse range of cultural groups and classes under one state while defining themselves against outsiders and of course this ruling class met an narrative exists as a mechanism of manufactured meaningless loyalty in order to control you but that's a topic for another time this era has also been described as one of the largest periods of involuntary migration in human history that being the transatlantic slave trade which trafficked an estimated 12.5 million enslaved African people between the 16th and 19th century but there was this one key moments in history of borders that would have lasting effects to today at the end of the 30 years war the peace of Westphalia was signed by 109 principalities and touches and imperial kingdoms which basically agreed in 1648 that a state's borders were inviolable and an absolute sovereign state could not interfere the domestic affairs of another now of course this is all just talk right at the end of the day states have continued to interfere the domestic affairs of others we continue to violate the borders of other states they're plenty of border disputes that are alive and well some decades leaving centuries old on this planet and then of course this whole idea of Westphalia and sovereignty would not really be applied to people outside of Europe the actual inhabitants of the interesting looking maps that the Westphalia nearer produced would not actually made privy to any of those decisions about the drawing of borders they would also be moving of course people continuously so you know Spain was kicking out Jewish people and Moors and people who released heretics as union acquisition the British was movement their dissenters criminals and general pains and you bomb sea to settle colonize in places like Westphalia which is why I Australia is like that and things progress a bit further you have denotion of free trade and free market gain in some ground thanks to Adam Smith's new school of economics and at the same time concerns of both population alamalthus under employment and social unrest in Europe that governments are not facilitating immigration moving out their colonies to more general free for all settler cleaners um which would lead to domestic depopulation in Europe and then there was another shift as and to be the case in human history as in the 19th century migrants were now under developed regions began to stream towards the more developed areas in droves so you had North Africans go into France Italians and Irish headed to New York and all the while of course racism and xenophobia festering and proliferating as nationalist with top fair against a so-called threats to the nation of course Italians and Irish will eventually assimilated into the hegemonic notion of whiteness but North Africans in France have not been so lucky oh I suppose lucky couldn't code because there's a whole conversation about how whiteness destroys cultures and erases the unique identities that these you've got to come up with in an effort to unite them against minorities such as African-Americans in the US so you see this period of lockdown of this increased nationalism and these restrictions these border restrictions would also try to manipulate access to certain technologies the telegraph the real road yes they enabled central governments to assist their presence across their whole territory but they would also try to compete with other nations and keep certain secrets regarding technology see that particularly during the cold war but we'll get to that a bit later during the first world war we have the death of some 16 million people the great war as you should probably call it if you ever happen to time travel to that period I don't think people would want to hear that this is just the first two world wars but after the world war the great war the segregationist Woodrow Wilson who was US president at the time proposed 14 points to the international community in order to prevent such horrors and one of those core principles of the 14 points was that the globe's borders be redrawn along clearly recognizable lines of nationality and like I said before this is of course just in Europe it's not like any of these will leaders actually cared about the territories they carved up in Africa and I think there was a point that I wanted to make about technology and whole technology has been restricted because when you look at again the real road and telegraph while they enabled central governments to assist their presence and assist their control unlike ever before the potential these technology is was kind of lost yes the real road and telegraph can help work government to suit its control for its territory but it can just as easily empower people to travel further and faster than they ever had before to communicate across greater distances and they have ever had before and instead in the hands of the state these technologies are of course used for oppressive ends back to the end of the first world war in the post war period which saw the collapse of four European empires Ottoman, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and German millions of refugees were left in a world where immigration controls had continued to tighten and passport gained greater prominence last once the nation state was cemented in place fascism and at the end would quickly arise to guard its supposed purity the world would once again be plunged into war the second one this time which would again leave millions of uprooted and displaced people that states like Switzerland quote unquote neutral and the US would largely refuse to assist after the Second World War nation building would continue to displace and slaughter millions of ethnic and religious minorities millions of refugees have been dismissed from lands that have been colonized and imperialized and intervened with wars and wrecked with just the destruction of climate change and poverty and yet immigration controls when he tightened further and they will likely continue to tighten due to the effects of climate migration and climate collapse especially in our post-9-year-old friend reality US border patrol in particular has escalated to employ 20,000 agents and Israel runs the largest open air prison in the world these days militarized borders with heavily guarded barbed wire and electrified fences which were once common in times of war have now been a staple of times of peace these imaginary lines in a map have become in some places violent fixtures on the landscape where thousands of people lose their lives every year for simply trying to cross we've entered an era of essentially border in without precedent and thanks to today's technology governs no more now about the people they govern the people within their territory but at any point in prior human history cross border surveillance keeps neighbors in the new managing and monitoring their populace like labyrinths detail has become more valuable than black gold itself these governments have chosen to wall and survey this is our will now it's not some future cyberpunk the stupidest surveillance capitalist health