cj#1087> Elan & global fascism

2000-04-26

Richard Moore

Dear cj,

How's that for a provocative headline?  How could the two
items be be related?  Stay tuned and it will all become
clear...

It all started when Bill Blum sent out the following message
to a long list of his contacts, with Subject: "Does anyone else
share my dilemma re the Elian case?"

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    My dilemma:
    
    I'm still upset at the police brutality here in Washington
    last week toward the protesters, particularly after they were
    arrested, and the violations of constitutional rights before
    and after the arrests.  And I get very upset when I read of
    various "law-enforcement" authorities smashing down people's
    front doors and intimidating, beating, and/or shooting the
    occupants, which happens on a regular, almost daily, basis in
    the land of the free, usually in a drug operation.
    
    But I was very pleased today to hear about the police breaking
    down the fence and the door of those Cubans in Miami,
    frightening people, pepper-spraying them, etc. and later the
    same with the protesters in the city, and arresting many of
    them.
    
    I'd be glad if any of you could convince me that that I'm not
    being hypocritical.  But I'm still glad about what happened
    today because, besides Elian being returned to his father, I
    can't stand those simplistic jerks in Miami who would have the
    world believe that the US is the epitome of freedom and Cuba
    the epitome of dictatorship, when both statements are far from
    reality. Perhaps they've learned something. I open the floor
    for discussion.
    
    Bill Blum 
    ------------------------------------------------------------


There were a range of responses. Here are some samples...

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    I don't know what I'm doing on this list, but since you asked:
    Yes, Reno's raid is giving me Waco flashbacks. There had to be
    a better way.  -- Barbeh
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    I don't really think you need to worry about being
    hypocritical in this matter. After all, there was really no
    comparison between the LEVEL and VARIED FORMS of force
    deployed by the DC cops and their U.S. Park Police allies
    against those demonstrating peacefully in DC against the World
    Bank-IMF on the one hand, and the Miami Cubans mobilized by
    the Cuban American National Foundation who were simply using
    Elian as a vehicle to demonstrate against Fidel Castro before
    the world's media camped out there. If Lazaro and Marisleysis
    Gonzales are upset that Elian was awakened and taken from the
    house at 5:15 a.m., remember they are the ones who awakened
    Elian in the middle of the night and made that bizarre video
    of him wagging his finger at the camera and clearly being
    coached by others in the room on what to say. -- Louis Wolf
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    I am not happy about anything that supports my view that if
    this country comes to government by terror, it will not be via
    fascism, which requires citizen organizations (SA, SS,
    fascisti, a mass Ku Klux Klan), not via military dictatorship,
    but via the ordinary, "legal", police: a police state. -- Bill Mandel
    ------------------------------------------------------------


My own response to Bill is below.

all the best,
rkm

============================================================================
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 18:03:23 +0000
To: Bill Blum <•••@••.•••>
From: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: re: convince me that that I'm not being hypocritical
Cc: "Bill Blum's list":;


Dear Bill & friends,

Thanks, Bill, for raising some important issues.  There
is the Elan case itself, which has all sorts of political
implications, and there is the fact of a creeping police
state, which deserves considerably more attention in liberal
circles.  Your specific issue had to do with hypocrisy, and
that's the issue I'd like to respond to.

I would frame your concern this way... "What is the _price we
pay when we compromise our principles for expediency?"  At
a psychological level the price, as you know yourself, is
hypocrisy - a compromise with integrity.  At a political
level, the price is one that can be measured.  One simply
needs to review the overall transaction, and look for the
bottom line.

We were presented with yet-another staged Media Circus (shades
of Rodney King, OJ, Thomas hearings, ...) and in the end we
applaud a midnight raid by armed INS thugs using gratuitous
violence against people in their own homes.  That's the bottom
line.

As several others have observed, there were far less dramatic
ways to obtain custody of Elan, and no reason to wait until
things had reached such a state of crisis.  What I am amazed
by, in our discussion, is the seemingly universal assumption
that all of this amounts to bungling and indecisiveness.  Why
do we so seldom consider the possibility that those who are
running things know exactly what they're doing? ...and that
from their point of view they have very sensible reasons?

In "Killing Hope" you talk about what running an empire means
_externally. There is an empire to run; it requires frequent
military interventions; the public is not supposed to know
that the empire exists; therefore most of the interventions
are 'covert' (ie, known to everyone involved except the
American people) -- and the rest are explained away by some
cover story or the other ("retoring order", "protecting the
downtrodden", ..).  If one listens to the shallow and
hypocritical cover stories, one might think U.S. foreign
policy is a sequence of bungles.  But as you show in your
book, it's not bungling -- it's the running of empire.  The
bungling, for the most part, exists only in the matrix of
media rhetoric.

Running an empire also has an _internal side, and under
globalization the front line of empire has crossed the Rubicon
and come home to America. Seattle and DC were microcosms. A
responsible segment of the population was saying, in a
non-violent way, that "enough is enough" -- and the regime
showed us how they respond to such a scenario: with
suppression and with co-option.. Order _will be maintained
with whatever force is necessary and without hesitation - that
message is perfectly clear. The global system is too important
to permit the citizens of Rome to interfere in its operations.

