Rage Against the System: Why It Matters
by Stephen Lendman
Public anger in Egypt, Turkey, Palestine, Brazil, Chile, across Europe, in America against Wall Street, and elsewhere is real. It’s visceral. It’s deep-seated. It’s growing. It reflects what media scoundrels won’t explain.
Democracy’s more illusion than real. People get the best kind money can buy. Manipulated elections control things. Systemic rule is hardline. Progressive change is verboten.
Monied interests have final say. Corporate giants rule the world. Exploiting nations, markets and people for profit matters most.
Governments conspire with business to facilitate it. Popular needs more than ever go begging. People increasingly are on their own sink or swim.
Wealth, power, and privilege are hugely disproportionate. Wars on humanity rage. Freedom’s on the chopping block for elimination. Rule of law principles don’t matter.
Might makes right. Police state tactics assure it. They’re vicious. Things go from bad to worse. Humanity and planet earth are up for grabs.
Independent thought is verboten. Controlling the message is prioritized.
Most nations aren’t fit places to live in. Hardline governments keep things that way. Popular uprisings reflect discontent too intense to contain.
Public anger rages against systemic injustice. It’s exploitive. It’s predatory. It’s uncaring. It’s merciless. It’s untenable.
Immanuel Wallerstein envisions disruptive change. It’s happening in real time. It’s coming incrementally. Something different lies ahead. It could be better or worse.
We’re “in the midst of a structural transition from a fading capitalist world economy to” something new. That’s “the real battle of the next 20 – 40 years,” Wallerstein believes.
How things play out matter. Future prospects depend on it. Rage against the system is needed. People power works. Change comes bottom up.
Breaking free isn’t easy. Sustained commitment is needed. Struggles are longterm. Triumphs depend on keeping them. Waned energy is self-defeating.
Powerful forces want things that way. Media scoundrels march in lockstep. They support entrenched interests. They aid and abet state crimes. They support corporate exploitation.
They turn truth on its head. They substitute fiction for fact. They manipulate people to back what demands condemnation.
They glorify wars in the name of peace. They believe human and civil rights don’t matter. They’re suppressed for our own good, they say.
They champion might over right. They endorse neoliberal harshness. It’s polar opposite fairness, equity and justice.
A 19th century proverb is ignored at our own peril, saying:
“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.”
Egypt’s uprising is ground zero. It reflects the heart of today’s storm. Don’t expect media scoundrels to explain. Tragedy’s unfolding in real time. Generals unseated a sitting government.
Coup d’etat authority rules. A coup is a coup is a coup. It’s illegitimate. New York Times articles, commentaries and editorials don’t explain.
They endorse neoliberal harshness. They support technocratic rule. They call Beblawi’s prime ministerial appointment “a signal that the military-led transitional government intends to move forward with economic reforms and restructuring including reductions in the country’s vast public subsidies.”
They ignore greater harm coming. They’re mindless of extreme public pain. They’re dismissive of coup d’etat authority.
A July 10 editorial never once mentioned the word. It’s fundamental. It explains illegitimate rule.
Times editors fear potential civil war. Egypt’s military treads on thin ice. It’s transition plan leaves much to be desired.
There’s much “to be alarmed about,” they said. “Experts say it repeats many mistakes of the last transitionâ€¦.”
Ousting a sitting government matters most. Doing so puts a lie to democratic rule. Times editors don’t explain.
“Egypt needs to move from military control to an elected civilian government,” they said.
Egyptians chose one. Now it’s gone. Morsi and other Freedom and Justice Party officials are under house arrest. Junta power rules.
Democracy’s a convenient fiction. Nothing ahead suggests positive change. Times editors ignored what’s most important. So did columnist Thomas Friedman.
His writing reflects some of the worst hack journalism. It won him three Pulitzer Prizes. His books are best-sellers. He’s featured on corporate TV.
He supports imperial aggression. He’s no big thinker. He’s disingenuous. He’s shallow and it shows.
