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: Bath, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

DEALS AND ILLUSION

The dollar is going the way of the Mexican peso. While just on my Nordic trip it was humbling to pay the equivalent of $10 USD for a beer.

The Senate appears prepared today to make a deal that will pacify the Republicans and will include more tax cuts. Just what we need - more debt. We are always told that tax cuts for big business creates more jobs. Yes it does, jobs overseas where they can maximize profits.

For me the message is clear - we have become a colony. Like colonialism everywhere the people are exploited for their labor and their resources and made to serve the interests of big capital.

In our case we get something else in the bad deal. We get security export as our role under corporate globalization. We get to send our kids into the military, since few other job opportunities are available and education for the poor and working class is priced out of their reach. They get to go off and fight for the interests of big capital overseas where they help to suppress others who have been colonized. Heroes these soldiers are called - the defenders of the rich. They get a medal or two and if severely wounded they get promises of medical treatment which in the end is an illusion.

It's a money game and the public in America are now only included as the chips on the game board. We are not real players in the game. It's monopoly and we get the boot.

We have no political voice. The Democrats are the party of capital just like the Republicans. So many people I know tell me that we have to vote for Obama and all other Democrats because we have no other choice. They tell me that we can't let McCain become president because he will support more wars and only represent the rich.

These folks don't want to see how Obama says we have to expand the war in Afghanistan and move into Pakistan, that we have to increase the size of the military. I've seen these people on TV cheering for Obama when he tells them this and I wonder if they can see how they are being led to the slaughter. Obama is also strongly promoting the bailout of the big banks.

I heard on the news yesterday that Obama opposed helping to bailout those who can't pay for their home mortgages by restructuring their debt. These are the "down-and-out" people the Democrats profess to represent but that too is an illusion.

America is all about illusion. We pretend to be a democracy. We pretend to support peace in the world. We pretend to care about the environment. We pretend to care about the working class while we slide the national treasury into the bank accounts of the rich.

What we need most is an analysis of the present "occupation" of our nation by big business and the determination to fight for real democracy. But sadly far too many "progressive" people are content to allow the Democrats to pretend that they represent the "little guy" when in fact they do not.

We set our sights far too low and thus we get what we ask for.

As anti-slavery activist Frederick Douglass once said, "If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation...want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters...Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

Who will stand up and make demands?

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