Tunisia on Fire: Self-Immolation to World Revolution. by Nozomi Hayase
This turn of events in Tunisia makes me happy. Or as happy as I can be in this hellish world in which I live my wasted, miserable life.
The following is an excerpt from the above linked-to article:
Until the world wakes up to the real players that dehumanize and take away citizens’ power, positive transformation of global society will not be possible. WikiLeaks, in its inherently transnational nature, has no allegiance to any particular country and their revelations have helped change governments in a number of countries. Just as the Tunisian revolt has global significance, the WikiLeaks awakening is also global with many people rapidly reaching the point of being fed up. It is no longer possible for governments to dismiss revelations of corruption by ridiculing the information or manipulating public perception. For example, the Tunisian government’s reaction in shutting down WikiLeaks revealed its weakness, just as with the US government condemning WikiLeaks while saying that Iran should be more transparent. These actions reveal the duplicitous and hypocritical nature of systems purporting to support democracy and human rights while acting more and more like a global police state. The offshore banking leak that was recently handed to WikiLeaks may expose some of the billionaires who are actually behind the worldwide economic swindle that is pushing ordinary people to the brink. To the question of whether Tunisia is the first WikiLeaks Revolution, it could be said that the only WikiLeaks revolution would be a global one. Perhaps Tunisia is a flash of light that is showing all the world what might be possible. This is the tip of the iceberg of Anonymous, WikiLeaks and the new global solidarity movements.
It is becoming ever clearer that common people have common interests and connection beyond outdated nation-states mediated by corporate interests. What is truly revealed by the Tunisian uprising is the emerging transnational solidarity movement. It was almost on Martin Luther King’s birthday that president Ben Ali was driven from Tunisia. It seems King was prescient in the words that he spoke nearly 50 years ago:
- These are revolutionary times. All over the globe, men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wombs 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.” – Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. A Time to Break Silence
I talk a lot about corporatocracy. It shouldn’t be hard to see why, even if it is, sadly, not so hard to see why other writers don’t. Everyone, it seems, wants to dominate the discourse. You don’t do that by embracing someone else’s unique jargon.
‘Corporatocracy’ isn’t my term. It was coined, to my knowledge, by John Perkins. And the reason that the term is important is solely because of it’s utility. If the revolution is important, which is the same as saying ‘If getting the yoke of oppression and exploitation off of the people, worldwide, is important’, then the enabler of that, namely our ability to communicate with each other across all geographical boundaries, is important. And if effective communication is important, then the language we use must be thought about. John Perkins, in “Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man” states that he was motivated to act by the thought that it was ‘words’ that motivated Paul Revere and his associates to throw off the British Empire. If words are important, then they need to be thought about.
I enjoy writing and getting a pat on the back for doing it well. That is not what I’m talking about. And when I started using the term corporatocracy regularly, it was because… I communicate aggressively, but also because it seemed natural, logical and obvious, once I understood what John meant by the term. For it was, literally, a bit of voice I otherwise would not have had, because it expresses what I, and others, see and think and might otherwise be hard pressed to express, or express easily.
Let’s get on with the revolution. The revolution is natural and good. When you squeeze the people, when you torture them and exploit them, then their rebellion against that is righteous. At least it is in my universe. But, as the Christian Bible states, “Unless Jehovah himself builds the house, It is to no avail that its builders have worked hard on it. Unless Jehovah himself guards the city, It is to no avail that the guard has kept awake.” -Psalm 127:1. Capitalists think they’re God. Isn’t that enough? In rejecting corporatocracy, must we, like the Biblical religionist who strains out the gnat, act like we are God, the way the corporacrats do, so as to gulp down the camel?
Man alone, deciding for himself standards of good and evil (which was the issue at hand as God contemplated the newly self-created Satan’s intentions toward the first human couple, prompting his admonition to Adam to not eat fruit from the ‘one’ tree of life in the garden), the way our first human couple wrongly chose to do when enticed by a crafty, fallen angel into being his first worshippers, doesn’t work. That’s why this madness, this hell we’ve created on earth, has been permitted. The God of light would now allow for the time necessary for this raised issue to be settled. Independence from the God of light, love and life doesn’t work. That’s what we, who are not robots, need to learn.
That rebellion in the garden of Eden, a bad rebellion, made it necessary. Jehovah could have just slain all the rebels back then and started again. But he has certain qualities and acts accordingly. He’s a God of love, for example, and we just happened to be in Adam’s loins when he, as a perfect human being, defected. We were innocent. We won’t see Adam again, incidentally.
The Christian Bible numerous times provides lessons about self-righteousness and haughtiness, namely defects that we are, due to inherited imperfection, now all prone to. Arrogant people often choose to believe that they are automatically right due to their superior intellects and they make that choice, really, because that’s convenient. If you’re going to be corrupt anyway, you might as well lie about what it means, since you now have to live with yourself. While you can rebel against the Creator, you can’t alter his design, ‘you’, without bad results. We were meant to be free and we were given marvelous brains and a desire to be creative. But there’s creative and then there’s creative and unwise. Mod yourself at your own peril.
