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whats the point of this website

Portland independent media center is the pefect example of what is wrong with the left. On it's pages, one can read about community, state, national, and international news; but I don't see where the dot's connect. There are articles on threatened forests, big-brother, homelessness, ect- and all seemingly unrelated. Do the writers of these articles not understand the causes of these problems? and if they do- shouldn't we all be focusing our attention on the cause?
Portland independent media center is the perfect example of what is wrong with the left. On it's pages, one can read about community, state, national, and international news; but i don't see where the dots connect. There are articles on threatened forests, big-brother, homelessness, ect- and all seemingly unrelated. Do the writers of these articles not understand the causes of the problems? and if they do- shouldn't we all be focusing our attention on the cause?

By addressing each problem as a seperate issue, we are dividing our forces, weakening the whole. If someone sees an article about police brutality, but spends most of his/her time on animal rights issues, the article will remain unread. The issues raised by this website are all important, but as seperate entities, they will achieve nothing. Protesting on the streets will not change war. Sitting in trees will not save our forests.

The basis for the social ills written about on this website is capitalism. Why has this idea been lost to most of us? and if it is not lost, why is it not the focus of all of our efforts?

The articles written about on PIM need to be read within a context: problems created by capitalism.
Class conflict needs to be readdressed, only then will those in power view this website as a threat, as opposed to a group of liberals whinning about problems that apparently have no solutions.

Capitalism does kill, and needs to be changed. Lets use this as the basis for our activism, lets bring back a sense of unity that has been lost. There is a long history of those who have struggled against capitalism, lets use their efforts to aide our own. Lets use this website as a tool for communication, orginization, and fraternity based on common goals and a uniting force.
HA! 03.Jun.2005 11:25

me

Ha Ha Ha...!

Unity...that is not what this site does.

Not capitalism 03.Jun.2005 11:26

friend

This basis of ills on the planet is unconsciousness! And unconsciousness lurks in all of us. When we are unconscious is when we do destructive things. As Socrates said, people don't do evil things simply because they're into doing evil things. They do them because they think that doing them will make them happy. When we realize where our happiness comes from -- inside -- then we can make change, person to person, place to place.

What? 03.Jun.2005 12:07

SWEETGRASS

Dear Rosa,
If you are interested in coalition building within the political "left" then perhaps you should offer viable solutions. Portland Indy Media provides a forum where individuals can seek out information about events and specific subjects they might have difficulty locating otherwise as well as interact with their peers about such issues. There are many individuals who post across all subjects and some people that only respond to especially compelling issues for them. I think your statements are reductionist and definitely oversimplified and seem mostly intended to make yourself feel more savvy about connections between issues.

I hate to be the one to tell you... 03.Jun.2005 12:21

Bison Boy

I believe the point is to have a democratic forum, in the sense that anyone can post pretty much whatever they want. What the users are saying is simply what the users have to say. That's all.

You're welcome to push your agenda here (God knows others do) but your complaint is misdirected. The problem you cite is a problem that is not at all limited to this website. The site does not foster the left's disunity so much as it simply reflects what already exists out in the world.

Fix *that*. Please.

The site and its admins have no mission or duty to string the articles into a coherent narraitive. (Which is just as well... impossible tasks are such a bummer.) If you'd like to try, knock youself out. Good luck overcoming the poor signal-to-noise ratio, though.

right on, rosa 03.Jun.2005 12:37

maria

rosa has it exactly. as long as people choose to deny why the world is the way it is---it will forever continune. capitalism is the reason for all of the torure, rape and genocide that has gone on in this world. because of capitalism we can look forward to a good 45 year wage-slavery prison sentence as well.

Organisation, Framework, Leader Needed. 03.Jun.2005 12:48

Tom

Unity of purpose, but diversity of execution and participation.
North America needs a radically left of Democrats coalition with a carismatic leader like the Respect and Mr. Galloway in the UK to unite and fire up the masses.
Although aware, that relying on and individual, can make the movement vulnerable as well.

The IMC is mostly just a bulletin board 03.Jun.2005 13:02

Red neck

A very important one since it's the only major open access one in the world. What I've been surprised and disappointed by is that we haven't seen the development of feeder sites. That pick through the clutter and provide some focus. What people are talking about, what's drawing the most responses, the big stories, what not be covered or down played by the corporate media...and just the quality stories. A lot of people spend hours if not days writing post that pass by unnoticed...that's got to be discouraging....