That's the suppression part.  The co-option part is all the
nonsense about 'reforming' the IMF and making the WTO 'more
transparent'. The only thing that's transparent are the lies. 
That which we complain about -- such as sweatshop oppression,
the destruction of the world's forests, and the
destabilization of economies worldwide -- those are the
_successes of the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO. Those are
their _missions.  That is how global capital is achieving its
next round of growth, and capital growth has long been the
driving force behind Western imperialism. Any change or
'reform' that is introduced voluntarily by the regime will
simply be a reorganization to achieve greater efficieny -- and
will have the side benefit of calming the domestic waters...
"Something is being done", we are supposed to think,
responding to media cues like so many sheep.  (William
Lederer, where are you now?)

Co-option will work for some, but an increasing number --
represented by those in Seattle and DC -- aren't having it
anymore.  A real movement is starting, and its prospects for
rapid growth are very favorable.  The police behavior has been
of great benefit to the movement thus far -- it has helped
coalesce movement identity and solidarity, it has brought new
recruits, and it has spurred the movement to build the
mutual-support infrastructures that will become the basis of
future collective action.

This may not be obvious to all of us, but it is certainly
obvious to those who run the WTO, call WTO meetings, and give
the local police chiefs their marching orders.  _They know the
movement is going to get more serious politically, and _they
know that police-state repression will be required to maintain
their power.  Oppressive regimes of various sorts have been
the means of managing third-world client states for centuries,
and the time has apparently come to apply those same methods
domestically.  That's what I mean by 'crossing the Rubicon'.

The staged Elan drama sends out a message, the same message
sent out from Seattle & DC.  That message is: "Expect to see
more of this... this is the way modern police do things." 
Supposedly a frog permits itself to be boiled to death -- as
long as the heat is turned up gradually.  I wonder what the
frog thinks about?  In our case we are given Elan to think
about, distracting us as _they push our society that many
degrees closer to being an outright police state, as William
Mandel observed in his comments.  From "bread & circuses" to
"dot-com & Elan" -- Have we learned nothing in two thousand
years?

_They have their global institutions in place, and have been
flexing their neocolonial interventionist muscles in Iraq,
Yugoslavia and elsewhere. They have been systematically
neutralizing the Bill of Rights with their 'Wars' On Crime &
Drugs, and they have been turning the police into a
paramilitary force.  As regards _us, their intentions are
clear: We can like it or we can lump it.

The new emerging movement, pre-existing efforts
notwithstanding, marks the beginning of the final struggle
between global capitalism and the people of the world.  The
'status quo' is no longer an option; Globalization has made
that impossible.  Either we let the project continue, leading
to a dictatorial global regime, or we do something about it --
in which case we have a great many options indeed.

No, Bill, this is not the time to applaud Gestapo tactics,
even though I know your heart is in the right place.

        First they came for the Communists,
        and I didn't speak up -
        I wasn't a Communist;
        Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up -
        I wasn't a Jew;
        Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up -
        I wasn't a Catholic;
        Then they came for me -
        And there was no one left to speak up.

Mussolini invented fascism, and its stated objective was to
turn control over to corporations, who would then 'make the
trains run on time'.  Fascism is the appropriate name for the
globalist regime we are being led toward, and it is time we
woke up to that fact.

best regards,
rkm
http://cyberjournal.org

============================================================================


To my response, there has already been a response:

------------------------------------------------------------
    I really enjoyed your response to Bill. I agree with you 100
    per cent. I'm finding too many progressives and liberals
    applauding that disgusting event in Miami. While agreeing the
    boy should have been returned to his father and knowing full
    well that community has held our Cuban policy hostage since
    the 60s, I don't agree with police state tactics (especially
    one week after being pepper sprayed in downtown DC- while
    covering the event as a journalist).
    
    I also did not agree with the religious tenets of the Branch
    Davidians, but think what the Government did would be called a
    major human rights violation if it took place in Kenya,
    Indonesia, China, or Cuba. Buried in the Elian case, is the
    fact that the Waco civil case is coming to a head (and no one
    is paying attention). The court hired a murky British
    contractor to study the film and they concluded no gun flashes
    were seen) -- perception management and diversionary tactics
    at work here.
    
    Then Seattle and Ruby Ridge. Your boiling frog example is
    perfect in describing what is happening throughout the
    country. The questionable polls also -- a corporate controlled
    coglomerate of media outlets produce these polls for their own
    (and the govenrment's ) purposes.
    
    Enjoyed your thoughts.
    ------------------------------------------------------------


============================================================================
Richard K Moore
Wexford, Ireland
Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance 
email: •••@••.••• 
CDR website: http://cyberjournal.org
cyberjournal archive: http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/
book in progress: http://cyberjournal.org/cdr/gri.html

                A community will evolve only when
                the people control their means of communication.
                        -- Frantz Fanon

                Capitalism is not the same as free
                enterprise - it is a very specialized
                ideology which holds the accumulation
                of wealth as the only economic value,
                and which demands that such economics
                dominate all other societal values.
                        -- rkm

Permission for non-commercial republishing hereby granted - BUT 
include and observe all restrictions, copyrights, credits,
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============================================================================

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