Those who choose a path of darkness afterward have unquiet minds, for we must all live with ourselves and deal with our God-given concsciences. Those with disturbed minds, because of their moral choices, make trouble for those around them as they seek, hopelessly, in fact, to prove to themselves as much as to others, that they know the way. They can’t do it, which is why they never stop. They are always trying to feel good about themselves and they are unable to.
Those who embrace darkness naturally enjoy moral support, since they aren’t about to show humility sufficient to change course. And so individuals in darkness not only practice rationalization (in relation to specific dark deeds), and not only employ self justification (in relation to their overall dark course), but they also employ what I call self/world justification. They agree with, or justify, their own course of independence from the Creator, just as their dark neighbors do, and they are also agreeing with, or justifying, their dark neighbors’ course of independence and vice versa.
Dark-minded individuals, like vampires, stick together – for moral support and because it’s a good idea for practical reasons. And we must deal with them and their power and their thirst for our blood.
“For we do not dare to class ourselves among some or compare ourselves with some who recommend themselves. Certainly they in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves with themselves have no understanding.” -2 Corinthians 10:12
“Consequently let him who thinks that he is standing beware that he does not fall.” -1 Corinthians 10:12
“I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” -Jeremiah 10:23
Obviously, God doesn’t literally walk before us showing us where to go. Obviously, God doesn’t do that when we are doing mundane things nor when we are deciding on a spiritual path. If we wisely choose to allow it, then God goes before us only in the sense that as our designer, he knows what’s best for us and is there as a guide.
Therefore, Maybe God will be found to be supportively behind those now engaged in revolution against the corporatocracy in some places and maybe that revolution will spread and lead directly into the Armageddon that is coming and which will leave this planet to those willing to treat law and order not as a tool of domination and control, but as a tool for building a better world in which everyone enjoys peace and security and can find happiness. But God can’t support those who reject him, Can he?
There’s an elite view that as long as the system works for them, then it’s working, even if the numerical majority loses. My view, and hopefully that of the Tunisian revolutionaries and their supporters and well-wishers everywhere, is: If it doesn’t work for ‘everyone’, then it does ‘not’ work.
Well, With that out of the way; I was actually reading James Petras’s blog post on The People’s Voice about, well, the corporatocracy. Except that he wasn’t using the term. His post is titled “Networks Of Empire And Realignments Of World Power.” Corporatocracy, as John Perkins explains, is centered in America, just as the World Bank, the main engine of corporatocracy’s core operations, which involve subjugating poor countries through structural adjustment programs, is actually an American bank whose main beneficiaries are American-based corporations. “The power base of the corporatocracy is its corporations,” which, more than other realities, like national boundaries, “define our world.” For “the reality of our modern world might better be represented by huge clouds that encircle the planet, each symbolizing a multinational corporation. These powerful entities impact every single country. Their tentacles reach into the deepest rainforests and to the most remote deserts,” including regions like North Africa. (page 7 of “The Secret History Of The American Empire,” by John Perkins)
As Perkins points out, An empire is a nation state that dominates other nation states. It’s important to understand ‘how’ the U.S. tries to do that. It doesn’t just push other states around. It corrupts them. Generally speaking, The people of those states are not a part of this process, other than to say that they are victims of it. (And that fact, in itself, doesn’t mean that the people get a free pass with God.) If a national leader can’t be won over, knowingly or not, then he’s offed. One way or another, the American-centered corporatocracy will gain control over other nation states. For example, The American ruling class likes strong men in control of weak countries, however they can get them, for they can use them to keep the people in line. Obama recently visited India, praised that country and it’s ruling class and sold them weapons – while that government is using it’s military and police to murder and dispossess the vulnerable citizens it finds residing in areas where the government has memorandums of understanding with foreign mining companies! See Democracy Now!’s episode titled “Obama’s Wars, Poverty And India’s Maoist Rebels.” And so, In a sense, the corporatocracy empire almost isn’t an empire. It’s like one big state with different governors running them and the main state being the one where the architects of that system reside. Which isn’t to say that there isn’t rebelliousness among the states with one state engaged in criminal activity that the big boss doesn’t like. But rebellion is only righteous when it’s righteous.
The biggest sin that a national leader (under the control of the U.S.) can commit, as Chomsky so often points out, is ‘disobedience’ to Uncle Sam. That isn’t an issue when nation states are truly independent. I will sort of deviate, temporarily, in my narrative here. Reading Chomsky while trying to get an idea what he might think of the idea of corporatocracy is a fascinating exercise. One moment, he certainly appears to think like one who believes in corporatocracy. Then the next moment he appears to completely reject the concept, as when he shows how viciously the United States acts toward other corporatocracy states. Does an organism devour itself like that?
