Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
For Americans, the Issue is Social Justice,
It's Neither Evolution Nor Revolution
By Ben Tanosborn
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, April 4, 2011
For over two generations now America has claimed to possess
the knowledge and the wisdom to formulate a potion said to cure most ills
faced by nations and peoples of the world. It labeled this magic
elixir, “Democratic Capitalism,” hawking it to the four winds with the
help of a mighty military ready to make sure nation-audiences not just
listen to the message but heed it.
These past few
weeks, as a result of the far-reaching upheaval in the Middle East and
North Africa, people taking to the streets saying “enough!,” some of us
are starting to ponder here in the United States whether the potion this
nation has been hawking, domestically and internationally, has anything to
do, in a positive way, with the legitimate rights of people, human dignity
and civil liberties; or if the entire thing has been nothing but a cruel
hoax perpetrated by the followers of predatory “freak” enterprise, the
form of capitalism which rules in America.
Much if not most of the
story in those two Islamic regions, North Africa and the Middle East,
remains to be written, and at this point we have no idea whether that
story will have a single or multiple plots. Nor do we know beyond
guesswork whether people took to the streets to remove tyranny, improve
their economic lot, or both. And, perhaps most important of all, we
have no clue as to what form of leadership will emerge in each nation, or
even in the entire region, whether it will turn out to be secular or
religious; and perhaps most important of all to the government of the US,
whether that leadership shows its face as viscerally anti-Israeli or
tolerant of the Jewish state.
Facebook, Twitter and the rest of
the techno-social media were instrumental in placing people in the
streets, even manning the barricades, but all revolutions to be successful
beyond a week, a month or a year must have a well coordinated,
hierarchical leadership in place, one that follows an ideology, something
which hasn’t changed since Lenin, Castro or Martin Luther King. It
won’t be any different in North Africa or the Middle East.
My focus today, however, is not about revolution in those regions, or the
politics-in-progress that is taking place there which my contacts in situ
tell me are certain to play havoc with past and present American designs
on the geography which extends from Casablanca to Kabul. That’s a
thing that will affect the empire; however, my concern here is purely
domestic, and it affects troubled and unequivocally divided America.
During the past three decades, American Liberals, at all different levels
of progressivism which make up that global term, have been telling the
more abused and disgruntled groups in the population that they must remain
working within the system to bring about change. If we work within
the framework of the institutions that we have in place, change will come,
if slowly, but it will come… according to them. That visible Liberal
leadership kept reminding the neediest for the umpteenth time that change
for the masses did not end with the death of FDR. Other leadership
will emerge, it’s claimed by the leadership, one sure to bring legislative
change, but it must be done using our present institutions.
what Americans in the lower and middle classes have not been told by most
of these Liberal figures is that the evolution that has been taking place
is not one of societal change for the better, but rather one which has
permitted the infiltration and takeover of all institutions by an
unyielding Right that only believes in regressive change for the lower
socioeconomic classes which represent four-fifths of the population.
Even organized labor has been eviscerated by following the
work-within-the-system line that Liberal leadership has promulgated.
As early as 1992, Ross Perot, a presidential candidate and conservative
businessman, warned the nation of the flight of American jobs if either
the Republican (George Bush, Sr.) or the Democratic (Bill Clinton)
candidates were elected, both advocates of globalization and NAFTA.
Unions’ rank and file followed both their leadership’s and the Liberals’
advice, voting for their own demise, not recognizing Bill Clinton as the
opportunist he was, a stoolie for corporatism.
For Americans in
the low economic third, their lives have gone totally bust. Three
decades ago 20 percent of the household income was spent on food; that
percentage has now doubled for that group. And the so-called
Obamacare legislation passed a year ago is nothing but a sad reminder of
Americans’ servitude to corporate interests, this time the pharmacology
industry being the true beneficiary. And young people have the
“privilege” to pay for their college education with loans guaranteed by
the government – future taxes, racking up debt by the time they leave
college of between $50,000 and $100,000; those with professional degrees
even more. A debt foolishly expected to be repaid via jobs that
won’t be there. The shameful list goes on and on.
be that the American Liberal leadership telling the lower classes to call
for change via the established institutions is nothing but a fifth column
that Corporate America has in our midst to keep the masses docile, under
control? No, not in any type of allegiance but, unfortunately, yielding
the same ugly results. Or is it that past easy living has
transformed Americans into a lazy, irresponsive society incapable of
effecting change by a true call to arms, a popular revolution?
I would be contradicting myself if thinking of a plausible popular revolt
without a hierarchical leadership in place, particularly if one accuses
the Liberal leadership, past and present, of unwittingly being Corporate
America’s fifth column. America’s problems will not get a fix until
an ideology based on social justice catches
the imagination of most people, something not yet in the horizon. We
are stuck without either evolution or revolution.