Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

LIVING IN A KILLER CULTURE

  Posted by PicasaSometimes I get really frightened when I think about how deeply ingrained violence is in our culture in this country. I know all about it. I grew up on military bases as a kid and went to the air shows. I had a big-framed photo on my wall of all the planes on our base - my step-dad worked in the base photo lab. I carried that photo from base to base as I grew up. It was on the wall right next to the crucifix. When Nixon in 1968 ran for president I worked on his campaign. I was true blue for sure. And I believed in the war machine. Never thought twice about it. My time in the military during the Vietnam war changed all that for me. My world got turned up-side down.

But today I fear it is getting worse. The militarists know that because of corporate globalization we are not going to have many jobs in the U.S. anymore. Our chief export product will be "security" the Pentagon says. That translates to endless war.

Last Friday we were vigiling on the street here in Brunswick as we do each week. A young man drove up and stopped and showed me his military cap and said I love the war. I asked him why. He said, "I have a job."

That was a profound moment for me. In his sincere words I heard him say that he had a purpose in life. He had a job. He had something that was meaningful to him. He is saving the world for democracy and all that other good stuff. He was right next to Superman.

A friend just sent me an article about a new "Christian" inspired video game for kids. It goes like this: "Imagine: you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued high-tech military weaponry, and instructed to engage the infidel on the streets of New York City. You are on a mission - both a religious mission and a military mission -- to convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state - especially moderate, mainstream Christians. Your mission is ‘to conduct physical and spiritual warfare’; all who resist must be taken out with extreme prejudice." (Click on the link in headline above for more of this madness.)

I fear to say out loud what I think is going on. I fear that the militarists are now moving to create chaos and "civil war", Iraqi style, right here in the good old USA. I fear that as our economy now collapses, and during the next 20 years we turn into a Third World country, that those in power don't want the public turning toward the real enemy. They don't want the public to figure out that the rich and the corporations have screwed us all royally. So they are preparing the younger generation to see the enemy as non-Christians, immigrants, people of color, political activists, and the like.

As our economy declines because of corporate globalization our education system will continue to falter. Pressure to "privatize" the public school system will grow as people become frustrated with declining funding for our schools. As the local tax base dries up, due to jobs moving overseas, education will only be for the rich. Thus young working class/poor kids will while away their time playing more and more violent video games and increasingly become disconnected from society and all that is good. They become perfect candidates for the rage mongers, haters, and military recruiters. And they become easy targets of the "Christian right-wing thugs", the new brown shirt fascists of our day whose job it will be to create chaos in our land.

So what is the solution to all this darkness? First, I think we must see the signs. Or as the Indians always said, put your ear to the tracks and hear the train coming. The white man has a killer culture.

Then we have to openly talk about and expose these mad men who are literally poisoning the minds of our children and grandchildren.

We need to speak out publicly against this. We must complain when our local newspapers do feature stories about the new "exciting" violent video games like this one linked above.

Lastly, we need to recognize that the Christian fundamentalist community is becoming a perverse version of the "radical Islamist fundamentalist fascists" that Bush keeps talking about. Look in the mirror America; we are becoming what we say we fear the most.

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