One More Year of Inhumanity Coming to a Close

What Happens Next?

This year the list of atrocities committed under the guise of representative democracy is extensive, as anyone concerned in analyzing the actions of governments in the West can ascertain. If it was our wish, we could bombard the airwaves with images of suffering people from around the world, and swiftly link their pain to the corrupt institutions of government we have accepted as legitimate. With similar ease, we could trace the wealth accumulated by a small minority of ruthless economic elites to their governmental bonds. But I see little need in contributing to this exercise considering the amount of relevant information already available. Instead, I find it more useful to speculate about what happens next. I am fairly confident that is what those bearing the brunt of our inhumanity must wonder. Will we end the bombs? Will we stop the banks? Will we transform our democracies?

What a meaningless term democracy has become when uttered under the context of our 21st century Western reality. Do we really think the democracy we live embodies the dream our ancestors thought they were fighting for? I do not think it does. I think instead that Western democracy, the democracy of imperial expansion, embodies the violence and misery it claims to diffuse. The tragic thing is that many Western citizens one speaks to make similar observations; yet, the wheel continues to turn and its movement destroys many innocents. How can the wheel stop, when the citizenry goes along for the ride? When there is little will to change direction?

Let us take for example the self-proclaimed left-wing progressives of the United States. Imbued by arrogance and complacency, two years ago, they went along with the message of hope communicated by the now president of the United States. Their strategic plan was to vote Mr. Obama into office, and then convince him to act on their wishes for a better world. Their argument being that he represented the lesser of the two evils. In retrospect, one can see that he was not the lesser of the two evils; he was a different evil representing the same class interests, with different rhetoric and face. Nevertheless, the progressive embrace of yet another criminal into the office of the United States has served to fuel and legitimize once again, the Nation’s expansionary venture of military violence and legalized capitalist crime.

With the year coming to a close, one can only assume that either these so called progressives made a strategic blunder, or they had no will for real change. I am inclined to believe that the choice was made to continue with the charade because there is no will for a paradigmatic change. But these are big words, and for this reason, many will discard what I have to say. So in order to at least begin the process of describing the kinds of actions, which I think are needed for a paradigm change to take place, below I will present a few suggestions a wilful citizenry can undertake in the coming year in order to stop the inhumanity that today has become the norm.

Global General Strike

If there was indeed a true sense of solidarity and responsibility, those around the world who claim to fight for the betterment of the human experience on earth, could begin 2011, with an attempt to coordinate a Global General strike. A strike for peace and equality, in which workers refuse to work until everyone on earth is guaranteed equal social rights to shelter, food, and medicine. In the century of globalized capital, only a globalized citizens movement can effectively ward-off the ruthless attacks coming from the capitalist class. One does not need to be a Marxist in order to understand this. Reading the day’s headlines of any mainstream newspaper clearly reveals the ruthless game being played by those running our capitalist economies.

Removing Our Money from the Banks

Another action that could prove useful in 2011 would be for those interested in real change to undergo a coordinated action of removing their money from banks. During the current global financial crisis it has become blatantly clear to what extent our money in the bank is serving to finance our own material and moral impoverishment. Why would we be interested in continuing to finance our own demise?

Refusal to Pay Taxes

The next action which I would suggest would be a globally coordinated effort to encourage citizens to stop paying the proportion of their taxes used for financing military ventures. Contrary to what we are led to believe, there is no such thing as a benevolent army.  Soldiers are trained to kill, and that is what they are doing around the world on a daily basis. Let us stop it if we really want change.

Hunger strike

Staging a hunger strike for peace with the collaboration of millions of concerned citizens from around the world would certainly force governments to revise their continued militarization. A Gandhian inspired strike of this type in which those who refuse war are willing to suffer in themselves in order for things to change could have a great impact. Imagine students, workers and retirees from around the world, together succumbing to such a painful ordeal in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in conflict zones, where our governments are destroying people’s existence.

Blank Vote

If you do not agree with the candidates presenting themselves to the next election, please do not vote for the lesser of the two evils.  It is the surest way to avoid any meaningful change. If you have doubts about this, look at what Obama’s message of hope and change has amounted to.

I did not invent any of these tactics, so I claim no originality, I am just one more concerned Western citizen, using the internet while we still have it available for this kind of dialogue, in order to ask publicly the question I often ask myself: What must we do if we hope for change? I understand that many will disagree with my suggestions, and indeed might be offended by the tactics I propose, but if you really want change and you are not seeing it, tell me what we can do. As far as I am concerned, our current collective path is the path of No-Hope and No-Change, and I refuse to be a part of the charade. Let us hope next year is a little more humane.

Pablo Ouziel is an activist and a freelance writer based in Spain. His work has appeared in many progressive media including ZNet, Palestine Chronicle, Thomas Paine’s Corner, and Atlantic Free Press. Read other articles by Pablo.

6 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. MichaelKenny said on December 30th, 2010 at 11:39am #

    The idea that there is a single global response is unreal because people’s interests in different regions of the world are different and, indeed, often compete with other. Equally, the enemy is the Israel Lobby-dominated US and the way in which US power is applied, itself a function of Israel’s interests, varies from region to region. The best tactic is therefore to deprive the US of its usefulness to Israel by breaking US power in the world . The unwinnable wars are doing that anyway, so the future is actually very bright. Thus, all the various tactics mentioned by Mr Ouziel will no doubt be useful in certain circumstances in certain parts of the world but each region must find its own solution.

