Part 2 of The Global Movement for Justice and the end of Oppression

Here is the my followup reply to Max Shields from Dissident Voice, per here. Max Shields’s words are in italics:

“Here’s where I think you move the argument too far. Yes, there is a complicity across the board with exceptions (from people of all color), but it does us no good to simply say that the machine that imposes empire is rooted in the colonies of America. New Orleans is such a colony, one of many. I cannot in all good conscience say that New Orleaners are the recipients of empire, anymore than the 700 miliary based colonies throughout the world that receive US remittances are in fact part of the oppressive machine. There is an important difference”

If there were no serfs there would be no king. We live in a neofeudal age, the age of corporatism. If there is no slave there is no master, because the slave acts as enabler for the master. The internal colonies of America are given special treatment due to actual democratic advances within a nation-state system. But with the rise of a single superpower, that superpower determined that it no longer needed to act democratically in order to woo international opinion it’s way. So the weak democratic elements that led to favoring internal American colonies over external colonies began to erode.

It’s the serfs as well as the king who keep the system going. If the serfs decide that the king will no longer receive the serfs’ bounty, he won’t. Many serfs will die of course in the aftermath of such a choice, but the king will also die and sooner than all the serfs will, since the emergence of a new king with more moderate policies will then occur in order to spare the lives of the remaining serfs (in order for the land as a whole to have more power than if the killing of serfs continue).

It’s completely true that black slaves played a large role in building the United States of America. But hardly anyone acknowledges the actual implications of that – which is that black slaves played a large role in building an empire of tyranny, terror, and mass murder. And now they want to reap the gains of such a criminal construct, instead of meting out justice.

As serfs they certainly didn’t choose for their masters to be imperialists, but they sure did keep giving the imperialist master bounties, didn’t they? And their “leaders” kept up the mantra of integration, of the desire to work their way up the criminal ladder, of the desire for wealth and to stand side-by-side with the mass murdering king himself. That’s what “equality” means within the American monster. The equal right to extort, coerce, and dominate the rest of the world.

It takes a brave serf to defy a king, and the history of black slaves in America is not a history of bravery (by and large). If it was the world would be a very different place today. Blacks mourn the death of Martin Luther King not so much because of his great leadership but because of the utter dearth of black leadership today. The serfs have lost their spine.

Serfs define kings, and black slaves (through chattel, wage, and neofeudal) have shared in the defining of the American monster.

“I do not think that New Orleaners perpetuate empire. As an American colony they are kept in receipt of remittances that reach but a few and are siphoned off by corporate elites. It is simply not fair to call a colonists racist or part of the heart of empire. They are peripherial at best.”

That’s like saying workers are “peripheral at best” within capitalist systems. It’s nonsense. Serfs are the heart and soul of every kingdom, and American serfs are no different. Even for those black Americans who have problems gaining a place as a wage slave, they serve a crucial role insofar as they hold a lower rung on the social ladder, and show those on a higher rung the suffering that waits for them if they get out of line. American progressives think they are sophisticated when they talk about poverty, never knowing or caring that it’s the different shades of poverty, “minor” differences in the social structure, that make all the difference. “Divide and conquer” is, sadly, understood far better by the masters than by those who claim to be helping the serfs.

What do you think the “American Dream” is, this thing that so many serfs care about and who are lamenting the death of? It’s about the gaining of wealth, of milk and honey. America is the “Land of Opportunity” – that is to say the opportunity for wealth. So it’s not surprising that those at or near the bottom of the American ladder would put their energies into climbing up that ladder instead of dismantling the system itself. In order to climb up a ladder there not only needs to be a ladder (the “American Dream” of upward mobility) but there also needs to be someplace to climb to, so that after all that climbing the person isn’t stranded at the destination. That “someplace to climb to” is filled with blood money extracted from American colonies.

“My point is that racism is essential to imperial empirism and it is true whether that colony resides within our outside the major empire – USA.”

No, it’s not true. Do you think the serfs of Europe were a difference race from the king? Do you really think if there was only one race on the planet there would be no imperialism? Imperialism and empire is about greed, about desire for power, not about racism. Racism is just a convenience, an easy way for divide and conquer to be maintained. End racism and all that happens is that American blacks move up that ladder.

