Saturday, November 17, 2012

Time for an International 'Estates General'?

Having at last uploaded the final version of my memoir, which hopefully will be available next week, I can turn to the events that have - or have not - been making the headlines lately, depending on your news source.

The most significant events were the coordinated twenty European country mass demonstrations, work stoppages and general strikes that took place early in the week.

Then came the Israeli attack on Gaza, in retaliation for a few homemade missiles launched by an occupied people against their occupier - launches that have been going on for years.  This morning on RT’s website an Israeli peace activist revealed that negotiations for a settlement were under way with the Hamas leader the Israelis assassinated to start the latest round of aggression.  RT also revealed that Anonymous has hacked into hundreds of Israeli official websites in support of the Palestinians.

These and other events taking place daily across the planet bring to mind two things: one, that Lenin’s injunction ‘Workers of the World, Unite!’ is finally being heard; and two, that Khruschev’s seemingly absurd nineteen sixties warning, ‘We will bury you‘ could also be coming true, and three, that it may be time for a worldwide version of the French Revolution’s  ‘Estates General’.

Neither the French nor the Russian Revolutions had worldwide capabilities.  But thanks mainly to the IT revolution, activists in the oil rich Niger Delta and Brazilian tribes determined to stop construction of a major dam, all know what each other are doing, feeding off of each other, sharing tactics, and coordinating actions, with the ability to disseminate their actions worldwide.

As for Russia, Westerners are familiar with the salient political events of the twentieth century, but RT provides a sense of the immense mineral wealth within that country’s borders at time when the world’s greatest assets are underground.  For decades the Soviet Union tried to influence Third World countries politically, building or delaying the emergence of socialist regimes (see Cuba), details of that support little known outside the political circles concerned.  Today, Russia has other cards to play: its support for Third World countries, mainly in Africa, comes in the form of news reports and documentaries on the dire living conditions of its peoples, broadcasting worldwide the struggles against Western mineral conglomerates that are raping the continent. (RT also has an Arabic service and a Spanish service....)

This morning I heard that in response to China’s growing clout President Obama is preparing to tour several Asian countries. China’s new President, precisely because he is not elected and doesn’t have to contend with filibusters and other forms of congressional opposition, can announce with the smile that has replaced Hu’s stern demeanor, that China will press forward both economically and militarily. And on the occasion of the 15th Communist Party Congress that anointed him, RT took its cameras to the streets of major cities and shopping malls, in which the high collar blue denim uniforms of old have been replaced by the latest Western fashions. (In the Soviet Union, blue denim jeans replaced drab Communist garments, eventually ushering in perestroika and what followed...)


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