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Accordingly, they forget, or purposely overlook, the insidious role of Cold War repression that befell intellectual and cultural life in the US from the late 1940s through the early 1960s, with loud echoes today. For nearly a decade and a half, intellectual conformity on class, race, and Communism was rigorously enforced through punishment or fear, especially in the sensitive areas of culture and ideas (the battle of ideas is not merely in academia or among the men and women of letters but in the unions and mass organizations, where a vibrant incubation of radical ideas was replaced with a tepid, mediocre, and intolerant uniformity). Thousands of cultural and intellectual workers lost their jobs, were shunned, or blacklisted. Tens of thousands were frozen with fear and determined to assiduously avoid anything controversial.
By Susan Duclos
Ladies and gentlemen, the statement shown in the video below is six minutes long and should be seen by every single citizen of the United States of America, man, woman and child.
At a public hearing on proposed gun control legislation, Manuel Martinez, a man who escaped Cuba in 1962 after opposing Fidel Castro and being imprisoned for it, blasts Oregon gun control lawmakers in an impassioned speech that only someone that has lived through communism and Marxism, only someone that watched innocent men, women and children murdered by their own government, only someone that fought against his whole country being enslaved by a dictator, can give.
He continues, saying "Marxism is not coming, Marxism is here! Marxism has been in this country for quite a while now. And the politicians allow that because they are ignorant or they're part of the plot!"
“Don’t sell me this. A very powerful man tried to sell me this 50-something years ago, I didn’t buy it, do you think I am going to buy it now after pushing 80 years?" Martinez said. “This is Marxism, plain and clear.”
“They put this dog and pony show saying hey, we are going to protect you. No, what they did was enslave a country,” Martinez said. “They destroyed a country the same way that this country is going to be destroyed if we continue in this fashion. This is what you’re selling here!” Martinez said, holding up old communist magazines from Cuba and stating "This is what you selling here!! You are not selling protection! You don't care about if we die or live! THIS IS WHAT YOU'RE SELLING!!!
That is just a a portion of this man's statement, watch the entire video as Manuel Martinez speaks up and fights for your rights guaranteed to you under the US constitution.
The fact that an immigrant, a man who fled to the US to escape tyranny and a dictator like Fidel Castro, is willing to stand up, speak out and fight harder for OUR constitutional rights than half the people who were born free in America, says so much about how clueless some Americans truly are to how close to being totally enslaved we are at this moment in time.
Cross posted at Before It's News
Have you ever mourned for America? All over this country, there are tens of millions of Americans that still deeply love the United States and that are deeply saddened by how far this nation has fallen. Recently, I posted an article comparing the America of the 1970s to the America of today, and it [...]
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World of Resistance (WOR) Report, Part 1: The Global Awakening was originally published on Washington's Blog
Idar Helle is a researcher in the field of contemporary history, with a special focus on labour movements and industrial relations in Norway and Europe.
Recently, when visiting the Spanish state, I had the chance to hear some rather summary evaluations of Hugo Chávez’s practice and trajectory. I should note that they were opinions of leftists, most often people with an admirable communist formation. A common position was: From Chávez one can learn that you cannot do the revolution half-way.Or again: Chávez’s career shows that the bourgeoisie must not be permitted to coexist so freely with the working class during the transition.
There are many ways one can respond to such criticisms, which to be sure are not without a significant validity. One of them is to remind people that it shows a real loss of perspective to highlight only a leader and movement’s errors and forget its important successes, such as those derived from Chávez’s taking power in the first place (at a time when that idea was somewhat discredited on the left), his re-nationalizing PDVSA (the Venezuelan petroleum company), and his raising the then unpopular flag of socialism. Still, leaving aside the significant lack of perspective that these criticisms represent, there remains a different kind of error, which has to do with the skeletal notion of politics and political discourse they embody.
Imagine a doctor who insisted that the human being is mortal and therefore no medications or care can really save him, or an automobile designer whose only idea was that a car is a thing for getting from one place to another. The former, without having committed a logical error, would have brought his profession too close to that of the funeral director, whereas the latter would apparently not distinguish between a scooter and a city bus. Yet in many ways this reductive, bottom-line approach is how people think about politics today – for example, as simply representing the populus – without much interest in the manner in which it is done, nor in questions of style, to say nothing of questions of right and wrong.
The late Luis Villafaña once observed that Chávez, whenever he went to a place (for example in the traveling episodes of Aló Presidente), would begin to talk about the region, recite poems having to do with it. Essentially, he was trying to put the region on the map: Chávez wanted it to be a somewhere, its people to be somebodies. According to thebrilliant analysis of Toby Valderrama, Chávez was a kind of catalyst who allowed the population of a country that lives off the petroleum rent (in such societies work is generally undervalued and not related in people’s minds to achievement) to see themselves as agents and therefore capable of doing something. In his discourse they became inheritors of Bolívar, Zamora, Maisanta, and countless others.
Chávez tried to inspire people; impressively, he actually succeeded in doing so. Was this merely an affective part of his discourse and hence unrelated to real politics? I once wrote that the kind of inspiration Chávez proffered should be thought of in relation to the word’s etymology: to inspire is, literally, to breathe… life. The truth is that without living people, people who have decided to be or become, it is surely impossible to do anything, let alone anything political.
The contrary of being inspired is, of course, to lose morale. In fact, it would be hard for someone not living in Venezuela to understand the widespread “pérdida de ánimo” that has taken place following Chávez’s death. It is possible that recent changes in Nicolás Maduro’s discourse – now more carefully prepared and self-critical – together with the call for popular mobilization to combat the economic war will do something to change this. Otherwise the Bolivarian movement will have to find other means to keep the inertia and routine of urban life – the degrading objective conditions that are reserved for the majority in a modern class society – from mining its militants conduct, which has to be the basis of the process of change.
The kind of “bare bones” view of politics that I am questioning recently showed itself in another context. This was the crisis induced in the European left by the “Winter phase” of the Arab Spring. A sharp divide opened up among leftist intellectuals concerning the interpretation of the events in Libya and later those in Syria. Some adopted an ultra-defensist perspective that in its most extreme versions ended up celebrating Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad. Others, who later would be accused (sometimes with justice) of being “pro-NATO,” felt that more credit had to be given, at least in certain moments of their trajectory, to the rebel movements. In the Spanish language website rebelion.org, where some of the most heated disputes took place, John Brown hinted that the former group was so Manichean that it would have to disown José Martí for having opened Cuba to imperialism.
It would be quite difficult to fairly map the complex motivations and context of this whole debate. Nor is it my interest to try to do so here, but rather to illustrate something about the crisis and limitations of hegemonic political discourse. Though it seems a bit of a throw away, I am inclined to say that both sides are partly right, partly wrong. Let it be acknowledged that an intellectual who ends up coinciding with NATO obviously is on the wrong side. On the other hand, it remains a strict matter of fact – and this is the point I wish to make – that a political perspective which dissolves into a purely geostrategic view of things, as the defensist view sometimes did, is doomed to failure. Unless one takes into account the aspirations of people on the street, their sense of dignity, their lived reality and being, one cannot do any kind of politics, but especially not left-politics. This is because people on the street are the agents of left politics.
Put another way, the exclusively geostrategic view sees politics as a chessboard: a mere moving of pieces around as if all of us, at least in our minds, could be Metternichs or Bismarcks. Whatever support this view can offer to left politics, it cannot be the whole of left politics.
These days, thanks in a great measure to existentialism, one cannot read Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy without thinking that his question about being or not being is not simply a matter of living (biologically) or not but is rather about the decision to live deliberately and meaningfully. I say this because, in effect, “to be, or not to be” constitutes a basic (pre?)political question for everyone today; choosing the former is the only alternative to the dominant position which, as Peter Sloterdijk argues, is a diffuse cynicism. Hence, in our time, simultaneous with any serious political action, a collective has to decide to be or to become; often it must do so with reference to the concept of a nation or a people. (The Basque left, always interesting in this respect, has recently named its party Sortu (to be born), while its newspaper of some years is Gara (we are).)
In the “Afterword” to his Considerations on Western Marxism, Perry Anderson argues that Marx committed a series of errors because he underestimated the importance of the nationalisms that would dominate Europe in the second part of the 19th century (something Marx might have corrected had he lived longer). In our time, however, the left has frequently fallen into an even greater error: not understanding interiority, motivation, and identity. I take it that it was one of the great successes of Chávez that, with a discourse that cannot be reduced to any mere instrumentality, he sought to interpellate and elevate people – their being – in a fundamental sense.
Chris Gilbert is professor of Political Science at the Universidad Bolivariana de Venezuela.
Walberg has offered a welcome taxonomy of imperialism from its nineteenth-century genesis until today; he has given a plausible explanation of imperialism’s contours since the exit of the Soviet Union and Eastern European socialism from the world stage; and he has convincingly described Israel’s unique role in the continuing reshaping of imperialism’s grasp for world domination.
In the same vein, it is an exaggeration to portray Islam (or any other religion) as inherently anti-imperialist: in his words, “The unyielding anti-imperialist nature of Islam, its rejection of the fundamental principles of capitalism concerning money, its refusal to be sidelined from economic and hence political life…”
But Hamas is a creature of Israel which gave Hamas money, and more than 700 institutions, among them schools, universities and mosques. Even Rabin ended up admitting it, when I charged him with it, in the presence of Mubarek.
Hamas was constituted with the support of Israel. The aim was to create an organization antagonistic to the PLO. They received financing and training from Israel. They have continued to benefit from permits and authorizations.
Most Arab socialists and Communists have sought unity with organized Islamic anti-imperialist organizations, sometimes successfully, as with Hizbullah and Lebanese Communists. But on other occasions that trust has been brutally betrayed, as with the slaughter of the Tudeh (Communists) in the Islamic Republic of Iran.One of the objectives of the projects of imperialism in the Middle East is the establishment of states on religious grounds, which serves mainly Zionist plan to declare Israel a Jewish state for all Jews in the world, as well as the important results of pushing these religious countries to inevitably get caught up in sectarian conflict. And it necessarily creates strategic divisions and fragmentations of the Arab countries and brings the conflict between Sunni - Shiite, Muslim - Christian, Muslim - Jewish to replace the Arab-Israeli national liberation conflict, to replace the social class struggle among the peoples of the Arab countries, and to replace the struggle against authoritarian regimes allied with the imperialist global and international monopolies.
