Tag Archive: anti-imperialism

Aug 08 2014

Peace and the Antiwar Movement

Peace on Earth.  How many times has that been said.  We want peace on earth. Ya, most people do.  More than most, probably a “vast” majority. But make no mistake, there are plenty of humans who don’t want peace for various reasons, or believe that peace is unattainable, that it’s just the way it is.  So you know, it’s not unanimous.  

Many on the left and right/libertarians have complained over the last decade about the lack of an antiwar movement. The last significant protest movement against war was in 2002/2003 with the Iraq war.  Many organizations and groups were created during the Bush wars but then came Obama.  His rhetoric and promises (lies) and the fact that he was black and a democrat seemingly pacified an already weakening antiwar movement.

In my opinion we need one now in a big way, and quick.  

Take a look at the last 12 years with the wars, regime changes, new laws, acts, and organizations created to “keep us safe”, the pivot to Asia and now the confrontation with Russia. As many are saying over the internet, this appears to be the most dangerous time for the planet since the Cuban missle crisis. With the threat of a first strike nuclear war, that’s about as dangerous as it gets.  

Even ignoring that threat, the advent of another full blown Cold War between Russia/China and the U.S. is the last thing we serfs need now.  Here we are watching the ruling class light their cigars with trillion dollar bills while we fight each other over food stamps and minimum wage jobs.  The last thing we need is more war and more militarism.  As they say in the hood, ‘homey don’t need that bro.’

In other words, they need to be fucking stopped NOW, i.e, before it’s the proverbial too late. They aren’t going to stop their games, their quest for world domination.  They aren’t going to suddenly come to their senses and reach sensible diplomatic agreements to end imperialism and war and militarism.  That is simply not going to happen unless somehow we the people can make them.  

There was a major effort after WWI to abolish war for good.  It ended in the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, an international agreement where countries “promised” not to use war to resolve their disputes.  Obviously that didn’t work and the key thing to remember here is it happened AFTER WWI.  AFTER 16 million people died because of sociopathic and psychopathic government rulers and their backers.  That’s why the world wanted war banned back then, that’s why they at least created that Pact.  People were horrified at what had happened during WWI.  Little did they (some, not all) know that the promises were just lies.

We know.

Then came the Geneva Conventions after WWII and the United Nation Charter, both outlining the parameters for war and imperialism.  Obvioiusly this hasn’t stopped them either.

One thing I’ve concluded is we are going to need a massive number of people behind whatever we do to stop war and militarism, i.e. to achieve Peace on Earth. With how ingrained militarism is in our societies and how infected the planet is with weapons, it’s going to take a global effort that ends in not just a Pact or more laws but a paradigm shift in how societies on the planet operate, are governed, and how they interact.

I went searching for people and organizations that want Peace also.  I started with lists of all the antiwar, peace, anti-nuke, anti-imperialism, etc., organizations, actions and activities to find out who’s doing what, where and how. What I found was interesting.  I’ve known about some of these organizations and people but hadn’t delved very deeply into who they are and what they do.

I found an international list on Wikipedia and another good list, overlapping with the Wikipedia list, on WorldBeyondWar, a fairly new and ambitious organization with an international mission.   There are certainly hundreds of such organizations, blogs, etc., worldwide and perhaps thousands more with affiliated missions such as climate change that could be part of a global effort.

Some of the antiwar and peace organizations I reviewed were long time organizations going back to the 1950’s, with roots in anti nuclear weapon activism.  Many organizations have Boards of Directors and paid staffs with some overlapping each other with the same Board members.  There seems to be a sort of Peace “establishment” of sorts, including celebrities from the internet media such as Amy Goodman, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Scahill, Juan Cole, etc. who attend the same conferences and other events, some annually.   Most of the conferences, activities and events end up taking place on the East Coast because alot of these people and organzations are tied into the pulse of the D.C. political establishment and it accoutrements.

Why is it that the more antiwar/peace organizations we have, the more war and less peace we have?  

Here’s what I’d ask some of them, particularly the ones with Boards of Directors and paid staff, and the ones that go from one conference to another, raising money along the way to support their activities.  Are you really interested in Peace?  Or are you more interested in continuing what you’re doing?  Hey, I’m just asking.

What happened to the antiwar movement?  It’s been splintered by the internet and capitalism.

This is the same old thing, going round and round, mostly preaching to the choir without the real outreach that’s needed, giving more people a voice.  That should be the goal.  The people want peace, that’s a given.  They’re out there.  The goal should be to give them a voice and present that voice along with all our other voices as one.  It can be their names and phone numbers, or maybe the location of their tent or cave, but they need to be counted. The mission should be to work together to make that happen.  

Oct 06 2013

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Workers, not Servants by Irene Ortiz Rosen

Today we are fortunate to have a diary describing the current condition of domestic workers in Mexico. This is an issue which has received increasing attention in the last three years. A long-time activist in the Domestic Worker Movement, Irene Ortiz Rosen,  is the Co-Founder  and Director of Collectivo Atabal,  an organization of activists and  feminists formed to defend the rights, dignity and demands of domestic workers in Mexico City. She is also the Co-Author of “Así es, Pues” a socio-economic study of domestic workers in Cuernavaca. A recent emigrant from Mexico, she approaches the subject from a global perspective which emphasizes the class and anti-imperialist aspects of the struggle as well as its patriarchal nature.

In the world of labor, a large group of women whose work is the maintenance of the homes of others is largely ignored-domestic workers. According to the ILO, there are more than 52 million domestic workers in the world.

In almost all countries, domestic workers share the following characteristics:  1) invisibility; 2) migration; 3) low levels of education; 4) gender, ethnic and racial discrimination; and 5) the informality of their labor. These are all products of poverty.

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Domestic workers make up an invisible workforce because their work is carried out in the private sphere, that is, the homes of their employers. Their contract is verbal, their work is isolated, and their mobility is common.

Generally they are migrants, usually, within their own countries. This is the case for indigenous women  and women who come from rural areas in Latin America.  And as the gap in inequality grows throughout the world, in the poorest countries the phenomenon of migration (usually without papers) is growing beyond borders.  That is how they arrive to United States and Canada, by informally working as House Cleaning Personnel, Nannies and Home Attendants. In New York alone, we are talking about more than 200 thousand people who are working under disadvantaged conditions due to their Undocumented status.



Their discrimination is shared with nearly all women, and its logic corresponds to the subordination of women in a patriarchal culture. Within the patriarchal view of the traditional role of women, their work is an extension of the reproductive role, which is considered natural for their gender.  

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We should not forget that women in general, as housewives and mothers, perform domestic work without any pay whatever. Consequently, their work is not considered part of the national economy despite the fact that it makes up about 20% of the GDP. If a woman looks for waged work, she enters the labor market in a disadvantaged way; forty-five percent of women domestic workers receive salaries that are 10% lower than salaries received by men for the same work.

Global economic policies that have impoverished the majority of the world´s population have brought women in all countries into  the public sphere. The women working in the public sphere then need to hire a domestic worker to care for their children and home. However, because they, themselves, are not paid well, they are unable to pay a fair  wage, even if they value the services being performed by domestic help.