China 03.Jun.2005 13:06

y

Two things :
1. Am I a dirty rotten capitalist if I sell things I have made from a booth every week? I have to borrow some money to get started for equipment and supplies so technically I am a capitalist.
2. China is a communist country yet it has become one of the most capitalist societies on earth.

No Rosa, we are NOT agreed 03.Jun.2005 13:34

Mike stepbystpefarm <a> mtdata.com

That's the problem. I accept that your faith is genuine, that you not only believe that the source of all ills is capitalism and that the elimination of capitalism would elimiante the ills. But that you have this quasi-reliigous faith does not make it so. Within a capitalist society, pretty much all that goes on will have a capitalist explanation because capitalism provides the social context. That does not mean that these same ills could not also exist within a socialist society (where they would have a socialist cause) or within a fuedal society where they will have a feudal cause, etc.

Do you understand? Take war for an example. Sure among capitalist societies wars will be faught for capitalist reasons. But did people live at peace before the existence of capitalism when they lived by other economic systems? Of course not -- they had no difficulty finding what to them were perfectly good non-capitalist reasons to kill each other. Now PLEASE -- do not mistake what I am saying for more than I am saying. I am NOT saying that I believe socialist societies would be warlike -- just that you need to make a case to tell us WHY they would be peaceful. And for THAT, just saying that "capitalism causes wars" is NOT enough.

Similarly you need to give us REASONS why we should believe that alternatives to capitalism would treat animals with more consideration,allow free expression of our sexuality, cause humans to live in balance with instead of in an exploitive relationship to the rest of Nature, etc. Unless and until you do, people whose primary concern is with issues such as these have no reason to drop their direct campaigns on these in favor of the indirect approach you favor.

Perhaps you might be well to consider that perhaps you are being sent a message. A message that unless YOUR campaign cannot actively incorporate these interests as positive components then these people will not engage in mutual support with you. If the traditonal "left" wants the support of the animal rights folks, the gays, the environmantals, etc. then maybe they need to do MORE than keep repeating "join us in OUR fight, forget about what you are about, we'll take care of those things after the revolution, TRUST US".

Again, I think your beliefs are sincere. Whcih is why I am taking the time to try to excplain to you why your message isn't working. No, we do NOT "trust you" in that sense and we do not share your "religion" that all will be well.

True, capitalism is the reason for most of the suffering in the world. 03.Jun.2005 13:36

Bird Dog

But you have to understand the underlying cause of the problem.
This is where you have to connect the dots!

The free market system/capitalism gives corporations the right to strip away human rights such as protection from the poisons they pour out into our water ways or chems that they put in our food and so on.

This is where the hypocrisy kicks in.
They use the bible to judge and condemn people on one hand with their holier than thou ideals like sex before marriage, but then they dispel what it says about doing unto others.
And what about the lesson, Judge not yet ye be judged.
I guess they have forgotten that one as well.

And to the point you were making about slamming this web site.
Have you ever heard about the FIRST AMENDMENT?????????
In the event that you have not, it is the document that this country was built on and is now being torn apart by the Reich-wing.

 http://www.house.gov/Constitution/Amend.html

So all I have to say is get a clue, they have used their bible to tear apart the foundation of our country and lives because they don't like the way we live.

 http://www.house.gov/Constitution/Amend.html

Article [I.] (See Note 13)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the FREEDOM of SPEECH, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

More Than You ism 03.Jun.2005 13:41

is the problem

I am the holier than thou chosen one because I have more _____ (fill in the blank)than you.

examples:
white skin
masculinity
material possessions
money
land
intelligence
beauty
articulation

whatever - it is always more, more, more THAN YOU - that is what we worship and that is the problem.

Crapitalism is only one example of More-than-you-ism rampant in the world right now.

Just another opiate of the masses sold by distant elites to dominate you... 03.Jun.2005 13:44

Green Army of 700,000 dropped from history books...

...and to get people organized for supporting their elite policy ideas instead of the reality of a plurality of localisms being submerged by a more "top vs. bottom" arrangement than the artificial left vs. right would allow. The latter being owned by the same side on the left and right from day one of the concept.

