Control. The lack of it.
The struggle to obtain it—a shimmering illusion. The ruling class demands it. Capital will not invest unless it has control, not just of the investment but also of the society in which the investment is made. Control is demanded regardless of the cost. In Detroit, the newspapers were willing to spend millions, lose millions of dollars in order to bust the unions, not because it made them money but because it insured power and control.
But control is never possible, even for the capitalist, not individually and not collectively. Social processes force us to realize that. September 11, 2001 proved that control is shimmering illusion. Even such personal experience as one’s relation to music is outside our control. Somehow, since 9/11/01, I have been listening to particular music almost as a compulsive desire beyond my control-first Willie Nelson then Billie Holiday. Willie Nelson, that grizzled old reformed alcoholic who provides such beautifully calming music that incorporates and fuses so many American trends in music. Then Billie Holiday takes one back to that sad time when progressive people had only one choice—to fight against fascism. It was a desperate fight that took so many lives but progressive people won that fight. It was a fight for civilization over barbarism.
I feel I have no control even over the music I must listen to because I must seek out that which allows me to renew the struggle for justice and decency. At once, 9/11/01 destroyed both a sense of progress and control. Once again, progressives must start again the struggle, the fight for a civilized approach to social policy. And once again, we must begin that struggle with few resources and the overwhelming odds against us. Those who will justify barbarism have control of the national media and the attention of the world. But as Billie Holiday is singing right now, “the blues is nothing but an aching in the heart”.
While we have few resources, those who stand for decency and intelligence will again prevail. It is sad to think how many lives will be lost, how many families destroyed before we accomplish that task, but prevail we will.
September 11,2001 did not simply happen. Nor did it happen simply because there are fanatically angry people who will give their lives to strike a blow against United States financial power.
What is so amazing is that such a small group of people could do so much harm, so much damage in such a short period of time. It was a crime and must be punished as a crime. Most likely, there is as little as a 1000 people involved and it probably did not cost more than $100,000.00. The perpetrators gave their lives to destroy the twin towers of finance capital. What would cause such sacrifice? Here in the United States we cannot demonize a people who are innocent. Instead, we must seek out those who are criminally guilty and look to history to find the reason for such fanatical hatred.
With the fall of the Berlin wall, the United States established world hegemony. At that time, the United States had more weapons that the rest of the world combined, the infrastructure to use them, and the economic and political power to enforce its will. The United States also had the economic and political power to address and alleviate suffering in the world. Or it could use that political and economic power simultaneously to increase the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few and thereby increase and intensify human suffering. It chose to do the latter. Whether that was a conscious or inevitable choice is an entirely different discussion.
The mechanism for enforcing that choice was a financial system with the dual towers of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. These two powerful institutions proceeded to enforce an economic policy that would concentrate wealth and power in the multinational corporations that would use it to maximize profit and human suffering simultaneously. Backed by U.S. military might, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund functioned without restraint. More importantly, they functioned secretly and undemocratically. Because the multinational corporations that were benefiting from these policies also controlled the informational structure of the world, the disastrous effects of the policies were kept secret. The policies of the twin towers functioned in almost complete anonymity.
The United States and the multinational corporations that control this country have established an extremely complex world hegemony. While it is backed by US military might, which is paid for by American working people, the actual mechanism for control is financial. Every country is now dependent on world financial institutions, particularly the twin towers of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for the most basic elements of human sustenance—food, shelter, medicine, even education.
Around the world, in order to get capital for development, each country must submit to severe restrictions imposed on their social policies. In order to grow food, they must decrease tariffs and accept dominance by multinational corporations. Now, even the seeds they buy are designed to self-destruct in order to insure the control by the corporation that sells them the seeds. In order to educate their children, they must privatize their education.
The patents of multinational corporations are protected by US military might but implemented by US financial control. For instance, when South Africa threatened to manufacture its own medicine to treat the AIDS epidemic in its country, the entire South African leadership was attacked and that was backed up with the threat of the withdrawal of financial support. It was the international media that attacked the leadership with no explanation of the reason for South African desire to manufacture the medicine. Eventually, the multinational corporations gave away the medicine rather than lose control.
Food, the most basic requirement for survival also is the best example of world financial dominance by the United States and its demand for globalization. Globalization has resulted in the production of more food simultaneous with the increase in world hunger. The world media discusses the increase in production and leaves out the increase in world hunger that results in 40,000 deaths per day caused by hunger related illnesses. This is a tragedy every day that can be prevented.
“At first glance, it looks as though great progress was made, with food production up and hunger down. The total food available per person in the world rose by 11% over those two decades, while the estimated number of hungry people fell from 942 million to 786 million, a 16% drop. This was apparent progress, for which those behind the Green Revolution were understandably happy to take the credit.
But these figures merit a closer look. If you eliminate China from the analysis, the number of hungry people in the rest of the world actually increased by more than 11%, from 536 to 597 million. In South America, for example, while per capita food supplies rose almost 8%, the number of hungry people also went up, by 19%.
In south Asia, there was 9% more food per person by 1990, but there were also 9% more hungry people. The total food available per person actually decreased. What made possible greater hunger was the failure to address unequal access to food and food-producing resources.
The remarkable difference in China, where the number of hungry dropped from 406 million to 189 million, almost begs the question: which has been more effective at reducing hunger—the Green Revolution or the Chinese Revolution, where broad-based changes in access to land paved the way for rising living standards?” Third World Resurgence; Issue #118-119 (1/01) p. 12
Because of the financial control by the twin towers of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, this pattern of increased production occurring simultaneously with increased poverty and suffering exists in every aspect of human life and in every part of the world. The only exceptions are those areas that have protection from the twin towers of the WB and the IMF.
