It’s intriguing to hear people calling capitalists in Russia “oligarchs” when according to scholars the whole United States is considered an oligarchy today(1). And when the corporate media and corporate politicians– run by the US oligarchs–tell them about the “Russian threat”, they repeat it like they were born yesterday; “I don’t trust Russian oligarchs”, “we shouldn’t work with Russian oligarchs” and so on.
As it is repeated to us by the corporate media as well as by government officials, the word “oligarch” concocts otherness and unknown insidiousness of criminality and inhumanity. There is a hypnotic spell to some of the words that are used against “enemies” of the western hegemony (2). In the case of Syria, so many such words were displayed: “barrel bombs”, “chlorine bombs”, “prison camp”, “torture prison”, “Syrian crematory”, “butcher”, “dictator”, “regime” and so on. Thanks to many dedicated activists, journalists, and most of all Syrian people who have been released by the west backed terrorists from the occupied territories, today we recognize that those words embody the disingenuous and deceptive process of demonizing the Syrian government (3), (4), (5), (6) and (7). Considering the fact that 1/2 million have died in the west orchestrated assault against Syria, the use of those terms alone in the cultural sphere indicates a reprehensible, manipulatively cultish quality in our society.
But getting back to Russia, the Russian oligarchs were the products of US political intervention that destroyed the Soviet Union (8), (9). The US didn’t only mess with their political process but they destroyed it (10). The US backed Yeltsin’s violent coup killed thousands, while selling out the federation to the “oligarchs” (8).
But Putin wasn’t all for selling everything (11). That is the reason why Putin is “evil” according to the voice of the US oligarchs who are backing the US oligarchy. Not enough oligarchy for them, I reckon.
And that bring us to people like Morgan Freeman who declares that the US is at war with Russia and asks American people to join (12).
His warmongering is plainly despicable (13). But he is right about one thing. America is indeed at war with Russia; American soldiers are among Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria, fighting Russians (14).
I recall that the US started the War on Terror to fight Al-Qaeda. We were told that they did 9/11. That was the excuse to steal oil from the Middle Eastern countries, protect petrodollar and squeeze socialist countries. Now we see that the US is in Syria fighting to hand over the oil fields to those west backed extremists and separatists (15), (16).
I hear people saying, “it’s not that simple”, “all violence must stop”, “Russians are killing too” and so on.
It’s very complicated because the western countries are constantly fighting the terrorists they themselves trained, supported and funded (17). The US utilizes their creations to invade countries and to install military bases across the globe. Anyone who has learned from all these colonial wars knows that if the official fighting stops, the west backed terrorists, deadly sanctions, market manipulation, trade embargo and propaganda war against the target will still destabilize the target. The call to stop all the violence within the imperial framework denies the right to self-defense of the targeted country while blindly accepting imperial violence of many sorts inflicted on the target. And anyone who criticizes Russians helping out the Syrian army simply hasn’t been paying attention or has been actively backing western interests at the expense of the Syrian people, who have been welcoming the Russians liberating them from the west backed extremists (18).
Now we must note the magnitude of the fact that a wide range of the politically active western population is guided by corporate politics, corporate media and corporate NGOs (19) to kiss the same asses as the west backed violent extremists in Syria are kissing. And many are in fact being affected by the spell of western capital to do so. For example, I exchanged comments with an artist group called We Make America as they were organizing the Women’s March. Unfortunately, they were generously repeating corporate media talking points against Russia as well as Syria. They sounded very much in support of the west backed violent extremists as “freedom fighters” or “revolutionaries”. My attempts to describe the framework beyond their corporate politics were silenced by deletion of my comments.
And, let me put it plainly, the US maintains 900 military bases across the globe. It is currently bombing 7 countries while engaging in global surveillance, covert operations, and propaganda campaigns against the world with its 17 spy agencies. All of these have been inflicted on the people of the world to maintain its economic hegemony.
As a result, today, 8 people own the bottom half of the wealth of the planet (20), while over half the US tax goes to wars. The unprecedented plunder is reflected in the fact that half the US population is reaching poverty, and also reflected in mass incarceration for the prison industry, the housing crisis, the health crisis, police killings, environmental catastrophe, loss of legal rights and loss of human rights on many grounds. The colonial policies have killed 25 to 35 million people across the globe while cornering 1 out of 100 people into refugee status globally.
And according to the media, we are now supposed to be concerned about “Russian threat”. We hear it from the media that kept telling us that the likelihood of Hilary Clinton winning the election was almost certain until they actually started counting the votes. What was that all about anyway? I am not a fan of Sanders, who has long supported colonial wars against the world, but it’s been proven that the corporate party didn’t grant “democratic” choice of the party members to prevail. And the party’s excuse was that they are a private corporation unbound by any of the “democratic” process (21). And we are now concerned about Russia…?