skippers here now and borders have been important for will to play borders are a polish structure their system of control as the writers at crime think of said there's only one world and the border is tearing it apart and I think the idea of borders extends much further than just the nations borders when you look at the internet firewalls the checkpoints the hidden databases the for-profit prisons and the gated communities all these different boundaries enforced by sea-slice violence enforced by deportation enforced by vigilante attacks by street harassment by torture while these boundaries are holding us back and tearing us apart migrants due to their vulnerable status are often the first targets when it comes to economic downturn repression surveillance and scapegoat and nations wield a fair of this other and they use that to prevent their people from fighting for better they turn their eye towards another victim and I'll just even get into all the different categories that have been constructed migrant expat refugee asylum seeker illegal alien and that one in particular really grinds my cares because it is I believe the pinnacle of the dehumanization to look at a person whose dice just managed to like just by happen sounds fell on the other side of the border to look at them and to team them alien to be illegal to brand them that to not even acknowledge their humanity when referring to them and it's becoming normalized part of political discourse to speak of illegal aliens but I don't think we should forget just how violent that kind of language is it's particularly violent when you count for the fact that while these borders are used to restrict people under lowest wrong society capital has very few restrictions in fact that has much less restrictions and people the rich and their capital can cross borders with ears go from place to place without much processing in fact we look at Jeff Bezos and we say that oh well he's the richest man in the world for Bezos soon but when you account for the wealth that has not been accounted for I think it must be put into perspective that Bill Gates, Arksaka, Bu, Jeff Bezos etc they have the richest people that we know of not necessarily the richest our global economy has also been of course moving resources for a while now resources have more freedom than people the unequal and even development has extracted minerals and materials from some parts of the world process them in other parts of the world manufacture them in other parts of the world and then sold worldwide for the profits to be hoarded by select few countries and select few people these wealthy countries planned at the poor and then brutalized those who follow where the opportunities have been taken but I don't think that one's opportunities one freedom one's freedom should be restricted by where they were born or by the wealth that they do or do not control passport inequality is a issue that should not exist passports should not exist Palestinians can travel visa free to only 38 countries and territories yet those in the West Bank are restricted by violent checkpoints and those who live in Gaza call you the stripper tool meanwhile other regions enjoy fast visa free travel such as jimans who have access to 191 countries and territories or the Japanese who enjoy the most freedom visa free of all with 193 countries available to them a billionaire like Elon Musk is flying wherever he wants in his private jet a political prisoner like Hojory Lutalu can be kept in solitary via his own end traditional seafarer channels and land has been militarized and guarded by these vast navy's by these vast troops by these these machines these structures that disconnect and unravel the deep ties between communities for us to know is all into prisoners and I think it's about time we resisted them as the underground railroads of anti Nazi and anti-slavery resistance as shown everyday people can help everyday people no matter the obstacles if you live in a border sanctuary city or a migrant community there are probably already groups that are put in this work and you could join that infrastructure resistance if not you can help to create that infrastructure to connect with people who are affected by borders and ways that you are I mean perhaps you have a neighbor or a co-worker who's undocumented and could use Alpinot try to connect cross border formal and informal public and climate side because these connections these networks or how people move live and evade state violence like obviously I can't speak for every situation because different people's you know legal status language ability education level gender raise class commitments and ability what effect their contribution to this anti borders movement but however you decide to contribute I hope that who would remember who it is we are trying to help we're not trying to act as you know these saints for the media and I recognize the irony of saying saints in particular considering my old YouTube name but media is not our focus the audience of our actions is not public opinion it is those we want fighting with us people who need our help people who know the violence of borders firsthand so they get into direct action to you know directly affect the material outcomes of people in Flansar borders you know whether you're helping a migration prisoner master escape or helping one person get a roof over their head helping her asylum case helping a person who is trapped in this system to find a strength to get through a day these actions refer to our communities and they kill our others do the same we also need of course more infrastructure networks alliances skills and resources to be cultivated to strengthen our autonomy from these structures and to develop our ability to defend against them and of course these actions should be rooted in some strategy long term and short term for overcoming this regime once and for just for a final word I would say that there is nothing necessary or inevitable about borders borders only the violence of their most ardent believers keep them in place and without them borders would seats exist borders can only exist if they are enforced and together we can make borders unenforceable together we can create a world image everyone is free to travel free to create and free to exist on their own terms that's it if you like what I spoke about in this episode or if you just like to hear my voice feel free to check out my youtube channel and you can support me on slash seen true or follow me on twitter at underscore seen true football is back and bed mgm is inviting new customers to join the huddle and enjoy the action like never before sign up today using bonus code champion and your first wager is risk free up to $1,000 you'll also have instant access to a variety of parlay selection features player 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matter like that cool breeze get your free offer at slash new move eligibility and offer price may vary open doors represented by open door brokerage in glycine 0 2 0 6 1 1 3 0 in california and open door broker