By Pablo Ouziel
Solidarity flourishes the more adverse our external reality gets. Somehow during hardship, as humans we have an innate intuition which draws us closer to each other. Sure, it seems unreal in a time of such consequential conflict in the global society we are constructing, to be talking about fraternal unity. After all, what we are witnessing are the repercussions of a divided world between the rich and the poor and the East and the West. Despite all this, the truth remains that if we observe closely enough there is right now a structural battle being fought which will determine the future of the next generations and our own.
Yes, it is true that there are unjust wars being fought on our behalf without our true consent or educated knowledge; the suffering of innocent people in Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan and many others which receive far less media attention, will sit on our consciousness for generations.
It is also true, that as westerners we are experiencing the end of an empire, in Karl Marx’s own words, “the empire had ruined them economically by the havoc it made of public wealth, by the wholesale swindling it fostered, by the propos it lent to the artificially accelerated centralization of capital… precipitating them headlong into a war which left only one equivalent for the ruins it made – the disappearance of the empire.”
No doubt, there is relatively more hunger today in the world than there was 100 years ago. If we deem important the International Labour Office’s latest annual Global Employment Trends report, which informs us of the fact that “the service sector now provides 42.7 percent of the world’s jobs, compared to agriculture’s 34.9 per cent” and goes on to say that 39 percent of the global population of working age were unemployed in 2007.
One cannot deny that corporate greed, political fraud and financial theft, are upon us with such catastrophic magnitudes that the average citizen has lost all hope in equality and fairness. Democracy has become the slogan of the powerful to justify their actions before the masses, Christ has been caricatured as the symbol of irrelevance, and our climate and ultimately us, are suffering this calamity. All this is within the grasp of anyone who watches CNN with a bit of intuition and reads between the lines.
What CNN doesn’t reveal is that there has been an increased awakening in humanity and more and more people are saying stop. Everyday that passes sees one more passive citizen becoming an active one, concerned for his rights. One more sleeping soul awakening to defend his or her humanity. As the media reporting continues to reflect the monster which humanity has become, one more individual is drawn, as Freud eloquently described, towards the “shrunken residue of a far more comprehensive, indeed all-embracing feeling, which corresponded to a more intimate bond between the ego and the world around it.”
Everyday more and more people are drawn away from George Bush and pulled towards Noam Chomsky, or Naomi Klein. More people want to know what is really happening and more are looking beyond the mainstream. That is due to the audiovisual reports on CNN. The owners of the media assumed we were stupid, they underestimated the power of collective consciousness and without knowing it, have made us repudiate them. We learned to disgust them for their empty promises and wars presented as acts of peace. They presented us peacekeepers dressed up as soldiers and soon we understood. They talked to us about atomic energy and never disarmed, it didn’t takes us long to react. The same happened with those wars on terrorism, soon we understood they were taking away our rights, airports became intolerable, people kept disappearing, our democratic governments were torturing and all this without fair trials.
Until recently, watching CNN used to anger me, I could not cope with the fact that it was one more tentacle of the huge propaganda machine elaborated to misinform the majority, in benefit of a small yet powerful minority. Today I realize that CNN is our closest ally, every image that it shows, every speech that it airs, every conclusion that it draws, calls one more human to civil disobedience. Past acts of civil disobedience regained for us our stolen rights and determined our present, today’s acts are shaping our future.
Pablo Ouziel is a sociologist and a freelance writer based in Spain.