FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Let the Revolution Begin

by GARRY LEECH

What are we waiting for? How long are we going to sit idly by and watch the political warmongers deploy their drones, their warships, their stealth bombers, their missiles, our sons and daughters, and ultimately, their nuclear weapons against the most impoverished peoples of the world? How long are we going to ignore the corporate warmongers as they wield their magic profit wands that fill their wallets and bellies to overflowing while millions of children perish from hunger and preventable diseases? How long are we going to accept the unjust inequality of the 1% pocketing a grossly disproportionate amount of the wealth generated by the toil of the 99%? How long are we going to passively accept the suicidal insanity of raping and plundering our planet’s finite resources to the point that none of us will be able to survive? Let the Revolution begin!

And what about our irrational fear of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists, which keeps us paralyzed and distracted from the injustices perpetrated daily in our name? The most deadly weapons of mass destruction being used in the world today are not chemical or biological, they are the rules established by the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and all the so-called free trade agreements that only escalate the levels of global inequality, human suffering and death. Corporate elites and their political lackeys wield these weapons with little concern for human well-being or the environment. Wall Street investment bankers gamble in a global casino where the odds are rigged in favor of the house; and the house just happens to be owned by the 1%. Meanwhile, the biggest losers in this capitalist casino lose more than money; they lose their homes, their health, their education, their means of subsistence, their dignity, even their lives. They are the millions who die needlessly every year from hunger and preventable diseases. These are the ultimate victims of capitalism’s structural genocide. Let the revolution begin!

This genocide is not simply an unfortunate consequence of capitalism; it constitutes the very foundation of the system. And we are standing on that foundation today! Everything we build is erected on that blood-soaked foundation! Was it not the genocide of the indigenous peoples throughout the Americas and the theft of their lands that created the wealth that funded the Industrial Revolution? Was it not the Enclosure Acts that forced people off the land and robbed them of their means of subsistence so that they could be “free” to toil in the miserable conditions of the factories of industrial England? Was it not the forced kidnapping of millions of Africans and their enslavement in the Americas that fuelled “development” in the United States and Canada? The same violent practices have continued to this day through the structural genocide responsible for the ongoing forced displacement of peasants from their lands throughout the global South so capitalist robber barons can continue to exploit the planet’s natural resources in order to line their own fancy pockets. Let the Revolution begin!

No social system in human history has ever proven to be so genocidal; not communism, not even fascism. And no amount of tinkering with a system that is inherently genocidal will end the genocide. In the first decade of the 21st century more than 120 million people died because the structures of the capitalist system prevented them from meeting their basic needs. Meanwhile, Europeans spend more money annually on ice cream than the amount required to provide clean drinking water and basic
Leech_Capitalism_Cover-191x300sanitation to everyone in the Global South. And Americans and Europeans together spend more on pet food each year than the amount needed to provide basic healthcare to the world’s poor. Only in a genocidal system does it make more sense to produce ice cream and pet food for the wealthy than clean water and healthcare for billions of people who do not constitute a viable market because their labor is not required and they are too poor to be consumers. Only a genocidal system can render half of humanity disposable! But the flip side of this equation is that the world’s poor have nothing left to lose. Let the Revolution begin!

But what happens when the poor dare to resist and fight back? Are they not then the lucky recipients of “democracy” and “freedom” delivered, not only at the end of the barrel of a gun, but through laser-guided bombs and missiles that destroy their homes and tear their limbs apart? Do they not benefit from economic sanctions that result in hunger and sickness due to shortages of food and medicines withheld in the name of humanitarian intervention? Are they not deemed to be terrorists? We used to kill them because they were communists. Regardless of the label that we pin on them, do THEY really constitute a threat to OUR security? And do we really believe that killing and maiming them through bombing, starvation and disease will make them see the world as we do? Or will it make them truly hate us? Let the Revolution begin!

And what about you and me, who live in the belly of the imperialist beast? WE are not innocent in all of this! The majority of us in the wealthy nations of the world are both slaves to the 1% and accomplices in the exploitation and genocide of the world’s poor. We are told that our lifestyles are a product of our own individual hard work and that nobody has a right to take this away from us. But what about those in the global South who toil for 12, 14 or 16 hours a day in a desperate struggle for survival? Do they not also work hard? And yet, no matter how hard they work they will never come close to attaining a lifestyle like ours. In fact, they will be lucky to preserve their lives, never mind achieve a comfortable lifestyle. OUR consumption habits and lifestyles are dependent on the exploitation of THEIR labor and THEIR natural resources. WE do not enjoy our lifestyle because we are somehow inherently smarter or superior or whiter or harder working, but because we have the good fortune to live in the land of the imperialist exploiters, whether it is the United States, Canada, Britain, Continental Europe, Australia or New Zealand. WE live the way we do by consuming other peoples’ share of the planet’s resources. This is why the wealth gap ratio between rich nations and poor nations has increased from 3:1 in 1820 to 35:1 in 1950 to 106:1 today. And this is precisely why we would need five planet Earths for the entire world’s population of seven billion people to live like we do. In reality, the “American Dream” is a nightmare for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Have we no conscience? Let the Revolution begin!

But WE DO have a conscience! It has just been temporarily subsumed under the weight of the propaganda that the capitalist elites and their political lackeys bombard us with daily. This propaganda hides from us the connections between our relatively comfortable lifestyles and the massive suffering endured by millions in order to ensure that lifestyle. WE benefit from the great wealth generated under capitalism while half of the world’s population endures misery and hardship. But even our comfortable lifestyles are being eroded with nary a peep from us as we are forced to work longer hours and to accumulate ever-higher levels of debt while the wealth generated from our work is increasingly centralized in the hands of the 1%. There exists a propaganda machine that convinces us to accept this unjust reality. Our education system demands order and obedience within hierarchical authoritarian structures that grade us and categorize us according to the needs of a society whose values are dictated by capitalist elites. Why else would we be forced to sit obediently in rows, to memorize the ridiculous myths about “democracy” and “freedom” and “justice” that are spoon fed to us from “white” washed textbooks? Not only does education bury our conscience, it also crushes our spirit. The only thing that we are good for upon graduation is to enter an equally rigid workplace that demands the same order and obedience. We have not been educated; we’ve been indoctrinated! Let the Revolution begin.

