10 Sep 2013
Hugo Blanco 'Building Alternative Power'
From my friend and mentor who publishes Lucha Indigena, indigenous fight. take a look here http://www.luchaindigena.com/http://www.luchaindigena.com/
BUILDING ALTERNATIVE POWER
The present reality is that it is big capital -- the transnational corporations and financial institutions -- that truly rules the world. Meanwhile, the states -- both the USA and in Europe -- are in a grave economic crisis. The beneficiaries of this crisis are the banks and other financial institutions.
The crisis is not just economic but also political. The United Nations Organization (UNO) has been displaced by NATO, a military organization headed by the United States. The Organization of American States (OAS) is discredited. "Legitimate" capitalism is more and more tied to the drug trade by way of "financial havens" that also serve to launder funds arising from corruption, as in the case of the Spanish government. So-called "international law" is trampled underfoot by the USA and its European servitors, as in the case of Evo Morales's flight.
The crisis is environmental as well, as seen in the global warming that worsens every year. In each of the UNO-sponsored meetings, this is affirmed by the very countries most responsible for climate change. They say so openly, and the only question under debate is how to profit from the global disaster. The environmental crisis becomes steadily worse, thanks to technical and scientific advances, with the cutting down of rain forests, open-pit mining, the increasing use of transgenics, the extraction of hydrocarbons, the construction of hydroelectric plants and rapid-transit systems, the transport of food from one continent to another, etc.
Furthermore, it is a moral crisis. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the head of state of the world's most bellicose country and later to the European Union, the world's main arms exporter. The UNO's Food & Agriculture Organization (FA)) awarded its 2013 World Food Prize to Monsanto and two other representatives of agricultural biotechnology, mortal enemies of human health.
The policy of priestly celibacy, together with the Catholic Church's operation of schools, has led to a pattern of sexual abuse of children by clergy protected by the church hierarchy. This and other immoral practices within the Vatican led to the resignation of one pope and his replacement by another with a known close association with a South American dictatorship. Meanwhile, the Catholic religion continues its discriminatory practices against women. Other Christian churches condemn the cultural practices of the world's native peoples, while the system identifies the Muslim religion with terrorism.
The cases of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, as well as the prisoners held in Guantánamo, are a great scandal that shows the crisis in its moral dimension.
All signs indicate that this is the final crisis of the capitalist system in its ultimate, neoliberal form. It is quite plain that capitalism cannot survive this crisis. What we do not know is how it will die. Perhaps it will be pushed aside as the world's ruler by humanity acting together to form egalitarian, truly democratic society. Failing this, the system in crisis may drive us toward the extinction of the human race, including the very governments that capitalism now commands.
In the face of the system's ever more scandalous oppression of the rest of humanity and its destruction of the environment, more and more sectors of society are erupting into open rebellion, breaking with the system's norms and replacing them with practices that benefit people and the environment.
The best known example is undoubtedly the native Zapatistas who are building a new world in a small part of the Mexican state of Chiapas. They elect their governing councils in rotation. These comrades serve without pay under the command of their base, not the other way around. Unlike in the ruling system, their purpose is to serve, not to profit from their office. The Zapatistas grow their crops and raise their livestock in an environmentally sound way in small personal plots or larger collectives. They are developing an educational system rooted in freedom and truth, in opposition to the official system that suppresses the students, fills their heads with lies and turns them into servants of capitalism. They are also building a health system whose goal is to heal, in contrast to the neoliberal health system that aims to enrich the laboratories and corporations to the detriment of its patients' wellbeing.
Because the Zapatistas are encircled by the system that aims to stamp out the example they are setting, they are obliged to maintain a militia for self-defense, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).
This, then, is the best known example of the construction of alternative power, but it is by no means the only one. On practically all sides we find attitudes that break down the norms imposed by the system and depart from the framework it imposes. They are steps, largely unconscious ones, toward an alternative, popular form of power in opposition to the oppressive official system.
The world's native populaces maintain their own communal forms of organization, which in lesser or greater degree are democratic and horizontal, with collective labor practices.
There are also factories that are occupied and operated by the workers, themselves, in a horizontal form and for the collective benefit. In Argentina and other countries, this is another manifestation of alternative-power building in embryonic form.
Cooperatives of environmentally sound producers in coordination with consumer associations are yet another example of incipient alternative power, as are the promoters of alternative medicine throughout the world. We see, too, the many mass demonstrations that have rolled back transportation fares in Brazil and those on a smaller scale in Lima that put a stop to the parliamentary nomination of a putschist to serve a guardian of the constitution. In Uruguay the workers' organizations have established their own television channel. And it is important to note that the manifestation of power by peasant communities in defense of water stands as an obstacle to the developing new open-pit mines.
In various forms and degrees the peoples of the world are resisting the power of the system. They are contributing their own grains of sand -- for the most part in an unconscious way -- to the construction of alternative forms of power. Let us join our hands in defense of humanity. We know that the world's present rulers will utilize violence in their attempt to crush us, but we will learn to defend ourselves. We are confident that we, like the Zapatistas, will be able to build a new world in which humanity governs itself in a horizontal manner and reintegrates itself with Mother Nature as her sons and daughters, not her enemy.
This is the real alternative. If we fail, the ever more savage attacks against nature and humanity by the system in crisis will bring down the destruction of our species, including the destroyers themselves.
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