Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Masquerading As Agents For Change

In 2008, I cobbled together some discussions from comments on a now defunct blog that in 2006 had an incredible ongoing dialogue amidst the chaos of the second Bush/Cheney Administration. Titled American Psyche, my compilation admittedly lacks the context of the missing posts they were discussing, but they nevertheless contain some perhaps interesting and useful ideas.

Much of what we were talking about was focused on discussions led by Sara Robinson, a neo-liberal guest columnist hosted on Orcinus blog, who wrote about such things as fear-mongering.

At the time in 2006, the Democratic Leadership Council was setting Obama up to be the president-elect in 2008, by arranging for him to sell his soul to Goldman Sachs. Harper's magazine covered the deal, and traced it back to meetings in 2004, but 2006 was when Obama was first introduced to a national audience as the new golden boy.

With this as background, the Democratic Party network was funding fake grassroots groups like the Campaign for America's Future -- of whom Sara Robinson by 2009 was an up and coming pseudo anti-fascist -- with a two-pronged agenda. One, to promote the idea that Republicans were the equivalent of Nazis, and two, that anyone who didn't support neo-liberals wasn't worthy as citizens of full participation in public policy development.

As the Nazi theme faded as a hot topic, Ms. Robinson shapeshifted into a Hillary wannabe on climate policy, offering cover for corporate states planning to undermine civil society and indigenous nations at the climate change talks in Copenhagen. Her effrontery as a self-proclaimed visionary futurist was something to behold. If the incoherence of this capitalist activism sounds bizarre now, imagine our encounter at the time.

As it turns out, she apparently hasn't been writing anything for almost a couple years, which is just as well.With all the environmental, civil society and human rights corporate sycophants running around, though, I thought it might be good to talk about how the propaganda of this professional milieu I sometimes call capitalist activists influence public perceptions and policy regarding indigenous peoples. Sara Robinson may be defunct as a mouthpiece of the political status quo masquerading as an agent for change, but others like her abound.

The examples of her particular nonsense, nonetheless, are illustrative of the techniques of marginalization that help insulate the oligarchy and their institutions from social disapproval and civil indignation. The red-baiting and other anti-collectivist memes they propagate help legitimize the neo-colonial brutality toward the Fourth World we see worldwide, and characterizing the Fourth World as illegitimate obstructionists to progress is likely to accelerate with the concomitant depletion of key resources. While neo-liberals like Robinson are careful not to express their bigotry openly, their ideological arrogance serves the same purpose.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

God Hates Labor Unions

At the Reclaiming "America" conference held at City University of New York yesterday, my friend Chip Berlet presented his paper God Hates Labor Unions: Christian Conservative Anti-Collectivism from the Civil War to the Tea Parties. While unable to attend the gathering, I think I can still say something about Chip's thesis.

To wit, anti-collectivism in the United States -- whether mobilized against indigenous communities, labor unions, or socialists -- is rooted in the Christian, white, male privilege that accompanied the founding of the American republic. That privilege -- dependent on slavery, genocide and murderous attacks on organized labor -- in essence derives from the Golden Age of conservatism. Attempting to re-establish the conditions of that privilege by rolling back civil rights and undermining human rights is the primary motivation for mobilizing resentment under the banner of the Tea Party.

While religious racism plays an important part in this mobilization, the misanthropic objective of crushing all attempts to establish strong communities capable of resisting white, Christian tyranny transcends racism; indeed, it is an apocalyptic vision that dooms all humanity.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lessons Learned

As an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, perhaps I'm too close to the center's chair Rudolph C. Ryser to do his recently published book Indigenous Nations and Modern States justice in a review. That said, I am also familiar enough with Rudy's nearly four decades of work at the forefront of the world indigenous peoples' movement to make a statement about what readers are likely to find between the covers of his treatise.

As the principal architect of the study of Fourth World geopolitics, Rudy has worked alongside such notable indigenous leaders as former National Congress of American Indians president Joe DeLaCruz and National Indian Brotherhood/Assembly of First Nations chief George Manuel. From the establishment of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples to its successor CWIS, Rudy has been a key participant in the development of indigenous human rights around the world, and helped lay the groundwork for related discussions and declarations at the United Nations and regional bodies on all continents.

Having recruited, nurtured and socialized activist scholars he's mentored through the center's various programs, Rudy has facilitated an awareness and commitment among indigenous young people far and wide, and now, the lessons he has learned are available in what promises to be one of the most important indigenous issues publications of all time. His book is available from the publisher in hard cover and e-book, as well as limited edition paperback from the center.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Corrosion of Press Protections

As noted at Libya 360 Archive and discussed at Viva Libya, American and British journalists in Libya prior to the NATO bombings last year served as informants for NATO. While some may not see the significance of reporters from the AP, BBC, CNN and Fox working as agents or spies for an invasion force, others might rightly ask how reporters and correspondents in the future are to be protected from military violence when they can legitimately -- due to the misbehavior of these news organizations -- be suspected of helping to overthrow the countries they are reporting from.

After all the protections put in place since the second world war for news and relief agencies, those have all now been recklessly swept aside in the interest of US/EU imperialism.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Forgotten Refugees

As reported at Society for Threatened Peoples, seven thousand Bosnians in Serbia still live in refugee camps without adequate water, sanitation or electricity. Twenty years now since the war erupted between Serbia and Bosnia, survivors of the Srebrenica Massacre have yet to even start recovering from the trauma. With one million of the two million Bosnians displaced by the war still unable to return home, one has to wonder what it is the international community was trying to achieve.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?