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 LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What They Mean when They Say Peace

Click here to access article from CrimethInc (a worker's collective based in Salem, Oregon)

This article explains how the justification of preserving piece was used recently in the Ferguson riots and the broader meaning of peace that is used by members of the ruling class. It is a peace that preserves their rule and class/race-based justice to subvert its real meaning: peace founded on justice.   

It seems that ruling class media directors continue to be successful in diverting attention away from the endemic injustice of their capitalist system by filling their media programs with carefully screened news, entertainment, and trivia. Most Americans will only pay attention to the realities of injustice in society if they are confronted by scenes of riots and militarized police forces in their TV news reports. The authors finally reach this conclusion:
Let us not resent those who get out of hand for reminding us of the conflicts that remain unresolved in our society. On the contrary, we should be grateful. They are not disturbing the peace; they are simply bringing to light that there never was any peace, there never was any justice in the first place. At tremendous risk to themselves, they are giving us a gift: a chance to recognize the suffering around us and to rediscover our capacity to identify and sympathize with those who experience it.

For we can only experience tragedies such as the death of Michael Brown for what they are when we see other people responding to them as tragedies. Otherwise, unless the events touch us directly, we remain numb. If you want people to register an injustice, you have to react to it immediately, the way people did in Ferguson.