The River

Monday, May 02, 2005

Regulated Resistance: Is it possible to change the system when you are the system?

by Charles Shaw
Newtopia Magazine

(excerpt)

This glaring policy disaster on the part of the leadership of the “anti-war movement” was discussed in an article by Virginia Rodino that appeared in Dissident Voice, “How US Anti-War Activists Can Help Topple the Empire”:

The first implication is to simultaneously build an anti-imperialist movement, as we build the anti-war movement. An anti-imperialist movement will situate within our present work US military endeavors since World War II, and give our movement a history and theoretical foundation which is today in a weakened state. Deconstructing imperialism will also allow our movement to identify with current domestic crises, and give us the theoretical tools to identify and build broad coalitions with the masses of working people in the United States who also suffer from imperialism through such projects as the War on Drugs, union-busting, the prison-industrial-complex, and the two-corporate-party electoral system.

The anti-war movement must develop an understanding that the war in Iraq is linked inextricably to the entire neo-liberal project. As New York Times’ columnist Thomas Friedman has unequivocally stated in an analysis cheerleading Madeline Albright’s State Department, "The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist—McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the builder of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps."


Rodino is a member of the UFPJ Steering Committee, and was compelled to put a disclaimer on this article clarifying the opinions stated therein were “solely her own.”

This omission of anti-imperialist rhetoric, and Rodino’s forced disclaimer, speaks volumes to the present political climate, where it is “suicide” to challenge the legitimacy of the Leviathan. Americans have watched the Democratic Party becoming more and more unabashed about their support for the bloated and ever escalating “Defense” budget, and have stood in befuddlement as Democrats come out of the closet in droves regarding their support for the war in Iraq and developing conflicts with Iran and Syria. Listening to Howard Dean, Hilary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Joe Lieberman, Joe Biden, Carl Levin, or even Barak Obama these days, one is hard pressed to differentiate between their rhetoric and that of the Neocons. Even ostensible “progressive” heroes like Barbara Boxer, John Conyers, Ted Kennedy, and Dick Durbin are mum on the Empire question.

And lest we all forget, the Democrats ran a pro-war candidate for President last year, and odds are they will run a pro-war candidate for President in 2008. This, to say the least, has presented a fundamental paradox within the “anti-war movement.”

UFPJ’s most notable achievement—the half-million strong march during the RNC—was done under the slogan, “We Say No to the Bush Agenda!” But it’s clear war is not just the Bush agenda, it is bipartisan Foreign Policy, as the Democrats have signed off on every dime Bush has bilked from the American people.

Comments:
I get a nervous tic when I see "deconstructing". That said, he's right about wars on the "them" du jour also being wars on us. This comment and the response from Shaw complement the article.

Good find and thanks.
 
I know what you mean, but I read "deconstructing" in a wholly useful, let's get to the root and show all the evil branches too. Appeals to the radical in me (which is constantly threatening to kick everybody else out).

Yeah, the discussion was nice. Back slaps all around.
 
Mark Twain
 
Mark Twain?
 
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