The West is once again at a point of sober reflection on the meaning of life and murder in the age of insecurity, risk, ‘terrorism’, the permanence of war, regional wars and the prospect of a full-out global war.
Whether the cause of the murder and maiming of 129 plus innocents in Paris arises from corporate-state capitalist intervention abroad, ‘Jihadism’, a false flag operation or a benign (in)security apparatus laps to justify more draconian laws at-home to purportedly ‘prevent terrorism’, we are confronted with the democratization of outright murder and insecurity.
This is, of course, beside the murder of innocents that are collateral effects of the violence of structural adjustment, neoliberal ‘trade’ policies, the war for drugs, human induced extreme weather and an endless list of policies and programs that are merely a cover for normalizing the murderous nature of capitalism.
The corporate media, the political elites and the (in)security apparatus in the West will tell us that our citizens are innocents who must be protected from angry, brutish, deranged, frustrated and hateful extremists.
Carpet bombing ‘them’ back to the stone ages with depleted uranium and white phosphorous will be justified as having had ‘our’ hand being forced.
‘We’ will be led to believe ‘we’ are exceptional, deserving of a right to security and freedom from NOT being droned and bombed by Western militaries and starved to murder by the IMF and World Bank. ‘We’ will hear, of course, that at home ‘we’ need more invasions of privacy and unpersuasive justifications for whittling away what protections remain from arbitrary search and seizure.
Unsurprisingly, the government of Francois Holland want to put both France and ‘its’ overseas territories under lockdown, total suspension of personal liberties, anywhere in the world the French flag is flown, for three months.
But, if two wrongs don’t make a right, does it matter that the routine insecurity experienced by the innocents in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, northern Pakistan, Syria, Somalia and Yemen is now a feature of life in the West?
The choice of what world we want, if one is to remain in the next 25 years in the aftermath of industrialist-led climate change and war, now rests in the hands of we the citizens, not the warrior caste and civilian surveillance capitalists beholden to the military-financial-political-industrial complex, who have caused outright murder to be democratized – that is, boomerang back into the West.
We the citizens must not allow Western generals, corporate elites and a political class who have loosed the winds of war they cannot control to achieve ‘full spectrum dominance’ by conceding our legitimacy through elastic and vague platitudes such as “freedom” and “democracy”.
We, the citizens of the world, must see that when the Pentagon spends $500 million dollars to train an insurrectionist militia in Syria, of which only four such individuals could be produced, it is squandering the very means for the prevention of murder: education, jobs, leisure and a whole complex of things leading to conflict resolution, not its amplification.
As a result of asymmetric warfare loosed by symmetric means, the inalienable freedoms we can, contradictorily, be so easily inspired to give up by the moral panics created by incompetents and liars with the benefit of the ‘hierarchy of credibility’, are the very freedoms we, the citizens, most need to restrain the lunatics running the asylum of global capitalism.
The alternative to resisting the impulse to grant our lying political elite, the surveillance state, war profiteers and the warrior caste the authority to really ‘take the gloves off’, leaves us with the option of a future in which war is permanent.
If that war ever comes to an end, it will be wonwon in a dystopic future. In such a society, ‘winning’ will have perverse meaning unless we the citizens take back democracy from the forces of totalitarianism that make a mockery of ‘rule by the people’.
- Tamari Kitossa
***Dr. Tamari Kitossa is a professor in Brock University’s Department of Sociology