Garret Keizer in this month’s Harpers is calling for a general strike on November 6th, 2007 (that’s election day), while in the same issue an excerpt of Naomi Klein’s book “Disaster Capitalism” gives a new twist too what we already know about the system we’re living under.
A call for a general strike on September 11th appeared on the internet too late to make it happen, but hopefully with enough lead time, enough organizations will get on board this call. Demonstrations don’t seem to make a dent in either Bush’s determination or congress’s indetermination. Shutting down the country - no work, no school, no consumption - just might.
In Europe, when general strikes fail to produce results - which is rare - populations have been known to turn to violence. European civilians are not armed, so they overturn cars to form barricades and dig up cobblestones or find other things to throw.
Here’s the irony: many Americans are armed, but they are usually the ones who support attacking other countries. Those who believe there are better ways of solving international problems - including the need for oil - usually do not belong to the NRA. They believe the second amendment was intended to guarantee a citizen army - or militia - at a time when we had to fight to boot the British army out of our country.
So the further irony is that were a sizable number of anti-war Americans to decide to take action against their government (a duty outlined in the Constitution, when government fails its citizens), they would probably face not only the helmets and tasers of official force, but also, the enthusiastic opposition of citizen gun owners.
By the way, a student trying to get Senator John Kerry to explain why he didn’t context the 2000 election was tasered yesterday when he refused to give up his mike at a public meeting, while the Iraqi government had revoked the license of the American company Blackwater for shooting unarmed civilians. According to a spokesman for the International Peace Operations Association, civilians security companies’ participation in U.S. military conflicts goes back to the second world war. Whether or not that statement is on a level with President Bush’s assertion that we have 36 allies in Iraq, the entire area of military outsourcing is just one aspect of Naomi Klein’s disaster capitalism.