Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Feel-good activism and barking dogs

I read this in an Information Clearhouse newsletter the other day. I'm passing this on to you because I think it speaks to something fundamental that we need to address.
Iraq's Right to Resistance and Self-Determination

By Ghali Hassan

The Resistance should make no illusions about the leaders of the "anti-war" movement, and the Left/Liberal elites "opposition" to the War and Occupation. Their "activism" is an empty slogan; it is merely a way "to salve people's consciences without having to think or do anything". They are imperialism's tools of propaganda. Without their "feel-good" life-style activism, Western "democracy" is a form of naked tyranny. They provide sugar-coated delusion and tranquilliser for the disfranchised masses.

I happen to agree with this assessment, mostly because I have run into it myself, and partly because I too am guilty of it. I am perhaps one of the most frustrated people in the world because so much of what I see is invisible to too many others either because it is too far away in distance, or too far away conceptually.

To me, there are three things that should consume our full attention because these involve the most serious matters of life and death.

1) Stopping the war in Iraq
2) Stopping all mining and use of nuclear materials (See E.F. Schumacher's "Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered")
3) Getting ready for peak oil (I repeat the ref. for Schumacher's book, pub'd 1973)

How these translate into on the ground action in getting people elected, unfortunately, requires remaining in the matrix of illusion. Alas. And so, a barking dog is easily ignored as a wack job or tinfoil mad hatter, even among smart people, let alone the average thinker.

And this is how they win. By making sure that matters of genuine importance are never addresssed because the Cons have created such a buzz and flurry of defensive activity about some pet program under attack.

And as long as we fight against the attack we can feel good about ourselves because we've fought the good fight. Meanwhile, the war continues; depleted uranium dust is seeping into our water supply, polluting the land waiting for an unsuspecting person to disturb the dust and breath it in, and people are already dying from it--11,000 Gulf War vets have died since returning home; and hardly anyone has heard about what a world without cheap oil is going to mean to us all.

I don't want to be a downer, but ya know what, this is exactly what is meant in the quote I pasted above about "feel-good" life-style activism. Cuz if we can't stop the worst of it, we aren't gonna stop the least of it.


It is easier to find a score of men wise enough to discover the truth than to find one intrepid enough, in the face of opposition to stand up for it: A. A. Hodge