jealousy in its other markets let me guess unknown caller you could reduce the number of unwanted calls and emails with online privacy protection the latest innovation from discover will help regularly remove your personal info like your name and address from 10 popular people search websites that could sell your data and we'll do it for free activate in the discover app see terms and learn more at slash online privacy protection. Hey everyone and welcome to a good afternoon i'm Andrew of future channel entrepreneur so and today i want to talk about the squatting move actually before i do that i'm joined today by my co-hosts your co-host and you are garrison davis and james stout and i am your producer sofi and i'm here andrew please continue thank you sofi i want to talk about the squatting movement i'm particularly how people have overcome the analyses of privatizing land and restricting people's access to it so they could carve a life for themselves in this troubling world now i think a lot of people are these personally familiar with the squatting movement the political squatting movements where be it anarchist autonomous or socialist nature that have taken place in italy the us and most famously ten mark where they had you know free-town christiania set up but outside of the global north and much of the rest of the world squatting is just a fact of life it doesn't typically those sometimes it does have radical political ambitions so today i'm not going to be spending time discussing the squatting movement in europe or north america but instead discussing the millions of people in the world who lack access to land where they can find secure shelter and have turned to what has been deemed informal occupation or squatting to find residence most specifically i'll be discussing the kurbian but first i need to get in some statistics it's always that kind of word right in nineteen fifty only eighty six cities around the world had populations of one million people or more and in 2016 they were just over 600 cities that met this threshold over half of the world's population now lives in urban areas and nearly a billion if not a billion by estimated to be living in informal settlements mostly in the urban and peri urban areas of less developed countries i don't know if any of you have read planet of the slums by mike davis i think i have but he he discusses this phenomenon this explosion in urbanization and the fact that unfortunately you know these cities aren't exactly urban idans they are deeply impoverished filled with make shift and often unsafe whether it be you know poisonous or just poorly constructed or disease written dwellings areas such as beroads quarentina mexic cities santa cruis mea hualco ryu edginero is favelas and kairu is a city of the dead we're up to one million people living homes made out of actual tombs now davis addresses the issues root cause that be in post colonial neoliberal policies driven by free market capitalist principles is yes cities modernized in the wake of the colonial era a lot of the same zone in boundaries enforced by imperial powers across racial and socio-economic lines will continue so-called decolonization did not really take place and did imperial rule didn't lead to magical increase in equality egalitarianism it's just that post colonial rulers took up the man till where colonial rulers left so and of course this switch the changing of hands of power was kept up by the international monetary fund which stepped in on behalf of these elites and pushed the poorest citizens basically into thickly concentrated slums by making it easier for the ruling class to ignore these issues and prioritize the affluent the deputy structure in policy the nineteen eighties also led to a lot of governments cutting down on their public health and education investment expenditure so that they could repay the loans that they had been forced to take out davis spends a lot of time talking about Asia and sometimes talking about the increase in hardship in African cities but the situation of squatting is often overlooked in the Caribbean and so I'd like to draw some attention to that I think that anyone who has lived in the Caribbean or as family in the Caribbean would be somewhat familiar with the idea of family land which is this idea that you know you have these simple plots that the family essentially owns collectively maybe somebody living there or it may just be landed as being passed along for anyone who needs it a lot of this land was acquired by Puchus and a lot of it was acquired by squatting and turned out in Jamaica and Puerto Rico and Martinique and Barbados squatting was how a lot of recently emancipated people gained some foothold to live now they could not stay on the plantation system now the early squatting movement was largely wiped out by the growing plantation system but eventually a new squatting movement would arise due to escaped slaves and ruins and post-intentioned individuals who would resettle on those regions that were previously wiped out by plantation system and when I spend most of the focus of this episode discussing what took place in Jamaica because I discovered this really excellent research paper done by Professor Jean Besson but Jamaica is really quite an interesting example because Jamaica is one of the few Caribbean countries that had a successful sustained maroon movement that lasted into the 21st century and so what happened as is the case with the Lodys colonies is you have this a certain model of land ownership called Crownland basically all the land of the Crown deemed themselves to own by virtue of colonizing these places Crownland would often be you know passled out when they want to attract new colonists to the different colonies and so enslaved people in Jamaica created these quarter-sertial months on Crownland basically recaptured that land and created villages and communities in as maroons in that context of colonial violence and of course these governments would demolish the squatting settlements and try to effect land capture but in Jamaica the maroons succeeded particularly the Leewood maroons as they were two different groups to win with maroons and Leewood maroons that's a whole different history today a compound village is the only survive in village for the Jamaican Leewood maroons and is also the oldest persistent maroon society in African America after the enslaved Africans and Creole to escape the plantations and squatted Crownland they wage successful guerrilla warfare against the British colonists in the first maroon war under leadership of Kuno Kujo and that land would be the basis of two Leewood maroon villages that be in Kujo's town in St James and Acompong's town in St Elizabeth Acompong be named after Kujo's brother in arms captain Acompong eventually Kujo's town would be renamed Trilani town after the treaty between the British governor would grant the maroons their freedom and 1500 acres of legal freehold land Acompong town on the other hand did not really get any legal recognition until a land grant was given to them some 