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

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Like a snowball heading down hill....

 

 

The Afghanistan collapse is challenging the American people to admit to themselves (and each other) that the nation is 'like a snowball heading downhill'. That phrase was good writing by country singer Merle Haggard many years ago.

White working class fans of Haggard (and poor people of color) are generally the ones who did the recent killing and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. And they paid for it with their tax dollars - at a much higher rate of their income than the rich oligarchs who run the show.

My step-father Wes (married my mom when I was three) was career Air Force and hailed from Rumford, Maine. He came out of the paper mill and logging and was a country boy at heart. He was very sharp, and similar to many Mainers, could take on any task like fixing cars, electronics, carpentry, plumbing, and analyzing bullshit. Alcohol was his demon though - along with self-hatred that he was taught by his hard-times family. He loved country music because it shared the pain - made it public. The culture when Wes was young didn't allow much talk about feelings. You were weak if you did that. He was a sensitive guy though and found solace in drink.

Haggard wrote this song in 1982. He touched the yearning of the average citizens who pay their taxes and want to believe that the US is a good country and everyone is working together. Normal patriotic stuff from my youth.

But Haggard's ability to see the issues in a clear way allowed him give voice to that collective yearning across the country. He forecasted the collapse that is well underway today. 

At the end of the song Haggard tried to give the people back their hope for the future. People want hope and spiritual connection. They need the feeling of unity. Without it they feel at drift or like a runaway snowball heading for hell.

Sadly the leadership we have in the US today has hit the bottom of the barrel.

Bruce 

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