Frontline presents a documentary titled War Briefing.
An “expert” on the Afghanistan war states
that the Taliban could be won over to “our side,” its sounds natural
to the ear. Some few Taliban, good Taliban will remain
in place as leaders to lord over villages of the poor and women
with impunity. It will be a better life for the Afghanis - nestled
into the hierarchical structure that best benefits corporations
like Exxon-Mobile. And of course, Exxon-Mobile, providing a service
for all, will have its route to oil.
producers can assume its audience is caught up in the rhetoric
of freedom” Only in America
can I watch and listen to a “free,” “educational” broadcast in
a “free” nation!
over “to our side.”
is “our side”? What is on “our side”?
rejected its shareholders’ request to invest in renewable energy
until the top brass discovered how such investment would be “good
for the company” - not the people - the company.
“our side,” we can no longer speak of the United States as representing a republic. In 1950,
writes Gore Vidal, the original constitution “was secretly replaced
with the apparatus of the national security state.” In a national
security state, money is funneled into “war-related matters” abroad,
and, I would add, money is spending on developing a world-class
prison industrial complex, complete with a high-tech surveillance
apparatus. In a national security state, institutions encouraging
free thinking are counterproductive, subversive.
it isn’t surprising that political rhetoric on “our side” delivers
to the people a definition of “freedom.” Freedom is something
“we have” and others don’t have. A principal of the national security
state holds up a card with a graphic display consisting of numbers
and lines adding up to the message: we have; they don’t. Another
principle flashes a photo of a naked, ashy, African or Latino
boy. Freedom is and must be “brought to” other nations.
is the strongest man, the most beautiful woman, the wealthiest
entrepreneur or corporation - the people who matter on “our side.”
Freedom is the right of billionaire capitalists to ask and to
receive a bailout at the expense of the ruled. Freedom is corporate
short cuts, regardless of who loses a limb or what worker is laid
on “our side” is being told that the Democratic Party is your
party. That “re-distribution of wealth” is socialism! Communism!
- the other side! But we have but one Party, and it’s the Party
of the Capitalists. The melding of the government and the corporate
world has yielded an increasingly dominate national security state
- with a sprinkling of fundamental Christianity. Freedom is
not freedom for workers to form labor unions free from
government control! Freedom is not a single-payer health
care plan! Worker-lead unions and single-payer health care isn’t
profitable for anti-human capitalists.
is recognizing your deficiencies and seeking ways (legal
or illegal - it’s all good for the national security state) to
overcome your unnatural condition. That’s being wholeheartedly
on “our side.”
is accepting the insanity of these anti-human rulers, unconditionally
freedom is, you lose - no matter how hard you strive to be on
“our side.” Freedom is ownership of all resources for the few.
is never the right to a quality life - for workers and the oppressed.
It is never about the right to work at a meaningful job or have
health care, decent housing and education. Freedom is not about
equality among human beings. It’s shopping from a city dumpster!
freedom is fear of the masses!
is controlling what the people know and playing games with reality.
The workers, the oppressed, the economically distressed, people
of color, and women are asked to see themselves within the definition
delivered to them. The ruled submit, body and mind, to
a “natural” and “unchangeable” reality that services the interests
of the rulers.
“our side” produces the nullification of action against the rulers.
It produces behavior from the workers, unemployed, economically
distressed, people of color and women that is collaborative or
cooperative. Most importantly, thought is not only stifled, it
isn’t thought! All thinking and action in this society is done
in relation to capitalism.
is a brutal and inhumane regime imposed on the world by western
nations lead by the United
States. Capitalism allows for the government
and corporations to privatize public resources. How civilized
is it for the chemical lobbyists to dictate to the EPA or FDA
what will be while oil lobbyists argue for the right to
pollute the air and water supply? How civilized is it to allow
for the selling for profits of women and children? How civilized
is it to train the young to kill or be killed or maimed to establish
new headquarters for four oil companies in the Middle East? How
civilized is it to continue glorifying liars and thieves and call
that progress? Follow the money: There are no lobbyists for the
as a product of capitalism can only move in one direction: The
freedom to purchase your own electronic bracelet!
you think the “won them over to our side” philosophy applies only
to the Taliban, or to the Iraqis, or Chinese, think again. Show-us-the-money
Secretary of Treasury Paulson asked and received funds to save
the capitalists. The American people have served as laboratory
rats in the big experiment: Sedate and manipulate with a narrative
hailing the exceptional patriotism of the American people!
a large extent, the experiment has worked. When the constitution
and freedom disappeared in the 1950s, the American public went
right on, thankful that they were not poor, Black, Guatemalan,
African, Indochinese, or Haitian. Halleluiah! Black liberation
leaders are hunted down and killed or incarcerated and the American
public is relieved. Those angry Blacks with guns are a frightening
mass and a threat to the American civilization as we know it!
Halleluiah, that’s over! It can be argued that with the success
of this homegrown experiment, King George and his court assumed
the Iraqi people would drop everything and, in the midst of falling
bombs, worship at the feet of U.S. soldiers. They envisioned shouts
of halleluiah, freedom at last by masses and masses of Iraqis.