2500 and 159 acres around 1758 a couple decades later between 1795 and 1796 the second maroon war before between the Trilani town maroons and the British colonists because of course the British did what they would do and whipped two of the maroons for the theft of pigs in Monti Cubi of course this is just the inciting incident as these things tend to be for the deeper discontent regarding access to the land and after this second maroon war the Trilani maroons ended up being deported to Nova Scotia so for those a bit familiar with you know Canadian history the maroons are moved to and resettled in Canada as a result of this and the Trilani town maroons land being confiscated Acompong town became the sole survivor village and today it remains common treaty town it is owned in common by the some I believe it's like just over 3000 adults all of which by the way claimed descent from Guino Cujo and they sort of have a mixed settlement producing for household use rare and livestock utilizing the forest for medicines in timber cultivating food forests and provision grounds and even after that was the Queen of Tudmite rate they would still have that connection to their commons and often returns either live or visit Trilani town on the other hand after being recaptured by the crown it was eventually putchist and transformed into family lands by the descendants of slaves, landers and maroons and of course squatting played a part in that development most recently in Latin America and the Caribbean there's been a move by governments switching from a policy of trying to eradicate squatters and instead trying to give them title to their lands either granting them or usually selling it to them in an effort to alleviate poverty so they could use their hoses you know collateral for business loans and that kind of thing and that's basically what happened for a compound town and for Trilani town where the captured land was severed and subdivided and put for sale and so these squatters were able to putchist the land and government was able to impose taxation on the people who lived on that land now I spoke of squatting in the Caribbean and Latin America typically being not radically political but there are political slash religious movements that have used squatting to gain a foothold for example the revival Zion movement and offshoot of rastafirian movements if I honestly couldn't find much information about them but they're an African religion slash cult and so they managed to capture a lot of the land near Trilani town and were often settled their homes right behind the city councils no squatting signs eventually you know you have about 30 households who have basically recaptured their land from Babylon as rastafirians were described the state by 1995 their community which they called Zion became very vibrant squatting settlement of some 70 house yards on about 30 acres of captured land eventually the land was severed and subdivided of course trying to tax and control the people that were there but the situation led to a lot of people still you know not being able to afford the land and still of course having to squat on the land that they lived on with sullom the difficulty with squattered land is it's a very um tenuous very fragile state of being in futures often unsuitable and clear it's more secure I would say than being like homeless but you're still very much subject to state firelands and even when so-called legal avenues are opened up for you to get the land you know through purchase the fact that you had to squat on the land in the first place should be some indication that you probably can't afford to buy land but squatting enables people at least in the interim to potentially you know develop some funds and stuff until they are able to secure a future for their families I think a lot of the liberal solutions to the issue of squatting and poverty is to replace these sorts of systems and put it instead like proper private property rights and giving these people private property so that they could achieve sustainable development goals and all the other buzzwords that you know these programs tend to use I think the future of these kinds of projects however should be more along the lines of commons I think that the fact that they were able to secure that land without the government's approval should be an indication that the government should not need to approve for people to live on the earth you are called home I spoke in a previous episode about Barbuda and their commons and I really don't see why I do see why but I really believe the solutions these issues lies in reclaiming the commons lies in rejecting these colonial and post-cloonial governments which they use themselves on exclusion and illegality and bring about participatory local management of the land by the people for the people and that's about it thanks I do think it was very fascinating any any final thoughts? Gare James? My final thought is that we have a live show wonderful yeah just a thing I was thinking about as we talked about squatting and this one you will be excluded unless you can pray the cost of entry uh a workout how to not be excluded I guess but it's on the 26th of October I nearly forgot what my thing was and you can buy tickets on the internet? Yeah so we're doing this live stream October 26th 6 p.m. it is a live virtual event and you can get tickets at slash i.c.h we'll link that in the episode description it'll be a fun spooky themed live show what? football is back and bed mgm is inviting new customers to join the huddle and enjoy the action like never before sign up today using bonus code champion and your first wager is risk-free up to $1,000 you'll also have instant access to a variety of parlay selection features player props and boosted odd specials just download the bed mgm app today or go to and enter bonus code champion and place your first wager risk-free up to $1,000 the bed mgm app is the perfect way to experience the excitement of wagering on live sports now in more markets than ever visit for terms and conditions must be 21 years of age or older to wager virginia only new customer offer all promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility requirements rewards issued as non-withdrawable free bets or site credit free bets expire seven days from issuance please gamble responsibly gambling problem call 1-888-532-3500 in the next 30 seconds one sweltering beach bomb will decide it's just too hot and want to move somewhere milder and s.i.s dreaming of a brisk outdoor jog cracking up in a window and the comfort of throwing on a light layer i'll realize i've got to sell the house and fix it and stage it and show it or skip the hassles sell directly to open door and move on to the things that matter like that cool breeze get your free offer at slash new move eligibility and offer price may vary open doors represented by open door brokerage in glycine 0-2 0-6-1-1-3-0 in california and open door brokerage LLC in its other markets let me guess unknown caller you could reduce the number of unwanted calls and emails with