Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addresses delegates at COP15, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
Ahmadinejad names capitalism and materialism as key components of environmental degradation; calls for a focus on expanding the use of clean and renewable energy sources, including the peaceful use of nuclear power; and outlines strategies to control climate change.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the sixth and current President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the main political leader of the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran, a coalition of conservative political groups in the country. An engineer and teacher from a poor background, Ahmadinejad joined the Office for Strengthening Unity after the Islamic Revolution. Appointed a provincial governor, he was removed after the election of President Mohammad Khatami and returned to teaching.
Tehran's council appointed him mayor in 2003. He took a religious hard-line, reversing reforms of previous moderate mayors. His 2005 presidential campaign, supported by the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran, garnered 62% of the runoff election votes, and he became President on August 3, 2005.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks out against capitalism and materialism, and the role he says each play in fueling the global warming crisis. He blames the crisis on the endless cycle of consumption and production that is driven by materialism in rich, industrialized countries.
Take out the words "almighty God" and his introduction sounds quite reasonable.
7:40 "[US has 5% of the world population but consumes 25% of oil and energy]" But also has the largest economy and smart people moving it. People that are less willing to drive planes into buildings. And also live in an ecology that isn't completely consisted of sand.
9:00 We'll let you use Nuclear fission as a source of energy when we think a nation's people and Government are smart enough to use it, e.g. none of this Allah is great bullshit.
10:10 I'll give you humanitarian values. You desert epileptic worshippers can't even agree on what "divine values" even means at the most basic level.
11:00 Not God; other human beings demand this for others.
12:35 So I'm assuming non-Muslims won't be allowed to sit on this board...
Ahmadinejad touched on many profound truths in his speech and quite honestly I think he and his country pose a lesser threat to the world than does the US with its military interventions and unbridled pursuit of capitalism and consumerism at the expense of just about all else.
Of course it is very difficult to form a comprehensive and rational opinion of the man as the western politicians and media only provide us with one side of the story. He no doubt sees Israel and its mentor the US as a threat particularly in view of the fact that both have nuclear capabilities and the US have actually used theirs - twice .
I appreciate your reasoned response. You however amplified that the problem is with politicians, not with capitalism or corporations. The more politicians get involved in the free market, through absurd regulations, subsidies and confiscatory taxation (which corporations pass on to the end consumer) the more corrupt the system becomes. If a citizen wishes to pursue happiness as he sees it or act in his own interests, let him pay for it himself. In our system of government, the individual is sovereign. Congress ought not be de facto lobbyists for groups aligned along racial, political or commercial interests. Every new law that benefits one group of persons, hurts countless individuals. Most congressional interference in the free market would never pass a vote of the people. Would agricultural subsidies pass if the people were permitted to vote for them?
Anyway. . .
This man's apocalyptic view of the world, his Holocaust denial and his evil, anti-semitic comments make his comments unworthy of serious consideration. I hope for the end of this regime and the just aspirations of the Iranian people to be respected.
Permalink, this is a quality critic of Capitalism and the system of governance that we have in the United States of America. However, I think coming from this man whose government is so intolerant to liberal ideas and human rights must be meet with skepticism; as the wolf may disguise as a sheep. A good example of this is the benevolence of Christian Religious organizations whose acceptance of a dogmatic belief, regardless of all good things done, still leaves room for, and allows for the propagation of other dogmatic religious extremists.
Mark, you're right that a significant part of my problem is with corrupt politicians, but I'd disagree with your assertion that a corporation can make you do nothing.
The problem really stems from the concept of a politician before they run for office. If to be elected, you need to a) be adopted by the right party, and b) almost invariably out-spend your opponents, you create the problem that those people who are genuinely eligible candidates are those with the deepest pocketed supporters.
Now - and this isn't meant as a criticism, but as a fact of life - if you support someone they're probably looking after your interests. So those people supported most fervently by those with the resources (both in dollars for advertising, and clout within the parties to have people adopted) are far more likely to find themselves in the Blue or Red columns (Whether that is (Republican/Democratic, Labour/Conservative) which are the options from which any deviation is condemned as a "wasted vote".
As a result whilst it is certainly possible to be adopted and participate towards the higher end of politics without the support of a Corporate giant, the system is weighted towards those few who are telegenic, outwardly resemble their electorate and have the funds to ensure that they can be everywhere immediately preceding the election being seen to be kissing babies and mewing the same sweet nothings, skewed, into the ears of their audiences.
The company cannot and does not control you, as you rightly say.
