We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Questioning Labor Imperialism in Egypt: A Critique of the Solidarity Centre’s “Justice for All” Report

Click here to access article by Michael Barker from One Struggle. (a "best post")

In this rather lengthy, but very scholarly report, Barker illustrates in his examination of NGO operations in Egypt the Empire's use of intellectual workers employed in NGOs fronting as labor, pro-democracy, and human rights organizations to co-opt and otherwise undermine any real movements that might challenge the Empire's engine of capitalism. The article abstract spells out the significance of this examination:
People power is the dynamic driver of social history, with history merely being the documented response of elite power-brokers to popular demands for justice. Recognizing the latent power and desire of normal people to overthrow their oppressive rulers, more far sighted elites have long recognized the need to channel such unrealized power into non-revolutionary political alternatives: a process which entails their intervening at the grassroots level of civil society to ensure that such threats never coalesce into a force powerful enough to upset the capitalist status quo. In this way, US elites have created what many authors have amorphously referred to as a non-profit industrial complex, which forms a “natural corollary” to the prison industrial complex. Overseas, such technologies of repression play a central role in sustaining imperial domination; and while their role is largely ignored by most writers (even radical ones), their importance has nevertheless been thoroughly documented.
Of course, in this age of globalization the ruling class's use of the "non-profit industrial complex" in foreign countries applies equally well to domestic operations. The genius of the Anglo-American Empire has been its refinement of methods to manage the perceptions of people. To accomplish this, Empire agents have recruited large numbers of intellectuals in this service by offering them numerous and generous monetary inducements. With this careful examination of such operations in Egypt, Barker does us a great service by exposing how they function.