Journalism Professor Robert Jensen explained. He tells America’s privileged class what it wants to hear, he said.
He does it with “pithy-though-empty anecdotes, padded with glib turns and phrases.”
“He’s the perfect oracle for a management-focused, advertising-saturated, dumbed-down, imperial culture that doesn’t want to come to terms with the systemic and structural reasons for its decline.”
He avoids speaking truth to power. He ducks afflicting the comfortable. He “never goes very far beyond parroting the powerful and comforting the comfortable.”
Many others like him do the same thing. They show up often on Times pages.
On July 9, Friedman headlined “Egypt at the Edge,” saying:
Avoiding civil war is still possible. He left unexplained why perhaps it’s likely. He ignored longstanding grievances. He never once mentioned the word “coup.”
He focused on Ramadan’s holy month instead, saying:
“One can only hope that the traditional time for getting family and friends together will provide a moment for all the actors in Egypt to reflect on how badly they’ve behaved – all sides – and opt for the only sensible pathway forward: national reconciliation.”
“In the wake ofâ€¦.violent turmoil, it is no longer who rules Egypt that it is at stake. It is Egypt that is at stake. This is an existential crisis.”
Friedman and others like him avoid explaining what’s most important. Democracy in Egypt’s a four-letter word. It’s a convenient fiction.
Junta power rules. Generals make policy. Politicians serve at their pleasure. America has final say. Egypt’s capital isn’t Cairo. It’s Washington. It’s been that way for decades.
People power didn’t oust Mubarak. Strings were pulled in America. Morsi’s fate was similar. Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is right.
Longstanding grievances are real. Conditions now perhaps are worse than ever. Ousting Morsi was strategic. At issue is “pre-empt(ing) a popular revolution from taking place.”
In 2011, removing Mubarak changed nothing. Things went from bad to worse. This time won’t be different.
Appointed Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi explained. So-called economic reforms assure greater public pain. Popular concerns will remain unaddressed.
“We must create a clear understanding for the public that the level of subsidies in Egypt is unsustainable, and the situation is critical,” said Beblawi.
“Subsidies have exceeded reasonable limits, and take more than 25 percent of the budget.”
“People must understand that they must accept some of the consequences: the canceling of subsidies requires sacrifices from the public and therefore necessitates their acceptance.”
Widespread poverty, unemployment, and extreme deprivation turned Egypt into a tinder box. Doing so makes “popular revolution” possible.
Illegitimately changing of the guard aggravates things. At best, it may delay one. It won’t prevent it.
According to Friedman, “there is only one way for Egypt to avoid the abyss: the military, the only authority in Egypt today, has to make clear that (ousting) the Muslim Brotherhood (reflects) ‘reset.’ ”
It’s “for the purpose of starting over and getting the transition to democracy right this time.”
“(T)he job of Egypt’s friends now is not to cut off aid and censure, but to help it gradually but steadily find that moderate path.”
Jensen’s right about Friedman. He tells America’s privileged class what it wants to hear. He avoids painful truths. He’s well-paid to do so. Readers are best served by avoiding him.
Conditions in Egypt remain tense. Extreme violence could erupt any time. Public anger isn’t assuaged. Growing numbers of Egyptians deplore America. They do so for good reason.
One protester perhaps spoke for others. He has “a problem with American politics that tries to interfere with the way we want to live and that is not right,” he said.
Proliferating anti-Obama posters are visible. Anti-American sentiment is strong. According to Pew Research, 80% of Egyptians expressed negative attitudes toward Washington. Just 16% are positive.
About 75% deplore Obama. Visceral disapproval reflects his handling of foreign affairs. Regional sentiment is similar. America and Israel are widely despised.
Ousting Morsi intensifies negativity. Expect nothing positive ahead to change things. Belt-tightening assures greater public rage. Popular revolution may follow. It may transcend borders for vitally needed change.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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