Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Revolution Cometh

What a difference a month makes. Just revisiting this blog and you would think that everything was on the ledge about to be tipped over for the giant mouth of capitalism to swallow us whole and spit us out through its rear. But... What a difference a month makes.

We had Ben-Ali toppled in Tunisia, something that really just had most mainstream news outlets really oblivious to the events that led to his exile and the eventual revolution that is still taking place in the North African country that really has little to no importance when it comes to its scale in world commerce and trade and even population. But "little Tunisia" did strike at the heart of what subjects in the Middle East and North Africa were all too aware of; that "austerity" measures and free market cronyism and corporate protectionism did little or nothing at all to advance the cause of the working poor and the peasants in the region and in fact it only lead to more money being scoffed down the elite's accounts while the rest of the people languished in detrimental conditions that would lead one brave Tunisian to set himself alight for the sheer desparity of the situation. He set all of these things alight and while it is very misleading and dishonest to limit the roots of such a movement to take down a dictator of 24 years to one such symbolic act, as the labour and the people's organisational skill and determination in the face of brutal oppression and police abuse that really took down Ben-Ali, it definitely lit a fire in people's minds that things are not okay and that they should make a stand.

In tandem with what I wrote about "the Left", it seemed like that I was pretty much on the money as every single opposition party were taken aback at what happened in Tunisia and later in Egypt and that they were merely just piggy-backing the wave so they could stay relevant in the peoples' eyes. And although Ghannouchi and El Baradei did get plenty of play, they remain on the outside and had little to no influence on the movements and attitudes of the people occupying the stronghold of the dictatorships respectively. The organised left didn't see it coming and it was up to common people and the working class to take upon themselves and take action to bring those fuckers down, something that those of us in the West are still stricken from doing and way too divided to even focus on such a premonition.

Now as Egypt also gets into the nitty-gritty of post-dictatorship and into the more pivotal period of consolidation of the revolution against the players of counter-revolution (the US and Israel), and as Tunisia goes from strength to strength to make sure that all of their fighting was for something worthwhile, it seems that both have taken the form of a socialistic revolution that could really challenge the rest of the region into thinking that there really is a better way for the Arabs who have been enslaved by Kings and Emirs and puppets of imperialism. The road ahead for both is a massive uphill battle and as the media looks to more "sexy" topics (they have already stopped reporting on Egypt as a headliner now that Mubarak has resigned, as if a dictactor resigning was the only demand of the people), and as the spectre of US Capital attempts to wring the neck of Egypt's working class from rebuilding the system of exploitation, civil war looms, and it shows in every history of revolution that those upper class douchebags will not give up their privilege without a fight. Rest assured, the workers of Egypt have a stronghold, not only in their country but within this whole world as they are in control of one of the biggest ports of world trade. With Egypt, this powerhouse can be awakened and can use its leverage in capital and military (but the military is STILL under US bribes) to help bolster smaller and weaker movements in other countries such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan and even Syria. Just the easy symbolism of having the biggest Arab country to give support to working class struggles in the region can only lead to better things, as we see these dickweeds attempting cosmetic "reforms" so they can stay in power without pissing off the wrong people but it won't work. As the Angry Arab stated, the fear of authority has been broken and it can never go back.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Alot can happen and as of right now, nothing can happen and Egypt can remain like it was just like what happened with Marcos in the Philippines where the military just removed the head of the turkey and the body (the military) kept moving along without any changes except for a prettier head (Aquino was voted in and now we have democracy in the Philippines without any question of the free market politics which ravages Filipinos). Egypt can have a "nice reform" man up top while the military pulls all the strings. (You just want to weep at all the press naysaying all those African revolutions where the military rules.) But the workers seem steadfast and they know what's on the line and they are organising more strikes until they are satisfied (and anything less than a retooling of the system is unsatisfactory). Yemen is getting hotter and hotter; Bahrain is seeing more and more people getting arrested; Syria is even seeing some solidarity; Jordan can only get bigger and Algeria seems to be close to being a full-fledged uprising (but the repression will only be harder as everyone wants to avoid Mubarak's fate). Keep in mind that every country, no matter how big or small, is different from the other, but the people have the most in common with the others as they all suffer deeply from the inequality and destitution and repression of these monarchies, oligarchies and plutocracies.

So keep yourself glued to this space... As the revolution is coming...

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Left is failing you

Recently I was privy to listen on Paul Cienfuego's lecture on "Corporations vs The People" and this union veteran did hit the mark with myself, and in light of all the recent readings I have been embarking on, the revolutionary zeal seems to have bubbled a little more when Cienfuego bleated out that single issue activism is simply illogical and ignorant of the structural enemy that we are up against and that trying to take down the giant by one chink here and there is embarrassing and to be truthful, misses the mark. I definitely have been guilty of such an error and I am emerging to a newer outlook, a newer target and a bigger scope; although I never really limited myself to just one single issue as I had always tied everything together with the systems that we have inherited with capitalism and imperialism as well as neocolonialism, I cannot just write and read only of the single issue of Palestine and Israel. Mainly that (1) who really has the time to deal with every hasbara nutjob out there; (2) I grow weary of the same old, tired arguments that befuddles left-right as well as left-left analysis of the conflict and (3) with all due respect, I have read as much as I could possibly can to stay interested in this, and I will never be a scholarly expert on the topic (and to be perfectly fair, even scholars limit themselves to a certain field and dedicate years to such a practice) BUT I know enough (and know more than the average dipshit) about it to make informed comments and decide that Israel is a piece of shit and that Palestine should be free. I have the biggest regard for all those laying their lives on the line in B'ilin and they are forever in my thoughts. Aside from the guys on Mondoweiss, it seems that everyone else worth reading that dedicates themselves mainly to the Israel/Palestine show has slowed down their posts and many have even been missing for months at a time, myself included. Now that is not to say that there isn't anything to write about as shit happens in Gaza every day (re: Jewbonics who's in Gaza now) but things haven't changed in 40+ years in Palestine, just the terrible bullshit that Israelis throw to us. But somehow, bringing down Israel for the sake of justice, although it would be quite satisfactory and welcomed by millions around the world and definitely an example to hold for other wannabe colonial enterprises to take down, free Palestinians would somehow still suffer just like free South Africans and free Vietnamese and other free colonial subjects to the vagaries of power and currency. And that leads us to revolution.