Emotions are outcomes of social relationships, not causes of them. That is to say, if one plans to steal from and subjugate a bunch of people, it’s convenient for those people to be able to be identified by race. It’s extremely convenient – it’s a kind of skin-based uniform, so that soldiers immediately know who to shoot, for example. So that people know who to hate just by looking at them.

“All that said, racism in terms of the sanctity of life and the quality of life is what is very worrisome. When Americans, regardless of color, cannot empathize with the pain of Iraqi families who are suffering do to empire we have to acknowledge the universiality of this wretched condition.”

If the Iraqis were white there would be no increase in compassion among American whites. When a school bully extorts money he only cares about race if race plays a larger role in the school society – he really just wants the money and he seeks to get it in the easiest and cheapest way possible.

It may sound trite to say that the global division of race is based on convenience, but it’s true. White imperialists aren’t the way they are because they hate non-whites, they hate non-whites because they want a perpetual stream of wealth from them, and if this convenience wasn’t available they would extort even more from members of their own race.

Look at this another way – do you really think a capitalist machine stops and starts based on the race of the victim that sits on the assembly line in front of it? The machine just wants victims, and convenient victims makes for more efficient extraction, that’s all.

“To your issue of where change comes from, Brian, local change is the only meaningful change. It roots the change on a human scale that absolutely cannot be achieved from the top down (globally or nationally). To see such change across the globe or even just within the US landscape is a major challenge, but I think that the notion that we can have some kind of national or global transformationis nearly outside the realm of the possible. I can imagine a cataclysmic situation where human species is subverted across the planet. Within that context all bets are off.”

I don’t think we disagree here. The global democratic movement will link together many local movements. It will have to link them together otherwise it will fail. In order for people to support each other across the globe they have to be in communication, regardless of whether that communication is mediated or otherwise controlled in a “top down” or “bottom up” fashion.

5 Responses to “Part 2 of The Global Movement for Justice and the end of Oppression”

  1. mad dog Says:

    “There is (a) class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs. … There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.” Booker T. Washington, Former Slave, 1911

  2. briankoontz Says:

    That’s ridiculous, since it supposes not only that there are doctors to treat the disease but that they utterly fail at the treatment. The elite don’t care about oppressed blacks – they were the ones to oppress them in the first place. They didn’t end chattel slavery out of black complaints about the long hours, brutal treatment, zero wages, and hopeless condition, they did so because the northern economy was conflicting with the south.

    It’s an utterly racist argument to say that blacks would rather receive handouts based on past injustice than to take part in the broader economy. The truth is, they want both and they are getting neither. All injustice should be compensated for – that’s what courts of law are ostensibly all about – so if someone steals from you you can sue him. Libertarians aren’t against that, but talk of reparations for past theft and subjugation and suddenly they cringe and frown. It’s no surprise that the majority of the Libertarian Right is white and middle class.

    Reparations, just as other forms of justice, works on both sides. Not only do the victims get fair compensation, but the perpetrators get moral compensation – that is to say the crimes become absolved and the perpetrators are free of guilt – it’s the same process as fulfilling a prison sentence.

    Reparations are the way to heal the country.

    Here’s an easy analogy to Washington’s nonsense:

    Part of the Jewish Elite recently rampaged through Europe suing for Holocaust compensation. Ostensibly this compensation would go to the victims but the vast majority of it went into pet projects of these elite. So according to Washington this process of wanting reparations for past damages causes the Jewish people to take on the business of being aggrieved. But it’s all nonsense since the Jewish people have nothing to do with it – it’s merely a subset of the Jewish (and a few other) elite who are exploiting European guilt and running an extortion racket. Likewise, there’s always the potential for black elite to do the same thing regarding black reparations – and likewise this will have nothing to do with the black people.

    If someone burns your house down, rapes your wife, kills your children, and leaves, don’t you want justice done? Now let’s pretend this guy is walking around free and the justice system sees nothing wrong with it (in fact, encourages it and fully supports it). You have a choice – you can either commit revenge against the man and probably spend the rest of your life in jail at best, or you can work to receive justice – the justice that should have immediately occurred. And then some guy replies to a blog and says that you’re being aggrieved so that you can profit from it – and calls your aggrieved status a “disease”. Needless to say, your response to such nonsense would not be pleasant.

