Vision of a New Society
With massive demonstrations happening all over the world, the challenge is to see that we are all one
Over the past several weeks, the world’s attention has been riveted on massive demonstrations in cities throughout the United States, Mexico and France. What the demonstrations share is that they represent an outpouring of public sentiment against senseless killings, gross injustice and the degradation of the value of human life.
Now that these motions have been unleashed, various forces seek to corral and mold them to fit their political agendas. In particular, in an increasingly global and interdependent world, the ruling forces want workers of dominant countries or social strata to blame those of dependent countries and nationalities, rather than see that it is capitalism itself that is failing all of us.
In the United States, massive demonstrations followed the failure to indict police officers who killed African-Americans Michael Brown and Eric Garner. But when a crazed black man executed two police officers, leaders of the New York police union swiftly denounced the mayor for expressing sympathy for protestors and for not having immediately banned demonstrations in New York.
In Mexico, huge demonstrations erupted after the disappearance and probable murder of 43 student teachers in the state of Guerrero, fueled by the collusion of politicians at all levels with local police and drug traffickers. These were the latest of numerous brazen murders and disappearances, which have claimed over 100,000 victims in eight years of the U.S. sponsored War on Drugs.
And in Paris, France, an estimated 1.6 million people marched in sympathy and to protest the killings by Islamic extremists of 12 journalists of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine for publishing caricatures derogatory of the prophet Mohammed. The killings have been condemned by well known Muslims including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the U.S. as not being about religion at all.
The Paris killings have allowed the far-right National Front to openly demonize immigrants, in particular from Arab countries such as Algeria, once a colony of France. As the economy worsens in Europe, right-wing extremists have grown increasingly strident in scapegoating immigrants. They propose halting immigration and eliminating social benefits for current immigrants.
A nationalism stoked against internal and external enemies is promoted, much as the Homeland Security measures of the United States and its militarization of the border with Mexico. In the United States, efforts to limit birthright citizenship, jobs and social benefits for immigrants are being championed by right-wing pundits.
In France, Arab immigrant youth live in hovels and shantytowns, are disproportionately imprisoned, treated as second class citizens and suffer high unemployment. It should come as no surprise that they might fall victim to extremists such as the Islamic State and Al Qaeda. Similarly, in Central America, youths deported from the U.S. form gangs and become involved in the drug trade. And like them, youth from Detroit to Ferguson to Mexico, face a bleak and uncertain future, under the thumb of repressive police and military forces.
Increasingly, with labor-less technology there are fewer jobs for youth, despite color or nationality. The weapon of the corporate class is to utilize historic national, cultural and racial divisions to pit worker against worker so that we don’t unite against the corporate class. Fascist measures such as restrictive laws, police violence extralegal violence, and terror serve this purpose, whether in Mexico, the U.S., or Europe.
What is missing in the public discourse is a positive vision of the world that can be. Today, the same technology promises a limitless and serene future for everyone, if we can organize production for the public good and not for profit. Instead, we face the threat of global war, Jihad (Holy War), and mayhem. The challenge is to open our eyes and see that we are all one and share the same needs, hopes and aspirations. What makes life interesting is our vast diversity as human beings. Now that is a vision to fight for.