The Occupy Wall Street movement has been labelled as ‘domestic terrorists’ we learn today with Lekas Miller reporting from Oakland, CA. She considers the possibilty of being inflitrated by informers.
I waa reminded of something journalist Malcolm Muggeridge wrote many years ago on the matter of ‘Government by Terror’
“By such means it is possible for an unscrupulous and ruthless minority to impose its dictatorship on the majority; to make them obedient, apparently amenable to any policy, however violent and inconsistent, and to inculcate them with any doctrine, however unreasonable and absurd. Unity of purpose is achieved, but by imposition from without, not by conviction from within. It is the unity of the chain-gang. In the process of achieving this chain-gang unity, whatever differentiates a civilised community from its jungle origins is lost. There can be no trust between man and man when all are in duty bound to act as informers; there can be no intellectual or moral integrity when opinions are dictated and any deviation from them punished; there can be no learning or art, no pursuit of truth at all, when the free exercise of curiosity and speculation is made a crime. Human life, so confined, is something very paltry, lacking in dignity, insignificant. Whatever is fine and permanent in human achievement has been realised through individuals courageously facing the circumstances of their being; and a society is civilised to the extent to which it makes this possible. Terrorism, which aims at putting out the spiritual light, is the antithesis of civilisation.”
Though he was writing about Nazi Germany, we see the same factors at play against Occupy Wall Street, the interests of a powerful minority being protected by imposition of force against reasoning and nonviolent protest.
When civic activists like those in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution took to their tent camps, it was the imposition of force in the murder of journalist Giorgey Gongadze which had been the tipping point. He’d been exposing corruption and angered a powerful elite, who still inflict terror on the rest of the population by keeping most in poverty.
There too, economic interests in the US were working against the interests of democracy as my colleague Terry Hallman reported in Really Betraying a Revolution. It would also draw attention to the role of BP in helping the Kremlin stifle their attempt to break away from Russia’s sphere of influence.
It was he, back in 1996 who’d drawn President Clinton’s attention to the imposition of poverty as a form of terrorism with his paper on People-Centered Economic Development, saying:
“Once a person is intentionally cast aside, all prevailing social contracts which might pertain no longer apply and all previous bets are off. It becomes self-defense for the intended victim.
Once a nation or government puts people in the position of defending their own lives, or that of family and friends, and they all will die if they do nothing about it, at that point all laws, social contracts and covenants end. Laws, social contracts and covenants define civilization. Without them, there is no civilization at all, there is only the law of the jungle: kill, or be killed. This is where we started, tens of thousands of years ago.
By leaving people in poverty, at risk of their lives due to lack of basic living essentials, we have stepped across the boundary of civilization. We have conceded that these people do not matter, are not important. Allowing them to starve to death, freeze to death, die from deprivation, or simply shooting them, is in the end exactly the same thing. Inflicting or allowing poverty on a group of people or an entire country is a formula for disaster.”
This warning of the inadequacy of capitalism went unheeded. The 2008 crisis and Occupy Wall Street are the harvest now being reaped.
That makes most of us terrorists.