Kapital's weakness-- the labor theory of value-- is a materialist reductio ad absurdum, denying the 'value' of 'unproductive' labor (the elements brought to bear by the capitalist related to securing markets, research, innovations, factor management)...
The ijtihad-jihad process is in a sense just a more comprehensive version of Marxist praxis [by] emphasizing:●social unity rather than class struggle●the family and spiritual life rather than material production●evolution rather than revolution
O conclave do Vaticano elegeu o Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio como o Papa Francis I
Quem é Jorge Mario Bergoglio?
Em 1973 ele foi nomeado o “provincial” da Argentina para a Companhia dos Jesuitas.
Nessa capacidade Bergoglio foi o mais alto dignitário da Ordem Jesuíta da Argentina durante a ditadura militar liderada pelo General Jorge Videla (1976-1983).
Mais tarde ele foi nomeado bispo e depois arcebispo de Buenos Aires. O Papa João Paulo II o consagrou Cardinal em 2001.
Quando a junta militar abandonou o poder em 1983, o devidamente eleito presidente Raúl Alfonsin abriu um inquérito, a Comissão da Verdade, para investigar os crimes relacionados com que ficou conhecidos como a Guerra Suja – “La Guerra Sucia”.
A junta militar tinha sido encobertamente apoada por Washington.
O vice-representante mais importante de Kissinger na América Latina, William Rogers, o informou dois dias depois do golpe que “teremos que esperar uma quantia considerável de repressão, provávelmente muita sanguenta, dentro em pouco tempo.”…(Arquivo da Segurança Nacional, 23 de março, 2006)
Um grande julgamento foi ironicamente aberto em 5 de março 2013, uma semana antes da investidura do Cardinal Bergoglio como Pontífice. O processo sendo desenvolvido em Buenos Aires tem em vista:
“uma avaliação da totalidade dos crimes cometidos abaixo da Operação Condor, uma campanha coordenada por vários ditadores da América Latina, apoiados pelos Estados Unidos nos anos de 1970 e 1980, para caçar, torturar e matar dezenas de milhares de oponentes desses regimes militares”
Para mais detalhes veja Operation Condor: Trial On Latin American Rendition and Assassination Program By Carlos Osorio and Peter Kornbluh,,March 10, 2013.
(Foto acima: Henry Kissinger e General Jorge Videla (anos de 1970)
NÃO CLASSIFICADO 8/3/76
DEPARTAMENTO DO ESTADO
PARA: ARA – Harry W. Shlaudeman
ARA RELATÓRIO MENSAL( JULHO)
A TERCEIRA GUERRA MUNDIAL E A AMÉRICA LATINA
Os regimes militares do cone sul da América do Sul veêm-se
como tendo que pôr-se em ordem de batalha:
– de um lado pelo marxismo internacional e seus exponentes terroristas, e
– do outro lado pela hostilidade das democracias industriais que são enganadas pela propaganda marxista.
Em resposta eles estão se unindo no que se poderá tornar num bloco político de uma certa coesão. Mas, mais importante, eles estão juntando forças para erradicar a “subversão”, uma palavra que mais e mais vem se tornando num sinônimo de oposição não-violenta de esquerda, e de centro-esquerda. As forças de segurança do cone sul
– agora estão a coordenar mais estritamente suas atividades de inteligência;
– estão também operando nos territórios dos países uns dos outros em busca de “subversivos”;
– eles estabeleceram a Operation Condor para achar e matar terroristas do “Comité Revolucionário de Coordenação” nos seus próprios países, e na Europa. O Brazil está cooperando, mas não em operações homicidas.
A junta militar liderada pelo General Jorge Videla (a esquerda) foi responsável por incontáveis assassinatos, incluindo assassinatos de sacerdotes e freiras que se opuseram ao domínio militar que acompanhou o golpe patrocinado pela CIA, golpe esse que derrubou o governo de Isabel Peron, em 24 de março de 1976.
“Videla estava entre os generais que foram condenados por crimes contra os direitos humanos, crimes esses que incluiam “desaparecimentos”, tortura, assassinatos, e sequestramentos. Em 1985, Videla foi sentenciado a prisão perpétua, na prisão militar de Magdalena.
Wall Street e a Agenda Econômica Neoliberal
Uma das nomeações mais importantes da junta militar (como consequência das intruções de Wall Street) foi a do Ministro da Economia, José Alfredo Martinez de Hoz, um membro do estabelecimento de negócios, comércio e investimentos da Argentina; um amigo íntimo de David Rockefeller.
O pacote neoliberal da política macro-econômica adotada sob Martinez de Hoz foi uma “cópia-carbono” daquela imposta em outubro de 1973 no Chile pela ditadura de Pinochet abaixo dos conselhos vindos dos “Meninos de Chicago”- “Chicago Boys”; política essa imposta depois do golpe de estado de 11 de setembro de 1973, e do assassinato do presidente Salvador Allende.
Os salários foram imediatamente congelados, por decreto. O poder aquisitivo real no país caiu em colápso por mais de 30 porcento, nos tres meses que se seguiram ao golpe militar de 24 de março de 1976. (Avaliações do autor, Cordoba, Argentina, julho de 1976). A população argentina ficou repentinamente empobrecida.
Abaixo da direçäo do Ministro da Economia José alfredo Martinez de Hoz, a política monetária do banco central foi em grande parte determinada por Wall Street e pelo FMI, o Fundo Monetário Internacional. O mercado de câmbio foi manipulado. O Peso argentino foi propositadamente posto acima do seu valor real, o que levou a um débito exterior insuperável. Toda a Economia Nacional foi precipitada à falência.
(Foto acima: Da esquerda para a direita: José Alfredo Martinez de Hoz, David Rockefeller e General Jorge Videla)
Wall Street e a Hierarquia da Igreja Católica
Wall Street esteve sólidamente apoiando a junta militar que empenhava-se na “Guerra Suja” em benefício da mesma. Por seu turno, a hierarquia da Igreja Católica teve o papel, um papel central, de manter a legitimidade da junta militar.
A Ordem dos Jesuitas –que representava a Conservadora, mas no entanto a mais influente facção da Igreja Católica- estava intimamente associada com a elite econômica da Argentina, e isso contra os chamados “de esquerda” do movimento Peronista.
“A Guerra Suja”: Alegações dirigidas contra o Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio
Condenar a ditadura militar (inclusive suas violações dos direitos humanos) era um tabú na Igreja Católica. Enquanto os altos escalões da Igreja apoiavam a junta militar, a base popular da mesma estava firmemente contra a imposição do governo militar.
Em 2005 a advogada de direitos humanos Myriam Bregman entrou com um processo judicial contra o Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, acusando-o de conspirar com a junta militar quando do sequestro de dois padres jesuítas em 1976.
Alguns anos mais tarde, os sobreviventes da “Guerra Suja” acusaram abertamente o Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio de cumplicidade nos sequestros dos padres Francisco Jalics e Orlando Yorio, assim como nos sequestros de seis membros de suas paróquias, (El Mundo, 8 de novembro de 2010)
(Foto acima: Jorge Mario Bergoglio e General Jorge Videla)
Bergoglio, que na época era o “provincial” da Companhia dos Jesuitas, tinha dado ordens para que os dois padres, jesuitas, “de esquerda”, e oponentes do governo militar “deixassem seus trabalhos paroquiais”, o que quer dizer que foram despedidos. Isso acompanhando divisões na Companhia dos Jesuitas quanto ao papel da Igreja Católica em relação a junta militar.
Enquanto os dois padres – Francisco Jalics e Orlando Yorio – sequestrados pelos esquadrões da morte em maio de 1976 foram soltos cinco meses mais tarde depois de terem sido torturados; outras seis pessoas relacionadas a paróquia, pessoas essas que também tinham sido sequestradas na mesma operação, foram dadas como “desaparecidas”. Esses sequestrados desaparecidos eram quatro professores e dois dos maridos de duas das professoras do grupo dos seis.
De quando de sua libertação o padre Orlando Yorio acusou Bergoglio de efetivamente os terem entregue [incluindo as seis outras pessoas] para os esquadrões da morte … Jalics se recusou a discutir a queixa depois de ter entrado em reclusão num monastério alemão.” (Associated Press, 13 de março de 2013, ênfases acrescentadas).
“Durante o primeiro julgamento da junta militar em 1985, Yorio declarou: “Eu tenho certeza de que ele mesmo deu uma lista com os nossos nomes para a Marinha.” Os dois padres tinham sido levados para o centro de tortura da Escola de Mecânica da Marinha (ESMA na sigla inglesa) e mantidos lá por cinco meses antes de serem arrastados e jogados numa cidade dos subúrbios. (Veja Bill van Auken, “The Dirty War” Pope, World Socialist Website and Global Research, March 14, 2013)
Entre aqueles “desaparecidos” pelos esquadrões da morte estavam Mónica Candelaria Mignone e María Marta Vásquez Ocampo. Mónica Mignone era filha do fundador do Centro de Estudos Legais e Sociais, CELS, e María Marta Ocampo era filha da presidente das Madres de Plaza de Mayo, Martha Ocampo de Vásquez (El Periodista Online, março 2013).