The collective halleluiahs of Americans and Iraqis would drown
out the cries of burning children and courageous anti-war protesters.
have now a society in the U.S. where the workers, James Cannon
explains, have a right to vote every four years, if they don’t
move around too much, but have no say about the control of the
shop and the factory; where all the means of mass information
and communication are monopolised (sic) by a few - they describe
all that as the ideal democracy, for which the workers should
gladly fight and die.
your guns; shake your store-bought hair; get your face lifted
to the high heavens and tuck the stomach; undo the slant of your
eyes; buy a three-piece Black suit and stocks and cut the hair;
speak the most perfect English to outdo the Ebonics or Korean
accent - and it will never matter; it has never mattered. What
matters is that the American people capitulated, submitted, bowed
in a permanent posture, before the flag, unconditionally. Even
while unemployment is the highest since September 11, 2002 and
while the ruled scuffle and scrounge up every penny in the children’s
banks and under the sofa cushions, the capitalists appeared before
Congress and anyone who would have them to shout - Fire! We need
the money. They got it! The capitalists exercise “freedom” and
call it democracy!
echoes of George Orwell’s Winston: “The Party told you to reject
the evidence of your eyes and ears.”
the unemployed, the economically distressed, people of color and
women are without freedom. Freedom for the once enslaved became
acceptance into the capitalist system as another kind of slave.
Here - “our side” has been an accumulation of cells in a prison
under the control of capitalist rulers!
the 2008 presidential election, debate about the rights
of workers, the exploited, focused on a nightmare for believers
in capitalism: We can’t have a “re-distribution of the wealth”
in the U.S. The believers shouted to the American
people: It would mean taking “well-earned money” from “hard
working entrepreneurs.” Re-distribution will put an end to democracy!
Cannon writes, this game of confusing and misrepresenting [socialism]
has been facilitated for the capitalists and aided to a considerable
extent by the social democrats and the labour bureaucracy, who
are themselves privileged beneficiaries of the American system,
and who give a socialist and labour coloring to the defence (sic)
of American ‘democracy.’
American people reject the evidence of its own eyes and ears:
there’s a form of socialism - imperialist socialism!
writes Cannon, was often called the society of the free and equal
and democracy was defined as the rule of the people.” There “rule
of the people” isn’t Stalin’s idea of “socialism” or the bogey-man-communist
coming to take freedom, that is, money, from “hard-working” American
people! No one can take what you don’t have! Socialism isn’t socialization
true socialist movement is the movement of the majority! It represents
change that is indeed radical! Revolutionary!
you would think that after the last forty years Black Americans
would once again speak openly about freedom and the “rule of the
people.” Rev. Martin Luther King wondered why Black Americans
had not joined the Communist Party en-mass.
month, in Freetown, Sierra
Leone, delegates to the first West
Africa conference of African Socialist International are talking
about what we are afraid to debate. The delegates of the conference,
according to Lansana Fofana, called for “reparations to be paid
to Africans for 400 years of slavery.”
for reparations is no favor demanded from the West,” said Ismail
Rashid, Sierra Leonean professor of African History at New
York’s Vassar College. “It is our right because through slavery, the West stole our
labor, dignity and resources. It is repayment for our labor, our
looted human resources.”
don’t think as programmed: We gave you a “Black” president.
We have a BLACK president!
Carlito Rovira reminds us in African American Reparations and
the Struggle for Socialism, “African chattel slavery arose
in the 15th century based on the expansion of capitalism.”
wealth accumulated from slave labor strengthened capitalist industries
and commerce. Textile industries, agriculture and shipbuilding
prospered as a result of cheaper goods and raw materials obtained
by enslaved African labor. The more Black slavery expanded, the
more it became an impetus for capitalist economic development
- not only in the United States, where slavery was strongest but
throughout the world.
States, Rovira writes, the class struggle
has always relied on racism. “Reparations for the oppressed [Native
Americans, Puerto Ricans, Black Americans, Latino/a Americans
- workers] automatically imply the expropriation of the capitalist
movement of the majority is the concern of socialists and
revolutionaries engaged in anti-capitalist struggles!
concept of freedom must start from the reality of the ruled, the
people denied freedom.
did Winston say of the Proles:
only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength…They
needed only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking
off flies…[I]f they chose they could blow the Party to pieces
tomorrow morning… And yet…!
side” has been historically oppositional, among the majority striving
for freedom and the rule by the people! The movement of socialists
and revolutionaries is the movement of the majority! Say it again,
until you see it and understand.
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member, Lenore Jean Daniels, PhD, has been a writer,
for over thirty years of commentary, resistance criticism and
cultural theory, and short stories with a Marxist sensibility
to the impact of cultural narrative violence and its antithesis,
resistance narratives. With entrenched dedication to justice and
equality, she has served as a coordinator of student and community
resistance projects that encourage the Black Feminist idea of
an equalitarian community and facilitator of student-teacher communities
behind the walls of academia for the last twenty years. Dr. Daniels
holds a PhD in Modern American Literatures, with a specialty in
Cultural Theory (race, gender, class narratives) from Loyola
University, Chicago. Click
to contact Dr. Daniels.