ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN, MYTH DISPELLING RADIO. (Archived)
The Authority Smashing! Hour
and Ron from Philly
Here’s a video to expand your musical selection.
It’s called an Open Letter to Barack Obama by Rebel Diaz
Good show. I was most taken aback by the discussion concerning people’s ways of sympathizing more with oppressors (like capitalist bosses whom they think “worked hard” to gain their wealth and the soldiers whom they think are “fighting for freedom/democracy”). When Jonathan brought up the woman from the tea party and the fact that she had more sympathy for the bosses who steal than her fellow exploited workers whom the bosses steal from it really shook me. Her notion that people shouldn’t have their money stolen is a very altruistic one, but she clearly doesn’t know that the workers are the ones having their wealth taken away because of all that she’s been lead to believe. The same thing about the military. People sympathize more when they see “their boys” in uniform invading and killing people to make the world safe for the Fortune 500 than they do with the people who pick up guns and defend their homes and communities from these invasions. I guess it all comes down to what’s assumed, kind of like the story of the pirate and the emperor that Prof. Chomsky routinely tells. When it is a boss stealing from wage slaves, it’s business; when it’s wage slaves organizing to take over the workplace or introduce some kind of progressive taxation to get back what was stolen from them, it’s theft – that kind of thing. But we view it this way because it’s just what we’ve been lead to believe.
I still think it’s funny how Ron read the comment I left on his Facebook page regarding his views on Gil Scott-Heron’s cancelled Tel Aviv show. If it was brought up earlier I might have called in and told a story very similar. I don’t want to go off on another rant, but I want to make a few points with this. Last year when I was still going to school in California I knew two professors (a married couple) who were very involved in the BDS movement. Both of them are “one-staters”, the kind of people I mentioned who are all about “getting rid of Israel”, and frequently bash on Chomsky for his views on it. Anyway, what happened was, a ballet troupe from Israel was set to perform at UCLA (a few neighborhoods away from where CSUN is located), and these two were going to join a sizable group of activists in protesting the performance in the name of BDS. I was for it at first, until I explained it to a friend of mine who laughed and told me that protesting a dance troupe is the most ridiculous thing he ever heard. He said if we really wanted UCLA to stop shaking hands with the Israeli gov. we should have done something along the lines of a letter writing-campaign. Mind you, this friend of mine is a good friend of Noam’s. Well, I still went along with the profs to the protest, and for the whole three hours we were standing out there I kept thinking, why the fuck am I here doing this? This dance troupe has nothing to do with the war, it has nothing to do with the Israeli government, it has nothing to do with apartheid or the occupation, so why bother doing this? I mean, it’s not like our actions were winning us any supporters. In fact, they were doing the exact opposite: making us enemies and turning people away. I can understand protesting an event that’s blatantly political such as the Israeli independence day festivals, but an a-political dance performance? When we left I told the two profs about my feelings on the whole thing and why I thought it was unproductive. They didn’t seem to care; I got the impression that they were vanguardists (like the ISO people) who cared more about “sticking it” to “the enemy” than about getting others to support human rights struggles. Maybe that’s another reason why I shake my head at certain tactics activists use. It becomes all about “beating the enemy” to them instead of building up a strong movement so that something will get done. And in order to build up a movement you NEED to reach out to others, not just do some stupid stunt that gets your designated enemies all fired up but doesn’t give others outside of your cause a reason to join your cause.
You know, I agree with them that a state called Israel shouldn’t exist. No state should or has a moral reason to exist. But it’s just not going to happen under the current conditions even if Israel becomes a full-blown pariah state like N. Korea where the whole world is boycotting it. But yeah, I agree that the people who make those kinds of statements (like those two profs I knew from CSUN) are really just shooting off at the mouth, just like the “anarcho”-capitalists do. Their destinations are moral, it’s just their ways of getting there are all fucked up. It’s kind of like, you can take the shortcut instead of the main road, but if you do prepare to fall in the ditch.
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