online privacy protection the latest innovation from discover will help regularly remove your personal info like your name and address from 10 popular people search websites that could sell your data and we'll do it for free activate in the discover app see terms and learn more at slash online privacy protection. Hey everybody Robert Evans here and welcome to it could happen here you know when we started the show when i did the first season of it you know the one about all the civil war stuff back in 2019 this was basically a place for me to write long essays explaining my vision of the future and the present and people seemed to like that a lot we did a little bit of that at the start of this new eternal daily season of the show um but obviously over the last year or so it's it's morphed into something very different and something wonderful and and successful and it's brought a lot of new voices uh or at least voices people maybe hadn't heard from as much out in front of the audience and i've been really happy about that but what i also haven't been doing is writing anymore essays about the world and how fucked up shit is uh because you know i've been managing a bunch of stuff and uh there's been a lot of work to do but i like doing that stuff and i think you people like it so i'm gonna try to do more of that and i wanted to kind of start by talking a little bit about silicon valley and i'm gonna say something at the start of this essay that a lot of people are probably instinctively gonna want to disagree with which is that silicon valley and the tech industry have been gigantic failures by every metric that matters they have made life comprehensively worse for humanity and there is no real fact-based counter argument to that statement this is a hard pill for people to swallow i'm sure a lot of folks are frustrated at me for saying it right now and are thinking of counter arguments most people today are critical of the tech industry obviously particularly major social media companies but they still tend to acknowledge the tremendous wealth created by silicon valley as if there's some sort of inherent value to that behind a number on a spreadsheet collectively amazon apple microsoft facebook and google the so-called big five had a seven point five trillion dollar market cap in 2020 every person listening to this keeps a device in their pocket made by or using the software of one or more of these companies and so when people want to make the counter argument to what i just said they'll tend to point out some version of this uh yeah companies like facebook have done bad things but the internet still a tool for good it connects people yada yada yada smart phones and power us you know there's all these positive things about the internet to which i will say present me with your fucking evidence that that has mattered for people really in terms that actually in aggregate improve their lives i will show you my arguments to the contrary in the period of time from harry truman's election to the end of the nixon administration american productivity on a per capita basis increased at a faster rate than it did at any other point in history but then something happened from 1973 to 2013 income growth was 80 percent slower than it had been in the previous three decades if productivity had continued to grow at the same rate from 1973 to 2013 as it did from 1946 to 1973 the economy in 2013 would have been 60 percent larger than it actually was now i'm going to guess a decent number of the people listening to this grew up watching the jetsons i know i did and for the most part it was a silly pretty harmless animated show but at the center of it was a dream about the future that seems unfathomable in light of current events george jetson who is in the show a pretty normal working class guy worked three hours a day for three days a week one of the running jokes in the show is that he considered himself overworked despite this pretty idyllic schedule now this was never particularly a focus of the show it was just kind of something that was mentioned from time to time and that's because the idea that a work week might just be nine hours in the future wasn't a joke this was the direction future risks in the 1960s looking at that surge in productivity i just mentioned and all of the middle class wealth that had been created from the 40s through the early 60s this is the direction they saw as heading in around a decade ago in a period that was still significantly more optimistic than our current age the Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal went on a reading spree of some early 20th century futurist novels his conclusion was this quote technological optimists sold the world on automation by telling people it would create unimaginable amounts of leisure for them the big question for the workers of the 21st century would be how to spend their copious amounts of free time now the future we've actually gotten has given us the opposite of this dream to try and cover up the rank and rampant ways modern technology has failed humanity think tanks funded by venture capitalists and tech gurus produce an endless stream of identical futurist thinker types who write columns about how the world is actually better today than it's ever been a good example of this would be this June 2024's column by rob asgar titled the world's getting better here's why your brain can't believe it it opens with this paragraph life is improved for most people around the world over the past generation temporary pandemics aside the rub is that you can't get anyone to believe the good news and the result is a toxic political environment and the potential collapse of democratic norms if too few people feel that a stressed system is worth saving now i might point out for example that if people don't actually feel like the system's good perhaps it's not really working well there's a number of counter arguments you can make to this now two years later this again was written in june of twenty twenty we've got a massive war in europe people are worried about nuclear warfare as a result of that again we've got a degradation of democracy worldwide that's continued to pace from where it was in twenty twenty we've got soaring inequality we've got inflation the likes of which a lot of people alive have never seen myself included prior to this point and we still have a pandemic so it's clear that rob is at least not as smart as he thinks he is which is what i would say about everyone who makes a versions of the same claim that he was making now this doesn't mean i'm saying that life is worse now than it was at some imagined pre-lapse serian version of the past i actually think that's kind of a useless way to think about the past in the future there's different things people would have preferred there's things that are objectively better there's things that are objectively and debatably worse you know that's hard to make those kind of claims about history especially when they often rely on saying well x amount more people have been pulled out of poverty and the question