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, December 31, 2017

New Year's Message and Warning from a War Correspondent

Click here to access article by Andre Vltchek from Countercurrents.org.  (Edited for clarity at 11:59 AM Seattle time.)

Vltchek has demonstrated what a real journalist does in reporting the truth, as he sees it, in his/her travels to the most war-torn areas of the world. Also, I think he has stumbled upon what is so vitally needed to overcome the forces of greed and cruelty spawned (def.#3) by the anti-human system of capitalism which sets one tiny class over the entire world's humans. He complains about the lack of support in 2015 he received from readers while suffering from exhaustion.
You and your determined work may save several villages, or if you are very good, you could make a difference on a global scale. Your writing or your films may help to stop a war. But never expect any official recognition, any practical backing or even mercy from your readers. In 2015, after making several films and writing books about several particularly horrid war zones, mostly in Africa, I totally collapsed. For several weeks, I was not able to move. I thought it was the end. There was no help at all coming from those millions of my readers living in all parts of the world. At that time I made my condition public. Still, nothing. Few letters of ‘moral support’ arrived. Few: “Be strong, the world needs you!” In the end, it was my close family circle that literally pampered and rescued me and put me back to my feet and into fighting order.

This is not a reproach, just a warning to those who are getting ready to fight for the survival of humanity: “You will be totally on your own. You will most definitely collapse on several occasions.”
What is totally lacking is an organized effort to support journalists such as Vltchek. We who see the ongoing destruction of both humans and the environment caused by capitalist rule must become aware that it will take something more than family support to confront this evil monster of capitalism. Remember capitalism puts families as the primary social unit of capitalism. This was so succinctly expressed by that British servant of capitalism, Margaret Thatcher:
...you know, there's no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours.  
However, she omits (and therefore lies) that these rich families are united and highly organized under capitalist class rule.

I simply don't understand why it is so difficult for activists to realize that some greater scale of organization is needed to break the power of capitalists than the family unit. Yet, Vltchek expected greater support for his work from readers when he suffered from exhaustion in 2015 when there wasn't any organization to support him. We on the left have not moved one iota from family support to build larger organizations with clout to defend ourselves from "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" inflicted upon us by this tiny class of capitalists. How can we expect anything different than exhaustion, defeat, and more misery!!!?

We must put social back into the effort of building socialism. We must think in different terms than what we were raised with. We must be conscious of our indoctrination under capitalist rule and create another consciousness--or else we will perish.