  2. Mulga Mumblebrain said on December 30th, 2010 at 4:24pm #

    Mr Kenny’s insouciant Panglossian view hits reality on a number of fronts. First there is no sign that the Yankee Reich will fall any time soon. They are still pushing their worthless Treasury bonds on the world, they are still the dominant force in murder and violence and they still control their Western allies like the basest curs, as Wikileaks makes plain in a number of cases. The Reich and its operatives still control the global media and operate it as a gigantic brainwashing operation, leaving most Western audiences intellectually obtunded and morally decrepit, intent only on consuming themselves into a metabolic stupor, the sole purpose of life.
    Unfortunately, while we plot the overthrow of the global Reich, Mother Nature has other ideas. She has been so ravaged, so disrupted in her equilibrium, that she is having one of her periodic healing crises, where she shakes of the accumulated detritus of one epoch, and seeks a new steady state. It was just a few years ago that the idea of tipping-points was a popular talking point, and some applied it to climate change. A few pessimistic types even began darkly mumbling of ‘points of no return’, but always safely over our life’s horizon, maybe 2060 or later.
    Well, wouldn’t you know it, they all look like optimists now. Tipping-points are falling all around us, and a few points of no return, like the release of frozen methane, are being studiously ignored, to make them go away, like the boogy-man. It’s a question now, not of overthrowing the Reich and creating a ‘better world’, but of saving our species from extinction. Until those opposed to the Reich realise, deep down in their souls, that this is a battle for survival for us and our descendants, against forces of absolute evil who make the Nazis look like choir-boys, then we will get, precisely, nowhere.

  3. mary said on January 2nd, 2011 at 4:00pm #

    Yes Mulga he writes unceasingly (and boringly) on the merits of the EU and the demerits of the US as if there is some difference. The EU is riddled with Zionist supporters, Barroso being the prime example. Why else did they allow Israel to join in the activities of the fascists’ club.

    BBC News – OECD members vote unanimously to invite Israel to join
    10 May 2010 … Members of the OECD vote unanimously to invite Israel to join the group of rich countries, despite Palestinian objections.
    {news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8672304.stm}

    Anyway the Americans won’t have to put up with any more from Schwarzenegger. It is his last day in office apparently. He said -

    I finally arrived here in 1968. What a special day it was. I remember I arrived here with empty pockets but full of dreams, full of determination, full of desire. The presidential campaign was in full swing. I remember watching the Nixon-Humphrey presidential race on TV. A friend of mine who spoke German and English translated for me. I heard Humphrey saying things that sounded like socialism, which I had just left.

    But then I heard Nixon speak. He was talking about free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering the taxes and strengthening the military. Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air. I said to my friend, I said, “What party is he?” My friend said, “He’s a Republican.” I said, “Then I am a Republican.” And I have been a Republican ever since.

    !!!

  4. hayate said on January 2nd, 2011 at 5:04pm #

    Mary

    “Anyway the Americans won’t have to put up with any more from Schwarzenegger. It is his last day in office apparently.”

    Does that mean there will now be a spat of terminator films where the protagonists battle each other with canes and walkers?

  5. mary said on January 3rd, 2011 at 6:21am #

    This from a US aircraft carrier Commander:

    {http://hamptonroads.com/2010/12/raunchy-videos-starring-enterprise-skipper-come-light}

    Bet you are glad to have him on your side and to have your tax dollars spent on this muck. Whole new meaning to “safe in their hands”, “hands on” etc.

    It goes without saying that Honors is a psychopath and a good many with him. Consider that the commanders of these vessels are ‘tasked’ with ‘deploying’ nuclear weapons in ‘theatre’ without conferring with commanders back in Norfolk. That the US arm of the revolting US/UK/”Israel” axis is reaching the depths of its moral and physical degeneration just as it reaches the summit of its destructive power MIGHT be a cause for celebration. We must not forget either that the UK part of the axis is as a surrogate, and mostly to the third member.

    This is a most important point :-

    ”Of note is the quality of the XO Movie Night videos and the time that Honors appears to have devoted to them, even as the Enterprise was simultaneously supporting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and its air wing was dropping record numbers of bombs.”

    If you require ‘humans’ to do inhuman things then tear down their psychological defences that most have been imbued with as children. In those Stanford experiments, the conversion of ordinary citizen to torturer standing in front of the one way glass, would have produced an even higher percentage of torturers if they had been on board with Honors and his XO videos.

    And I object strongly to the misuse of the word theatre. In a hospital theatre a surgical team attempt to heal and theatres purvey true art.

  6. mary said on January 3rd, 2011 at 8:03am #

    Ha!

    US Navy investigating lewd videos aboard USS Enterprise

    Capt Owen Honors – shown in one of the videos – acknowledges there have been complaints (photo)

    The US Navy says it is investigating the production of lewd videos aboard a US aircraft carrier which have turned the spotlight on a veteran commander

    3 January 2011 Last updated at 14:28
    {http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12108151}