Monday, April 10, 2006

Ending Isolation and New Beginnings













"The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world he didn't exist."
--Verbal Kent in the film The Usual Suspects

Corporations have had similar success. These private tyrannies have been able to rape the world with very little effective resistance, especially in the country which harbors these criminal institutions. Alexis de Tocqueville warned us in Democracy in America that he knew of
"no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America." However, the unchecked and unqualified belief we Americans have in our democracy makes us much less aware of the oppressive institutions. We are effectively rendered powerless beyond an occassional trip to the ballot box.


I do find hope however, even if that hope is something that will likely need to be imported. Venezuelans are inspiring. When President Hugo Chavez was temporarily removed from office by a U.S.-backed coup d'etat, and Venezuelans had no leadership that was further hampered by a complete communication blackout, they spontaneously took to the streets despite vicious and brutal police repression. It was as though the collective consciousness of Venezuelans banded them together in solidarity and said, "Let's not allow this coup. Let's take our country back!" And that is exactly what they did. Without any leadership or central organization the people of Venezuela took their country back and resisted tyranny.

This kind of grassroots consciousness gives hope to the idea that the Bolivarian Revolution is much bigger than just one man. It gives hope that what really stands in the way of taking measures into our own hands is ourselves. Though the obstacle of forfeiting our material comforts and facing the most powerful institutions in the world is nothing to take lightly, it is worth considering the old adage of Karl Marx: "We have nothing to lose but our chains."

So if you're ready and would like to join me, let's start a revolution. Let's start creating our own security and order from within. Let's reassure each other that the constitutive tension we feel from being so dependent on everyone around us even though we know nothing about each other (both of which are effects of capitalism and the modern society: atomized yet interdependent) can be changed by taking our lives back and connecting. Join a social justice group or start your own. Whatever you do, get connected. Get to know the people in your community so we can stop fearing the people upon whom depend for all kinds of unknown reasons. Let's talk about issues and stop allowing the institutional terror that is isolating us to take control. We must stop fundamentalists and reactionaries from driving the collective consciousness of this nation towards greater fear and isolation. Let's unplug from the media, advertisers, fundamentalist clerics (Christian, Muslims, et. al.), government, and public education. Let's stop speaking truth to power and start speaking truth to each other! The revolution starts now!!!

8 comments:

troutsky said...

Immigrants rising up, talking about strikes and direct action ( fighting for "rights" rather than power but they will be learning). Students in France making demands, people in Latin America taking back control,Social Forums raising questions, (proposing a few, tentative answers,) even an article in The Nation, that bastion of liberal thought, titled The Left Needs Socialism!Michael Alberts piece on anti-capitalism,and many others laying groundwork. The Right seems to be in disarray, mired in imperialist war, corruption scandals, facing environmental disintegration,finding it harder and harder to explain away rising inequality and debt passed on to future generations.

Still we must face the reality of capitalisms ability to adjust and coerce, through hegemonic and more overt forms of control.For me this means we must make some very serious decisions about the forms and structures and processes we propose to replace the current system because to fail at this juncture could mean bad things, a return to totalitarianism, a fascist backlash, even worse.

What is to be done? Linkages, alliances, coalition building, movement organizing.I want to start looking regionally at anti-capitalist activity, radical unions,unemployed, academics, students etc. We have talked about education efforts, forums to bring in new ideas, developing materials and gaining exposure.The masses are disgusted with politics- as- usual.Then there is the issue of funding, a fishing guide and school teachers only have so much time and resources.New beginnings built on a solid radical tradition, si?

John in Montana said...

Are all corporations inherently evil? I really think there can be "good" corporations. I'm interested where the idea of corporations came from. Was it a few rich white guys that didn't want to lose their shirts? (I probably need to rewatch The Corporation.) We shouldn't be blind to the idea that corporations can serve very useful purposes, even to leftists. They can remove activists from certain liabilities, for example. There are not-for-profit corporations that do serve the public and "fight the good fight." As we probably all know these groups are almost always underfunded and the "corporate" label has potential to bail them out if they find themselves in whatever predicament. Unfortunately, there is a growing trend among some unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of the situation.

John in Montana said...

Are all corporations inherently evil? I really think there can be "good" corporations. I'm interested where the idea of corporations came from. Was it a few rich white guys that didn't want to lose their shirts? (I probably need to rewatch The Corporation.) We shouldn't be blind to the idea that corporations can serve very useful purposes, even to leftists. They can remove activists from certain liabilities, for example. There are not-for-profit corporations that do serve the public and "fight the good fight." As we probably all know these groups are almost always underfunded and the "corporate" label has potential to bail them out if they find themselves in whatever predicament. Unfortunately, there is a growing trend among some unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of the situation.

troutsky said...

John, the concept of incorporating to be more effective is not inherently evil but the regulatory mechanisms and enforcment agencies which depend on State power ensure an un-democratic system.Under capitalism they have commanded and exploited all the legal"rights" of persons but have none of the responsibilities. Reform means appealing to those with the most invested in the current structure.

in Jays spirit of new beginnings I think we should discard the model of organizations for particular,self interest and think of broader, less competitive models.

Renegade Eye said...

I found this blog surfing.

I heard on the news today, Hugo Chavez wants a 25 year term. I have to think on that.

The whole state apparatus, and both major US parties, are built around keeping people ignorant of corporate exploitation.

Renegade Eye said...

Could you believe it? The AP incorrectly translated Hugo Chavez's statement. The 25 year thing, is another lie against Chavez.

See: http://lanr.blogspot.com/2006/05/associated-press-falsely-portrays.html#links

Ché Bob said...

Renegade

I can believe. I will be going to Venezuela in a couple of months and I hope to learn as much as I can. I'm humbled by the people of Venezuela.

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