to that as well i don't know before colonization of africa would you say all of those people in what became the colonized parts of africa were in poverty or were they simply not part of a system that measures poverty and anyway whatever we can go on and on about that my point is that the metrics these people use to claim the success of our current system to talk about how wonderful things are today are constantly shifting and they're widely arbitrary the same year rob wrote his stupid column an in or c study showed that americans self-reported being happy at the lowest levels in fifty years you can quote jute statistics about wealth or access to luxury goods all you want but the modern world and the post 2008 financial crash economy all of which was built in the shade of the tech industry is making people miserable now happiness is obviously not a perfect measure of progress either self-reporting is always dicey but things like the consumer price index and per capita income which are often used by folks on the optimist side are also jukeden jiggered to hell and back so to provide a bit more of an international scale i'm going to quote from the berkley university's greater good magazine quote release annually on the international day of happiness the world happiness report ranks countries based on their life satisfaction in the gallop world poll residents rate how satisfied they are with their lives in a scale of zero to ten from the worst possible life to the best possible life this year's report also analyzes how global happiness has changed over time based on data stretching back to two thousand five one trend is very clear negative feelings worry sadness and anger have been rising around the world up by twenty seven percent from two thousand ten to two thousand eighteen the others also found troubling trends and happiness inequality which is the psychological parallel to income inequality how much individuals in society differ in how satisfied they are with life since two thousand seven happiness inequality has been rising within countries meaning that the gap between the unhappy and the happy has been getting wider this trend is particularly strong in latin america asia and sub seher in africa and this is kind of getting it i think what is an incredibly important point for one thing if you want to look at how people have self-reported their unhappiness rising this massive recent surge and unhappiness occurs almost at exactly the period of time that the smartphone takes off and becomes ubiquitous and the smartphone is such a bafflingly useful device i would never want to give mine up as a thing that i had access to and the internet is incredibly powerful tool i wouldn't want to give the internet up either but the usefulness and the the undoubtable brilliance behind these products makes it seem inconceivable to argue that they haven't made us better at accomplishing the things that matter to us but the evidence on this is pretty clear i want to quote now from a write-up in the Atlantic no matter how aggressively you torture the numbers the computer age is coincided with a decline in the rate of economic growth when chad cipherson an economist at the university of shakago's business school looked at the question of missing growth he found that the productivity slowdown has reduced gdp by two point seven trillion dollars since two thousand four americans may love their smartphones but all those free apps aren't worth trillions of dollars the physical world of the city the glow of electric powered lights the rumble of automobiles the roar of airplanes overhead and subways below is a product of late 19th century in early 20th century invention the physical environment feels depressingly finished the bulk of innovation has been shunted into the invisible realm of bites and code all of that code technology advocates argue has increased human ingenuity by allowing individuals to tinker talk and trade with unprecedented ease this certainly feels true who could dispute the fact that it's easier than ever to record music market a video game or publish an essay but by most measures individual innovation is in decline in 2015 americans were far less likely to start a company than they were in the 1980s according to the economist tyler coen the spread of broadband technology has corresponded with a drop-off in entrepreneurial activity in almost every city and in almost every industry now you might think from all this that I'm out ahead into some sort of techno doomer antissive primitive as rant here I'm not perhaps I should but I'm not I am a person who loves technology I got my start as a journalist as a tech journalist I've joyously traveled the world for years visiting conventions looking at new gadgets and a lot of this was in that pretty wondrous period if you're a gadget nerd from 2008 to 2011 where there's these amazing new weird sci-fi gadgets dropping every single week stuff that you'd grown up watching and like star trek the next generation suddenly getting mailed to your door for you to test out I tested hundreds of tablets and smart gadgets in that time frame and there's some really great products that came out from that period bluetooth speakers are wonderful a lot of people including me use them happily on a daily basis but when it comes to legitimately life changing applications of technology that's come to us in the last 15 years or so I can really only think of three things number one is the ability to navigate by GPS basically everywhere number two is the ability to be in constant contact with people around the world and number three is the ability to store a shitload of media on a portable device so I'm not anti technology nor am I saying that big tech doesn't make things that are cool or useful nor am I saying we should get rid of this stuff the point I'm making is that viewed at 30,000 feet the tech industry has produced very little of quantifiable value to the human race and it is caused unfathomable harm at the same time now in my opinion this has nothing or at least fairly little to do with how the technology inherently works and instead has everything to do with the ideology behind the people who developed and who continue to marshal that technology in 1995 two of the smartest guys in the 20th century by my estimation Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron wrote an essay about the ideology that animated the men who would come to dominate the 21st century tech industry they titled their essay the California an ideology and I think it still counts as one of the three or four most incisive accurate essays of that century the gist of the idea was that as the first wave of the digital boom started to hit in the mid 1990s the thinkers behind it were fueled by a mix of left wing at by a mix of left wing egalitarian often anti-status beliefs that got wedded to right wing free market fundamentalist libertarian ideology and created this deeply toxic way of thinking about the future you can see this in the story of guys like Steve Wozniak the inventor of the personal computer who is also a