María Marta Vásquez, seu marido César Lugones (veja foto) e Mónica Candelaria Mignone alegadamente “entregues aos esquadrões da morte” pelo provincial” jesuita Jorge Mario Bergoglio estão entre os milhares de “desaparecidos da “Guerra Suja” da Argentina, a qual foi encobertamente apoiada por Washington, abaixo da “Operação Condor”. (Veja memorialmagro.com.ar)
No decorrer do julgamento iniciado em 2005:
“Bergoglio [Papa Francis I] por duas vezes invocou seu direito abaixo da lei argentina de poder se recusar a apresentar-se em tribunal público, e quando ele afinal testemunhou em 2010 suas respostas foram evasivas”. “Pelo menos dois casos envolviam Bergoglio diretamente. Um examinava a tortura de dois dos seus padres jesuitas – Orlando Yorio e Francisco Jalics – que tinham sido sequestrados em 1976 em bairros pobres onde eles defendiam a teologia da liberação. Yorio acusou Bergoglio de efetivamente os terem entregue aos esquadrões da morte … do quando recusando-se a declarar ao regime que ele endossava o trabalho desses dois seus padres. Jalics recusou-se a comentar o caso depois de ter se retirado para um monastério alemão.” (Los Angeles Times, 1 de abril, 2005)
“Santa comunhão para os ditadores”
As acusações dirigidas contra Bergoglio em relação aos dois padres jesuitas e aos seis membros das paróquias dos mesmos, seriam sómente a ponta do icebergue. Conquanto Bergoglio fosse uma pessoa importante da Igreja Católica, ele não seria o único a apoiar a junta militar.
De acordo com a advogada Myriam Bregman: “As próprias declarações de Bergoglio provam que representantes oficiais da igreja sabiam, e isso logo do começo que a junta estava torturando e matando seus cidadãos” e ainda assim endossaram publicamente os ditadores. “A ditadura não poderia ter agido dessa maneira sem esse apoio chave,” (Los Angeles Times, 1 abril de 2005, ênfases acrescentadas.
(Foto acima: General Jorge Videla comungando. A data e o nome do padre não confirmados)
Toda a hierarquia católica estava apoiando a ditadura militar patrocinada pelos Estados Unidos. Vale a pena recordar que em 23 de março de 1976, na véspera do golpe militar:
“Videla e outros conspiradores receberam a benção do arcebispo do Paraná, Adolfo Tortolo, que também serviu como o vigário das forças armadas. No próprio dia da tomada do poder, os líderes militares tiveram um longo encontro com os líderes da conferência dos bispos. Quando ele saiu dessa conferência o arcebispo Tortolo declarou que mesmo que “a igreja tenha sua própria missão específica … há circunstâncias nas quais ela não pode deixar de participar, mesmo quando isso relacione-se a problemas da ordem específica do estado.” Ele fez mesmo pressão moral para que os argentinos “cooperassem duma maneira positiva” com o novo governo.” (The Humanist.org, janeiro de 2011, ênfases acrescentadas)
Numa entrevista conduzida pelo El Sur, o General Jorge Videla, que agora está servindo uma pena de prisão perpétua, por causa dos seus crimes contra a humanidade confirmou que:
“Ele tinha mantido a hierarquia católica do país informada quanto a “fazer desaparecer” oponentes políticos, e que os líderes católicos tinham oferecido conselhos de como “conduzir” a política de desaparecimentos.
Jorge Videla disse que ele tinha tido “muitas conversações” com o Cardinal Raúl Francisco Primatesta, da Argentina, a respeito da guerra suja do governo contra os ativistas da esquerda. Ele disse que também havia havido conversações com outros bispos líderes da conferência episcopal na Argentina, assim como com o núncio papal do país na época, Pio Laghi. “Eles nos aconselharam a respeito da maneira de como lidar com a situação,” disse Videla” (Tom Henningan, Former Argentinian dictator says he told Catholic Church of disappeared, Irish Times, 24 de julho de 2012, ênfases acrescentadas)
É de valor o observar-se, que de acordo com uma declaração do arcebispo Adolfo Tortolo, os militares deveriam sempre consultar com alguma membro da alta hierarquia católica no caso de “prisão” de algum membro nas alas mais baixas da hierarquia do cléro. Essa declaração foi feita especialmente em relação aos dois padres jesuitas sequestrados, dos quais as atividades pastorais estavam abaixo da autoridade do “provincial” da Companhia Jesuita, Jorge Mario Bergoglio. (El Periodista Online, março de 2013).
Em endossando a junta militar, a hierarquia católica foi cúmplice de tortura e de morte de massas, num estimado de “22.000 mortos e desaparecidos, de 1976 a 1978. … Milhares de outras vítimas foram mortas entre 1978 e 1983, quando os militares foram forçados a deixar o poder.” (Arquivo da Segurança Nacional, 23 de março de 2006).
O papel do Vaticano
Pio Langhi, o Núncio Apostólico do Vaticano na Argentina admitiu o conhecimento a respeito de tortura e massacrres.
Langhi tinha contatos pessoais com membros da direção da junta militar incluindo o General Videla e o Almirante Emilio Eduardo Massera.
O Almirante Emilio Massera, em próximo contacto com seus dirigentes americanos, foi o mentor “Da Guerra Suja”. Abaixo dos auspícios do regime militar ele estabeleceu:
“um centro de interrogatório e tortura na Escola Naval de Mecânica – Naval School of Mechanics, ESMA [perto de Buenos Aires], … Esse era um estabelecimento sofisticado, para muitos fins, vital ao plano militar de assassinar cerca de 30.000 “inimigos do estado”. …Muitos milhares dos prisioneiros da ESMA, incluindo, por exemplo, duas freiras francesas, foram de maneira rotineira torturados brutalmente sem misericórdia, antes de serem assassinados ou jogados de algum avião no Rio de la Plata.
(Veja foto acima: O Nuncio do Vaticano Pio Langhi e o General Jorge Videla)
Massera, o membro mais vigoroso do triunvirato, fez o seu melhor para manter seus elos com Washington. Ele participou no desenvolvimentoo do Plano Condor, que era um plano de colaboração para coordenar o terrorismo sendo praticado pelos regimes militares sulamericanos. (Hugh O´ Shaughnessy, Amiral Emilio Massera: Naval officer who took part in the 1976 coup in Argentina and was later jailed for his part in the junta’s crimes, The Independent, 10 de novembro de 2010, ênfases acrescentadas)
Relatórios confirmam que o representante do Vaticano Pio Laghi e Amiral Emilio Massera eram amigos.
(Foto: Almirante Emilio Massera, o arquiteto da “Guerra Suja” sendo recebido pelo Papa Paulo VI, no Vaticano)
A Igreja Católica: Chile vs Argentina
Tem valor por si mesmo o notar-se que nas águas do golpe militar no Chile, em 11 de setembro de 1973, o Cardinal de São Tiago do Chile, Raul Silva Henriquez, tinha condenado abertamente a junta militar liderada pelo General Augusto Pinochet. Em forte contraste com a Argentina, a posição da hierarquia católica no Chile foi eficaz em pôr freio as ondas de assassinatos polítiocs, assim como conter a extensão das violações dos direitos humanos cometitas contra os apoiantes de Salvador Allende e os oponentes do regime militar.
O homem atrás do ecumênico, e não-partidário, Comité Pro-Paz era o Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez. Logo depois do golpe, Silva… tomou o papel de “atores” – “upstander”, esse sendo um termo em inglês que a autora e ativista Samantha Power criou para distinguir pessoas que se levantavam contra a injustiça – muitas vezes a custo de grandes riscos pessoais – dos que denominava então, de “expectadores”.
… Logo após o golpe, Silva e outros líderes da igreja do Chile publicaram uma declaração condenando as ações dos golpistas e exprimindo dor e desgosto pelo derramamento de sangue. Esse foi um ponto fundamental de reversão para muitos membros do cléro chileno … O Cardinal Raul Silva Henriquez visitou o Estádio Nacional, e escandalizado pela escala da violência desintegradora, instruiu seus auxiliares a começarem a documentar os acontecimentos reunindo informação das milhares de pessoas que voltavam-se as igrejas, para refúgio.
As ações do Cardinal Silva o levaram a um conflito aberto com Pinochet, que não hesitou em ameaçar a igreja e o Comité Pro-Paz (Taking a Stand Against Pinochet: The Catholic Church and the Disappeared – pdf)
Se a hierarquia católica na Argentina e Jorge Mario Bergoglio tivessem tomado uma posição semelhante a do Cardinal Raul Silva Henriquez, milhares de vidas teriam sido salvas, também na Argentina.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio não era, nas palvras de Samantha Powers um expectador, “bystander”. Ele foi cúmplice em crimes contra a humanidade, crimes esses que foram muito abrangentes.
O Papa Francis I não é “um homem do povo” cometido a “ajudar os pobres” nas pegadas de São Francisco de Assis, como retratado em côro pela mantra da mídia ocidental. Muito pelo contrário: os seus esforços durante a junta militar, consistentemente atacando progressivos membros do cléro católico, assim como os ativistas empenhados em salvaguardar dos direitos humanos, ativistas esses envolvidos em implementar programas contra a grande miséria e pobreza.
Em apoiando a “Guerra Suja” argentina, José Mario Bergoglio violou abertamente os próprios dogmas e doutrinas da moralidade cristã, dogmas e doureinas esses que dão grande valor a vida humana.
“Operação Condor” e a Igreja Católica
A eleição do Cardinal Bergoglio pelo conclave do Vaticano para servir como Papa Francis I terá repercussões imediatas em relação ao corrente julgamneto “Operação Condor”, em Buenos Aires.
A Igreja estava envolvida em apoiar a junta militar. Esse é um fator que irá emergir no decorrer dos procedimentos do processo judicial. Não há dúvidas de que lá haverá esforços para obscurecer o papel da hierarquia católica e a recente nomeação do Papa Francis I, que serviu como chefe da Ordem Jesuita da Argentina durante a ditadura militar.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio: O Papa de Washington no Vaticano?
A eleição do Papa Francis I tem grandes implicações para toda a região da América Latina
Nos anos de 1970, Jorge Mario Bergolio apoiou a ditadura militar patrocinada pelos Estados Unidos.
A hierarquia católica da Argentina apoiou o governo militar. O programa militar de tortura, assassinatos e “desaparecimentos” de milhares de oponentes políticos foi apoiada e coordenada por Washington, durante a “Operação Condor”, da CIA.
Os interesses da Wall Street foram sustentados através do gabinete de Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz no Ministério da Economia.
