Tag Archives: Opposing oppression and injustice

People oppose injustice and oppression in  a social system.  These are some examples of the oppression and the opposition.

2019 review of exploitation and oppression in the world

Lane Vanderslice December 31, 2019

Exploitation and oppression continued to play a major role in the world in 2019. Standard economics principally looks at income obtained from production. This website looks at income or other benefit gained by harming others.  We prefer the term harm, as being correct and also indicating a range of behavior. Types of harm in a society may not rise to the level where they could reasonably be termed exploitation and oppression.  Harm, no matter the term(s) used is much more important than suggested by standard economics1. This follows Kenneth Boulding in The Economy of Love and Fear. Boulding distinguishes not only the productive economy but also the grants economy, which consists of two parts: exploitative grants from threats or ignorance, and integrative grants from love or kindness. In Boulding’s terms, this is an exploitative grant. A principal aspect of this website is publishing links to articles that describe a current aspect of harm in the United States or elsewhere; this is reviewed here.

The analytical view taken in this website is that through control of a society and its key elements of the society (economy, government, social system) some people/groups in the society obtain income from others. So, there are two basic aspects, maintaining control and obtaining income.  This is expressed in the principal categories used in the website (can be seen on the left of each page).  For control we have categories including  Staying in power – Struggle for control and Harming People – Keeping People Oppressed.  For obtaining income, we have Obtaining income through the government – rent seeking – corruption, Harm through the market,  Discrimination: race – gender – ethnic – religious – class and  Discrimination against women — gender inequality.

Staying in power/struggle for control An important part of the struggle for control is between democratic/popular forces that want to expand human rights and opportunities and those who want to restrict access to key rights and opportunities to their group. HE published a summary of what Freedom House had to say about 2018. Here is an excerpt from that summary. (2019 report not yet available.)

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The erosion of U.S. democacy. Credit Freedom House

Democracy in Retreat: Freedom in the world 2019

Freedom House February 4, 2019

In 2018, Freedom in the World recorded the 13th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. The reversal has spanned a variety of countries in every region, from long-standing democracies like the United States to consolidated authoritarian regimes like China and Russia. The overall losses are still shallow compared with the gains of the late 20th century, but the pattern is consistent and ominous. Democracy is in retreat.

In states that were already authoritarian, earning Not Free designations from Freedom House, governments have increasingly shed the thin façade of democratic practice that they established in previous decades, when international incentives and pressure for reform were stronger. More authoritarian powers are now banning opposition groups or jailing their leaders, dispensing with term limits, and tightening the screws on any independent media that remain. Meanwhile, many countries that democratized after the end of the Cold War have regressed in the face of rampant corruption, antiliberal populist movements, and breakdowns in the rule of law. Most troublingly, even long-standing democracies have been shaken by populist political forces that reject basic principles like the separation of powers and target minorities for discriminatory treatment.

Some light shined through these gathering clouds in 2018. Surprising improvements in individual countries—including Malaysia, Armenia, Ethiopia, Angola, and Ecuador—show that democracy has enduring appeal as a means of holding leaders accountable and creating the conditions for a better life. Even in the countries of Europe and North America where democratic institutions are under pressure, dynamic civic movements for justice and inclusion continue to build on the achievements of their predecessors, expanding the scope of what citizens can and should expect from democracy. The promise of democracy remains real and powerful. Not only defending it but broadening its reach is one of the great causes of our time.

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El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua 2019

Nayib Bukele, an outsider candidate, claims victory in El Salvador election Gene Palumbo and Elisabeth Malkin New York Times February 3, 2019
“Analysts said…Mr. Bukele was able to set himself apart on the issue of corruption, which has roiled politics across Latin America and paved the way for candidates promising to combat it. In El Salvador, both traditional parties made for easy targets. Former President Tony Saca, an Arena politician, is serving a 10-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty last year to charges of embezzlement and money laundering in the diversion of more than $300 million in public funds. Mauricio Funes, a former television broadcaster who was the F.M.L.N.’s first president, is accused of embezzling $351 million. In 2016, he fled to Nicaragua, which has granted him asylum. ”

Killings of Guatemala’s indigenous activists raise specter of human rights crisis  Maria MartinNPR January 22, 2019
“Maya communities bore the brunt of almost four decades of a civil war that ended in 1996, leaving over 200,000 casualties, the majority indigenous Guatemalans, according to the United Nations. Now the mostly Maya organizations and many human rights groups worry that the violence is making a comeback: In just the last year, 26 members of mostly indigenous campesinoorganizations have been killed.”

Honduran crisis produces new caravan Jan Egeland Inter Press Service January 16, 2019