And those extremely wealthy and influential people, like Mark Zuckerberg, are telling us how we should watch out for Russians, with a straight face, begging us (22). I don’t want to be rude, but that’s…dumb. I mean, I don’t claim to be that smart myself, but there are just too many dots connecting the shape. No matter how you look at it from different angles, it looks like a naked Uncle Sam bullshitting like there is no tomorrow.
And those people, Mark Zuckerberg, Koch brothers, or Donald Trump, are the embodiment of the guiding principle of the empire: capitalism. Do you get what I’m trying to say? It is not a great setup for the people. Period. It stands to reason that we are bound to have an oligarchy within the framework of corporatism, colonialism and militarism.
And also, I actually don’t think those masters of capitalism are as intellectually impaired as they appear. Unfortunately, to tell you the truth, they probably know what is going on, if not consciously, somewhat unconsciously. They know that constructing those erroneous narratives of foreign threats is the only way to make sense out of the illogical actions they are taking. Those living embodiments of wealth and power, as well as the surrogate Hollywood celebrities, engage in consecrating rituals for the death cult called the United States of America.
One of the major elements that supports the death cult is corporate duopoly. For example, while President Trump aggressively assaults North Korea in his UN speech, Morgan Freeman–backed by the Democratic Party establishment–tells us that “we are at war with Russia”.
Here are the “democratic choices” for the people:
1) Imposing imperialism against the world by risking WW3 with China.
2) Imposing imperialism against the world by risking WW3 with Russia.
This is how the money and violence of the empire rule over the global caste order in the name of “freedom”, “justice” and “democracy”.
Be sure to note that the risk of a nuclear war or climate change do not appear as “risk” for the imperialists. Imagine what a nuclear explosion over New York City, Boston or Washington DC can do if we think about what 9/11 has done to forward the colonial wars against the Middle Eastern countries. Or what Katrina did to gentrify and corporatize. For the economic system of money and violence, pain and suffering of the people mean profits. For the wasting hierarchy, the great calamities we are facing today are the great opportunities, which might quite possibly be the last options in prolonging the life of the empire, a little while longer.
And before we blame the politicians, we should firmly recognize that all the warmongering corporatists, who benefit from the reckless inhumanity forwarded by the US political machine, haven’t lifted a finger as the war machine keeps launching colonial wars across the globe. The US regime possesses 17 spy agencies with a global surveillance capability, along with the militarized police and the nearly domesticated judicial system. They work seamlessly with corporate media as well as with corporate NGOs in pursuing their interests. If they see anything as detrimental to their well being, they have means to get what they want, just as they have gotten the big bank bailout, Freedom Act, relentless persecution of Occupy Wall Street, incarceration of political prisoners and so on and so forth. While the media keep repeating how insane Trump is, nothing is done to stop the insanity, just as nothing was done to prevent 9/11.
You see what I mean by “death cult”? The death spiral of capitalism is risking our lives and that very momentum, edging us to nuclear war as well as climate change, is what it requires to preserve itself: a worship of an order that is ultimately killing us.
Now such a perspective is often met with cynicism as well as fatalism attributing the recent trajectory of our species to our nature. However, it is crucial to examine our path for what it is if we wish to build a better future for all of us. Our species is extremely young within the geological timeframe. Our generations consist of a fraction of a dot on it.
People keep telling me that I am just a dreamer, I’m not practical, I am not realistic or I’m just saying stuff. But is dreaming about a world where we all share our ideas, our joy and the blessings of the planet in harmony a bad thing? Why is it so unimaginable to build a society that empowers every one of us to embrace who we are, and connects our lives to our missions in our lives, our lands and our communities so that we are not robbed by imperial warmongers?
If you agree with me and if you feel alone, trust me, you are not. There will be more of us. Because there is no other way for the survival of our species.
(17) Stephen Gowans and his new book “Washington’s Long War on Syria”
(18) ALEPPO: The Liberation of East Aleppo – Vanessa Beeley on UK Column
(19) The Wrong Kind of Green Archive, Tagged “Syria”
Hiroyuki Hamada is an artist. He has exhibited throughout the United States and in Europe and is represented by Bookstein Projects. He has been awarded various residencies including those at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Edward F. Albee Foundation/William Flanagan Memorial Creative Person’s Center, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the MacDowell Colony. In 1998 Hamada was the recipient of a Pollock Krasner Foundation grant, and was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship twice. He lives and works in New York.