Now we are living in very testy times, and if you're an identified leftist, you must be either putting a gun to your head or constantly shaking in disbelief at what has become of this world gone mad. Right now in the West, we are witnessing terrible attacks on jobs, public sector institutions as well as the welfare state, healthcare, food, housing, immigrants, non-whities, unions and regressive taxes. Although the downing of Congresswoman Gifford may have not been explicitly linked to such a purpose, we are shocked to see such things unfolding in front of our eyes here (remember a Federal judge was killed in the same attack), as I definitely have a hard time believing that such an incident would have occured if Loughner was not a product of the environment around him. He may have been crazy, but crazy people aren't so crazy that they cannot absorb what is around them. And what was around Loughner? Arizona.

Unfortunately because of the hoopla, we will not even get close to arguing what really is at stake here and what Obama has been doing under the cover of being a "centrist" or one friendly to the working poor. We have been decimated in the last twenty years and there has been no end in sight and no real check on the corporations that have run rampant over the industries of North America. Get a reality check! Those jobs have gone down south for good. It is not coming back and you better get used to working three part-time service jobs to make ends meet. On top of that we live in inflationary times and food prices skyrocketing and it is a recipe for poverty and a subservient population searching for answers and a quick way out of the mess that they dug for us and then dumped us into.

Sadly the Left did not capitalise on the misery, did not cross bridges, did not reinforce the unions, did not reinvigorate the student masses, nor did it make any distinctive effort to get any initiatives forward. Instead it chose to rely on a party that has its hands dirty with corporate money, elected a rich Black man who studied in the same university with those who modeled the Pinochet economy into disaster as well as other disasters that now has South America beating back the atrocities of capitalism and US predatory practices in the region. It failed to organise a legimitate option for an alternative to the disaster that makes us sick, poor and hungry. Instead it lumped its hopes on the audacity that is Obama (yes, that was intentional) and now turning to his third year in office and taking a major beating in midterm elections, he will now focus on a re-election campaign that will have him embracing the right even more to find some kind of middle ground so not to be viewed as some kind of communist for his pitiful healthcare "reform" that didn't reform anything. (What "reform" has all the big insurance companies supporting it?) Obama seduced the Left into thinking that he was capable of doing something better than Bush but he is turning out to be the monster that made Nixon the most progressive President in recent history. Now I know those truly in the know were not fooled but we certainly are weak and rather irrelevant.

And I have to say it is because of this idea of fighting everything singularly, that if we take down one corporation that we can take down another. That simply will not work in times like these. The Right has been able to use its influence and capital to suffocate those most vulnerable and use its capital to pit us against each other and direct the hate to those undeserved of it. Our jobs, our livelihood, our children's future are on the line here and to be in so narrow in scope that to think that this system is able to sustain itself with the rampant pace that the oligarchy is marching at is sheer idiocy. The Tea Party are dopes but they mobilised their asses to get the nutjobs they wanted into office. The Left has seen opportunity after opportunity to take on electric issues that could spark the sleeping poor into action only to see the right get stronger and the Left look even more depleted than ever. I have to say that times like these make me wonder how worse it will get before we can take charge of this madness, dismantle the bourgeoisie and make capitalism, imperialism and colonialism a thing of the past and make the lives of those who toiled and suffered all the better and get what we deserve.

Monday, January 3, 2011

How many...

must perish before they take you down...
Courtesy of Joseph Dana.

Jawaher Abu Rahmah, 36, was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital yesterday after inhaling massive amounts of tear-gas during the weekly protest in Bil'in, and died of poisoning this morning. Abu Rahmah was the sister of Bassem Abu Rahmah who was also killed during a peaceful protest in Bil'in on April 17th, 2010.

Doctors at the Ramallah hospital fought for Jawaher Abu Rahmah's life all night at the Ramallah Hospital, but were unable to save her life. Abu Rahmah suffered from severe asphyxiation caused by tear-gas inhalation yesterday in Bil'in, and was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital unconscious. She was diagnosed as suffering from poisoning caused by the active ingredient in the tear-gas, and did not respond to treatment.

Jawaher Abu Rahmah was the sister of Bil'in activist, Bassem Abu Rahmah, who was shot dead with a high velocity tear-gas projectile during a demonstration in the village on April 17th, 2009. See here for a video of his shooting.
How horrifying is it to die in peaceful protests just like your brother did last year?