IOr, having drawn inspiration for this from the thread following B´Man´s “Jobs” piece, and stealing from Malcolm X,I could title this “The Vessel or The Shekel.”
I may be an atheist, but I also believe that it is impossible to be an atheist without having read religious text and understanding and respecting religion. Big time religion is another Imperial corporatist con-game. Benito Mussolini admitted himself openly. The Church was one of the pillars of his concept of “fascism,” the others being the largest corporations and banks, the government and bureaucracy, the military and media. Sound like someplace you know pretty well?
So, I have no business with big religion, but I have no problem with the concept that “God is Love.” I live with a devout Cathoic woman and her religion and my study have brought us to the same morality so I have to figure that while I´m not bothering with Deuteronomy or Leviticus, I like the idea of Jesus whether in metaphysical form, as historical reformist rabbi, or main composite symbol in a larger allegory.
Whether “Prince Of Peace” as in English or “El Dios De Amor” in Spanish, the words are powerful. As she explains her understanding of Jesus to me, he is the embodiment of love in its purest form. While I´m not religious, I take comfort in those words. And unless self-defense is required, when revolutionary values are on the table, I´m for peace and love. No one has convinced me yet that political violence is the way to stop political violence.
I don’t know of too many violent revolutions that produced anything good no matter if they won or lost. I am the great great nephew of two Bolsheviks who fought on the winning side of the Russian Revolution and they soon discovered that the new boss was just as bad as the old boss, if not worse, and that despite all the Leninist and Stalinist lies, the problems they fought and killed to correct were worse in the USSR: bigotry, cronyism, totalitarianism, arbitrary justice, corruption, class systems, and all that. And they got out as fast as they could.
French Revolution? Right idea. Well-strategized. Well-executed. Horrible outcome. Jacobin Party was worse than the USSR Communist Party (almost as bad as Khmer Rouge) and without even any of the lies about a workers´paradise. And what followed that? Return to the exact monarchical system the revolution overturned only with worse imperial aims and they ended up getting routed by the Brits.
Orange Revolution: Failure led by a John Hagee-type with the authority and taste for torture and murder.
Vietnamese Revolution: Oppressive authoritarian French colonial and local stooge government replaced by putatively egalitarian communist government soon after victory turned into somewhat less oppressive capitalist government with some democratic features and ally of the same empire which fought it at great cost to both sides, with the knock-on effect of truly brutal and ultimately worthless, useless, “revolutions” in Cambodia and Laos. Because I know so many American veterans of that war, and because I know so many Vietnamese immigrants to the USA who escaped either conscription by the South or retribution by the North, I have a lot of trouble writing anything even slightly positive about the results 35 years on.
Chinese Revolution: Monarchical Dynasty replaced by a different perversion of Marxism, slightly less oppressive than the USSR, but with many of the same features. Any concept of egalitarianism scrapped almost immediately leaving a Maoist government and all its tender mercies like “The Cultural Revolution” and “The Great Leap Forward”. Steady improvement after Mao´s death to what obtains now, an intelligent, well-run, plutocratic oligarchy, without the wanton governmental violence, and part of a loose configuration of economic powers which stand as the one of the true “policemen of the world” against the trouble caused by the worst banksters and gangsters in the EVIL EMPIRE, but by no means a free or fair society.
Mexican Revolution: A just cause, a fair fight, a mixed result at the end leaving a country with all the potential in the world but having devolved into a 1-party, corrupt, fake democracy but real client state status of the USA which with NAFTA and a weak president and government is a full-on stooge, having replaced Noriega´s Panamá as the world´s cocaine middleman. Still though, it boasts one of the world´s more sophisticated cultures in one of the world´s most important cities, a real but imperfect democratic-republican system with true governing and opposition partie, and a vibrant region of dissent which has had a strong effect on taming the most brutal elements of society and is the conscience of the opposition party. Not terrible and a less violent product than any of the others but maybe because while the part of the Revolution liberating it from Spain was successful the part liberating it from the USA was a failure.
