Two Revolutions

Smith, Gerard gsmith at clark.edu
Wed Aug 7 14:37:08 MDT 2002


Re: Stages of Revolution

>Thanks to all who have described the "Stages of Revolution," but I have a
>few observations about revolutions in general.
>
>One revolution, a call to physical action and sacrifice, belongs to the
>oppressed be they workers, slaves, oppressed indigenous people, and their
>silenced intellectuals (i.e. traditional leaders such as warrior-chiefs,
>bundle carriers, shaman: poet, bard, singer, mystic, dancer, painter,
>etc.). Historically this has been a bloody revolution in the face of
>inequalities and injustices so grievous one would choose to die fighting
>than live through any more oppression. However, the risks of failure are
>much higher now in this techno-military, nuclear age. One could bloody
>well lose everything and everybody in a face-to-face confrontation with
>the facists.
>
>The Blackfoot, who like all other indigenous Americans learned all too
>well about strength in numbers and in firepower, wish to avoid losing
>everything and everybody. Still they make a call to physical action: "one
>must cut the throat of dependency and take on the risks of capital
>flight"(D OC). The Blackfoot Constitution is a physical call to action:
>resist hegemony and genocide. However, the lessons of the past teach that
>a "violent overthrow" is suicidal against "THIS" industrial-capitalist
>meat-grinder: they will shoot you, burn you, and bomb you. So the struggle
>must be legal. This physical revolution then becomes a "stealing of
>horses-back": a complete break with the imperialist economic system,
>including the concept of taxation and tariff, of definition and of
>determining who is in and who is out. The revolution must be one of
>"capital flight," a divestment from the hegemonic economy and into an
>alternative system: traditionally anti-capitalist Blackfoot ways for
example.
>
>Unfortunately, hegemonic imperialism has at its helm those who are
>dependent upon market manipulation and weapons of mass destruction to
>maintain power. These same folks seem to be hell-bent for leather on
>achieving their self-fulfilling Christian prophecy: Armageddon. I have
>students who truly, ecstatically believe that peace will never come to the
>Middle East, that Israel s defense is at the heart of Revelations. Shit!
>But I digress.
>
>The second type of revolution is intellectual, that's why so many teachers
>are labeled radicals. It takes all types, historians and poets. The second
>revolution can inspire a stealing of horses-back. Each individual must be
>convinced that "cut[ting] the throat of dependency" might be the only way
>to stop hegemonic imperialism and genocide.  However, for the individual
>to agree to "a physical action"--which we have defined as capital
>flight--an alternative system must already be in place: "a non-imperialist
>form of market socialism", a traditionally, anti-capitlist economy in
>which the acquired wealth of individuals is redistributed equally to all
>members of the society.
>
>"Socialists don't come to power without strength, strength comes from the
>masses"(D OC), but masses who remain illiterate are powerless in the face
>of the current hegemonic imperialism: the eurocentric, manifest destiny
>that bought it on the backs of Native Americans and Africans. Though these
>people often could not read the oppressor's words, from experience they
>knew the words were false, many never touched the pen. Unfortunately, the
>education system indocrtinates rather than liberates.  Indeed, the stolen
>fat of the land keeps the docile, usually apathetic American glued to
>his/her couch: in front of the television, or at the shrink's office--blue
>collar, white collar stress release.  Gaining strength from the sheep that
>are kept fat and sleepy by the hegemonic shepherds is a difficult
>task.  However, education, as members of this list have noted, is
>essential. But what type of education?
>
>Combine the highly trained and proficient middle class who chant the
>hegemonic mantra with the literacy rate of America--which is bloody,
>fucking high--then you see the scope of the struggle.  Take the cultural
>indoctrination of children into the dominate culture and an under funding
>of certain ethnic segments of society, then you have both "the danger and
>the hope"
>
>The hope is that revolutions like the Blackfoot will inspire others to
>reject capitalist methods and ideologies, and that "radical" professionals
>continue to teach the Proletariat how to be socialist who can change the
>system through capital flight. The danger is that in educating the "lower
>class," they too buy into the hegemonic mantra: I want it all and I want
>it NOW.
>
>We are up to our necks in shit already. "A prior", I think is the
>appropriate Derridian term.
>
>Especially dangerous is the current movement in Texas to re-establish
>dominance in textbook censorship: PC on parade. I have a brother in Texas,
>and he loves George Bush: both the pappa and the clone. He'd agree: "Lets
>shut down the rap music and clean up the text-books. We should have a
>return to good old American family values. Let's open up C.R.A.C.K houses
>everywhere and sterilize those welfare mothers who keep smoking when
>they're pregnant. Make sure this doesn't get into the history books. Here,
>have a ''Duff's'"
>
>Yes, my brother has been placated by certain bourgeoisie tasks which have
>actually lead to social reforms: "the right to vote, equality under the
>law, right to trial by jury, self-determination, i.e. things which will
>not undermine capitalism."(D OC). These civil rights, as long as they
>don't lead to reverse discrimination, are American values to be defended
>by force my brother would say. However, in his complacent, compliant,
>complicity he cannot see the suppression of these rights in the name of
>democracy. The benefit of being within the all-embracing arms of the
>current hegemonic vision is its "standard of living". All the drone worker
>needs as evidence and rationale--your it baby, ah the comforts of
>capitalism even China should not be denied; "Watch out its a trap." Turn
>away from the dark-side of the market, I tell my brother. He's a
>real-estate agent. Sorry, I digress.
>
>There are two parts of revolution, not two stages. These two revolutions
>inspire each other: the physical and the intellectual.
>
>The danger for the ruling class occurs not when the oppressed learn the
>language of the oppressor well enough to understand and participate in the
>hegemony, but when they read well enough to critique the structures of its
>institutions using that language and all its manifests by becoming
>educators, lawyers and, yes even "administrators" who write constitutions
>that adopt a "non-imperialist form of market socialism - in order to
>achieve self-determination."
>
>Call me whatever term you wish--even a "fucking amateur " -- but I have
>had the rare privilege of watching a revolutionary leader in action. The
>Blackfoot still fight against invasion and oppression: their revolution
>has never stopped. That struggle has only changed forms. We must now
>invest in their "permanent" revolution. We must help them achieve their
>sovereignty and their capital independence. We must help them create their
>form of market socialism in which the leaders eat last. In this way we may
>save the world.
>
>
>
>In solidarity with the Blackfoot People,
>
>Gerard

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