Monday, January 31, 2011
"The real enemy is the US/Western...economic system that enriches the few and impoverishes the majority because it is all about private profit, and increasingly elite private profit."
by Finian Cunningham
Right now, the streets of Cairo, Tunis and elsewhere look like battlefields. But the biggest battlefield yet to come will be in the US. And quite fittingly so. As the executive power upholding the capitalist order that has for decades spawned wars, violence, injustice, corruption and fascism around the world to achieve its undemocratic ends, the US is the primary site of struggle for democracy, not just in the US, but also for the rest of the world.
In past decades, the battle lines were obscured by lack of communications and propaganda diversions (the ‘evil Soviet empire, Vietnam, Latin American subversion, war on drugs, and, latterly, this phony war on terror, etc). But with mounting and unrelenting poverty across the US (and Europe), and global communications, the battle lines are now becoming apparent. The real enemy is the US/Western diktat of capitalism – the economic system that enriches the few and impoverishes the majority because it is all about private profit, and increasingly elite private profit.
The people of the US and Europe are not mere observers to some kind of removed spectacle. They are intimately involved in this struggle. It is their governments that have already taken sides in this struggle. It is their governments that have sparked the revolution by creating these regimes in the first place.
It is their governments that form and inform the policies of these regimes. Because they are the very same policies of anti-democracy that are also being forced – and all too painfully being forced – on the people of the US and Europe: autocratic political monopoly under two- or three-party systems of servility, economic injustice, elite embezzlement, financial oligarchy, erosion of human rights, police state powers. It’s a sliding scale of fascism that has as its epicentre Western capitals, and in particular Washington. The struggle for democracy is not just being fought for in the streets of the Middle East and North Africa. The struggle is on every US and European street too – albeit latent and partially obscured for now. In this struggle, we are no longer Americans, European, Africans or Asians – the elites long ago gave up their pretense of patriotism in their quest for profits. We are people of the world who demand democracy – real, sustainable democracy that can not be delivered by Global capitalism.
The world is witnessing a world revolution. Its origins, of course, go back a long time to the tyrannies of Europe. But its latest phase began in the US. There, it will have to be finished. It is a vital task. Onerous yet potentially glorious for the sake of democracy, justice and peace in the world.