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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

November, 2004

 

After the Vote
By Frank Scott

   A minority of the electorate will have chosen a president who serves wealth, empire and Israel.  Whether victory was by landslide or court ruling, it will make no difference to those being killed in Iraq, Palestine, Colombia, Haiti and all the other places where the empire is trying to crush its resisting subjects.
   Much of the  antiwar movement supported a pro-war candidate and, perversely, it won. Whether it suffered  temporary insanity or simply retired until after the election, It will hopefully soon come to its senses. The war it previously demonstrated against continues, as will the policies that may bring another act of terrorism to American soil.
  Such an attack could lead to further insane retaliation by the administration in power. It might also awaken the movement which always opposed this madness, but never achieves peace because of crackpot "realism" that has it rally to lesser evil, rather than demand greater good. But even if the peace movement does nothing, further violence will unite much of the world in opposition to the monster that menaces the entire planet. That is the US, whether led by corporate Christian Zionists, or corporate Zionist Christians.  Islam, the Arab world, and retail terrorism will still be seen by our rulers as the greatest threat to godliness since communism, with no understanding of why so many hate America. And zealous cold warriors who miss the old soviet menace will still flock to the church of wholesale terrorism, abusing public consciousness, social justice and "homeland security" as they do it.
   There will either be an increase in Hate Bush marketing, or a new surge of Hate Kerry products, which will bring some local joy to an economy recently exulted as the blessed future of humanity, but more clearly seen as the cursed future of everything.
   We live in a physical and metaphysical environment that is forcing us, like lemmings, to the edge of a precipice. From the industrial practices of capital which foul, despoil and commodify the earth, air and water, to its electronic technologies which are used to empty our heads of anything meaningful while filling them with trivia and misinformation, we live in a smothering atmosphere, as political captives being marched towards disaster.
   Corporate consciousness extends credit lines and creates enemies to keep us focused on shopping and war, but awareness is slowly breaking into the false reverie of managed ignorance. Private domination of markets in the service of profit accumulation is creating a world wide elite and an affluent class of its servants, but its social inequality and ecological ravages menace far more than they benefit. This threat to our future was unfazed by the November vote, which assumed great significance only to an affluent minority.
   For most people, the American election meant nothing at all. Some will wildly celebrate, others madly grieve, but most will grimly contemplate the ugliness they face in order to simply survive. Much of humanity lives in wretched poverty, and while a global middle class grows, much greater numbers are still left far behind. The world has become an upscale mall patronized by a market elite, but it is surrounded by massive ghettos and slums which supply its cheap migrant labor.
   Many in the new global middle viewed our elections with hope and fear, but they are among the shopping class, not its servants. That second group hardly cares who serves corporate capital in the white house. They are subjugated, locked out of material progress and falling further behind the affluent minority. Their despair, anger and ultimately, hatred is growing. It helps contribute to the threat of global terror, which is a modern version of a very old conflict.
   Survival struggles have long pitted abused, exploited majorities against rich minorities which squandered social wealth because of their divinity, wisdom, or other pretenses that really meant they had the weapons to suppress those majorities. What globalization has brought about is not only a faster means of private profit accumulation and social loss, but the involvement of more people in that process, wherever they reside under its all encompassing reign of pain, and with less superstition and ignorance than in the past.
   Resistance to oppression that once needed direct physical contact among the people of tribes, clans, or finally, states, can now be communicated to an enormous public, instantly. The abused and aggrieved have more means to organize themselves, and many of the most desperate have access to deadly weapons formerly owned only by their rulers. That makes for a murderous equality, which is unfortunate for the  innocents caught in the crossfire. But the death tolls suffered in terror bombings are small, however tragic, in comparison to the millions who have died, and continue to suffer, under the rule of greedy, racist domination by minorities.
   The movement for global peace and social justice will have to reassert itself after its recent hibernation. It will also have to paraphrase its hopeful slogan. Another world is impossible, with power remaining in the hands of corporate capital and exercised exclusively for private gain at public expense. That power relationship is at the root of what threatens future survival, but in the November American election, it was not even up for discussion.
   Democracy suffered another defeat in the USA, with most eligible voters part of a majority that did not select the winner. That group needs to stop working against its interests, and begin organizing to achieve its principles. If the people privileged to shop at the global mall don't create democratic action for justice and peace, those outside will be forced to create murderous actions that bring social chaos. Power concedes nothing without a demand, and this election demanded nothing from power. We can't afford to tolerate another vote that simply offers a change of American commandants at a global death camp. 
 

 

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