A Igreja Católica na América Latina tem influência política. A Igreja também exerce um controle sobre a opinião pública. Isso é sabido e compreendido pelos arquitetos da política exterior dos Estados Unidos, assim como dos sectores de inteligência dos mesmos.
Na América Latina onde governos estão agora desafiando a dominância dos EUA, se pode esperar – dado os antecedentes de Bergoglio – que o novo Pontífice Francis I, como líder da Igreja Católica na América Latina irá, de facto, desempenhar um papel político discreto e as encobertas, mas a favor de Washington.
Com Jose Mario Bergoglio, Papa Francis I no Vaticano – homem esse que fielmente serviu os interesses dos Estados Unidos no dias de apogeu do Generla Jorge Videla e Almirante Emilio Massera – a hierarquia da Igreja Católica na América Latina poderá mais uma vez ser efetivamente manipulada para underminar governos “progressistas”, ou seja, de esquerda, não só na Argentina (em relação ao governo de Cristina Kirschner) como também através de toda a região sulamericana, incluindo Venezuela, Equador e Bolívia.
A instalação de “um papa pro-EUA” ocorreu uma semana após a morte do presidente Hugo Chavez.
“Troca de Regime” no Vaticano
O Departamento do Estado dos Estados Unidos como uma questão de rotina faz pressão sobre membros do Conselho de Segurança das Nações Unidas com o fim de influenciar os votos pertencentes as resoluções do Conselho de Segurança.
Também como uma questão de rotina as operações encobertas assim como as campanhas de propaganda dos Estados Unidos são empregadas com o objetivo de influenciar eleições nacionais, em diferente países ao redor do mundo.
A CIA de maneira similar também tem tido uma longa relação encoberta de afinidade com o Vaticano.
Teria o governo dos Estados Unidos tentado influenciar o resultado da eleição do novo pontífice?
Fortemente envolvido em servir os interesses da política exterior dos Estados Unidos na América Latina, Jorge Mario Bergoglio era o candidato preferido de Washington.
Teriam discretas pressões encobertas sido exercidas por Washington dentro da Igreja Católica, pressões essas que direta ou indiretamente, poderiam ter caido sobre os 115 cardinais, membros do conclave do Vaticano?
Notas do Autor
No começo do regime militar em 1976, eu estava trabalhando como professor visitante no Instituto de Política Social da Universidade Nacional de Cordoba, Argentina. O ponto focal da minha pesquisa, nesse tempo, era a investigação dos impactos sociais das mortais reformas macro-econômicas adotadas pela junta militar.
Eu era professor na Universidade de Cordoba durante a onda inicial dos assassinatos, a qual também mirava membros progressivos da bases populares do cléro católico.
A cidade industrial de Córdoba, localisada no norte da Argnetina, era o centro do movimento de resistência. Eu fui testemunha de como a hierarquia católica, activa e de maneira rotineira apoiava a junta militar, criando uma atmosfera de intimidação e medo através de todo o país. O sentimento geral nesse tempo era de que a Argentina tinha sido traida pelos altos escalões da Igreja Católica.
Tres anos antes quando do golpe militar no Chile em 11 de setembro de 1973, o qual levou a derrubada do governo da Unidade Popular de Salvador Allende, eu estava trabalhando como professor visitante no Departamento de Economia da Universidade Católica do Chile, em Santiago do Chile.
Nas imediatas consequências do golpe do Chile eu fui testemunha de como o Cardinal de Santiago, Raul Silva Henriquez – agindo em nome da Igreja Católica - confrontou a ditadura militar.
Global Research (atualizado em 16 de março de 2013)
14 de março de 2013-03-18
Artigo em inglês :
Tradução Anna Malm – *Licenciatura: Economia e Psicologia; Bacharelado: Ciência Política e Economia.
Today is the day all Robert Langdon fans have been feverishly waiting for: the 115 voting cardinals of the Catholic church begin today their secret conclave to choose the successor to Pope Benedict XVI.
As Bloomberg puts it succinctly, "he who enters the conclave a pope exits as a cardinal" and it is notoriously tricky to try to handicap the papal vote. In processional next steps, the Cardinals will gather in the Sistine Chapel, hailing from as far as the Philippines, and may hold a single vote today with as many as four ballots on succeeding days. Politically, this conclave has been presented as a "struggle between cardinals looking to overhaul the Vatican bureaucracy known as the Curia, and those trying to maintain its influence, according to Vatican analysts. Electing a non-European, while a novelty, would not necessarily presage a change of course for the millennia-old institution shaken by the abdication of German-born Benedict. Pope Benedict XVI was chosen on the second day of the last conclave in 2005, while John Paul II was selected on the third day of the 1978 conclave." Realistically, it will be a free for all for the scandal-riven church, and it is very much an open question who the next pope will be.
So while we await the puffs of white smoke, courtesy of Bloomberg here are brief biographies of some of the men who may be in the running, based on betting websites and consulting Vatican watchers.
Francis Arinze (Nigeria):
Born: Nov. 1, 1932.
Arinze would be the first black pope and the first African pope for more than 1,500 years -- the last was Gelasius I, who reigned at the end of the fifth century and was from North Africa of Berber origin. A social and theological conservative, Arinze’s views on celibacy, women priests, homosexuality and contraception are considered close to those of Benedict XVI.
Christoph Schonborn (Austria):
Born: Jan 22, 1945.
The cardinal has guided Vienna through church scandals including allegations of priests using pornography and engaging in pedophilia. Considered a brilliant conservative theologian, he speaks French, English, Italian, Spanish and Latin, and has traveled widely on behalf of the Vatican, including trips to Moscow and Istanbul. He studied under Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, who became Benedict XVI, after becoming a priest at the age of 25. He is in favor of dialog between Catholicism and Islam, and was the highest-ranked church official to visit Iran after the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
Peter Turkson (Ghana):
Born: Oct. 11, 1948
Turkson, who studied theology in New York, is younger than Arinze and was called “one of Africa’s most energetic church leaders” by The Tablet, an influential British Catholic magazine, and in 2009 said that “if God would wish to see a black man also as pope, thanks be to God.” He has engaged with contemporary issues, including the global economic crisis by calling for more oversight of financial institutions and he has denounced the “idolatry of the market.”
Marc Ouellet (Canada):
Born: June 8, 1944
The cardinal from Quebec is an accomplished theologian whose writings were admired by Benedict, whose concerns about the modernization of the church he shared. “It would seem that, in the name of secularism, the Bible must be relativized, to be dissolved in a religious pluralism and disappear as a normative cultural reference,” Ouellet said in 2011 in his powerful role as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. Ouellet became a priest in 1968 in the very church that his father built in La Motte, Quebec. He later taught at a seminary in Bogota, Colombia and served as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, making him well known among Spanish-speaking clergy.
Leonardo Sandri (Argentina):
Born: Nov. 18, 1943
The man who announced the death of John Paul II to the world in 2005, is a native of Buenos Aires who was born to a family of Italian immigrants. He rose to the heights of the church hierarchy to occupy the third most-important position in the Vatican between 2000 and 2007 as de facto chief of staff to the secretary of state. He now has a lower profile as head of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. He has served in Madagascar, Venezuela, Mexico and the U.S. and as the Vatican’s representative to the Organization of American States.
Angelo Scola (Italy):
Born: Nov. 7, 1941
The Archbishop of Milan is the front-runner among the Italians, who until the 1970s had a virtual lock on the papacy. With Benedict he shared philosophical and theologian interests and his writings on a range of topics from bio-ethics to sexuality have been published in different languages.
Odilo Scherer (Brazil):
Born: Sept. 21, 1949
A Brazilian of German descent, Scherer is Archbishop of Sao Paolo and as such oversees 6 million Catholics in the country’s biggest archdiocese. In the birthplace of liberation theology, he struck a moderate tone by seeing worth in focusing on social injustice and poverty while reserving criticism for the movement’s “Marxism.”
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Our kids are being prepared for passive obedience, not creative, independent lives.
March 8, 2013 |
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The following is Part II of the transcript of a speech Noam Chomsky delivered in February on "The Common Good." Click here to read Part I.
Let’s turn to the assault on education, one element of the general elite reaction to the civilizing effect of the ‘60s. On the right side of the political spectrum, one striking illustration is an influential memorandum written by Lewis Powell, a corporate lawyer working for the tobacco industry, later appointed to the Supreme Court by Richard Nixon. At the other end of the narrow spectrum, there was an important study by the Trilateral Commission, liberal internationalists from the three major state capitalist industrial systems: the US, Europe and Japan. Both provide good insight into why the assault targets the educational system.
Let's start with the Powell memorandum. Its title is, “The Attack on the American Free-Enterprise System." It is interesting not only for the content, but also for the paranoid tone. For those who take for granted the right to rule, anything that gets out of control means that the world is coming to an end, like a spoiled three-year-old. So the rhetoric tends to be inflated and paranoid.
Powell identifies the leading criminals who are destroying the American free-enterprise system: one was Ralph Nader, with his consumer safety campaigns. The other was Herbert Marcuse, preaching Marxism to the young New Leftists who were on the rampage all over, while their “naive victims” dominated the universities and schools, controlled TV and other media, the educated community and virtually the entire government. If you think I am exaggerating, I urge you to read it yourself (pdf). Their takeover of the country, he said, is a dire threat to freedom.That's what it looks like from the standpoint of the Masters, as the nefarious campaigns of Nader and the ‘60s popular movements chipped away very slightly at total domination.
Powell drew the obvious conclusion: “The campuses from which much of this criticism emanates are supported by tax funds generated largely from American business, contributions from capital funds controlled or generated by American business. The boards of trustees at universities are overwhelmingly composed of men and women who are leaders in the business system and most of the media, including the national TV systems are owned and theoretically controlled by corporations which depend on profits and the enterprise system on which they survive.”
Therefore, the oppressed business people who have lost all influence should organize and defend themselves instead of idly sitting by while fundamental freedoms are destroyed by the Marxist onslaught from the media, universities and the government. Those are the expression of the concerns elicited by '60s activism at the right end of the mainstream spectrum.
