BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board
As I look around the world in 2002, I am even more aware today that behind the deceptive words designed to entice people into supporting violence - words like democracy, freedom, self-defense, national security - there is the reality of enormous wealth in the hands of a few, while billions of people in the world are hungry, sick, homeless. President Eisenhower, himself a warrior, in one of his better moments, called the billions spent on preparations for war ‘a theft’ from those who are without food, without shelter.
-Howard Zinn, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train
‘I will believe corporations are people when Texas executes one if them.’
-Posters, Occupy Wall Street Movement
It is your home, so you believe.
A visitor stops at your door and knocks. You go to the door and, before you can say, Hello, he or she enters, looks around.
This is wonderful, beautiful. We can use it!
The visitor is talking, but not to you - you who wait, standing in wonder, think this is unreal. You start to speak but you hear the voice of the visitor. Is the visitor calculating? What is going on, you think.
The visitor walks back to the door, steps out, closes the door, and while you think about moving to the door or moving to the window, move one foot in front of another, step out of the space where you have remained, a spectator to your own submission… the door opens again. The Imperialist Machine does not wait! It always thinks in terms of MOVEments, for the visitor re-enters the house followed by others. Hundreds, thousands, millions of others replicate the visitor, make themselves at home, set up businesses in various rooms, set up a sanctuary, and a prison encampment area in case the former owner becomes disgruntled, angered.
You and yours can work for us!
And you are not asked how you feel, what you think, what are your goals and aspirations. The spokesperson among the visitors says, Mine! Ours! All the voices behind him or her in chorus, say, Ours!
Houses become villages, urban communities, and “sovereign” nations. The villages, urban communities, and “sovereign” nations become “mine” and “ours” because the Greek thinkers, physicians, mathematicians had said “mine” and “ours.”
“Mine” and “ours,” matter-of-factly, normally, universally raised the Roman Empire, enslavement and genocide, Napoleon’s army, Hitler’s and Mussolini’s fascist regimes.
The oppressed and development of the discourse on war accompanies each delusional idea of Ming-like conquest of lands, resources, and people. People frozen at the point of occupation begin to hear talk from the occupiers about defense. We are being shot at. We are being attacked!
The occupiers forget, conveniently, that they invaded the house, the village, community, and nation. The occupiers develop discourse around defending new-found territory, goals, and the flag. Troops, tanks, missiles, bombs, drones, and hundreds of thousands of troops arrive. Convoys of private contractors pull up, equipped to shoot-to-kill. Surveillance agencies set up surveillance equipment and whisper in the ears of your friends and neighbors, and co-workers. Money passes from one hand to the others.
Discourse on the enemy circulates with your picture, and lists of similar folk who similar to the enemy are exchanged and cross referenced at secret locations among personnel who are hidden in behind gates and armed guards. Targets similar to the occupied home, village, community, nation are circled on maps.
The occupiers forget the original scene that led to the war. Occupiers forget that the insurgency is responding to the occupation of home, village, community, and nation. The power to formulate and disseminate a discourse on defense, security, murders first the truth of the original crime. Out of sight, out of mind! Citizens learn the history of defense. All the new comers to the narrative of defense believe with all their hearts that they are defending their homeland.
Yesterday’s cross, diplomatic advisors, and military attaché are today’s troops, F-16s, drones, and the corporations.
This land is your land; this land is my land…
The rise of corporate capitalism’s global domination is as old a revolution as the crime of deceit by the few securing “peace” while spreading poverty among the many.
They want what’s “mine” and “ours”!
Reform is not resistance. To seek integration by requesting the return of a corner or even a room of the house, to request time at the dining room table, time in the kitchen, at the stove to cook a meal that is not for the occupier’s family, to crowd into a corner or room in the house, and then accept gratefully, permission to attend a school intended to educate the occupier’s children with a curriculum giving primacy to the occupier’s history of defense, is not resistance. It is insanity!
To resist is to take back the home or remain forever a second-class citizen, an “other,” always subject to the economic and legal apparatus of the occupier, economic and legal apparatuses established to secure more and more and protect and extend the gap between the occupier and the oppressed.
To fight the wars on behalf of the occupier, wasting valuable time and energy for the occupier’s electoral process, voting for the occupier’s appointed “peoples’” candidates is to engage in mindless battles intended to further enrich the occupiers while assuring the oppressed forget its own right to exist outside this insane paradigm.
The U.S. spends more on defense in the 21st Century than the “next 17 top-spending countries combined,” writes Dan Fromkin, (“Second to None,” Huffington Post, September 2011). Nick Turse writes, “whatever tactical successes have been achieved by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan have paled in comparison to strategic failures that have resulted in wheel-spinning occupations that continues to this day” (Alter Net, September 13, 2011). The wars have their “success stories,” he continues. “Companies behind the Aerospace Industries Association and its corporate chiefs…have seen the most success over the last 10 years of foreign conflict.”
Occupation is big business. Profitable business!
“Tens of trillions of dollars are consolidated within the hands of the economic top one-tenth of one percent of the population…U.S. millionaire households now have over $46 trillion in wealth, yet only one tenth of one percent of the population makes over #1 million per year” while over “50 million” Americans rely on food stamps and “62 million have zero or negative net worth and 64% of Americans have less than $1000 saved” (“The Richest 0.1% Have Launched A War On Us,” Ampedstatus.org, September 8, 2011).
In the meantime, at the President’s discretion, Presidential Directive 51 could put 400.000 NorthCom’s troops “on the streets of the United States in times of an emergency” (Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive, September 10, 2011). What is an “emergency”?
National Security Presidential Directive 51 defines a ‘catastrophic emergency’ as ‘any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government function (Rothschild).
That definition of a “catastrophic emergency” aptly describes the U.S.’s imperialism around the world: mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government function…
We create this discourse on acceptable violence! Do not fight back! Accept the coup!
We must remember the late historian and activist, Dr. Howard Zinn, when he explained that his love was for the country, for the people, “not for whatever government happened to be in power” (You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times). The government, he continues, “is an artificial creation, established by the people to defend the equal right of everyone to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” To defend the equal right of everyone…
When a government betrays those democratic principles, it is being unpatriotic. A love of democracy would then require opposing your government. It would require being ‘out of order.’
…Being out of order!
A disruption of this insanity is the only option! Young Americans have to come to see the insanity in reform or in the electoral process. Young Americans are saying NO! Young Americans have forged sites of resistance in cities throughout the U.S. They are organizing and educating themselves. They are linking their courage and commitment to the millions of people globally who have said No!
Say NO! You want your home back! You want democracy, freedom, and justice! You want an end to the Empire’s discourse on defense!
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member, Lenore Jean Daniels, PhD, has a Doctorate in Modern American Literature/Cultural Theory. Click here to contact Dr. Daniels.