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News ::
Beyond Polarization (english)
02 Apr 2003
Modified: 05:33:07 PM
The way the Bush administration and the mainstream media have justified the war on Iraq has polarized the American public, obscurring shared goals as well as real solutions to the root causes of terrorism and oppression. Recognzing our commonalities and our responsibilities is our best hope for attaining the security, stability, and freedom we all desire.
No matter where we stand on the war against Iraq, the vast majority of us would probably agree that security, stability, and liberation are worthy goals and that war is hell. But we seem to have forgotten our shared concerns amid the powerful emotions and adversarial self-righteousness incited by the Bush administration’s main justifications for the war: “national security”, “stability in the Middle East”, and “the liberation of Iraqis”. We are quick to either scornfully dismiss these phrases or blindly embrace them, pitting ourselves against each other as naïve peaceniks or zealous warmongers. But wait. Is anyone really AGAINST security, stability, and liberation? And how many people are really FOR war? When we let the administration and the media frame the way we think and talk about the war on Iraq, we lose sight of real solutions to the complex crises we collectively face. Instead of demonizing and attacking each other, we could join together against the root causes of terrorism and oppression. We could work together to change the conditions that generate hatred, insecurity, desperation and despair. How? By consuming less and conserving more. By ensuring the equitable distribution of goods and services. By protecting cultural and biological diversity. By becoming fair and trustworthy members of the global community. And by working hard for justice. Promoting liberation and democracy demands radical change, not only of other cultures, but of our own. WE must change. When we stop fostering the conditions that terrify and endanger us and start creating the conditions we desire, WE'LL be liberated, and we’ll be well on our way to realizing our dreams instead of our nightmares.
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Yes but. (english)
02 Apr 2003
Tovis,

I found this post very refreshing. I appreciate it a lot. Finally a post that is not a desperate polemic. But I agree with it only up to the word "How?"

I don't think that conserving more and consuming less are the solutions to all the oppression that is everywhere in the world today. Sure it would help but it's not the root of the problem.

We have a scarcity mindset, and think that we live in constant competition for resources, and that fills us with fear and anxiety. But do we really need to conserve more than anything else?

I think the roots of this scarcity is the hording by those who have the most power and money, and no amount of public service announcements for conservation will convince those people to give up their greed. They're too entrenched.

There is inherent conflict. There is no easy way out, I believe. It is a constant contest between the powerful few and the less powerful many. I'd like to ensure "equitable distribution of goods and services" as you write, but do you think the people who currently benefit most from the distribution of goods and services will relinquish it without a struggle?

Not to be overly dramatic, but that's the meaning of "No war but class war".

That phrase also occludes the deep racism and gender oppression and many other things but it still conveys an anti-war stance that is not simplistic anti-violence: "Don't fight THEIR wars. Fight for your own liberation."

I really appreciate your post, just want to add some teeth to it.