More revealing is the reaction from the opposite extreme, the liberal internationalists, those who staffed the Carter administration, in their study called "The Crisis of Democracy." The crisis that they perceived was that there was too much democracy. The system used to work fine when most of the population was silent, passive, apathetic and obedient. The American rapporteur, Professor Samuel Huntington of Harvard, looked back with nostalgia to the good old days when “Truman had been able to govern the country with the cooperation of a relatively small number of Wall Street lawyers and bankers,” so that democracy flourished, with no crisis.
But in the ‘60s, something dangerous happened. Special interest groups began to try to enter the political arena and press for their demands. The special interests were women, minorities, young people, old people, farmers, workers. In other words: The population, who are supposed to sit obediently while the intelligent minority runs things in the interest of everyone, according to liberal democratic theory – and this is no exaggeration either. There's one group omitted in the lament of the liberal internationalists: The corporate sector. That's because they don't comprise a special interest; they represent the national Interest. Therefore their dominant influence in what we call democracy is right and proper, and merits no mention or concern.
The Paradoxes of Pope Benedict XVI
Posted on Feb 11, 2013
|Fabio Pozzebom / Agencia Brasil|
WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict’s resignation shouldn’t have surprised us as much as it did. As an institutionalist who believes in the Roman Catholic Church as the carrier of truth in a sinful world, he would worry a great deal about the impact of his own infirmities on the institution’s capacity to thrive.
He is a traditionalist who was nonetheless much affected by modernity. He would therefore not be troubled that he had to reach far back to find a precedent for papal resignation. He knows that a pope hobbled by sickness and weakness would be a dispiriting symbol in a media age.
Then again, perhaps his very traditionalism inclined him to this decision. After all, he wouldn’t have looked for only recent precedents. He’d have gone back through the church’s 2,000-year history and noted that several popes have abdicated—the most recent being Gregory XII, who left office in 1415. Father Tom Reese, a scholar of Vatican politics, points out that Gregory left at the request of the Council of Constance to help end the Great Western Schism. You wonder: Does Benedict see his resignation as an occasion for pulling together a very divided church?
I have always seen Benedict as a kind of neoconservative—not in his foreign policy attitudes but in sociological terms. Like the original neoconservatives of more than 40 years ago, Benedict was a moderate progressive before he became a conservative. He was pushed to the right, as so many neoconservatives were, by a visceral reaction to the rebellions of the 1960s.
When I was writing a profile of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger for The New York Times Magazine in 1985, he granted me a written interview in response to questions that proved surprisingly revealing.The student revolts of 1968 deeply alarmed him. “At the time,” he wrote, “I was dean of the faculty of theology at [the University of] Tubingen, and in all the university assemblies in which I participated, I could notice all kinds of terror, from subtle psycho-terror up to violence.”
He described how he initially regarded Marxism as a potential corrective to certain strains of modern thought. But he came to identify it with “terror.” He added: “I think that in those years, I learned where discussion must stop because it is turning into a lie and resistance must begin in order to maintain freedom.”
From this, it’s possible to see how a one-time liberal became an ardent critic not only of Marxism but of liberalizing trends in the church, including the epochal reforms of the Second Vatican Council and Pope John XXIII. As Ratzinger put it in a famous series of interviews with the Italian journalist Vittorio Messori before he became pope, “one has encountered dissension [in the church] which ... seems to have passed over from self-criticism to self-destruction.” Benedict was thus intent on pressing the most conservative interpretations of the meaning of Vatican II.
Liberal Catholics (myself included) thus greeted Benedict’s election as pope in 2005 with concern. In the end, Benedict was somewhat less conservative than liberals feared—and somewhat less conservative than conservatives hoped. His most important encyclicals were decidedly progressive on economic matters, and he put far more emphasis on God’s love than on his judgment.
The paradoxes of Benedict—and perhaps of Catholicism itself—were visible in two statements he made at Christmastime. Progressives could only welcome an op-ed piece he wrote for the Financial Times on Dec. 19 in which he declared that “Christians fight poverty out of a recognition of the supreme dignity of every human being, created in God’s image and destined for eternal life.”
Yet he followed this with a Christmas sermon denouncing gay marriage, insisting that that gays and lesbians were turning their backs on the “essence of the human creature” and denying “their nature.”
As Michael Sean Winters noted Monday on his National Catholic Reporter blog, resignation was “the most modernizing decision Pope Benedict has taken,” since it emphasizes the responsibilities of a pope as a leader and not the “aura” of the papacy itself. His move opens up a period of soul-searching that Roman Catholicism badly needs.
Catholics believe that the Holy Spirit inspires the papal conclaves that choose successors to St. Peter. In prompting this much-needed debate now rather than hanging on to office and presiding as his energies failed him, Benedict has made what can be seen as an inspired choice that will give the church a chance to confront its crises—and its opportunities.
E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is ejdionne(at)washpost.com.
© 2013, Washington Post Writers Group
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Capital used to sell us visions of tomorrow. At the 1939 World's Fair in New York, corporations showcased new technologies: nylon, air conditioning, fluorescent lamps, the ever-impressive View-Master. But more than just products, an ideal of middle-class leisure and abundance was offered to those weary from economic depression and the prospect of European war.Although he did not explicitly use the phrase, Karl Marx is credited with explaining the 'creative destruction' of capitalism. (Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis)
The Futurama ride even took attendees through miniature versions of transformed landscapes, depicting new highways and development projects: the world of the future. It was a visceral attempt to renew faith in capitalism.
In the wake of the second world war, some of this vision became a reality. Capitalism thrived and, though uneven, progress was made by American workers. With pressure from below, the state was wielded by reformers, not smashed, and class compromise, not just class struggle, fostered economic growth and shared prosperity previously unimaginable.
Exploitation and oppression didn't go away, but the system seemed not only powerful and dynamic, but reconcilable with democratic ideals. The progress, however, was fleeting. Social democracy faced the structural crisis in the 1970s that Michal Kalecki, author of The Political Aspects of Full Employment, predicted decades earlier. High employment rates and welfare state protections didn't buy off workers, it encouraged militant wage demands. Capitalists kept up when times were good, but with stagflation – the intersection of poor growth and rising inflation – and the Opec embargo, a crisis of profitability ensued.
An emergent neoliberalism did curb inflation and restore profits, but only through a vicious offensive against the working class. There were pitched battles waged in defense of the welfare state, but our era has largely been one of deradicalization and political acquiescence. Since then, real wages have stagnated, debt soared, and the prospects for a new generation, still wedded to a vision of the old social-democratic compact, are bleak.
The 1990s technological boom brought about talk of a light and adaptive "new economy", something to replace the old Fordist workplace. But it was a far cry from the future promised at the 1939 World's Fair.
The 2008 recession shattered those dreams, anyway. Capital, free of threats from below, grew decadent, wild, and speculative.
For many in my generation, the ideological underpinnings of capitalism have been undermined. That a higher percentage of Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 have a more favorable opinion of socialism than capitalism at least signals that the cold war era conflation of socialism with Stalinism no longer holds sway.
At an intellectual level, the same is true. Marxists have gained a measure of mainstream exposure: Foreign Policy turned to Leo Panitch, not Larry Summers, to explain the recent economic crisis; and thinkers like David Harvey have enjoyed late career renaissances. The wider recognition of thought "left of liberalism" – of which the journal I edit, Jacobin, is a part – isn't just the result of the loss of faith in mainstream alternatives, but rather, the ability of radicals to ask deeper structural questions and place new developments in historical context.
Now, even celebrated liberal Paul Krugman has been invoking ideas long relegated to the margins of American life. When thinking about automation and the future of labor, he worries that "it has echoes of old-fashioned Marxism – which shouldn't be a reason to ignore facts, but too often is." But a resurgent left has more than worries, they have ideas: about the reduction of working time, the decommodification of labor, and the ways in which advances in production can make life better, not more miserable.
This is where what's evolving, however awkwardly, into the 21st-century socialist intellectualism shows its strengths: a willingness to present a vision for the future, something deeper than mere critique. But intellectual shifts don't mean much by themselves.
A survey of the political landscape in America, despite Occupy's emergence in 2011, is bleak. The labor movement has shown some signs of life, especially among public sector workers combating austerity, but these are at best rearguard, defensive struggles. Unionization rates continue to decline, and apathy, not revolutionary fervor, reigns.
Marxism in America needs to be more than an intellectual tool for mainstream commentators befuddled by our changing world. It needs to be a political tool to change that world. Spoken, not just written, for mass consumption, peddling a vision of leisure, abundance, and democracy even more real than what the capitalism's prophets offered in 1939. A socialist Disneyland: inspiration after the .
“Another grand, left-wing concept with an adjective… Shouldn’t we rather work on concrete social-ecological projects – on initiatives for conversion, a process of ‘energy transition,’ or free public transport?” Undoubtedly, many problems of the left have resulted from its tendency to create grand utopias and attempt to bring social reality in line with them. Transformation starts with concrete entry projects, but where does this road go to? What is the common ground, the common direction of manifold initiatives? Ultimately, we need an antidote to pragmatism – American activists call it a ‘vision.’
What does this imply for green politics? One of the core tasks of left-wing politics is to constantly work on connecting the social and the ecological question. The left is credible on the social question – and there are promising attempts to become more convincing on ecology, even if the mainstream media does not seem to notice this much. There is the notion of ‘social-ecological transformation,’ which belonged to the agenda of the green parties in the 1980s. Today, it is used from the left as a paradigm for the ‘mosaic left’ in formation. But how can we make sure that it remains rooted in a counter-hegemonic project? How far is the profile of the socialist left different from that of Friends of the Earth? It is surely right to build bridges between diverging approaches to social change, but in the process, contradictions are often covered up, and a debate on contentious issues like property and the state is avoided. In this article, we are experimenting with the concept of ‘green socialism.’ We want to discuss whether it could fill the void of a left-wing, ecological, feminist imagination.
