(AA)++ AAWR EXTRACTS - 20th May 1996

esperanto (lingvoj@lds.co.uk)
Tue, 21 May 1996 01:28:30 +0200


All across the globe corporate interests
are applying for patents for an increasing
number of items which have belonged to
all of humanity. People in every comer
of the earth are finding that seeds, plants,
and even their own genes, things that
have been held in common for
millenniums are now becoming the
property of private interests. The current
international struggle against the granting
of patents to private interests parallels the
struggle that occurred during the
industrial revolution when common lands
were claimed by the landed gentry and
the emerging corporate classes for their
own private use.

Humanity in the west lost the struggle to
maintain common lands during the
industrial revolution, today we can't
afford to lose the struggle against the
current round of corporate piracy.
Historically patents have been used to
safeguard profits. They allow a company
or individual that has developed a new
product to control and profit from the
distribution of such a product. Patents
give corporations the right to legally
develop a monopoly to exploiting new
products they develop.

A simple example of the immorality of
the patent system can be seen when we
look at the monopoly pharmaceutical
corporations have over life saving drugs.
We have countless examples of
nedications which take a few cents to
develop and m@ ufacture being sold for
nark ups of over 10,000%. It's not
unusual for these corporations to demand
one hundred dollars for a medication that
may cost ten cents to develop,
manufacture and distribute. Patents allow
corporations to make huge profits from
products they claim they have developed.

The problem facing people today is the
fact that corporations are now asking the
legal system to grant them patents for
thin@s that have existed and have been
used for thousands of years. The
international legal system is allowing the
corporate pirates to patent things they
claim they have discovered - seeds that
have existed and have been used for
thousands of years and the very genes that
deeerm.ine the make up of individuals and
groups of people. What is our common
heritage is now being stolen by the legal
system and the corporate pirates.

Patents rely on the myth that an
individual or a group is able to invent or
produce something new. Everything that
is produced or invented does not simply
appear out of nowhere. Such
developments come from the common
heritage we all share as human beings.
Why should a small group be allowed to
make individual and corporate profits
from exploiting and developing our
common heritage. We owe current ideas
and developments to those who have gone
bef@rfe us. Without their worl@ ou@
not be where we are today.

Capitalism relies heavily on patent laws,
no individual or corporation should be
able to patent any invention. Patents
reinforce private profits, they in no way
protect or assist community development.
Patent laws are not only absurd they are
immoral and legitimise corporate piracy.
For decades anarchists have been saying
that patents restrict human potential. By
all means let@s recognise and applaud
those individuals and groups that initiate,
invent, and develop new products and
techniques but at the same time let's
remember that without the assistance of
the common knowledge that is our birth
right nothing would have been developed.
Let's not forget that each and every one of
us irrespective of our income is entitled to
benefit from any changes that occur as a
result of the use of our common hel@tage.

The smell of recession is in the air. Small
shops are closing down, the for lease
signs are going up. Job vacancies are
decreasing and the unemployment rate is
going up. The Australian dollar is going
up and the speculators are going wild.
Australia is on the verge of a recession.
In the next few weeks the economists
(soothsayers) will begin to see the writing
on the wall and will begin their lament of
doom and gloom.

Capitalism works on a boom bust cylce.
Over the past few years, politicians of
various political hues have made their
reputation by telling us that they can ride
the capitalist bull. The current recession
is just another one of those events that
points out to people the inherent flaws of
an economic system that is based on the
generation of profits not the satisfaction
of human needs. The problems facing us
as individuals and a community are not
linked to who is pulling what economic
lever at what particular time. They are
much more important than that. Our
current economic problems are directly
related to the type of engine that is fueling
our current economic system. Capitalism
cannot be reformed. It doesn't matter
who is in charge of the system, as long as
we have an economic system that is based
on the generation of profit, we will all
continue to be effected by the boom bust
economic system we are currently
hostages to. It's a tragedy that so many
people's lives are destroyed each time
society hits the bust component of the
boom bust cycle.

Economics is about peoples lives. It's
about people having to working all their
lives to pay off their shelter. It's about
other people making obscene profits by
playing the speculation game. It's about
people dying and living in the streets
because they can't make ends meet. It's
about millions dying in clashes between
nations about trading rights. Just three
months after electing a new government,
the wheels are tuming down the recession
pathway. Irrespective of who's in
government an economic system that is
based on the generation of bigger and
bigger profits will never be able to
provide the economic stability that is
necessary for growth.

Irrespective of how fast the clowns pull
the levers, the capitalist engine will go its
own way up hill and down d@le unless
some very major modifications are made
to our current economic system.
Recessions and depressions are an
integral component of the boom bust
cycle that characterises the capitalist
economic system.

I cry when I think of the Olympic
billboards who are going to represent
Australia at the home of Coca-Cola - the
Atlanta Olympics. It's strange very
strange indeed to see so many young flt
healthy people aspiring to be human
billboards for some second rate
corporation. The Olympic games are now
imbued with the spirit of commercialism.
It's not enough that people compete for
their countries they now aspire to being
some living billboard for some totally
useless corporate product.

The Olympics have little if anything to do
with sport. First and foremost they are a
celebration of corporate culture.
Commercialism has now become
synonymous with the word Olympics.
The Olympic games have been
transformed from a festival of nationalism
to a corporate festival. Athletes from all
across the globe are competing for the
dubious honour of acting as a human
billboard for some useless corporate
product. The Olympic games have
become the very pinnacle of corporate
culture. They have little if anything to do
with competition or participation in sport.


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