Monday, July 29, 2013

The Brotherhood, Fundamentalist Islam and Democracy


Fundamentalist Islam is no better or worse than fundamentalist Judaism or fundamentalist Christianity, except for the fact that jews and christians have already had a far greater impact on the modern world, and whether they call themselves fundies, moderates, liberals or conservatives that impact has meant wonderful progress for some and endless tragedy for too many others.

Reaction to this global situation by any political or religious group needs to be seen in the context of that material reality, without special and unique regard for various people believing it occurs because the universe in all its incredible vastness and mystery is the creation of an eternal entity with a penis - possibly circumcised - or the result of a "big bang”, with no explanation yet offered as to what it was that exploded and what it was that created this primary "banger". There are political economic matters that must be considered, of earthly and human origin that are not supernatural and certainly not unknowable mystery that can only be explained by mythology or science based religion.
Whatever the faults of the Muslim Brotherhood, they were elected in a vote possibly more democratic than in some societies that have been falsely calling themselves democracies for ages, which is small praise but should at least be seen as a lesser evil among even greater hypocrisies that support master race-chosen people doctrines far more damaging - so far - than any backward superstitions of the fundamentalist Muslim creed with all its old testament patriarchal roots which only differ from the dominating judeo-christics in that, for one example, its females treated as secondarily human must be covered in fabrics to hide their femininity and not arouse old testament garden-of-eden descendants who might be overcome  by lust at their sight and want to have sex with them ( horror! this could lead to mindless  pleasure and even - more horror - love?), rather than covered in painted cosmetics which is the western, civilized form of reducing women to chattels and sub-humans who, if viewed as they really are, might *not* provoke feelings of lust ( horror! This could lead to no further commodity consumption of cosmetics!) . They can, nevertheless, drive cars, have credit cards, go shopping and serve in positions of political power as long as they conduct themselves in the same dominating and murderous capitalist profit making behaviors that bring the world to its present place.

The Brotherhood may have just as many faults as any other governing groups in alleged democracies, and possibly even more given the fact that it has had no previous experience at being anything but an outsider, often suppressed and imprisoned class trying to stand up for a population regularly ground into submission by “civilized” ruling powers, many of which are their critics. Those who rightfully clamor for democracy anywhere and not just in Egypt need to understand that nowhere on earth has there been any society ruled by a democratic majority of its people, with protection of the rights of its minority, and the Muslim Brotherhood is hardly the primary exponent of what too many are calling anti-democracy because someone else won the election and they didn’t.

Repeat: nowhere on earth has there been any democracy. Yet.

Especially since “progress” destroyed smaller groups of humans who might (we don’t really know) have achieved something approaching this ages ago when it was easier with smaller numbers. The flaws and faults of the Brotherhood need to be seen in this context and not simply as the seemingly backward sexism that prevents equality for women to perform as equals to men, this all too often meaning – in the west – to be just as stupid, obnoxious, sexist, racist and most especially, murderously master race-chosen people in theory and practice.

Egyptian Democracy = American Hypocrisy

In their rush to bring about collapse of not just ecological but political systems as well, the USA and its puppets quickly endorsed a military coupe in Egypt. Keeping true to the moral double standard that makes profit and loss capitalism the center - if a slowly crumbling one – of the global economy, what’s good for business, banks, the military, the jews, other identity groups (pick one or add your own), is okay no matter how bad it may be for everyone else.

A class of Egyptians seen as unthreatening is supported because another class which wasn’t really that much of a threat seemed to possibly represent less of a profit margin. So what passed for a democratic election in Egypt – at least as democratic and probably more so than any American vote, in that a party founded and led by former social outcasts and imprisoned rebels actually won – is dumped in a military takeover resulting in more protester deaths than in the original uprising against the Mubarak regime.

Like the army, that regime was a corporate client of the ruling western powers, with Egypt comprising a very large mall in the massive market that passes for civilization, which is how we refer to those who can afford the food, clothing, shelter, toys, pets and countless other purchasable commodities that pass for civil (?) society. Meanwhile, several billion inhabitants of planet earth live in poverty, are endlessly hungry, wear unstylish clothing at best and live, if they have homes at all, in crowded ghettos and both relative and all too real squalor.

 A near majority of Egyptians are among these poor, but rest assured the supporters of the military are nice democracy seekers and hypocrisy acceptors more among those who can afford personal relations with pet animals, while the followers of and dependents on the Muslim Brotherhood are more likely to desire eating animals, if only they could afford the prices.

 Of course that group's ruling powers and leadership were doing quite well, thank you, in the first place or they’d never have been able to run for office let alone win an election. And their collusion with the capital class of Egyptians and membership in that group or at least its fringes were also necessary in order to be allowed to sit at the table of power. Americans should remember, if they ever knew, that during slavery and for generations after, “house negroes” exercised power over those in the field on behalf of their owners, and often did – and do - so in a benign, helpful and sometimes nearly radical way. But if they get too far out of line the master cracks the whip, and obviously, the brotherhood got out of line, even if unintentionally.

Lack of experience in running a country played a role but it should be understood that they were not given any help from those who knew how to run things and in fact were set obstacles to make it nearly impossible. Their mistakes were numerous but look at the mental health crisis center of an american government, consider its wealthy owners and a history of at least feigned democracy, and be ashamed at yourself if you feel superior to the Egyptians who undertook a herculean task with none of the material if not intellectual and moral privileges available here.

