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Make the U.S. cry "Uncle!": A desperate exchange
by George Salzman
Email: george.salzman (nospam) umb.edu
Phone: (from U.S. 011-52)-9-514-8242
Address: Oaxaca, Oax., México
16 Apr 2002
How to confront the terrifying reality of today's world, an exchange.
12:40 am, April 16. My close friend Aram Falsafi sent a note that began,
"Hi George, Yes, I also believe that the concept of nation-state is a big part of the problem. The only detail here is that the Palestinians can't afford to wait for the abolition of the nation-state. How many generations more must live under
apartheid while we figure out how to redo the world order? . . . If this had been P.W. Botha or Slovodon Milosovisc, the place would have been put under UN control weeks ago. Instead, we're still selling Sharon arms. That is the failure of the so-called left as much as it is the influence of the Zionist lobby."
Aram was answering a note of mine. At 10:50 am, April 15 I had written, in part,
"The 'truth' is that a two-state solution is not a real solution. It may be a temporary expedient to fight for, which is the position of [Edward W.] Said and most other intelligent and humane people, but the very concept of nation-states must be seen for what it is, an ill-conceived and very damaging way to organize human societies.
"The state of Israel should be abolished, as should the U.S.A., and all nation-states. Local autonomy, as much self-sufficiency as can be achieved, and the practice of mutual aid, with elimination of markets and money -- all the mechanisms of measured exchange should be abolished. Capitalism, enforced by the nation-states, is literally the destroyer of everything that makes life
worth living. I deeply believe these things, which is why the struggles of small
communities in Oaxaca -- for their comunalidad y autonomía -- and of the
small Zapatista base communities -- are of such critical importance in my book.
And why the formation of local neighborhood asambleas in Argentina, the call
for them in Chile, and all the popular movements in Latin America that may
promote direct democracy also are so encouraging to me. We must get rid of the leaden Marxist blinders that allow one to see only the possibility of centralized power in the right hands as the solution."
5:31 am, April 16. I wrote again,
Hi Aram, Of course I agree with you. In fact, it's not 'just' the Palestinian
Arabs who can't wait, though they are under the gun and desperately need
relief. But sending in more troops is, as always, a bad way to deal with the
situation. You well know that the UN is practically under the thumb of the
U.S. What is really needed is closer to what is (hopefully) beginning to
happen in Latin America, a turning away from the U.S. The best 'solution' to
the immediate outrage (and the coming one in Iraq, and all the rest to
follow) is for the entire world to place a tough embargo on the U.S., along
the following lines:
1. A total ban on all oil shipments to the U.S. and its colonies.
2. Freezing of all U.S. assets in foreign banks.
3. Prohibiting all business activities with U.S.-based commercial,
industrial, and financial corporations, with CityBank #1 on the list.
4. Closing of all U.S. foreign embassies and consular offices.
5. Expelling all U.S. government officials.
6. Massive indictments of all C.I.A., F.B.I., State Department, etc.
employees (present or former) who are or were engaged in promoting the
terrorist activities of the U.S. government.
In other words, destroy the power of the U.S. to fuck over the whole
world in the service of capitalist goals. It's sickening to see the weak,
bullshit steps that one hears about. For example, Germany announces it will
not sell any more arms to Israel. What a challenge to U.S. capital! Germany
is going to voluntarily open up the market even wider to U.S. arms
manufacturers by withdrawing (temporarily) from the competition. Unless the
world gets off its collective ass and takes real actions (like the 6 listed
steps), all the wringing of hands, all the appeals to the commanding
politicians, all the moral outrage, all the massive demonstrations, all the
singing of 'Give Peace a Chance', all the drumming and dancing, and so on,
will be for naught as the juggernaut rolls on, ever deeper into the
Armageddon already in terrifying progress.
Of course it's just my fantasy. It may be right, but it won't happen.
Everywhere (with mighty few exceptions -- Cuba, Venezuela, maybe Argentina,
hopefully at some point Chile) the political and ruling class forces are
plainly in commanding positions and simply 'on the wrong side'. They are in
favor of capitalism, of greasing their own dirty pockets, whatever the cost
to other people. The forces of the wealthy will never rise to a moral
imperative. Only the great majority of people, most of whom are poor, will
ever make the U.S. (and the corporations for which it stands) cry 'uncle'.
This is my understanding of the reality of the world we are in. And that's
why I think we need to work for fundamental changes. The State of Israel
should be abolished, along with the U.S.A., and all nation states. And we
must turn away from money economies, from markets as they now exist, and
towards mutual aid as a basis for the economic life of the world's people.
In the meantime we have to try to stop the slaughter. You're right.
O.K. ¡Ya basta por el momento!