If we consider the present relations of forces, the ‘green’ question does not appear to be a contentious issue – ‘socialism’ is what is controversial. The idea of ‘eco-socialism’ failed because its intervention coincided with deep ruptures in global history, namely the collapse of state socialism and the rise of neoliberalism. Socialism was no longer en vogue; it was seen as an ossified and defeated project. The eco-socialist current of the left shrank into a friendly cult, which emphasized what ought to be but rarely intervened in concrete social-ecological struggles. Around the same time, green issues became fashionable, not least because of the 1992 global summit in Rio de Janeiro. There was a “passive revolution” (Gramsci) divorcing the ecological from the social question. The ecological question was absorbed into neoliberal strategies of managing globalization. This happened through the institutionalization of environmental policy and global climate summits, as well as through the integration of green parties and NGOs into mainstream politics. From an ecological standpoint, the successes of the passive revolution were limited; there is an unbroken trend toward deepening ecological and social crises; the ecological crises have accrued considerable social costs and vice versa. Consequently, ‘green socialism’ has to be linked up with concrete struggles such as struggles over energy production and projects of conversion based on a ‘just transition.’
In the midst of the great crisis of neoliberalism and the authoritarian imposition of austerity throughout Europe, the prospect of a transition to ‘green capitalism’ (Fücks/Steenboom 2007; for a critique see Candeias/Kuhn 2008) or a ‘green economy’ (Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung 2012; for a critique see Brand 2012) raises the hopes of many people. The underlying political strategy focuses on channelling investment toward a process of ‘energy transition’ and kick-starting ecological modernization with the help of new technologies and an accumulation strategy that is supposed to create millions of jobs. The notion of a ‘green economy’ promotes growth and an increase in exports; it is not about limiting the use of resources. In contrast to older approaches, which were centred on ‘sustainability,’ it does not aim to overcome the contradiction between the economy and ecology. Rather, it advocates the commodification of nature and environmental protection, which means that the political management of the ecological crisis becomes a factor in, and a driver of, capitalist accumulation. In sum, the ‘green economy’ approach is about reproducing capitalist hegemony by taking on board ecological interests – it represents an elite consensus garnished with the vague hope that there will be a few new jobs.
Recently, the predominance of the politics of austerity in Europe has restrained the momentum behind the push for a green economy. And yet, there are debates whether the ‘growth components’ of the European Fiscal Compact should include incentives for, and investment in, ecological modernization. In this context, capitalist interests converge with those of social democracy and the trade unions (and this even applies to clearly left-wing appeals such as “Founding Europe Anew!,” which emerged out of the German trade union movement).
‘Green socialism’ is about taking a stand against – not for a long time realized – ‘green capitalism.’ The concept is about linking up a range of interests and movements in the name of “revolutionary Realpolitik,” ensuring that “their particular efforts, taken together, push beyond the framework of the existing order” (Rosa Luxemburg, Marxist Theory and the Proletariat). In the process, many of the old socialist themes – e.g., redistribution, power and property, planning and democracy – are updated and linked up with new issues. It is necessary to link ‘green socialism’ to real contradictions and conditions – to real social forces and movements that are tackling different issues, getting involved in different conflicts and developing concrete, experimental practices.
The Example of Redistribution
Redistribution is a key aspect of any kind of left-wing politics. It does not figure at all in the present conceptions of a ‘green economy’ and only plays a subordinate role in the project of a ‘Green New Deal’ even in times of austerity. This suggests that the issue is not taken seriously. For the German Green Party, softening the demand for redistribution is an act of “being straight” with the population, they say. From the neoliberal point of view, the debts of the financial institutions bailed out by the state have to be serviced. Social Democrats and Greens tend to go along with this: they want to regain the “trust of the markets,” which is why most of their party organizations in Europe have agreed to the ratification of the European Fiscal Compact. The pact will not only bring a new wave of ‘bottom-up’ redistribution, but it will also exacerbate the economic crisis and drive entire countries into depression. Importantly, it will not lead to a permanent reduction in debt.
It is necessary to discuss the illegitimate debt weighing down on many European countries. This issue requires democratic consultation and decision-making and serious attempts to design a procedure for a debt audit (cf. Candeias 2011b). A comprehensive cancellation of debt, comparable to a currency reform, would be needed – not just for Greece. This should be combined with a just tax policy based on forcing the capital – and asset-owners to contribute more to financing the public sector, which would be an act of returning some of the social surplus product to the general public. This would put a stop to processes of “bottom-up” redistribution and open spaces for a politics based on social-ecological concerns. The people in Europe are prepared for a political intervention along these lines because they are currently exposed to the existential threat posed by debt. Numerous forces from civil society agree to it, for example the CDTM (the Greek campaign for a debt audit, cf. LuXemburg 2/2012) and left-wing parties like SYRIZA and Izquierda Unida. These organizations intervene in the current wave of European protests against the effects of the crisis and demand a debt audit, the taxation of assets, a financial transactions tax, a levy on banks etc.
The Socialization of Investment
Over the medium-term, it is necessary to socialize the investment function, which is an old Keynesian demand. Who in society should determine the use of (physical and social) resources, and who should decide which types of work are socially necessary? The market – purportedly the most efficient mechanism for the allocation of investment – has embarrassed itself. The over-accumulation of capital is regularly producing financial bubbles, followed by the destruction of capital and jobs. At the same time, the number of sectors of social reproduction that are deprived of funding and neglected until they collapse is constantly increasing. Childcare, education, environmental protection, the general infrastructure and public services are all affected. The “green economy” focuses on commodification and the market. Yet the market takes too long to resolve problems, and the big corporations behind “fossil capitalism” want to get a foothold in the “green economy” at the same time as keeping their fixed capital.
What is needed is financial regulation, the nationalization of “systemically relevant” banks, a network of public banks, and the introduction of participatory budgeting at all levels of society. The socialization of investment and participatory investment decisions are two of the preconditions for a left-wing and socialist project of structural transformation. ”
There will not be a smooth passage to a restructured economy: it is impossible to meet the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent and catapulting the entire economy from the 150-year old age of “fossils” into the “solar future” without ruptures and crises. If the transition is pursued with tenacity, it is unavoidable that some of the old branches of industry and their capital will come under attack, which in turn will trigger resistance. If the markets prove incapable of ensuring investment, this has to become, to a much stronger degree, a public project. What is needed is financial regulation, the nationalization of “systemically relevant” banks, a network of public banks, and the introduction of participatory budgeting at all levels of society. The socialization of investment and participatory investment decisions are two of the preconditions for a left-wing and socialist project of structural transformation. Without them, the gains made through successful policies of redistribution can be reversed easily.
Reclaiming the Public Sphere
It is necessary to transform the mode of production and living. This should not be done through the commodification and privatization of natural resources, but through the preservation of the universal and public character of the natural commons and other public goods, and through the expansion of collective public services that are cheap and eventually free. For example, free public transport networks should be expanded while subsidies for car-makers should be stopped. Green socialism focuses on the public sector; it is about “remunicipalizing” key parts of the infrastructure and guaranteeing democratic decision-making on issues concerning the transformation of the mode of production and consumption. Moreover, it is based on promoting collective forms of consumption rooted in the social infrastructure and universal, solidarity-based forms of social security. Demanding their expansion would also allow us to respond to the fixation of some left-wing trade unionists on wage increases and material consumption – and would do so without forcing us to get involved in debates on the need to rein in consumption. Besides, an expansion of the public sphere not based on commodification would also amount to markets and processes of privatization being pushed back.
In contrast, the idea of a “green economy” favours technological fixes based on private property, for example large-scale projects such as Desertec, huge offshore wind parks, and monopolized, transcontinental super-grids for long-distance energy exports. Strong fractions of capital are already gathering behind the project. Their strategies undermine the potential for de-centralization inherent in the new technologies; they produce “false solutions” that create social-ecological conflict.
In light of this, the demands of social movements and local initiatives have started to converge with those of left-wing politicians operating at the local and the regional level. Both sides are fighting against attempts by big corporations to impose a process of “energy transition” from above; they are advocating de-centralized, local solutions, for example the remunicipalization of services of general interest and the establishment of energy cooperatives and bio-energetic villages. A variety of movements and groups are using the concept of “energy democracy” in order to create a shared perspective.
Focussing on Economies of Reproduction
For a successful socio-ecological transformation, it is necessary to focus on reproductive needs; existing, growth-oriented capitalist economies should be transformed into “economies of reproduction,” which know both how to limit themselves and to produce new wealth (cf. Candeias 2011a, 96). Sectors that are captured by a broad conception of “reproduction work” or “care work” would be at the heart of this transformation. There would be an expansion of needs-oriented social services such as healthcare, elder care, childcare, education, research, nutrition, environmental protection and others. In these areas, evrybody has been complaining about shortages for years; at the same time, they are the only sectors in the industrialized countries where employment is on the rise. They should remain under public control and should not be exposed to the market. This would be a contribution to the “ecologization” of the existing mode of production (working with people usually does not lead to environmental destruction), and to addressing the crises of wage labour and unpaid reproduction work. A process of transformation along these lines could contribute to shape gender relations in an emancipatory fashion.
This includes redefining and redistributing what we understand by “socially necessary labour” (4in1-perspective by Frigga Haug). This could be achieved by reducing labour time and expanding publicly funded, collective work processes. Such interventions are emphatically not about increasing surplus value, but about reducing the consumption of energy and raw materials, as well as assessing work on the grounds of its contribution to human development and the overall wealth in social relations.
In this context, it is important to see that the poor’s experience of being ruled and exploited by others coincides with the desire for participation and solidarity of the left-libertarian sections of the middle class. There is potential for a convergence of the demands of social movements critical of growth, feminist organizations, and service-sector unions like the German ver.di. Besides, the reorientation toward reproductive needs entails an economic shift toward domestic markets and production. Global chains of production have been overstretched for a long time, and they are wasting resources. This assessment should not be taken as a reflection of “naïve anti-industrialism” (Urban). It is motivated by the need to envisage an alternative production (the term used in the debates on conversion in the 1980s). It would be wrong to assume that continuing the export-oriented strategy of German car makers by promoting electric cars contributes to the emergence of an alternative form of production. After all, the production of the batteries needed for electric cars consumes considerable amounts of energy and raw materials and pollutes the environment because it involves a number of highly toxic substances. Moreover, the switch to electric cars does not do anything about the enormous use of space and the soil sealing caused by the construction of roads. Rather than talking about electric cars, we should discuss how the conversion of car makers into green service providers can be achieved, and how they can be transformed into companies dedicated to facilitating public mobility on the grounds of regionally rooted conceptions of transport.
