Why Geeks, Nerds, and Engineers Should Take the Pledge of Solidarity with African People
by Mark Anderson, supporter of Uhuru Solidarity Movement
No doubt, we are ridiculed and made fun of throughout society: in every day interactions, in school, at jobs, in movies, and so on. With such alienation, is it any wonder then that we seek out an alternative existence in the internet, gaming, or other pastimes?
Our skills are sometimes needed and appreciated. But look at how technology and engineering are used today. The military industrial complex is only the most obvious example. Whether it be agricultural, or petrochemical, or pharmaceutical, almost without exception these industries are destructive from top to bottom: they exploit tantamount slave labor for raw materials; they poison the environment, they collude with corrupt governments for further oppression; all to produce products which are themselves often poisonous and destructive.
Even the so-called “green” jobs are fatally undermined by profit motive, as anyone who has been in them knows. How are the materials obtained? How are they assembled? Where do the profits go?
Sure, we can sometimes get good-paying jobs: but so can prison guards. Do we really want a life where the only outlet for our interests is being used in such enterprises?
And even those jobs are available only as long as these big corporations have a use for us. Now they can outsource our work almost as easily as they have been “outsourcing” manual labor for centuries.
We have choices. We can continue our alienation and struggle for the crumbs that society still gives us, chasing after the privileged opportunities left, no matter what the cost.
Or we can try to escape into alternative realities – a virtual existence available to us only because of the resources we and our families already have, which exist because of the history of slavery, theft, and genocide that supported and supports this society.
Or we can take off our blinders, and recognize that what we “suffer” is a far cry from what the majority of the peoples of the earth have been suffering from these same powers — and we can side with them.
We do have to recognize that our work has to be under the leadership of the oppressed themselves: African, Mexican and the others who have really been bearing the brunt of it all. Otherwise what is the point? Part of the return of the stolen resources needs to start with returning our skills and knowledge.
There is exciting work to be done, using our skills for genuine good. We just have to look in the right direction, and recognize what our real priorities should be. And I can assure you, you won’t feel as alienated either.
Geek, nerds, engineers, join the Days in Solidarity with African People Committee! Take the Pledge of Solidarity with African People today!