Thursday, December 29, 2016

The specter of war on civil society

To paraphrase Karl Marx, a specter is haunting America, Europe and the world. No, it's not the "spectre" of communism Marx was signifying in his Manifesto, but rather the specter of Trumpism. 

The rise and seizure of political and military power by a narrowly-based clique of white supremacists and neo-fascists, in the U.S. and much of Europe, combined with an inadequate response on the part of liberal democrats, is plunging the world closer to a global conflagration than it's been since World War 2 and Trump hasn't even been inaugurated yet. The Trumpists are too weak and their base too narrow to rule primarily through diplomacy and negotiation. Their strong suit is their control of military (including nuclear capacity) and police powers (including an apparent willingness to use torture). 

Like the German revanchists following that nation's defeat in WW1, the Trumpists are waving the bloody flag from U.S. military defeats in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan with their call to, "Make America Great Again", while scapegoating the emerging "minority majority" and immigrant workers as the supposed cause of American job loss. 

In the past week alone, the Trumpists have declared "war" on the United Nations. Their Israeli counterpart, Netanyahu has declared "war" on New Zealand. And in response to Trump's apparent partnership with Putin and his oligarchs, outgoing Pres. Obama is threatening a new Cold War with Russia.

Then there's the Trump's war on the press; trade war with China; Betsy DeVos's war on public schools; Trump's war on science; Trump/Pudzer's declared war on labor unions; Trump/Perry/Tillerson's war on the environment; Sessions' war on civil rights; and so it goes.

The Trumpists' predisposition to war on civil society puts them in conflict with the great majority of people here in the U.S. and worldwide. The U.N. vote condemning Netanyahu's expansion of settlements in the West Bank and the dropping of a 2-state solution as a peace plan, demonstrates this broad-based opposition to the drive towards war. The resolution passed 14-0 in the Security Council (U.S. abstained incurring Netanyahu's wrath) with Britain, France, Russia, China, Japan, Ukraine, Angola, Egypt, Uruguay, Spain, Senegal and New Zealand all voting yes. This broad coalition of nations shows the global potential of the resistance movement.

As for teachers and educators, we have a significant role to play in resisting the Trumpists drive towards war and in defense of civil society. War is the enemy of education, families, children, women, and democracy. Resistance to Betsy DeVos' war on public education will be a key part of the opposition movement. Defense of public space and of public decision-making, teaching students to think critically and to become shapers of their own future, are some of the essential pieces of the resistance movement based in the schools.

It all begins on the day after Trump's inauguration on January 21 with the Women's March on Washington. Millions of people in more than 30 cities worldwide are expected to take part.

Trump on global warning in 2012...
Prophetic Trump in 2014...

1 comment:

  1. Informative essay, though frightening. The call to action has sounded!


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