former phone freaker he committed federal crimes as a kid hacking the phone system primarily because fuck the man but then when he's a young man the waz hooks up with a guy named Steve jobs and jobs is a brilliant but heartless con man who cares about nothing but market dominance jobs recognizes the naive brilliance of Steve Wozniak and he turns it into an engine for wealth creation at one point he steals money that wasniak was owed for a project that they took on together money wasniak probably would have just given him if he'd asked and he used it secretly to fund their business which became apple in their essay Cameron and Barbara who are much better writers than I described the Californian ideology this way the California ideology is a mix of cybernetics free market economics and counterculture libertarianism and is promulagated by magazines such as wired and mondo 2000 and preached in the books of steward brand Kevin Kelly and others the new faith has been embraced by computer nerd slacker students 30 something capitalist hip academics futurist bureaucrats and even by the president of the USA himself now the tech industry as we know it got at start courtesy of government money everyone knows that the first version of the internet was developed as part of a defense department project but the entire computer industry all the coders and engineers who would form the first generation of silencon valley profit engines all these guys got their start working for or as defense contractors when the US pulled out of Vietnam thousands of these people were left out of jobs and they were forced to move into the private sector everything worthwhile that's come out of big tech has involved a titanic amount of public funding one way or the other I'm going to quote from that essay again almost every major technological advance of the last 200 years has taken place with the aid of large amounts of public money and under a good deal of government influence the technologies of the computer and the net were invented with the aid of massive state subsidies for example the first difference engine project received a british government grant of 517 thousand four hundred and seventy pounds a small fortune in 1834 from colossus to ed vac from flight simulators to virtual reality the development of computing has depended at key moments on public research handouts or fat contracts with public agencies the IBM corporation built the first programmable digital computer only after it was requested to do so by the US defense department during the Korean War the result of a lack of state intervention meant that Nazi Germany lost the opportunity to build the first electronic computer in the late thirties when the Vermacht refuse to fund conrad zoos who had pioneered the use of binary code stored programs and electronic logic gates one of the weirdest things about the California ideology is that the west coast itself was a product of massive state intervention government dollars were used to build the irrigation systems highway schools universities and other infrastructural projects which make the good life possible on top of these public subsidies the west coast high tech industrial complex has been feasting off the fattest port barrel in history for decades the u.s government has poured billions of tax dollars into buying planes missiles electronics and nuclear bombs from californian companies americans have always had state planning but they prefer to call it the defense budget now this state of a fairs is more or less unchanged today Elon Musk is probably the most celebrated modern tech visionary missundery companies have taken nearly five billion dollars in public funding subsidies and government support since 2015 all of these libertarian visionaries who push in their political lives for a world of lost ifare economics and corporate sovereignty only produce value with the help of tax payer dollars period the irrational exuberance of public financing and the narcissism to ignore its role in innovation has given us a generation of tech industry overlords who seem bound and determined to destroy their own creations Steve jobs represented the most successful and probably the most intelligent manifestation of the californian ideology every tech industry Google currently boiling away fortunes for the sake of there you go i'm thinking of Zuckerberg and musk most prominently right now is trying to be him Steve's skill was being able to perfectly inhabit the form of a visionary and he was so good at doing this that he convinced this generation they could follow in his footsteps but Steve jobs was only ever playing at being a creator at being an inventor his skill was not in making things he had other people to do the making Steve was an exceptional confidence man and like all good confidence men he was able to make money because he understood on a deep level what other human beings wanted this skill allowed him to lock apple into spending hundreds of millions of dollars on rnd for what would become the first proper smart phone and for a while he was just having them toss that money into an apparent chasm repeatedly turning back iterations of the product that weren't quite right on the strength of his belief that when they got it right it would be worth it in the years since we've seen many wannabe steves try to follow in his footsteps igniting tens of billions of dollars of venture capital for absolutely nothing one of the best examples would be uber they lost 8.5 billion dollars in 2019 6.8 billion dollars in 2020 and once upon a time the understanding the jobs the envision of what uber could be was that all of this ignited VC cash would be worthwhile because eventually the company would succeed in replacing human drivers with autonomous cars cutting out the primary cost in the entire professional driving industry and making the potential for a shitload of profit but after investing more than a billion dollars in self driving cars uber sold their entire autonomous vehicle division off at a loss all of that expense had resulted in self driving cars that averaged one half mile traveled per accident despite this after a 2.6 billion dollar loss in august of 2022 uber stock sword now the realities of what generates profit in loss in the tech industry have been completely divorced from productive reality or value created for quite some time the delamination of real value in big tech happens suddenly it's not hard to see why apple who created a device every human being wanted to have in their pocket became worth a shitload more money right pretty obvious the value case for google's core business search is also pretty obvious and as much as i hate facebook it became initially successful because it provided people with something of real value a way to stay in touch with human beings they had met over the course of their lives younger folks may find this odd because they've grown up with the internet but as a kid i can remember very vividly my parents talking about the friends they've had in high school and in college and how a lifetime of moving regularly