At the same time that the USA and the multinational governments that control the US government were tightening the noose around the world’s peoples, politically it was hiding the effect of the economic policies. The WB and the IMF are completely secret organizations. There is no democracy. The decisions are made without any vote by the affected party. Those decisions are then enforced by the military might of the US.
By contrast, the United Nations, which has some forms of democracy and does allow for debate has been starved into irrelevance by the US. By dismantling the United Nations, the US increases its control and eliminates any opportunity for expression of dissent.
When 50,000 demonstrators showed up in Seattle, no one in this country knew why? The media even tried to say that the demonstrators did not know why they were there. They were portrayed as naïve idealists, at best. Their opposition to the twin towers of the WB and the IMF was peaceful and ignored. When Carlo Guiliani was killed in Genoa, Italy, commentators in this country stated that he got what he deserved. George Bush II had the audacity to state that the demonstrators were misguided. But there was no lessening of the death hold by the twin towers of the WB and the IMF.
When George Bush the First attacked Iraq, 250,000 people died and the US lost less than 1000 soldiers. By every definition, that was a slaughter, not a war. Since that slaughter, 500,000 more people, mostly women and children have died as a result of US policies. That is also criminal.
A crime was committed on September 11,2001. But no one is talking about why that crime was committed.
Every commentator has stated that the US, the World, will never be the same. That is puzzling. I believe that key to solving the puzzle is that the myth has been shattered. The myth is that the US and its financial institutions can act with immunity. The myth is that the US, the WB, and the IMF and the World Trade Organization can cause unspeakable suffering without consequence.
The reality is that when others are oppressed, no one is free. We cannot hide in our gated communities and isolate ourselves from the suffering that the US policies cause. There will be consequences.
On 9/11/01, the phallic symbol of US finance capital disappeared from the landscape. Then by attacking the pentagon, the perpetrators went after the cajones of American military might. In one fell swoop, the symbolically castrated financial bull lost its sense of invulnerability.
George Bush the Second, not able to comprehend the loss of control, has declared war, wants criminals dead or alive, demands a crusade. As a castrated bull thrashing about for an enemy, Bush II now wants to kill a lot of people. Who are we to declare war on—Ossama bin Laden? The US against one person? A crime was committed and the criminals should be prosecuted. Even if Bush II declares war on all of those involved, it is probably not more than a 1000 people. If we kill all of those people does anyone believe that we can return to gated communities in peace. If we attack Afganistan, and kill many more people, then all we have done is to create a constituency for more suicidal people who have nothing to lose.
Indiscriminate killing will only cause more indiscriminate killing. Bush II wants to kill those who harbored the perpetrators. But they were in Florida, Oklahoma, Detroit, Boston. Are these places to be destroyed? What about Germany? Are going to war against Germany. Of course not. But Bush II at some point must make logical and defensible policies.
Ossama bin Laden’s fortune was created when the US under Richard Nixon, another crook, unilaterally withdrew from the Bretton Woods Conference, letting the dollar float. That sucked money out of Europe and Japan and into the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia when bin Laden’s family was turned into billionaires.
Then during the 1980’s, bin Laden and others were trained in the tactics of terrorism by the CIA. It is the CIA formerly run by Bush I that set this entire process in motion. As a result, working people died and suffered on 9/11/01, not because they had a choice but because they were fodder for the policies of George I and II.
When George II seized power in December, 2000, he spelled out how oppressive and heartless his regime would be. He withdrew from the repetitive injury regulation, which meant injury, and disability to thousands of workers—careers ruined, families destroyed. He withdrew from the Kyoto agreement, which meant more damage to the environment and again suffering by working people around the world.
He withdrew from the International Ballistic Treaty. This was especially significant because he essentially announced to the world that America would be a fortress. He would force American workers to spend $160,000,000,000.00 on a useless defense. He told American workers that they would be safe regardless of the suffering in the rest of the world.
Finally, he passed a tax cut designed to benefit only the richest people in the world. This had international significance because he thereby announced that only the wealthiest people in the world would sit at his conference table. These actions are observed and monitored all over the world because ultimately this administration has an immediate and direct effect on world suffering.
Then Bush the Second withdrew from the World Conference on Racism. Probably the most dramatic action of his administration, Bush the Second announced that he would not discuss any of these issues with the world’s people. In other words, he proclaimed he was uncaring, unresponsive, unafraid, and invulnerable.
As a result of these irresponsible actions, the people of the United States must now suffer. The incalculable suffering will continue with death and destruction pushed by this administration as a solution when in fact it will only cause more death and destruction. This is done by an administration that was not legally elected by the American people. At least if he had been legally elected, then we could admit that we made a mistake. Instead we must suffer for a person who stole the election.
Now we must gear ourselves to resist with everything we have to prevent more suffering. We must prove that civilization, not barbarism, is what solves problems. It will be difficult but we will prevail. We will prevail because only civilized adherence to the rule of law and humane compassion can solve these problems.
In the meantime, I agree with Billie Holiday—God Bless the Child who has his own—his own emotional resources to struggle against adversity.
Yours in Struggle,
Ronald D. Glotta
220 Bagley, Suite 808
Detroit MI 48226-1409
(313) 963-1320 – (313) 963-1325/Fax