American Revolution: Not a revolution, really. Merely, a series of tax protests turned into a war between the parent nation and a once-friendly colonial master. Very good result because of the luck of having 500 of the greatest legal and philosophical minds in world history in the same place at the same time, a unified populace, and superior military strategy. Always had, though, its own imperialist sensibilities revealed best by the systemic genocide, oppression and theft of the fruit of the indigenous tribes´labor and the most brutal and longest lasting slavery system of any other colonial power.
In its creation as a new nation, the best of those legal minds and Englightenment philosphers (“The Anti-Federalists” Franklin, Henry, Jefferson, Madison and Williams) lost the back-room political battle to “The Federalists” like John Adams, Gwinnett, Hamilton, Monroe, and Washington. This loss, briefly corrected in part by John Quincy Adams and in full by Andrew Jackson until his assassination with no Jacksonian power of note to follow until the decent but ineffective Grover Cleveland, left the seeds of the EVIL EMPIRE of today in foreign and domestic policy.
Nicaraguan Revolution: One of the less bloody in the actual fighting part, but despite Daniel Ortega at his best trying his hardest, the USA was too powerful for the Sandinista concept to ever have a chance. It´s not a terrible place now in Ortega´s democratically-elected government, but he is neither the thinker nor the leader he once was. Nicaragua, while a legitmate part of the Latin wave, is its most subordinate member.
The complex, brainy, Ortega who used every tool at his disposal from “magic leadership” to showing up at an American Corporatist convention of the Young President´s Society (CEO´s under 40) and annoucing that the propaganda was wrong and Nicaragua was open to fair trade and for-profit American business investment. Clever move, but sharing the wealth with the host country as well as Europe, was not what the Reagan Administration had in mind, exactly. They were “anti-communists” for show,imperialists for dough.
Ortega may be an iconic figure to Nicaragua now and in that sense he´s has some value but the years have made him less wise not more and in fact one could say Ronald Reagan´s domestic social policy was slightly more “liberal” than Ortega´s is now. Fresh leadership, but in synch with modern Latin America, is necessary in Nicaragua as it begins its biggest infrastructure project yet, another isthmian canal and trade project. It is also necessary because of the overthow of Zelaya in Honduras, who was a very good center-left president, populist and pro-working class as well as encouragement of growth, development and capital investment. I don´t believe Honduras is even a country anymore, as it not recognized by more than half of the other countries on Earth. It is merely a gangster state as far as Hondureños are concerned and yet another military staging complex as far as the EMPIRE is concerned. With Colom´s government of Guatemala overthrown in a silent coup and Guatemala now a smaller version of Northern Mexico for CIA drug-running, strong leadership is needed in Nicaragua to go along with the Mauricio Funes government in El Salvador if Central America is to stay a part of the Latin Wave as it becomes more and more important.
Cuban Revolution: The fight was fair. The violence limited. And the reasoning was consistent if not to everybody´s taste. Your guess is as good as mine, but it´s hardly a template for a New America. It has not lived up to much of the utopian communist or instrumental socialist promises of Fidel Castro that´s for sure. It´s an oligarchy, albeit a fairer one than most. The relentless USA efforts at destroying Cuba are probably the reasons Cuba is something of a failed state. At this point, having lost its symbolism of cold war USSR intrusion into the USA´s sphere of influence because the Miami exiles are split on independent Cuba, it´s something of a sad sack and nothing of a threat. Other than a old deal which allowed Guantanamo Bay to remain in US hands, Cuba, which has also begged for foreign investment with not much in the way of success, is a burden on everybody.
I don´t think he´d ever admit this in public but the facial expressions and body language give it away every time: Hugo Chávez feels compelled to always pay special tribute to Castro as if it were Cuba which was powerful and Venezuela the empty husk, and Chávez hates doing that. He´s a good president, maybe a great president, but his ego pretty big. On the other hand, he takes one for the team with these displays at UNASUR-ALBA meetings because neither Rafael Correa, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Pepe Mujica, Fernando Lugo, Mauricio Funes, and especially not Dilma Rousseff (who actually WAS a Marxist true-believer as a young woman) are in any hurry to go through these motions. It´s a job best (maybe worst left to Ortega) if Chávez ever grows weary of it. Maybe Evo Morales could do it. He´s extremely polite and very into symbolism but of course he´s not orator that Chávez is (few are).