had severed many of the connections they'd valued with these people when i joined facebook and my freshman year of college i found real value in the ability to maintain and sometimes even build stronger connections with people i would otherwise have lost touch with entirely there is the core of something good or something at least valued inherently by people in facebook and that's true with most if not all of the big five companies when people reflexively leap to defend the tech industry is an engine of innovation they can point to these successes but the point that i'm making isn't that no good ideas come out of silicon valley or that there isn't anything valuable that is involved in what these companies do it's that the endless quest for profit and the narcissism of this california and ideology lead inevitably to the destruction of whatever value the industry creates this is why none of these innovations have actually led to surges and productivity why none of them have made us any happier which i think might be more important any potential these creations had was smothered by the ideology that drives silicon valley money facebook took the connections that they'd made with people and use them to feed those same people rage bait they destroyed the open internet shuttered countless local news sites put tons of people out of business while algorithmically pushing millions of folks around the world towards whatever kept them angriest and most online google spent billions on an endless stream of spin-off products like google plus and google glass which were nearly all catastrophic failures at least on a financial sense and all the while they gradually turned the search results they'd prided themselves on into a sponsored ad feed google is less useful now than it was a couple of years ago you notice this immediately if you just get on there and start asking questions elan musk has taken the visionary technology that underpins the tesla all created by other people and use the clout from that to shatter any chance of california developing a high speed rail system by the way in june of 2022 tesla stock value plunged 75 billion dollars which is substantially more money than the company has ever actually made elucidating the full scale of the failure of silicon valley an american techno optimism would take more time than i'm able to spend right now so instead i want to talk about the idea that's behind so much of the recent big failures that we've seen from big tech stuff like meta pissing away 10 billion dollars half the budget of nasa in a year to create a worse version of vr chat the idea is called blitz scaling and it basically means attempting to achieve massive scale at breakneck speed you take big risks and you spend huge amounts of money very quickly to try and force apps or other products onto the market that are then adopted rapidly by huge numbers of people this brings in a shitload of e c money and is a way that you can make a fortune in the years since jobs brought the first iphone out on stage this has become the dominant model of silicon valley entrepreneurship everyone is looking for the next iphone right something that can take over an industry something can take over the world that rapidly that can change human life almost overnight in funding calls mark zuckerberg says this in funding calls mark zuckerberg says this very directly comparing his companies met over streams to the new smart phone the thing that mark misses because his ideology renders it invisible is that steve jobs didn't make people want the iphone he was able to figure out what they wanted already what they had talked about wanting for decades starting with trichorders and communicators on star trek and he lashed his dev team until they built the damn thing now the metaverse has some analogs in fiction including the thing that it gets its name from but number one most depictions of the metaverse in fiction are not aspirational things people want their dystopian there's no evidence that people actually want this thing that he's igniting a fortune to build or that they'd spend meaningful periods of time in it if it existed there's not a lot of polling on this data but one in seven but one 17 thousand person survey I found showed less than 20 percent of respondents respect expressing an interest in meta in a metaverse like the one zucker's trying to build the last time Facebook provided any kind of information about how many people are on horizon worlds which is kind of the core of their metaverse efforts it was somewhere around 300 thousand people in the most recent quarter they declined to provide an update to those numbers which suggests the number has not increased and if you just want to look at what happens when people create a digital product that actually has a strong base of interest look at how quickly world of warcraft went from you know a thing that very few people outside of nerds would have known much about to a thing that was entirely mainstream millions of users regular references to it on television you're just not seeing that with any of this metaverse shit because there's nothing in it that people actually want the sheer hollowness of big tech is starting to become financially obvious to Facebook stock has lost 57 percent of its value in the last year amazon is down 26 percent Google by 29 percent and even apple has fallen by 14 percent more to the point I think any honest person has to look at the last 15 years or so in which these companies have ruled our economic and social lives and asked are we better off now over the course of the 19th century productivity and income rose at unprecedented rates there was a lot of brutality in this process right we talking you know on behind the bastards regularly about all of the horrible labor things that happened in the 19th century it also marked the beginning of the fossil fuel age which may well kill us all but while all this was going on another thing that happened is wages for the working class doubled in the first half of the 19th century and the second half life expectancy rose faster than it ever had before as well and that continued through the first part of the 20th century now near the end of the first quarter of the 21st century we're not seeing that kind of movement the United States is now ending its second consecutive year of declining life expectancy for the first time in any of our lifetimes and real average wage adjusted for inflation has remained flat for almost half a century progress has flatlined and nothing about how brilliant the modern tech industry is or how cool some of these gadgets and products are can change those fundamental facts it's a failure hey we'll be back Monday with more episodes every week from now until the heat death of the universe it could happen here is a production of cool zone media for more podcast from cool zone media visit our website or check us out on the iHeart Radio app Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts you can find sources for it could happen here updated monthly at slash sources thanks for listening