Moreover, capitalism has never existed. See related points about this (as comments to this article and history):

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/05/318172.shtml

Speaking about FREEDOM of SPEACH!! 03.Jun.2005 14:09

Bird Dog

Free flow of information is what made this country strong.
So one has to ask, why are they trying to stop the information from getting to the people as this document shows.
The Downing Street "Memo"

 http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/

Capitalism is the art of deception. 03.Jun.2005 14:40

Red neck

"The source of all ills is capitalism and that the elimination of capitalism would elimiante the ills"—Of course not, life is just one thing after another, Life is nothing but trouble, When you solve a problem you almost inevitably create several more..Dat's life. This isn't about utopia, this isn't about pie and the sky... We've eaten most of our pie. This is about human responsibility, accountability, openness, honesty, maturity, This is about sanity. The problem with capitalism is that it's completely nuts. Every time I go to work, every time I go out, every time I pick up the paper, watch TV, Surf the web, I'm shocked. Stark raving insanity! The use of resources, social chaos, constant propaganda/advertising, the alienation, the crime, the vice, the greed, corruption, the lying, cheating, deceiving, fraud, The hideous ugliness! This is something that needs to be stopped, something that the world needs to reject, before it destroys everything. I believe
that's starting to happen. The world is starting to see America for what it is. One big Walmart in a slum.

now you see it, now you don't bird dog 03.Jun.2005 14:49

look over here, no look over there

whatever you do, don't realize that bush is on the ropes and a constitutional lawyer has made the case for impeachment...no,no..fight capitalism, that is the cause of the Iraq war, not bush, not the minutes, not torture, nope...it's capitalism's fault

nice entertaining distraction though, but since capitalism is "THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL", well then why not hop on board the impeachment train to expose it, "because we'll still have capitalism".

So when do we storm the castle? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

afterdowningstreet.com

One big walmart in a slum 03.Jun.2005 14:51

.

.

What PIM Does 03.Jun.2005 14:53

Roland

Rosa,

Wherever did you get the idea that PIM or any of the other Independent Media web sites are necessarily leftist? The chorus that you hear on these sites sing different tunes, all at the same time. There are mainstream democrat views, liberal views, progressive views, anarchist views, libertarian views, socialist views, Marxist views and even a few extreme right views find their way here. PIM is not a political party. It is a big tent under which many ideas are displayed and commented upon. It is also a place for news that you won't find in the MSM.

You wrote, "The articles written about on PIM need to be read within a context: problems created by capitalism." Well, they are, according to the context by which each reader understands how society operates. I agree with you that all of these issues and news items can be viewed within a capitalist context and a Marxist, for example, interprets them accordingly.

My advice to you is to present some problem, issue or news item with an anti-capitalist interpretation in a clear and concise way. You will surely get some flack from detractors, but you also may influence in a positive way someone who is struggling to understand "what it all means," if you'll excuse the corny expression.

demonstrate your beliefs 03.Jun.2005 15:25

actions speak louder

It's not "what's wrong with the left" or "what's wrong with this site". It's what's wrong with the individuals of our narcissistic society, regardless of how they choose to label themselves, believing that *she or he* has the *one truth* / *highest understanding* / *best way*.

I'm not a part of "the left" nor "the right". I don't believe there is such a thing as "the left" and "the right". I'm not a liberal nor a conservative though I share beliefs with those that label themselves as both. And I'm not impressed by dogmatic anti-capitalist rhetoric, particularly when it's not backed by action. I come to this site because I want to read stories written by people in the community about what affects them. If that's not what another individual wants, or if another individual or group of individuals thinks they can do something better, more effective, then do it. If you believe you have the one true path that we all *need* to follow than demonstrate it with your actions. Don't expect people to follow or even agree until you've at least done that. Want a web site that offers a critique of capitalism then build it. Pull articles from various indymedia sites and add your critique. Then, see if it works or not.

"A lot of people spend hours if not days writing post that pass by unnoticed...that's got to be discouraging...."

I wanted to make an observation in response to this statement. In my time reading stories here I've often noticed that the better stories get fewer comments because good stories and posts leave little to be added. So I wouldn't make the assumption that posts are unnoticed.

Thanks alot 03.Jun.2005 15:45

Messenger

As one who has been spending a huge amount of time re-posting articles found in L A, NYC, DC (and many other places) to all the IMCs so that everyone has a chance to hear the truth, I take that as a slap in the face from a closed minded zombie!