Against the backdrop of such discursive shifts, trade unions like German metal union IG Metall, which are entangled in the export-oriented strategies of German corporations and in forms of “crisis corporatism,” could start to develop independent strategies. As a result, they would not constantly find themselves at loggerheads with other sections of the “mosaic left” – or appear as victors in a crisis that badly hits sister organizations in other parts of Europe.
A new focus on reproduction could trigger a process of economic de-globalization and re-nationalization. This would contribute to the reduction of current account imbalances and alleviate the pressure on countries in the global south to become part of global chains of production and policies of extraction. They would no longer have to accept the global flows of raw materials and the imperial way of life in the global north. In other words, spaces for independent development would emerge. This would have to be complemented by the development of global planning in the area of raw material and resources, which would guarantee a just distribution of wealth, limit consumption and address reproductive needs. In sum, an economy of reproduction means that people’s needs and the economy in general develop in qualitative not in quantitative ways.
Transformation is not an easy path but produces a lot of social problems. Therefore the great transformation has to be combined with a just transition. This entails the shrinking of some sectors (e.g., those with a high turnover of raw materials), and the growth of others (e.g., the entire care economy). In any case, economic growth should be de-coupled from material growth. Temporarily, qualitative growth is necessary. After all, various national economies have deficiencies in the area of reproduction, especially those in the so-called global south. As a result, it is counterproductive to operate on the grounds of a simple juxtaposition of “pro-growth” and “post-growth” positions. The recent debates in the global south about Buen Vivir (“the good life,”) and social-ecological modes of development that go beyond western life-styles transcend standard conceptions of growth and modernization. In this context, it also important to avoid false juxtapositions: “Development” and “modern” civilization are not problematic concepts as such. They become problematic once they are bound up with certain forms of capitalist (or state socialist) expansion and the corresponding social relations of nature. At the political level, we have to work on “translating” the experiences of actors from different contexts. This will create opportunities for linking up social-ecological and transformative struggles in the global south with those in the north.
Just transitions are about creating new perspectives for the people worst affected by the climate crisis. But they also take into account the situation of the workers, communities and countries faced with increases in cost of living and a fundamental restructuring of employment, which may be caused by the switch to renewables and the conversion of certain industries, for example the arms industry. In this sense, the initiatives for a just transition try to bring together the movement for climate justice and the labour movement. In any other scenario, social and ecological interests are either played off against each other or the interests of the working classes and of employees more generally (a better environment, a conscious way of consuming, more jobs) are simply not considered. These are some criteria for a just transition to green socialism: It should be assessed whether the measures taken contribute to
- a reduction in CO2 emissions;
- a drop in poverty and vulnerability;
- a decline in income inequality and other forms of inequality;
- the creation of jobs and the promotion of “good work”; and
- the democratic participation of individuals.
Obviously, this list can be extended endlessly. Nevertheless, these points are crucial for developing a provisional method of quantitative evaluation, which can be used for political interventions.
The need to instigate quick structural change under conditions of “time pressure” (Schumann 2011) also means that it is necessary to phase in participative planning, consultas populares, people’s planning processes and decentralized democratic councils. (The introduction of regional councils formed part of the recent German debate on the crisis of car manufacturing and the export industries, cf. IG Metall Esslingen 2009, Lötzer 2010, Candeias/Röttger 2009). There are some historical instances where planning proved highly effective in bringing about social change that had to be achieved quickly (e.g., the New Deal in the U.S. in the 1930s and 40s). Joseph Schumpeter was passionately in favour of the “creative destruction” caused by capitalism; nevertheless, even he spoke of the “superiority of the socialist central plan” (1942, 310ff). Considering the need for a quick transition, socialists have a strong case for planning – but this time it should be participatory planning (Williamson 2010). This approach to planning is the only one capable of establishing a mode of societalization that breaks with the obsolete relations of power and property in capitalism. In the light of negative experiences with authoritarian and centralized planning mechanisms, experimenting with participatory planning at the regional level might be the right entry point. Another potential entry point is the democratization and decentralization of existing transregional processes of planning, for example in healthcare, energy, the railways, education etc. The global allocation of raw material and resources is a more difficult issue: it seems hard to envisage the democratization of the modes of planning used by international organizations and transnational corporations.
The crisis of representation and legitimacy of the political system is in many ways linked to the fact that the political system does not take into account the essential needs of the people, and that they are not invited to participate in decision-making. The public sphere should be extended with the aim of creating a “provision economy,” but this should be accompanied by the radical democratization of the state. The ‘benevolent,’ paternalistic and patriarchal welfare state from Fordist times; authoritarian state socialism; the neoliberal restructuring of public services on the grounds of the principles of competition and managerial efficiency – none of these ventures had an emancipatory character. A left-wing state project has to instigate the extension of participation and transparency demanded by the new movements for democracy and to work for the absorption of the state into civil society, as Gramsci put it. Participation does not just mean that people are able to voice their opinion, but that they are able to influence decision-making. This is where the movement against Stuttgart 21 converges with Occupy and the [email protected] The authoritarian-neoliberal mode of crisis management, in contrast, is at odds with this principle.
Yet democratization is not just about the public dimension of the state, but also about the economy. Today, there are serious doubts about the socio-economic “contribution” of management strategies based on shareholder value. This is due to their short-termism and their part in the financial crisis, in excessive remuneration for senior managers, tax evasion, mass redundancies and environmental destruction. Similarly, the classic forms of firm-level co-determination have proven incapable of challenging the pressure of transnational competition and of the dominance of finance. Sometimes, co-determination bodies became entangled in practices of collaboration and corruption. Therefore, it is time for a democratization of the economy that goes beyond co-determination and the in-depth participation of employees, trade unions, the consumers and the wider population in firm-level decision-making (along the lines of the entire transnational chain of production).
It is vital that all the mechanisms discussed become part of a wider project that amplifies collective agency. In other words, they should enable individuals to become the protagonists of their own (hi)stories. It is “the task of every one of us to unify the divergent” (Peter Weiss  1983, 204). The resulting association should be seen as a political association – as a left-in-transformation, which is aware of the fact that its political goals can only be achieved through fierce struggles (Goldschmidt et al. 2008, 836ff). •
Translated from the German by Alexander Gallas.
Mario Candeias is a political economist, senior researcher at the Institute for Critical Social Analysis at Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Berlin, and co-editor of the journal LuXemburg where this article first appeared (3/2012).
Brand, Ulrich, 2012, Schöne Grüne Welt. Über die Mythen der Green Economy, LuXemburg argumente series, no. 3, Berlin
Candeias, Mario, 2011a: Strategische Probleme eines gerechten Übergangs, LuXemburg, No. 1, 90–7
Candeias, Mario, 2011b: Schuldentribunal und grüner Sozialismus. Die Schuldenkrise politisieren, Mehring-1, 18. November.
Candeias, Mario, and Armin Kuhn, 2008: Grüner New Deal – kapitalistischer Weg aus der Krise?, in: Das Argument 279, vol. 50, 805–12
Candeias, Mario, and Bernd Röttger, 2009: Ausgebremste Erneuerung? Gewerkschaftspolitische Perspektiven in der Krise, in: Das Argument 284, vol. 51, 894–904
Fücks, Ralf, and Kristina Steenbock, 2007: Die Grosse Transformation. Kann die ökologische Wende des Kapitalismus gelingen?, Böll.Thema, no. 1, www.böll.de
Goldschmidt, Werner, Colin Barker and Wolfram Adolphi, 2008: Klassenkampf, in: Wolfgang Fritz Haug (ed.), Historisch-kritisches Wörterbuch des Marxismus, vol. 7/1, Berlin, 836–73
Lötzer, Ulla, 2010: Industriepolitische Offensive – Konversion, Zukunftsfonds, Wirtschaftsdemokratie, in: LuXemburg 3/2010, 86–93
Schumann, Harald and Hans-Jürgen Urban, 2011: Gespräch über Konversion und Mosaiklinke, in: LuXemburg 1/2011, 84–89
Schumpeter, Joseph A., 1942, Kapitalismus, Sozialismus und Demokratie, Tübingen 1987
Williamson, Thad, 2010: Democratic Social Planning and Worker Control, in: LuXemburg
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As part of the process of creating imagery in this video, the speech was edited for length. The whole speech is reprinted below. Sections in bold were omitted in the video. Once you've watched the video, we urge you to read the speech in its entirety.
Martin Luther King Jr.: "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam"
Sermon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church on April 30, 1967:
[The sermon which I am preaching this morning in a sense is not the usual kind of sermon, but it is a sermon and an important subject, nevertheless, because the issue that I will be discussing today is one of the most controversial issues confronting our nation. I'm using as a subject from which to preach, "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam."
Now, let me make it clear in the beginning, that I see this war as an unjust, evil, and futile war. I preach to you today on the war in Vietnam because my conscience leaves me with no other choice.]
The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war.
[In international conflicts, the truth is hard to come by because most nations are deceived about themselves. Rationalizations and the incessant search for scapegoats are the psychological cataracts that blind us to our sins. But the day has passed for superficial patriotism. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery. Freedom is still the bonus we receive for knowing the truth. "Ye shall know the truth," says Jesus, "and the truth shall set you free."]
Now, I've chosen to preach about the war in Vietnam because I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.
The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom [and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing, as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we're always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty. But we must move on. Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony. But we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for in all our history] there has never been such a monumental dissent during a war, by the American people.
