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

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Capitalists Don't Give a Damn

I was tossing-and-turning in bed early this morning - my mind fixed on the images in the video from China about the blue jeans manufacturing operations destroying the local environment and the lives of the workers.

My mind also flashed to the videos from North Dakota where indigenous people have been massing in recent weeks to protect the Missouri River from a pipeline that the oil-i-garchy wants to lay to move their deadly poison.  And finally my mind flashed to Okinawa where the people are trying to protect the endangered Yanbaru forest and wildlife at Takae.

Each of these stories reveal the hard-hearted desire for profit and power - demanded by capitalism no matter the consequences to local populations or our Mother Earth.  I am screaming mad about all of this.

Then this morning I was graced (and that is the right word here - graced) by the videos from the Veterans for Peace delegation in Okinawa showing the singing and dancing of the marvelous people there as they struggle to block the destruction process so more helipads can be built in the forest for US Marine Corps Osprey transport helicopters.

The fierce determination, love and joy of the people on Okinawa (similar to what we've experienced in Korea) makes some of my pain and suffering subside - just a bit.  It helps me return to the core of my being where I too can find love and joy in the midst of the pure insanity that comes out of Washington and other capitals around the world that promote endless war and the destruction of our planet - all for corporate profits.

Over the years people have repeatedly asked me about the heartless capitalists who plow forward with their wars and destruction.  People ask me, "Don't these people care about what they are doing?  What about their own children?  Don't they care about the future?"

My response has always been the same.  I tell them about a book I read while in college called Lame Deer Seeker of Visions.

John (Fire) Lame Deer was born around the turn of the last century on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. He was a full-blooded Sioux and in his book he wrote that the white man was blinded by his love for the 'Green Frog Skin' - the $$$$$.  Because of this worship for money and power the white man could not see/feel his connection to nature - he could not see/feel how poisoning the water or destroying nature would mean his own people would perish.

I'd call it a spiritual disconnection - a breaking of the sacred link between humans and nature.  A divorce between reality and imagined power and privilege.

A healing is needed.  The protests around the world against militarism and environmental destruction are part of the global healing now underway.  Each of us has a role to play in this healing process. 

Let it continue - let us hear the words of Lame Deer and others who are trying to tell us something important.




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