The watchwords for Americans regarding Egypt should be:  humility, respect, and to clean up the sordid mess in our own house before interfering in matters we play a role in screwing up in the first place.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged?

The decision in the Florida murder trial of George Zimmerman is being treated as a case of racism, but while the murder itself could well have been motivated by race, the jury decision hardly needed to have been.

The crippling social disease of American racism is all too often dumped on individuals or groups or locales thereby leaving the social order relatively unquestioned and allowing certain Americans to feel free of the disease and superior to those who seem to more obviously suffer its worst aspects. Thus we have divisions of the public into “minorities” and Red state – Blue state and ethnic-religious-sex Balkanized groups. These prevent coming together as a democratic majority to confront and solve social problems for the benefit of all and not just a minority of rich people and their professional class multi-cultural servants who help perpetuate their system.

While Trayvon Martin’s death seems an obvious outcome of racism in America, the jury decision finding George Zimmerman innocent is no more obviously racist than the jury decision was in the famous O.J.Simpson case. The law itself – and it should be remembered that the law’s purpose is the foundation and maintenance of the system, not its replacement or radical change – and the ineffective and amateurish performance of the prosecutors may have played as big a role for Zimmerman as that of the prosecution in the Simpson murder case in which many believed the decision of innocence was for reasons of…reverse racism?

Much of the “white” public was convinced of Simpson’s guilt, partly because he was “black”, while much of the “Black” public was convinced of his innocence, also partly because he was "black". Did racism play a role in creating that dichotomy? Does a snake have wings? 

While a highly paid defense team, greatly aided by another group of ineffective and amateurish members of a prosecution team, convinced a jury of Simpson’s innocence, many still believe he got off because of race and not evidence. Is there a relationship between the two cases? Is a bluebird blue?

What some called an affirmative action decision for Simpson could be seen as exactly the reverse for Trayvon Martin. His representation (?) was as botched as that of the two murdered “white” people in the Simpson case, but with a jury of none of his peers, while there was allegedly racial fairness in the O.J. jury. But just as Affirmative Action has been to the great advantage of a small minority of beneficiaries while totally neglecting a great majority who truly need help to overcome socially created obstacles, the legal-judicial process has hurt far more than it has aided while strengthening a failing system that punishes more while it rewards less. That point may be lost in the individual focus on one victim or assailant that misses the social victims who pay a heavy price of being assailed systemically, and not only by a jealous ex-husband or wannabe-vigilante.

Trayvon Martin was killed because he was young and black and thereby considered a menace by a self appointed protector of his community from such “criminal types”. But Zimmerman was hardly alone in accepting that characterization and in truth, many American communities with signs claiming “neighborhood watch” or “we report suspicious activity” would have found middle class dwellers phoning the police to report a young black man wandering “their” streets. And one of those callers might well have been an upper middle class “black” wondering what that person was doing in his or her upscale neighborhood. The confrontation between Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin might have been unique in its terrible outcome, but the suspicions that created it are far too common in America.

The repeated characterization of Trayvon as a “child” and not simply a minor only helped to twist material reality almost as much as the other side’s depiction of him as a thug because he had gold teeth and smoked pot. The infantilization of this young man might have provoked him into cursing someone out if it had been done to his face, and in truth hardly any seventeen year old would like being called a child. But Trayvon certainly was not killed because he was a child. He died because he was seen as a young black man and thereby as a potential criminal threat, with no more evidence for that suspicion than the fact that he was: a young black man.

That crippling social disease is hardly a problem for only Florida, or one vigilante, or an alleged racist jury, which though it contained absolutely none of Trayvon’s peers could easily under the circumstances find the killer innocent of murder and do so without any trace of overt racism.

The crime itself was an aspect of racism in the USA – not just Florida – but the jury decision was hardly an expression of the white-is-evil analysis coming from too many who strengthen continued divisions among Americans and make it more difficult to bring about real and not cosmetic social change by acting as a people and not just a gang of minorities in endless combat with one another. That is the law of the marketplace, but it has nothing to do with a democratic system that not just theoretically but in practice treats all people equally. Identifying some of us as being more if not totally responsible for problems that all of us share is a program for continued and greater social stress that will make solutions less possible. That’s exactly what our rulers want and what we should work against.

Those ignorant enough to think Florida is uniquely racist should remember that Oscar Grant was not murdered in Florida, but in the “hip” Bay Area. Those who think Oakland, Grant’s hometown, is uniquely racist should remember that Amadou Diallo wound up with nineteen bullets shredding his body, and he was in “hip” New York City. The idea that one locale or community is somehow better or worse than another in matters like race relations makes it easy to continue the disrespect and contempt that too many Americans hold for their fellow citizens.

The ugliness that led to the killing of Trayvon is a national problem. It closely concerns our history and divisions of class that make it possible for some people - of all alleged minorities - to make it,  often big-time, while most people struggle to survive. The strugglers need to identify the roots of their problems, and simplistically reducing them to skin tone, immigration status, sexuality or dress code will do nothing but add to the woes we face if we don’t change an environment that threatens all of us by hyphenating our citizenship and reducing us to minorities. We are the majority and we need to start acting that way.

A more direct focus on the political economics at the root of our society’s problems would be a bigger help in ending racism than any false concentration on only certain political parties, geographic regions and demonic individuals as being responsible for all that is wrong with America.