Happy New Year to everyone! I hope 2012 brings you as many triumphs as it does challenges, for one cannot exist without the other, and this is indeed important to keep in mind. 2011 was quite a year for the world, and I might add, for myself personally. We witnessed the development of the Arab Spring, with uprisings in Tunisia, followed closely by Egypt, which resulted in the exit of long-time Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, and which continues as a major struggle between the Egyptian military, and many pro-democracy NGOs (both of which receive financial support from the West), with the Egyptian people caught in the middle. Let’s hope that 2012 brings the Egyptian people some true changes that they well deserve and desire!
We also witnessed a major Western war against the oil-rich nation of Libya, plunging a relatively stable country into chaos, ravaging its infrastructure, and with resource plundering likely to follow. Of course, this was sold to the public on “humanitarian” reasons, all of which turned out to be false. As the quote goes, “In war, truth is the first casualty.” Indeed, this is so.
We have also witnessed brutal repression of uprisings in Bahrain and elsewhere, growing tensions against Syria, and increasing threats against Iran, possibly leading to a major regional war. The cause for a Palestinian state has, unsurprisingly, been sought out and again crushed by the United States and Israel. Surely, Israel/Palestine will continue to be a major hot spot and presents the potential for further war in an already war-ravaged region.
President Barack Ill-Bomb-Ya has continued his descent into the prestigious war criminal ‘hall of infamy’ with his expanded wars into Afghanistan, Pakistan, air strikes in Somalia, Yemen, his war on Libya, sending hundreds of special forces troops into Central Africa and the saber rattling with Syria and Iran. For those who still believe in Obama as a beacon of hope and change, I would say to not have hope in expecting these people to change, move on to others and, as the saying goes, “do not suffer fools, gladly.” Some people remain bewildered and resistant to reason, so do not waste your logic and time on their deaf ears. Mark Twain has been attributed to having once said, “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” Indeed, wise advice.
The Great Global Debt Depression continues to wreak havoc around the world, and presently in Europe. It will continue to spread and grow like a cancerous tumour. We witnessed the incredible development of the Occupy Movement, which in a matter of weeks spread around the world to nearly 1,000 cities, organized through social media and activating a dormant impulse in the youth of today. Indeed, regardless of your particular thoughts on the aims, objectives, failures and successes of the Occupy Movement, it is indeed an important development and vital starting point in what will surely be a multi-decade long struggle for freedom and justice in our world and in ourselves. For that reason alone, it is a beautiful thing. The people are beginning to stir from their long lobotomized slumber… and as they stir, as their anger grows and frustration boils, as their angst turns into action, suddenly we find that the people are ready for new ideas, new perspectives, new understandings and indeed, for a new world.
I cannot imagine a more exciting time, nor a more challenging time, to write this book and undertake the Book Project. In the past year, I left my previous job at Global Research and began my own independent venture, The People’s Book Project, hoping to raise money and build support to allow me to write a [multi-volume] book on the ideas and institutions of power which have come to define, control, build, oppress, segregate and dominate humanity in our modern history: how did we get here? who brought us here? what is the nature of our society? when did this all begin? where are we going? why? These are no simple questions to ask, let alone to try to answer. I constantly find that my answers evolve and change as my own research and understanding evolves and changes, and progress on my book since beginning the Project has been immense, and only made possible as a result of all the support I have received from you, the reader. I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to be able to write this book, and hopefully, to continue writing it in the New Year. With all the global developments and changes in the past year, and indeed, years, I feel that the time is ripe for such a series of books to attempt to lay bare the structure, nature, ideas, and institutions of our global system, to provide a more comprehensive, multi-faceted and presently relevant history and understanding of our world than has thus far been attempted. I feel that I am ready to write and complete this project this year, and that perhaps more people than ever before would be willing to lend their minds to new ideas. The timing could not be better. Also, it could not be more challenging, given the current financial and economic state of the world, and not to mention, myself and the Project, itself.
At the moment, with having worked 14 hours this past week, the Project is left with a total budget of $10.50, and so it is important that donations continue to come in, and it would be greatly appreciated! I am also going to be returning to school this week, having taken a nearly three year hiatus from my studies in order to focus on my own research and writing. Being on my own has made me realize that without that little piece of paper that declares you as an “educated” person, my opportunities for making money and surviving as a writer or researcher are incredibly limited. I am also beginning a few cooperative projects with other activists, researchers, and artists in the new year, which I will share and promote as they develop.
I understand why many of my supporters cannot provide financial support, and I must stress that these individuals are just as important and helpful as those who do provide financial assistance for my project, for they are among the most active promoters of my writing and research and the Project itself via online promotion, social media, blog postings, and discussion. So I want to take a moment to thank all of those who have not only contributed financially, but also in other, creative ways. Your support is essential, and has allowed the Project to build and survive to this point, and will be essential in its continued progress. I also understand the inability to support the Project financially, as I am of the same position. I come from the vanishing middle class of Canada, which has existed up to this point on debt, and which now is suffering under the burden of a global system which prospers the rich and punishes all others. No doubt, being in such a position has contributed to my interest and dedication in my work and writing. I too, live and survive week to week, spending the vast majority of my money on food and rent and other essentials, and so I have the utmost empathy with those who cannot support the project financially, and thus, I have the utmost respect and gratitude for those same people who continue to support the Project through other means. I wish you all the best in 2012, and keep up the good fight!
So Happy New Year! I wish everyone the best for 2012, and indeed, I wish the world the best. We all know that things will get worse before they get better, but in life, it seems, there is an eternal balance. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every act of evil, there is an act of love. For every horror, there is a wonder. This is why, despite the state of the world, we continue to live and survive within it. This is why we seek to change our world, so that the good is strengthened, and the bad is diminished; so that our society may reflect the love of humanity and not the hatred and fear. We continue in this struggle simply because we realize that nothing worth doing, ever comes easy. Through struggle and challenge comes growth and development. This is true both on the personal and global level. The world is as complex a place as our own individual selves are complex beings; and to seek change in one, we must seek it in the other. Change must come from within as it does from without. 2012 will without a doubt be a year of major global changes, transitions, upheavals, challenges, struggles, but also of wonders, hope, small little triumphs and beautiful moments of truth, love, and justice. The world and the life within it find a balance in its existence, as one-sided as it may feel at times. It seems, however, that the good – more subtle and simple than the bad – often lags behind, is harder to see or notice, even more challenging to feel and experience; however, because of this lag, we may rest assured that when that great moment comes some decades down the road, that the good will ultimately triumph over the evil, for it will emerge subtly, slowly, but ever present and as it lags, it will have the last laugh. Of this, I am sure.
And so as we move through this world and our lives within it, we must remember these little truths which give us reason, purpose, and passion. The Book Project is what I envision as being my best means of contributing to the long struggle for change and hope in our future. For that reason, I hope to be able to continue the project in this new year, and your support will be vital to this process, and thus, what results from the Project will not be my doing alone, but will be directly because of your effort and support in helping the books become a reality. It amazes me at the support I receive from people around the world, from Australia to Malaysia to Latin America, the United States, Europe, Africa, and right here in Canada. People everywhere, across our little planet, are seeking new ideas, and it means the world to me that these people are supporting my search for and dissemination of some of these ideas. I am determined to provide something altogether new and hopeful, something worthy of your fine and gracious support.
So thank you again, and all the best for the New Year in this crazy, wonderfully challenging and painfully beautiful little world we call home.
Andrew Gavin Marshall is an independent researcher and writer based in Montreal, Canada, writing on a number of social, political, economic, and historical issues. He is also Project Manager of The People’s Book Project.