We must remember what kind of people comprise the corporatocracy. They are macho. They are without light and not really rational, even if they think they are. Chomsky’s book titled “Failed States – The Abuse Of Power And The Assault On Democracy,” presents a litany of self-destructive actions perpetrated by an out of control, bedarkened American ruling class. One example? While there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, as Bush and Blair knew there weren’t, there were labs where those could have been produced, eventually, since the Americans had supplied their ally, Saddam Hussein, with the materials to make them. When the coalition solidiers swept over Iraq, they were instructed to ignore everything except the oil industry facilities. Those labs were then open to looters who took full advantage.
“The official justification for the invasion was to prevent the use of WMDs that did not exist. The invasion provided the terrorists who had been mobilized by the United States and its allies with the means to develop WMDs – namely, equipment that the United States and others had provided to Saddam Hussein, caring nothing about the terrible crimes they later invoked to whip up support for an invasion to overthrow him. It is as if Iran were now making nuclear weapons using fissionable materials provided by the United States to Iran under the shah – which may indeed be happening, as Graham Allison points out.” -page 29 of Failed States
One wonders about the viciousness between nation states in competition for dwindling energy resources and markets and so forth when we read about seemingly contrary behavior by those same players. Take the United States knowing and willing supply to China of technology with which it can improve it’s own military. Isn’t China supposed to be a confessed future military rival of the United States? Or are both superpowers in need of this appearance and narrative for purposes of maintaining similar military industrial complex welfare schemes? I could believe that, and it doesn’t exclude the kind of accidental destruction that you could get from macho, unhinged rulers who wield too much power too uncaringly.
Here’s an excerpt from Democracy Now’s January 20, 2011 interview with William Hartung. It’s titled “Fifty Years After Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, A Look At “The Prophets Of War: Lockheed Martin And The Making Of The Military-Industrial Complex.”:
** AMY GOODMAN: Bill Hartung, just putting our military-industrial complex in a global context, the United States spends nearly as much on military power as every other country in the world combined. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, we spend six times more than the country with the next highest budget, which is China.
WILLIAM HARTUNG: That’s right. And despite that, of course, the Chinese threat is being waved at us as the reason to build new combat aircraft, new combat ships, even though for them to try to catch up with us would take probably half a century. And even then, it’s not clear it would happen, because it’s not like the United States would stand still. So this is really for power projection. It’s military bases all over the world. It’s the ability to intervene on whatever grounds—national security, humanitarian, however they want to dress it up. It’s really about being an imperial power, in many ways.
AMY GOODMAN: And yet, we just concluded—the U.S. government concluded a deal with China selling them how many planes from Boeing? I mean, we’re talking about weapons.
WILLIAM HARTUNG: Well, 200 airliners. But also, GE is giving them the electronics that can be used in any kind of aircraft—could be used in an airliner, could be used in a military aircraft. So, basically, they’re selling out U.S. technology for the short term and hoping it’s not used against the U.S. in the longer term. **
And, While I haven’t found anything in the alternative media looking specifically at news reports about China’s development of it’s own stealth bomber, based on it’s possession of American technology, that too certainly leads one to wonder just how independent China really is from it’s future main military rival. And if it’s not truly independent, at least the way we are led to believe it is, then what about other states that are not presented as being serious rivals of the U.S.?
Here’s a Project Censored report about U.S. corporations doing dangerous business with China, in accordance with the Clinton approach of delinking human rights from trade. It’s titled “Corporate America Spends Big $$ on Pro-China PR.” Clearly, The U.S. ‘is’ providing China with the means to rival it militarily, in the future, and economically, now. But the U.S. planners may be, in true macho form, imagining that China could never rival the U.S. sufficiently for it to be a genuine concern. U.S. officials talk about the threat of China but at the same time the people in charge oversee a pr campaign to make China seem like a worthy trading partner. I’m not sure what to make of it all. Perhaps planners realize that in this world with it’s zippity communications that everyone is tapped into, folks will learn soon enough that China is not truly independent and so, therefore, the scary image of a global, oppressive, mafia capitalist system with front-like nation states keeping the people fooled and distracted can be masked with an alternative narrative in which China is just not the sort of state that the U.S. need to feel threatened by afterall. Hence the willingness to do business with it, even business that transfers high tech and know-how which can be used to update weaponry and so forth.
In fact, That fits in rather nicely with what I’m seeing, which are a number of news article, varying in interesting ways in details, about the transfer of tech to China by accident, in some cases, and by individuals who simply betray their country for profit. Never, in the context of reporting on China’s military evolution utilizing foreign tech and know-how, is mention made of the deliberate transfer of such tech and know-how by large corporations. The need is to have the public see the negative consequences of China’s dependence on the U.S. (and any other advanced capitalist states it does business with) in a favorable light, or a light that isn’t unfavorable to corporations I should say.
