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

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Empire is Crumbling, That is Why it Needs War: 2015 Will See Decisive Battles

Click here to access article by Andre Vltchek from CounterPunch.

Although Vltchek makes many important points, particularly about the apparent desperation of the directors of the Empire to crush all opposition, he, like many others, does not zero in on the basic problem--inequality. I'm referring here to an organization of society in which inequality is built into it, and which inevitably produces a class-structured society. 

The current form of society was established by capitalists starting mostly in the 18th century. They became increasingly powerful and wrested control from aristocracies and monarchies whose power was based on control over land. Under capitalism today's societies are basically divided into two classes: those whose primary income comes from the "ownership" of capital and those whose primary income comes from their labor. The former class of people have over time become very rich and powerful and nowadays they constitute a tiny section of our population in contrast to the vast majority who work for a living--if they are lucky--by selling their labor in a labor market. 

Vltchek and many others like Pepe Escobar and William Engdahl correctly see the true nature of what has evolved into a marauding US-led Empire which tolerates no opposition to its rule. However, they do not see the underlying system which has produced such a destructive empire. Apparently they have not learned from history the underlying dynamics of capitalist class rule that produced the imperialist British Empire, Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, or the Japanese Empire. 

These people merely see the surface realities of a marauding US Empire and look to Russia, China, and the rest of the BRIC countries to counter the US-led Empire and thereby create a peaceful "multipolar" capitalist world. They have not learned the lessons of the capitalist empires of the 20th century when capitalist gangs vied for dominance much like street gangs or mafia organizations do in today's world. Because they don't see the same imperialist traits in the leadership of China or Russia, they think that they will remain this way in the future. That is very naive thinking. 

No, the only way humanity will achieve peace is through organization of societies based on structured equality. That is the challenge we ordinary people must strive for. There is now so much at stake. There are threats to the very existence of humanity: never-ending wars, catastrophic nuclear wars and climate destabilization.