Your government decides what hours you can be made to work at maximum, they decide what benefits your employers are required to offer you, and indeed the minimum you can be rewarded for your labour. They decide the efficiency of the of the home appliances you can purchase and they decide how you power them. They decide when, where and if you may or may not smoke. They decide what and where you are permitted to drive, and, as the arbiters of public transport, they can also affect whether you need or want to as well. They decide what wars you fight, and the enemies you make around the globe.
And whilst no specific company can make you do anything, companies make lobbies. Lobbies can carrot-and-stick parties and parties make Governments.
So yes, it's true to say that my biggest problem is one of corrupt politicians, however the effect of the system in which they operate is one in which the word corruption is easily lost. Even if an individual is acting in their own interests and their own conscience, the small pool from which they are drawn will inherently lead to a tendency for their needs, wishes and opinions to be at some variance from those of the people they represent.
In addition, characteristics, such as the necessity to be of the type of employ which one can vacate and reoccupy at will, such as a lawyer, director or magnate of some industry or other, mean that not only are they likely to diverge from their electors, they are more likely to converge with each other.
In short, and I do not mean this to be glib, as it might sound; the phrase "Corrupt Politicians" is inherently tautological. Even when not corrupt they are unlikely to be representative.
To consider a phrase from The Gettysburg Address - "...of the people, for the people and by the people.": This is an issue which is clear, yet deceptive. The abolition of Monarchy, and thus the resolution of all humans under the banner of "people" means this cannot fail to be true. However, whilst the words suggest that every individual's voice is heard with equal might, and the strongest views carry the motion, the truth is that those people define the issues, options and results, whilst the people-at-large are relegated to choosing between those capable of gaining the support of the resourced to be offered for election.
Even if one is happy with concept of capitalism, as it is perfectly acceptable to be, its current symbiosis with the current incarnations of democracy have hijacked the reality of either concept far from their conceptual bases.
Great speech. Excellent anti-american nuances. The man is a genius. BTW I missed what he said about Irans contribution to climate change. Best guess I can make is that'll probably be the annihilation of Israel. What a man, he's nearly as embarrassing as the Prime Monster of Australia, KRudd.
Calorus, it sounds as if your biggest beef is with corrupt politicians. I agree the United States is not a pure Capitalist system. Politicians meddle in the name of "levelling the playing field," which, as you have pointed out, never happens.
A corporation can make me do nothing. My relationship with them is purely voluntay. A [I]Government[I] on the other hand, can make me do many things under threat of force to my private property or through violence.
Well lets be fair - what he said was true: Captialism can only function if we all buy shit we don't need. Every time Capitalism hiccups, everyone stops buying shit they don't need, and the hiccup becomes a cough at best.
There's a lot to be said for abandoning Capitalism, primarily because it's so horrifically skewed to over reward those who start out with everything.
If someone showed me a REAL inwardly consistent Capitalism it would make more sense.
By inwardly consistent, I mean a market based economy where goods and services are all competing on efficacy, efficiency and quality. Where there is a responsibility for companies to produce and provide facts regarding their products allowing things like the a) the total cost of ownership, b) the actual risks and shortcomings of a product and c) the transparent cost of the product. Where a company paid the Government taxes in the interests of allow the Government to ensure that the environment (ecological and social) were conducive to providing the best staff and the most sustainable process. Where externalities (like pumping out Carbon Monoxide, Nitrous Oxides or any other pollutant) were controlled, preventing health providers from needing to pay for the effects of those toxins on their patients. And where a company couldn't fail the market, only to be propped up artificially by the Government at the citizens' expense.
Even if you are an ardent believer in Capitalism, which is still only one of infinite possible nuanced systems of human interaction, what we have now is no such thing. It's a system where the rich earn the profits, the poor pay the taxes, the rich choose the candidates, whilst the poor merely choose between them.
The Fisco-cracy we live in, very clearly shows. Philip Morris write and sponsor tobacco law. Ford and GM can veto environmental policy. J P Morgan, Citibank Bank of America et al. own the Federal Reserve.
Personally it's more important to have a fair system were everyone knows the rules and everyone has to play by them, than to have a system where might is right, locally and nationally.
Everything the West's biggest companies have ever done in the wider world has been in the interests of exploiting the nations they infiltrate. Whether in Imperial Britain where they callously slaughtered natives of every continent, or in the present day where Trafigura casually dumps its waste in Cote d'Ivoire water, leaving deaths and sickness rife.
But don't for a moment think that actually following our own rules would be altruism. By getting out and staying out of other countries - at a political level at least - our countries would be safer, as people would know that the wars they might wish to fight would need to be fought at home rather than with bombs on our trains. It is simply beneficial, that by example people will understand the benefits of struggle for their own freedom.
Without outside help, it's close to impossible to subdue an entire nation who've seen a better life and want to live it.