And do the media enlighten us to this reality? No! They further indoctrinate us through sensationalized stories that serve to reinforce the beliefs and myths instilled in us by the education system and to distract us from the real issues that impact our lives and the world in which we live. It is more important that we shop, watch television and tweet celebrities than face the harsh realities that result from our lifestyle choices. But no amount of shopping and television and celebrity worship can sufficiently numb our conscience; this is why so many of us are so dependent on painkillers in the form of alcohol, illegal drugs and anti-depressants. Is it not time to rekindle both our conscience and our spirit? Let the Revolution begin!

To those who cowardly bomb the poorest peoples of the world with remote-controlled monsters in the sky; to those who believe they have an inalienable right to perpetrate structural genocide through their brutal exploitation of people and nature; to those who use the wealth generated by OUR labor to build THEIR mansions and privileged lifestyles; to those who defend their privilege with hi-tech tools of surveillance that spy on our every action and word in the name of national security; and to those who use their power and influence to develop mechanisms of propaganda and mind control to keep us compliant, I issue a warning: Beware, for these weapons will soon be turned against you! After all, if the political palaces known as the White House, 24 Sussex Drive and 10 Downing Street, and the corporate suites of Wall Street, Bay Street and The City, and the war ministries located in the Pentagon, the Pearkes Building and Whitehall were to all vanish into oblivion, wouldn’t the billions of oppressed and impoverished people around the world be better off? These establishments and what they represent are not sources of freedom and life; they are the perpetrators of suffering and death. Let the Revolution begin!

Should it not be the corporate elites who are forced to cower in fear, terrified at the prospect of hunger and disease ravaging them and their families to the point that they are forced to beg for food stamps and other handouts? Should it not be the homes of the fat cat investment bankers that are foreclosed on so that they find themselves and their families, not safely ensconced in their luxurious gated communities, but living on the street in constant fear of the violent threat posed by the angry hordes whose dignity they have been destroying for centuries? Should it not be the politicians and generals who wield the modern hi-tech swords of death who are forced to live in constant fear of being blown to pieces or made to endure torture at the hands of the poor and dispossessed victims of their ongoing genocide? Would this not constitute justice? Let the Revolution begin!

And what kind of world could be gained through such a Revolution? Imagine a world in which all resources were evenly distributed so that no child ever went hungry. Imagine a world in which we cared about our neighbor more than we care about a contestant on a reality TV show or a character in a soap opera. Imagine a world in which nurturing Mother Earth was more fulfilling than shopping for a new pair of shoes or the latest electronic gadget. Imagine a world in which we co-operate rather than compete with each other. Imagine a world where that cooperation extends to the workplace and we are empowered as co-bosses by a collective decision-making process rather than being mere appendages of the production system forced to obediently follow the dictates of others. Imagine a world where authoritarianism does not exist in the political realm, in our workplaces or in our homes. Imagine a world in which ALL of us have a meaningful voice in ALL of the major decisions that impact our lives. Imagine a world where ALL blacks, whites, browns, males, females and queers are seen as equal human beings. In short, imagine a world of harmony and compassion. Some might say that such a world is nothing more than a utopian dream, but I say it is the belief that we can continue as we are that is utopian.

So let the Revolution begin, NOW!

Garry Leech is an independent journalist and author of numerous books including Capitalism: A Structural Genocide (Zed Books, 2012); Beyond Bogota: Diary of a Drug War Journalist in Colombia (Beacon Press, 2009); and Crude Interventions: The United States Oil and the New World Disorder (Zed Books, 2006).

Garry Leech is an independent journalist and author of numerous books including How I Became an American Socialist (Misfit Books, 2016), Capitalism: A Structural Genocide (Zed Books, 2012); Beyond Bogota: Diary of a Drug War Journalist in Colombia (Beacon Press, 2009); and Crude Interventions: The United States Oil and the New World Disorder (Zed Books, 2006). ). He also teaches international politics at Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia, Canada and Javeriana University in Cali, Colombia. For more information about Garry’s work, visit garryleech.com

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Julian Vigo
The Government and Your i-Phone: the Latest Threat to Privacy
Stratos Ramoglou
Why the Greek Economic Crisis Won’t be Ending Anytime Soon
David Price
The 2016 Tour of California: Notes on a Big Pharma Bike Race
Dmitry Mickiewicz
Barbarous Deforestation in Western Ukraine
Rev. William Alberts
The United Methodist Church Up to Its Old Trick: Kicking the Can of Real Inclusion Down the Road
Patrick Bond
Imperialism’s Junior Partners
Mark Hand
The Trouble with Fracking Fiction
Priti Gulati Cox
Broken Green: Two Years of Modi
Marc Levy
Sitrep: Hometown Unwelcomes Vietnam Vets
Lorenzo Raymond
Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Doesn’t Work (Unless You Have Lots of Bombs)
Ed Kemmick
New Book Full of Amazing Montana Women
Michael Dickinson
Bye Bye Legal High in Backwards Britain
Missy Comley Beattie
Wanted: Daddy or Mommy in Chief
Ed Meek
The Republic of Fear
Charles R. Larson
Russian Women, Then and Now
David Yearsley
Elgar’s Hegemony: the Pomp of Empire
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail