Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost!

The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost!
Represent Our Resistance
By Dr. Lenore J. Daniels, PhD Editorial Board

…All means for the development of production transform themselves into means of domination over, and exploitation of, the producers; they mutilate the labourer into a fragment of a man, degrade him to the level of an appendage of a machine, destroy every remnant of charm in his work and turn it into a hated toil: they estrange from him the intellectual potentialities of the labour-process…
-Karl Marx, Capital

We believe that our fight is just. We believe that our grievances are just. We believe that the evil practices against Black people in this society are criminal and that those who engage in such criminal practices are to be looked upon themselves as nothing but criminals. And we believe that we are within our rights to fight those criminals by any means necessary…This doesn’t mean that we’re for violence.”
-El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm), “Not Just an American Problem”
In the regal room, around the conference table, the heads of families came to a consensus and only the Don himself seemed embarrassed but remained silent. “I don’t want it sold to children! That’s an infamia. In my city, we would keep the traffic in the dark people, the coloreds. They’re animals anyway, so let them lose their souls” (The Godfather). Don Zaluchi. And, as I said, everyone in the room nodded in agreement, and I suspect everyone in 1972, in theaters throughout the U.S., also nodded and understood. The FBI’s COINTELPRO program in full force, the next line of attack would target the hearts and minds of Black children: Dispense with educating them. Instead, feed them the incomprehensible, and when that fails, close their eyes.

So we have another year of “Black History Month.” Another February in the year 2012 in which the Left raises its ugly head to expound on the “great” achievements of the imprisoned or assassinated Black activists of the past: Martin Luther King Jr. tops almost everyone’s list, along with W.E.B. DuBois, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Medger Evers, Langston Hughes, if they are poetically inclined and, ifradical, it is El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm) and George Jackson, maybe even Huey Newton and Fred Hampton of notable activists and their contributions to…to what? To Black life? To “democracy” in the U.S. Empire? Because most were assassinated before the goal of achieving liberation from the repressive system of capitalism was accomplished. That is why most were murdered!

I happened to pick up a copy of something called Book Page at the local library. The first pages were filled with reviews of mainly U.S. authors of popular fiction, nonfiction, romance novels, mysteries, and cookbooks, until I reached the section on Black History: Children’s books. About six titles were listed under yet another heading: “African-American Tales of Triumph.” The titles of the reviews under this heading were “Making Spirits Soar,” “the story of the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal... [born to] impoverished parents…destined to defy gravity.” “Ovation for A Legend” is the title of another review of a book on Josephine Baker…“born dirt poor…spends part of her childhood in the city slums.” Another book offers “a stirring account of a history-making event,” the March on Washington in 1963. On the following page is an interview by a young Black woman writer and the title of this interview: “A Hopeful Path from Addiction.”

So we have another month of “Black History,” embraced by the Left. A duplicitous photo shoot: the deceased and assassinate warriors and the “triumphant” youth. If he were alive today, Malcolm would be prompted to dismiss the Left’s allegations of sincerity and commitment.

To appease the masses in the U.S. is to stultify resistance but to deceive them is to call forth the means of your own annihilation.

And the chickens have come home to roost!

Uncle Karl warned us! Ever vigilant, the capitalist system accumulates “wealth at one pole is…at the same time [accumulates] misery…agony of toil…slavery…ignorance… brutality…mental degradation, at the opposite pole.”

The Left, former Maoists, SDSers, Weather Underground, anti-war, feminists, and civil rights activists, now faces the consequences of their decision, consciously or unconsciously, to let the system handle the animals! And it still is, as the capitalists’ repressive militia and media apparatuses repeats, all these many years later, still handling the “animals,” that is, resistance itself, abandoned by white and Black Leftist more than 30 years ago. A system, such as the one we live under, is a strange thing. Like a bird, it flies any which way but always towards what sustains life, and for the biggest birds in the sky, that means not just killing the others’ young but its own as well.

Sever the ties to the criminal elements of our society! Step aboard the wheel of fortune and run like so many little mice. But now, is there anywhere to run but in a downward spiral? Because the corporations make sure it is a downward spiral just as they have been busy brewing a brand of corporate workers to keep the wheels spinning.

We now see them: they are super-heroes and avatars, video game characters and idols. The corporate world is mother and father, for it is identification with Ronald McDonald, Big Bird, and every Ninja and X-Man narrative and real live Madonna drama that has fed them burgers, chicken, and fries, supplied them with educational programs on PBS and has entertained them with reality TV shows, blockbuster films, and the Harry Potter series (the great books of literature in the 21st Century!). The corporations clothe them in the chic fashion, cut, styled, and dyed their hair, assuring these generations that there is no greater freedom than this material freedom!

They are the want-to-be Mark Zuckerbergs and the world’s next Bill Gates. Only the corporate world has meaning for them; from any other comes subordinates - “working class” smucks, Wal-Mart and K-Mart dressers, in contrast to the chic fashion-conscious corporate workers. They tweet, text, chat, and Facebook friends are their best friends. In this world, the young get younger. In the future, this generation will always be twenty or thirty-something going on twenty or thirty-something, with angelic voices of 10 year olds. Ageing is laughable! And the Baby Boomers are ageing!

The young corporate workers learn that everything that happens in this corporate world is good because the tragedy of an earthquake in Haiti or a massacre of a family in Haditha, Iraq is as profitable as the signing of a high school or college basketball player to a multi-million dollar contract. LOL ideology promotes laughing at the incomprehensible in life. Have a chuckle and a beer. Press the “send” button and follow the drone along the dotted line to its destination. It is like a video game!

The chickens have come home to roost!

There is not a Crazy Horse or Malcolm in the lot of MBAs, lawyers, computer and military specialists. These young Americans are propped to be the new dispensers of “misery…agony of toil… slavery… ignorance… brutality…mental degradation” in search of their share in the wealth. In their visions, one by one, they replace the old man at the conference table in that regal room with themselves.

The new corporate servants filling not only the contracts of middle management positions in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh or the directorships of NGOs in Africa or in Latin America or the advisory boards at Yahoo or Google, but they are at hand, in the management of health services, banking facilities, senior housing and services - and thanks to the corporate education funding by their parents, they are incapable of deviating from the corporate script.

You can say that these hearts and minds have been contaminated by the corporate drug of choice: greed! And you may be right. Nothing happens once, Faulkner wrote.

What the corporate nooses cannot reign in, it brutalizes and incarcerates. That time again when something has gone awry with the socializing Machinery and thousands of young people forming Occupy Movements break rank and stop taking orders. Their determination to exercise the right to protest is greeted by the repressive apparatus used on reservations, in ghettoes, in barrios, and in prison cells.

I cannot end this article without commenting on Chris Hedges’ article, “The Cancer in Occupy,” (Truthdig, February 6, 2012). I do not agree with all of its points or with Hedges’ uncompromising stand on non-violence as a strategy for confronting the criminals of Wall Street, but I do agree - there is a “cancer” in the Occupy Wall Street Movement, but this was bound to be. This is America!

For Hedges, the Black Bloc anarchists are professional denouncers of any process contrary to the violence of the system itself. Their only “strategy” is violence - direct violence, and some may even be agent provocateurs, he writes. I would not be surprised! That there seems to be an expression of a “disturbing hypermasculinity” among these Black clad youth, well, I would not be surprised here either. But the Black Bloc’s tactics are not new: the rhetoric and the posture of aggression of a Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Rider in western gear, and the business-suit-wearing Bush II, “Bring ‘em on!” is as American as pre-sliced apple pies to feed the wealthy 1%.

There is no excuse for the behavior of any group who uses violence for violence sake, but we have seen this tactic / strategy before, covered in white sheets. They were the lynching picnics held after church services on Sundays, the photographed participants, dressed in their finery, with children sitting on the shoulders of hypermasculine fellows of “happier” days in the ole’ South. They were the “brave”Calvary fighters, clearing the land, “honorably,” of Indigenous men, women, and children. They were the dog trainers and the water hose users during the marches of fellow citizens and civil rights activists. They are, as we know, still around, as the shooters of Amadou Diabllo, Sean Bell, and Oscar Grant, and the executors of Troy Davis. How different are their acts of violence from those who removed the history of Chicano Americans from the Tucson classroom?

This tactic / strategy of violence is the tactic / strategy of the U.S. Empire itself! The long-standing embargo against Cuba is far more violent than a rock thrown at a window. And where is the Left’s voice against this violence? There are young American men who sign up with the Army or Marines to kill “rag heads,” and just as their parents believe Black Americans are criminals and violent, so do they.

From where I stand, the so-called “Black Bloc anarchists” are not the “fringe” any more than their compatriots in the corporate orientation programs or at the universities these days, who think an “old head” needs to just die.

The Occupy (De-Colonize) Wall Street Movement (OWS) is not the problem. I agree with Occupy Oakland that the participants are not Black Bloc members. I can understand why Occupy Oakland protesters are upset with Hedges’ article. I have heard many Black Occupy Oakland protesters speaking out and organizing grassroots actions.

There is violence in the OWS, but the violence does not originate from the protesters, a situation similar to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights marchers, who encountered violence often from law enforcement and the average Southern “law-abiding” citizen. King did confront and disobey the laws that brutalized daily. He may have wanted a non-violent march, but dealt with things as they stood in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, the violence used against the OWS is more repressive. How to confront a militarized police force is connected to OWS’s work of organizing against the capitalists on Wall Street. We must remember, here in the U.S., “non-violence” was crushed and shot dead, too, and the survivors of that era became Democrats and members of the bourgeoisie.

Misery at one end and mental degradation at the other - this is the issue. The “cancer” is capitalism and its mechanisms of violence which maintains its ability to suck the life out of resistance movements in the U.S. It has been with us long before the younger generations came into being, and it has never been benign. Capitulation to this economic system remains the elephant on the Left side of the room.

If Malcolm were here, he would repeat: “The chickens have come home to roost.” So what are we going to do this time around? Editorial Board member, Lenore Jean Daniels, PhD, has a Doctorate in Modern American Literature/Cultural Theory. Click here to contact Dr. Daniels.