  3. mad dog Says:

    “It’s an utterly racist argument to say that blacks would rather receive handouts based on past injustice than to take part in the broader economy. The truth is, they want both and they are getting neither.”

    Notice how he only said certain blacks, not all blacks. It seems to me that he meant a fairly small, but loud minority of black people.

    “Reparations, just as other forms of justice, works on both sides. Not only do the victims get fair compensation, but the perpetrators get moral compensation – that is to say the crimes become absolved and the perpetrators are free of guilt – it’s the same process as fulfilling a prison sentence.”

    “If someone burns your house down, rapes your wife, kills your children, and leaves, don’t you want justice done?”

    Sure, but suppose we are talking about 150 years into the future, after that victim is long dead, and also the perpetrators?

    Should the country also be demanding reparations for murders, rapes and robberies that occurred before 1865 … reparations to be paid to the DESCENDANTS of the victims of those crimes?

  4. briankoontz Says:

    “Sure, but suppose we are talking about 150 years into the future, after that victim is long dead, and also the perpetrators?”

    Tell that to the 1.25 Million Iraqi dead, or the 3 billion people “living” on less than $2 a day within the American government dominated global economic system (or current blacks in America) that the victims of racism were just “150 years ago”.

    America was built and is sustained on capitalism, which in turn is fueled in part by racism.

    Even if there was no such thing as racism in today’s world there should be reparations. So let’s say in that example of your house being burned down, wife raped, child murdered, you had a living child. And let’s say you never receive justice in your lifetime. Are you honestly saying the only victim was the man? Or, let’s take the grandchild, who wasn’t born at the time of the crime. The scars that the child bears are passed to the grandchild, so he should receive reparations if that is who is alive at the time.

    Individuals do not exist on their own. There are family relationships, friend relationships, etc. whereby an event which directly affects one indirectly affects others.

    But all of that was assuming there is not ongoing racism. The reality means that not only was your house burned down, wife raped, and child killed, but that crimes against you are being constantly committed, with no availability of justice. So not only are reparations good for justice with respect to both victim and perpetrator, it’s the most effective means of stopping ongoing racism, because once reparations are established the whole point of racism in the first place (material gain) is annulled.

    “Should the country also be demanding reparations for murders, rapes and robberies that occurred before 1865 … reparations to be paid to the DESCENDANTS of the victims of those crimes?”

    Some key questions to answer regarding issues of reparations:

    “Has justice already been done?”

    “Is the exploitation/abuse/crime/subjugation continuing?”

    “What is the extremity of the crimes?”

    Obviously if justice has already been done (fair payback made, effective punishment meted, etc.) there is no need for reparations. Likewise, reparations are more important when the crimes are ongoing, although should be made regardless. Also, the worse the crimes the more important that reparations should be made, although only for truly trivial crimes (which are never discussed anyway) should reparations not be bothered with.

    Time introduces difficulties, which is why justice should be immediate whenever possible (a fair and speedy trial as the saying goes). Determining the effect of a past crime on a present human is challenging. The best effort is the most we can do.

    The best effect of reparations is to introduce law and international law as the governing force in the world. For any victim anywhere in the world to be able to present a case against whatever perpetrator exists (many of them powerful entities like states and corporations) and be judged on the basis of justice is very exciting.

  5. mad dog Says:

    ‘Tell that to the 1.25 Million Iraqi dead, or the 3 billion people “living” on less than $2 a day within the American government dominated global economic system (or current blacks in America) that the victims of racism were just “150 years ago”.’

    Those atrocities happened fairly recently. Most of the perpetrators are still alive.

    “America was built and is sustained on capitalism, which in turn is fueled in part by racism.”

    Feudalism, Fascism, Naziism, Tribalism, Socialism, and Communism also had variations of Slavery as well. But Capitalism overcame slavery partially by making it obsolete through inventions like the Cotton Gin, etc.

    ‘Some key questions to answer regarding issues of reparations:

    “Has justice already been done?”

    “Is the exploitation/abuse/crime/subjugation continuing?”

    “What is the extremity of the crimes?”’

    Perhaps the question that should be asked is whether or not justice can STILL be done after all these years.

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