Bolivarian Revolution I: Not terrible in that it wasn´t as violent as any of the others I´ve mentioned. Good that it was grounded in the same Englightenment philosophy the American Revolution was, but following Bolivar,Venezuela could not really sustain independence and evolution. By the time the Bolivarian Revolution II came along with Hugo Chávez — via the ballot not the bullet — Venezuela had become a corrupt 1-party client state of the USA, not as bloody as Chile, Paraguay,El Salvador, Argentina and Colómbia have been but always a country riddled with economic and social problems.
Both my analytical view and my moral values tell me that B’Man´s right and the chances for any good to come of violent revolution in the USA are 0%. The US government, which has at an ever increasing rate been removing basic rights and liberties from its citizens and residents to the point that it is a police state and the most militarized, most sadistically sophisticated of any yet, would love the opportunity to put it down quickly, violently, and symbolically to close the window on any thoughts of another attempt.
They´ll do it anyway as the food and water riots begin with the increasing unemployment, hidden inflation, and hyperinflation awaiting the first sharp move downward for the USD in the world´s f/x markets. Goldilocks and the rest of the banksters have already bet 6 times the value of the Earth against the USD, anyway. And how can you blame them? They´re greedy bastards and they just like us can see what endless commitment to war alongside psychopathic monetary policy like “quantitative easing” portends.
Though we have certainly not been the first to say this, the only available kind of “revolution” creating a New America, I think B´Man and I see the narrow way through more clearly than those who advocate violence as a means for change.
I´d recommend reading: David DeGraw on modern American revolution, the Kevin Zeese-David Beito-Ralph Nader-David DeGraw book and blogs and listen to the interviews, Cindy Sheehan´s “Revolutionary Communities” idea, watching Michael Badnarik´s 43-part video (each segment 10-minutes) on the Constitution which closes with his thoughts on alternative peoples´currency, George Orwell´s “Homage To Catalonia,” as well as what has been happening in Barcelona in the news and maybe as far back as the Maragell era which ended when he was term-limited in 2007 or as far back as forever, the history of the Prague rebellion, the history of the Diggers, all about permaculture, and in fact anything about the history and news in alternative peoples´currency because B´Main nailed it.
My referring to the Diggers´rebellion in England reminded me of this song and while Billy Bragg has become an Obamamón, he sang this as an idealistic young man as opposed to the credulous or calculating middle-aged man he became.
The US EMPIRE AND POLICE STATE only have power if their dollar has power and their dollar only has power if people believe it has power or accept that it has power. The Federal Reserve and Treasury themselves say that the dollar is “backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Of America.” Well, does anyone think that the USA has any real credit or is deserving of any faith at all?
I don´t know how many times I´ve written it but the whole rest of the world is lined up to be the 2nd country to kick America when it´s down. I can´t think of a better FIRST COUNTRY to start it off than the ACTUAL USA, NOT THE GOVERNMENT OR INSTITUTIONS BUT THE PATRIOTIC, PEACEFUL, FREEDOM-LOVING, CRITICALLY-THINKING, INFORMED AMERICAN PEOPLE.
The sheeple will have to shift for themselves. They are no more your responsibility than you are BRIC, Venezuela, Iran, Iceland, Turkey, Switzerland, Malaysia, Indonesia, Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, or “Greater Andorra”´s responsibility. They have their own problems with the EMPIRE and judging by Chávez´s telling the USA to fuck itself and foget any free CITGO home heating oil,during one of the coldest winters in recent memory, is a sign that while he´s a decent human being, he like every other head of state in conflict with the EMPIRE is way too busy with those tasks to bother with people who won´t help themselves. He already led a peaceful revolution of his own people.
And he´s just one example. It´s great knowing there´s an Armageddon stopper out there in BRIC but Americans have to do this for each other and in a way that´s unified, organized, and culturally appropriate for a pretty diverse populace.
Go and do likewise, friends.