* “China’s stealth technology may have come from downed U.S. fighter,” CP via Dusan Stojanovic and Slobodan Lekic, The Associated Press
* “Engineer sold stealth secrets to China,” by Associated Press
Did Chomsky get this right?:
* “China’s Growing Independence and the New World Order”
There are a few nation states whose leaders are not keen to behave and to get with the corporatocracy program. That doesn’t make them virtuous necessarily, except that when that reluctance involves listening to the people’s voices more than the voices of agents of the corporatocracy, then the people are the beneficiaries of that rebelliousness, a good thing – while it lasts. Think of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, who prefers to use his country’s oil wealth to lift his people up out of poverty rather than integrate his country’s oil industry into a system that is geared to benefitting a minority. While I’m at it, ‘Do not’ listen, solely, to what corporatocracy tools have to say about Chavez. Check out Eva Golinger’s fine article on that subject, titled “Settling The Record Straight On Venezuela And Hugo Chavez.”
‘After’ the corruption of national leaders, in some cases, and the installation of their corporatocracy replacements, in other cases, has taken place, you can then talk about a network at the nation state level. There’s a real corporatocracy octopus with real tentacles here, and each tentacle ‘is’ a corporatocracy state, for it’s leaders will now be taking orders from corporations and their powerful allies and those orders will involve taking steps (structural adjustment) to redesign their countries to make them totally business friendly and, in fact, an enemy of the people. Check out Noam Chomsky’s interview with Michael Shank titled “Chomsky Takes On The World Bank.”
And that is what Nozomi Hayase understands when, in the top of post excerpt, he writes : “To the question of whether Tunisia is the first WikiLeaks Revolution, it could be said that the only WikiLeaks revolution would be a global one.” If some of the people in some countries are more comfortable than other people in other corporatocracy states, then they are lucky, but not free. And not safe and not proof of a system that ‘works’. Venezuela and Bolivia are not properly a part of the corporatocracy and yet the corporatocracy still exists. You can’t say that two states are the world. But you can say that hundreds of states are the world. Anyway, The revolution indeed must be global, even if it must be even more than what my activist friends in Tunisia and my progressive associates elsewhere imagine.
James’s Petras’s article, which I think could be more carefully written and user-friendly, looks at these basic facts about corporatocracy, for which reason I was intrigued. Because I’m following the news, despite not having television (which I have no use for), and am aware that Tunisia is undergoing major upheavels, I happened to notice on the same blog the above article by Nozomi Hayase. And reading his thrilling account up to that passage that I provide here as an excerpt made an impact on me as a result of the state of mind I was in and the ruminations about the meaning of corporatracy I was having.
An excerpt from Petras’s article follows:
Empire-building is essentially a process of penetrating a country or region, establishing a privileged position and retaining control in order to secure (1) lucrative resources, markets and cheap labor (2) establish a military platform to expand into adjoining countries and regions (3) military bases to establish a chock-hold over strategic road or waterways to deny or limit access of competitors or adversaries (4) intelligence and clandestine operations against adversaries and competitors.
History has demonstrated that the lowest cost in sustaining long term, long scale imperial domination is by developing local collaborators, whether in the form of political, economic and/or military leaders operating from client regimes. Overt politico-military imperial rule results in costly wars and disruption, especially among a broad array of classes adversely affected by the imperial presence.
Formation of collaborator rulers and classes results from diverse short and long term imperial policies ranging from direct military, electoral and extra-parliamentary activities to middle to long term recruitment, training and orientation of promising young leaders via propaganda and educational programs, cultural-financial inducements, promises of political and economic backing on assuming political office and through substantial clandestine financial backing.
The most basic appeal by imperial policy-makers to the “new ruling class” in emerging client state is the opportunity to participate in an economic system tied to the imperial centers, in which local elites share economic wealth with their imperial benefactors. To secure mass support, the collaborator classes obfuscate the new forms of imperial subservience and economic exploitation by emphasizing political independence, personal freedom, economic opportunity and private consumerism.
The mechanisms for the transfer of power to an emerging client state combine imperial propaganda, financing of mass organizations and electoral parties, as well as violent coups or ‘popular uprisings’. Authoritarian bureaucratically ossified regimes relying on police controls to limit or oppose imperial expansion are “soft targets”. Selective human rights campaigns become the most effective organizational weapon to recruit activists and promote leaders for the imperial-centered new political order. Once the power transfer takes place, the former members of the political, economic and cultural elite are banned, repressed, arrested and jailed. A new homogenous political culture of competing parties embracing the imperial centered world order emerges.
Good luck Tunisia! Good luck to all those who care.