State Against People
There is, at the heart of American society, a profound disquiet about the overwhelming powers of government, one which waxes and wanes according to the felt needs of the time.
That’s partly because, while we say the government was formed to support freedom, we know that this wasn’t true. We know that the government was an instrument of despotic and tyrannical power—especially when it comes to Black people.
This government began in slavery, not in freedom—unless one argues it was begun to protect freedom of some to enslave others.
Thomas Jefferson, in his Notes On the State of Virginia, describing slavery, called it a system of “unremitting despotism.”
That he was, at once, an alleged freedom fighter and, an owner of several hundred slaves gives us some sense of the contradiction at the core of the United States.
Government then, and now, supports the efforts of the wealthy, at the expense of the many. It is an instrument of wealth and corporate power—period.
Those who saw the quicksilver response to Wall Street’s problems, and the half-hearted responses to the unemployed, the foreclosed, the hungry and the homeless should take that lesson to heart.
How else could any government support efforts like NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement), which destabilized millions of middle class workers (not to mention poor folks in Mexico), and please financial speculators and investors on Wall Steet?
Former President Bill Clinton sold NAFTA like a carnival barker, and promised good jobs for all.
It didn’t exactly work out that way, did it?
The neo liberal project of globalization was never intended to provide good jobs—for anybody, but elites. It was designed to maximize corporate profits, unhindered by any government restraints.
The bubbling light crude poisoning the waters of the Gulf of Mexico—right now—is the direct result of neo liberal deregulation—which frees business to profit—but also to create multinational disasters. It’s government in hock to capital, and capitalism run wild.
And while the media hypes about environmental damage to Louisiana, Texas or even Florida, have you noticed no one has even mentioned Mexico’s east coast, or Cuba’s west coast?
Globalization is here—and it ain’t pretty.
Only great and sustained struggle and resistance can change that tune.
—prisonradio.org, May 15, 2010