I used to read the local paper, then scan the NYTimes site, and listen to corporate TV news. For over six months now the first thing I do is read this site (then a couple others) because it has the largest amount of truth that is available. It took me a while to see just how dumbed down the "corporate fed" news reader is. I cherish this site and would like to thank everyone involved with it very much!

asdf 03.Jun.2005 16:02

asdf

Actually what is needed is some major re-focus on where we left off after Quebec City and before 9/11. Let's face it, 9/11 (an inside job) is where we sort of grew weak because we became afraid to protest. Only recently have the fires of revolutionary idealism been re-surging...and still nowhere near where we were at prior to 9/11.

true american 03.Jun.2005 17:40

Bamboo jivefanny@aol.com

For what it's worth,
I'm a true American, I stay quiet and collect my pay, I dont ask any questions, I don't want to make any waves, I don't want to rock the boat, I just want to collect my pay, I'm a True American. I don't care where my money comes from, I don't care who gets burned, I don't believe in unions, I get mine and I don't care about yours, I'm a true American,yea, I'm a true American and I believe in baseball days, I'm a true American and this countries so great! I'm a true American and I'm too busy to change, I'm a true American and the Earth has got to pay----I need a cedar deck in my backyard, I need to drive an S.U.V, I need 400 channels for comfort, I need the thirdworld to bleed for me, I need plastic packaged poison food, I need a strong economy that's good,I need a gun that fires rapidly in case the U.N. comes a looking for me, I'm a true American and I need to believe, cause I'm afraid---- no one believes in me.

FUN!!! 03.Jun.2005 18:39

me3

This site is the fun site that can't be beat-it's pleasures are many-welcome and take a deep breath- enjoy yourself, my humorless anti-capitalist. This place is one of a kind and if you can't handle it go to AOL. Knockin' this realm here won't win any converts comrade. This is a TRUE democracy in between the pixels. Gatekeepers are discouraged at all costs.

Reading Eckart Tolle? 03.Jun.2005 19:13

avalon

I agree with "friend" but would add that capitalism is a real and dangerous outcome of unconsciousness that needs to be understood and overcome through consciousness.

Who bakes the Guru's bread?

the website isn't all bad o.k. 05.Jun.2005 22:01

Rosa

maybe my language was a bit too harsh in the original text; but maybe not. First of all, I've been using this website for quite some time. I get my news here, information on community events- these are important things. I simply see a very valuable resource not being exploited the best way it could (now THAT sounded capitalistic). I found the responses to be interesting too- very negative. Can we not admit that there are those who are dominating us? And that our "movement" is being crushed? Should we not look for alternative ways
to be effective? I think it is very naive to believe this world can be saved within a system that has nearly destroyed it in 200 years. There is a reason why all the miniscule 'progress' we have made is now being turned back, and quickly; the nature of the beast (profit) demands that our wants come second. All over the world (not just here) wages are dropping, the work week is climbing, the environment is crumbling, rights are being taken away.

Yes there have been wars in each epoch of civilization. But keep in mind, civilization has known only systems of exploitation: slave-state, fuedal, current.

Without some agreement on what the problem is, and how to fix it, progress becomes impossible.

The Cause of all the Problems, Root of Evil, Original sin. blah, blah, blah 14.Jun.2005 15:34

Reverend X Reverend_x@blastedreality.net

Perhaps, in the beginning, there was a singular event, entity, whatever that shouldered the guilt of all our problems. That is moot. At present, the problems beget their own causes, solutions beget more problems and this train a thought could keep runnin Exodus style, but I will stop. Rosa was absolutely correct. Of course she was also completely wrong. The unrestricted activity of Capitalism inevitably leads to the orgy of greed and corruption we are experienceing. Democracy is inherently flawed as well. 49% of everyone you meet are of below average intelligence. 10% are wasted on something. I don't believe a valid census has been done on %'s of people who: don't care bout anything enough to notice, are too self absorbed to notice, actually having such a bad life they failed to notice, etc, but the first two stats are enough for a majority.

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents,
more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.
On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land
will reach their heart's desire at last and
the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

True Communism fails to take into account human nature. Fascism relies to much on that nature, therefore it devours itself along with it's populace. And Anarchy is just downright silly.
Here's my point. Utopian all or nothing agendas are the armor of modern tyranny. There are lessons to be learned from the success of Corporatalism. and one other thing to fill out this Trinity of Topic... But I won't mention it now. Can't sell a product all at once. The anticipation actually adds to the percieved value of my point.

Well, I am off.
BTW is there an organization here? A body perhaps, focusing the will of the many to a purpose. A consortium, if you will, of individuals willing to set aside their own pet projects, temporarily, in order to start something capable of effecting change?
I would really like to join such a group. There are probably others who feel as I do, So if anyone knows anything or has a rally flag or something, please stand up.

R X

A series of achievable goals undertaken in a rational timeline has a smell. Smells like Victory.