Polls reveal that almost fifteen million Americans explicitly oppose the war in Vietnam. Additional millions cannot bring themselves around to support it. [And even those millions who do support the war [are] half-hearted, confused, and doubt-ridden]. This reveals that millions have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism, to the high grounds of firm dissent, based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Now, of course, one of the difficulties in speaking out today grows the fact that there are those who are seeking to equate dissent with disloyalty. It's a dark day in our nation when high-level authorities will seek to use every method to silence dissent. But something is happening, and people are not going to be silenced. The truth must be told, and I say that those who are seeking to make it appear that anyone who opposes the war in Vietnam is a fool or a traitor or an enemy of our soldiers is a person that has taken a stand against the best in our tradition.
[Yes, we must stand, and we must speak. [tape skip]...have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam.] Many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. [At the heart of their concerns, this query has often loomed large and loud]: "Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent?" Peace and civil rights don't mix, they say. And so this morning, I speak to you on this issue, because I am determined to take the Gospel seriously. [And I come this morning to my pulpit to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation.
This sermon is not addressed to Hanoi, or to the National Liberation Front. It is not addressed to China or to Russia. Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam. Nor is it an attempt to make North Vietnam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they must play in a successful resolution of the problem. This morning, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the National Liberation Front, but rather to my fellow Americans, who bear the greatest responsibility, and entered a conflict that has exacted a heavy price on both continents.
Now, since I am a preacher by calling, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision.] There is...a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I and others have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed that there was a real promise of hope for the poor, both black and white, through the Poverty Program. [There were experiments, hopes, and new beginnings.] Then came the build-up in Vietnam. And I watched the program broken as if it was some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war. And I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money, like some demonic, destructive suction tube. And you may not know it, my friends, but it is estimated that we spend $500,000 to kill each enemy soldier, while we spend only fifty-three dollars for each person classified as poor, and much of that fifty-three dollars goes for salaries to people that are not poor. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor, and attack it as such.
Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons, and their brothers, and their husbands to fight and die in extraordinarily high proportion relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in Southwest Georgia and East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly faced with a cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same school room. So we watch them in brutal solidarity, burning the huts of a poor village. But we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago or Atlanta. [Now, I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.
My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettos of the North over the last three years--especially the last three summers.] As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. [I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through non-violent action;] for they ask and write me, "So what about Vietnam?" They ask if our nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems [to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home,] and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without first having spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.
[For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence I cannot be silent. Been a lot of applauding over the last few years. They applauded our total movement; they've applauded me.] America and most of its newspapers applauded me in Montgomery. And I stood before thousands of Negroes getting ready to riot when my home was bombed and said, we can't do it this way. They applauded us in the sit-in movement--we non-violently decided to sit in at lunch counters. The applauded us on the Freedom Rides when we accepted blows without retaliation. [They praised us in Albany and Birmingham and Selma, Alabama.] Oh, the press was so noble in its applause, and so noble in its praise when I was saying, Be non-violent toward Bull Connor; [when I was saying, Be non-violent toward [Selma, Alabama segregationist sheriff] Jim Clark.] There's something strangely inconsistent about a nation and a press that will praise you when you say, Be non-violent toward Jim Clark, but will curse and damn you when you say, "Be non-violent toward little brown Vietnamese children. There's something wrong with that press!
[As if the weight of such a commitment to the life and health of America were not enough,] another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 1964. And I cannot forget that the Nobel Peace Prize was not just something taking place, but it was a commission--a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for the brotherhood of Man. This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances. But even if it were not present, I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. To me, the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I am speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the Good News was meant for all men, for communists and capitalists, for their children and ours, for black and white, for revolutionary and conservative. Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the One who loved His enemies so fully that he died for them? What, then, can I say to the Vietcong, or to Castro, or to Mao, as a faithful minister to Jesus Christ? Can I threaten them with death, or must I not share with them my life? [Finally, I must be true to my conviction that I share with all men the calling to be the son of the Living God. Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood. And because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned, especially for His suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come today to speak for them. And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. I speak not now of the soldiers of each side, not of the military government of Saigon, but simply of the people who have been under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. I think of them, too, because it is clear to me that] there will be no meaningful solution until some attempt is made to know these people and hear their broken cries.
[Now, let me tell you the truth about it. They must see Americans as strange liberators. Do you realize that the Vietnamese people proclaimed their own independence in 1945 after a combined French and Japanese occupation. And incidentally, this was before the Communist revolution in China. They were led by Ho Chi Minh. And this is a little-known fact, and these people declared themselves independent in 1945. They quoted our Declaration of Independence in their document of freedom, and yet our government refused to recognize them. President Truman said they were not ready for independence. So we fell victim as a nation at that time of the same deadly arrogance that has poisoned the international situation for all of these years. France then set out to reconquer its former colony. And they fought eight long, hard, brutal years trying to re-conquer Vietnam. You know who helped France? It was the United States of America. It came to the point that we were meeting more than eighty percent of the war costs. And even when France started despairing of its reckless action, we did not. And in 1954, a conference was called at Geneva, and an agreement was reached, because France had been defeated at Dien Bien Phu. But even after that, and after the Geneva Accord, we did not stop. We must face the sad fact that our government sought, in a real sense, to sabotage the Geneva Accord. Well, after the French were defeated, it looked as if independence and land reform would come through the Geneva agreement. But instead the United States came and started supporting a man named Diem who turned out to be one of the most ruthless dictators in the history of the world. He set out to silence all opposition. People were brutally murdered because they raised their voices against the brutal policies of Diem. And the peasants watched and cringed as Diem ruthlessly rooted out all opposition. The peasants watched as all this was presided over by United States influence and by increasing numbers of United States troops who came to help quell the insurgency that Diem's methods had aroused. When Diem was overthrown, they may have been happy, but the long line of military dictatorships seemed to offer no real change, especially in terms of their need for land and peace.] And who are we supporting in Vietnam today? It's a man by the name of general Ky [Air Vice Marshal Nguyen Cao Ky] who fought with the French against his own people, and who said on one occasion that the greatest hero of his life is Hitler. This is who we are supporting in Vietnam today. Oh, our government and the press generally won't tell us these things, but God told me to tell you this morning. The truth must be told.
[The only change came from America as we increased our troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept, and without popular support] and all the while the people read our leaflets and received regular promises of peace and democracy and land reform. Now they languish under our bombs and consider us, not their fellow Vietnamese, the real enemy. [They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps, where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move or be destroyed by our bombs. So they go, primarily women, and children and the aged. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They wander into the towns and see thousands of thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals.] They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. [They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers.] We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land and their crops. [We have cooperated in the crushing of the nation's only noncommunist revolutionary political force, the United Buddhist Church.] This is a role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolutions impossible but refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that comes from the immense profits of overseas investments. I'm convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered.
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our present policies. [On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be changed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway.] True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth with righteous indignation. It will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
[Oh, my friends, if there is any one thing that we must see today is that these are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wounds of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. They are saying, unconsciously, as we say in one of our freedom songs, "Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around!"] It is a sad fact that because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries. [This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has a revolutionary spirit. Therefore, communism is a judgment against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions that we initiated.] Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. [With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo, we shall boldly challenge unjust mores, and thereby speed up the day when "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the rough places shall be made plain, and the crooked places straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."]
A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies. This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing, unconditional love for all men. This oft misunderstood and misinterpreted concept, so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force, has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of mankind. [And when I speak of love I'm not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of John: "Let us love one another, for God is love. And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us."]
Let me say finally that I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America. I speak out against this war, not in anger, but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and, above all, with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as the moral example of the world. I speak out against this war because I am disappointed with America. And there can be no great disappointment where there is not great love. I am disappointed with our failure to deal positively and forthrightly with the triple evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism. [We are presently moving down a dead-end road that can lead to national disaster. America has strayed to the far country of racism and militarism. The home that all too many Americans left was solidly structured idealistically; its pillars were solidly grounded in the insights of our Judeo-Christian heritage.] All men are made in the image of God. All men are bothers. All men are created equal. Every man is an heir to a legacy of dignity and worth. Every man has rights that are neither conferred by, nor derived from the State--they are God-given. Out of one blood, God made all men to dwell upon the face of the earth. What a marvelous foundation for any home! What a glorious and healthy place to inhabit. But America's strayed away, and this unnatural excursion has brought only confusion and bewilderment. It has left hearts aching with guilt and minds distorted with irrationality.
It is time for all people of conscience to call upon America to come back home. Come home, America. [Omar Khayyam is right: "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on.]" I call on Washington today. I call on every man and woman of good will all over America today. I call on the young men of America who must make a choice today to take a stand on this issue. Tomorrow may be too late. [The book may close]. And don't let anybody make you think that God chose America as his divine, messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world. God has a way of standing before the nations with judgment, and it seems that I can hear God saying to America, "You're too arrogant! [And if you don't change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power, and I'll place it in the hands of a nation that doesn't even know my name. Be still and know that I'm God."]
Now it isn't easy to stand up for truth and for justice. Sometimes it means being frustrated. When you tell the truth and take a stand, [sometimes it means that you will walk the streets with a burdened heart.] Sometimes it means losing a job...means being abused and scorned. It may mean having a seven, eight year old child asking a daddy, "Why do you have to go to jail so much?" And I've long since learned that to be a follower to the Jesus Christ means taking up the cross. And my bible tells me that Good Friday comes before Easter. Before the crown we wear, there is the cross that we must bear. Let us bear it--bear it for truth, bear it for justice, and bear it for peace. Let us go out this morning with that determination. And I have not lost faith. [I'm not in despair, because I know that there is a moral order.] I haven't lost faith, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. [I can still sing "We Shall Overcome" because Carlyle was right: "No lie can live forever." We shall overcome because William Cullen Bryant was right: "Truth pressed to earth will rise again." We shall overcome because James Russell Lowell was right: "Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne." Yet, that scaffold sways the future.] We shall overcome because the bible is right: "You shall reap what you sow." [With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.] With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when the lion and the lamb will lie down together, and every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid because the words of the Lord have spoken it. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when all over the world we will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we're free at last!" With this faith, we'll sing it as we're getting ready to sing it now. Men will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. And nations will not rise up against nations, neither shall they study war anymore. And I don't know about you, I ain't gonna study war [no more].
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